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Oracle Eloqua Review: "Industry leader, but complex product."
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Updated June 16, 2015

Oracle Eloqua Review: "Industry leader, but complex product."

Score 9 out of 101
Vetted Review
Review Source

Software Version
Eloqua 9

Overall Satisfaction with Eloqua

  • It is a full-featured, very scalable marketing automation platform that works well (so far) within a very large environment. Eloqua's reasonably seamless integration to Salesforce.com is a large benefit as well. Sales people and marketers have a high degree of visibility to the behavior and interactions of customers.
  • Eloqua has deep email functionality and supports easy visibility to aggregate performance of a corporate email program, a function typically done by agencies with a lesser amount of transparency.
  • Eloqua is a bit less featured around large database and list management than something like an Aprimo or Unica type application: most of the list building work is done in the background within Eloqua and it is a bit difficult to have visibility to different filtering scenarios and "experiement" before building a program.
  • Eloqua also has a few "gotchas" around variable security levels: it is not as flexible as we'd like it to be around access governance for different types of users. Also, division or channel partitions and access control are not very robust.
  • There is a worldwide level of cost savings around consolidating and eliminating 3rd parties, agencies and consultants who have been paid to accomplish the same activities done in Eloqua.
  • Also, trigger programs, nurture and direct response emails have led to some increased revenue and engagement with database of prospects, leading to new customers.
Marketo, Oracle On-demand. Eloqua was at the time the most mature marketing automation platform, with ability to scale globally.
Overall a great platform and in my opinion the leader in the industry. However, in order to achieve the benefits from any marketing automation platform, a marketing organization needs to take on the hard work themselves to learn these complex tools, and have the sound strategy behind how to fully leverage. Executives can get trapped in the promise of marketing automation vendors: that the tool will magically create more and better qualified leads for sales and revenues will start to increase; the tools themselves do not do this. It is the hard work of marketers developing the right strategy to use the tool that will eventually accomplish this. Also, understand ramp time is typically longer than expected since the data collection in the system takes time to build, and thus full leverage of such data. This is a complex undertaking!

Using Eloqua

20 - All marketing
IT administrators, html code, project managers.
  • A large range of direct electronic marketing: Database email marketing, Lead management and delivery to sales, lead scoring and prioritization, web activity tracking of customers, web landing pages to capture information on new visitors, newsletter delivery, progressive prospect nurture.
It is still in its "ramp" stage and there is no compelling reason not to continue on the path of a full global deployment and more deep usage.

Evaluating Eloqua and Competitors

Aprimo MCM was partially deployed, but nothing was in place for most of the business.

Eloqua Implementation

Overall the implementation went well without major glitches. The database and data quality internally are critical factors and should be thoroughly evaluated before connecting to Eloqua.
  • Vendor implemented
  • Implemented in-house

Eloqua Training

  • Online training
  • In-person training
  • Self-taught
In person training, more in the context of specific workshops, has not been entirely well coordinated or addressing of specific needs of the organization. There have been several workshops worldwide that have been helpful but prep work could have been better coordinated in advance of the training to understand the needs of the group and the questions we were trying to have answered. The trainers and leaders are very knowledgeable, but I would advise anyone prepping for in-person training in the future to be extremely clear in advance about the goals and the audience.
Most have been very satisfied with the breadth, scope and availability of training. Some of the "generic" specifics of the training don't exactly address our particular use cases, however, Eloqua is well known for its good training curriculum online.
No - I recommend hiring someone who is already well trained and/or building in weeks or months of training as part of a ramp plan.

Eloqua Support

Most support issues have been addressed, but sometimes responses have been slow. However, a dedicated team has just been formed that should provide a much improved experience.
Yes - The level of support was needed for a large, complex global deployment.

Using Eloqua

I am not a primary user in the system so this is based on team member feedback. There is a learning curve with any marketing automation platform, as well as a specific learning curve to the nuances of how we use this system. You need a dedicated team willing to spend their time in the system and continually learning it to make the most of it. It is not "easy", but no one really promised it would be "easy" to use - since it has so many features and flexibility.

Eloqua Reliability

No one has experienced any problems with availablity.
There are occasional complaints about slowness to refresh a screen or build a report. However, this is as much a factor of network access speeds as the system itself, since often the complaints occur when someone is accessing on a wireless network.

Integrating Eloqua

  • Salesforce.com
  • Ion Interactive
  • In-house database
Very deep integration with all of the above. Expert developers and IT were needed but each project has moved forward and is complete on a planned schedule
  • Yes, there are many on this list.
Yes- connectivity is of high importance to the ecosystem of vendors, including Oracle which is now the parent company of Eloqua,

Relationship with Oracle

IT leadership (rather than marketing) was the chief negotiator, so I dont have many comments. I do however recommend that marketing's technology team be the key relationship builder at the outset for this negotiation.
In general, most terms and costs seem reasonable. The only area that has been a bit of frustration has been what's called "Eloqua University Licenses" - which are costly, priced per individual user (rather than scalable for a large organization). We keep needing to add more of these, paying as we go, and it is difficult to transfer a license when someone leaves the company. These training licenses are critical for learning and leveraging best practices, accessing valuable online training, and for those we assign to become experts. For what we pay as an enterprise, it would seem that a package of these would be included..