Marketing Automation worked on me.
Matthew Miller | TrustRadius Reviewer
Updated March 18, 2015

Marketing Automation worked on me.

Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Software Version

Basic

Modules Used

  • Eloqua

Overall Satisfaction with Oracle Eloqua

Eloqua is the hub of our entire marketing program. Our marketing team is small, but every person we add is added as a user and trained to think about our customer's journey through the buying process. Management appreciates the visibility it provides into each touch point and how our customers respond. Our sales team relies on our outbound and inbound programs, as driven by Eloqua. The integration with Salesforce creates automatic data enrichment and keeps our sales agents apprised of our leads' level of engagement through the sales funnel. Even though we are fairly simple in our use of the platform, we've created efficiencies and value that we wouldn't have without Eloqua.
  • Stellar support. Being new to marketing automation, it was important to partner with a company that would provide the quality of customer support that we knew we would need to succeed. After a lengthy review of several offerings that included many personal references, we chose to go with Eloqua because they were consistently cited as best-in-class. And the experience I had with them during the sales process proved that out.
  • The App Cloud. Very much like Salesforce, Eloqua has a huge selection of apps that extend functionality and integrate Eloqua with third-party solutions. Many of the best ones are free. For example, one of Eloqua University's course covers data quality. In the course, you learn how to set up a "contact washing machine" which is a back-end process that weeds out junk contacts, corrects capitalization, and augments contact data with a third party like data.com. Except for the data.com subscription, all of this functionality is built-in and free.
  • Eloqua University. It's true, Eloqua is a bit more of a complicated platform. The basics are quite easy to learn, but real power is unlocked by power users. Eloqua University offers practical classes that teach how to use the platform, strategic classes that help you become a better marketer, and everything in between. The instructors and content are top-shelf.
  • Campaign Canvas. This is the killer app. The campaign canvas allows you to create complex workflows with many decision points and complicated timings with incredible ease. The visio-style whiteboard interface makes it easy to understand how the campaign will execute.
  • Topliners. An amazing community of Eloqua users who are passionate about the product and love to help others along their way.
  • Program builder is a power-user feature, but eventually you will need to learn how to use it. There isn't as much documentation for program builder, and some of what you'll find is outdated. Through either trial and error or a call to support, it is possible to get it done.
  • My Oracle Support can be tricky to navigate. There are a few more hoops to jump through to get to the Eloqua team, but it's possible. There is a group on Topliners that helps you work the system.
  • Cost. On the lower end, it's more expensive than other tools, or at least that's the perception. In reality, to get the same features as the closest competitor, you'll pay the same price. And the popular solution at the low end of the market gets way more expensive feature-for-feature. Still, the perception is there and you might have to do some convincing if others in your organization are fans of other solutions.
  • It's still an obscure market. This is not really a problem with Eloqua so much as it is for marketing automation in general. Marketing automation (inbound marketing, content marketing) is a relatively young competency and as such many marketers are unaware, unskilled, or posing as experts. Executives may need to be sold on the strategy many times. And it does take considerable investment (capital and time) to see the kinds of ROI that is touted in the thought leadership.
  • Eloqua has helped us with our overall strategy. Building a campaign requires us to think through certain steps, and the effect of this planning is a more cohesive customer experience. This is great for "branding" but it's also great for the bottom line. Since we started with Eloqua, revenue has tripled. Eloqua's contribution to this growth is at least 33%.
  • Our sales team can focus better because lead scoring tells them who best fits our ideal customer profile, and which of those people are showing interest through their engagement with us. We have a healthy pipeline and lead scoring allows our sales team to use their time more efficiently.
  • Marketo,HubSpot,Adobe Neolane,MailChimp,Hatchbuck,Drupal,Formstack,Salesforce.com,Basecamp,Highrise
After being frustrated with my frankensteined lead machine for quite some time, I started seeing more information about marketing automation and content marketing around the web. This led me to identify Marketo and then Eloqua as interesting tools. At some point, I got a call from a sales agent at Marketo. I also requested contact from Eloqua. Apparently they both had me in their systems and had been nurturing me. After learning that fact, I was convinced I needed a marketing automation tool. Marketo probably saw me as a nearly ideal prospect because of my company's profile.

My evaluation process centered around Marketo and Eloqua. Hubspot was written off early because their feature set was thinner than I wanted. Eloqua eventually won out because of their superior support and training services, the Campaign Canvas, the App Cloud, and, honestly, because Marketo's sales agent threw more FUD about the Oracle Acquisition than sold his own product.
It's a perfect fit for us - B2B, technology, long sales cycle, emerging product, high price point. Our customers need to be educated, nurtured, and convinced that they have a problem that can be solved by our product. Furthermore, our customers are digital marketers themselves and as such are highly sophisticated; our best fit accounts are in the Fortune 500. For us, this means a highly structured, cerebral buying process. Certain conversations need to take place at the right time, and in the right order. Eloqua allows us to rapidly prototype campaigns and quickly refine them to optimize performance.

Using Oracle Eloqua

The transition to Oracle Support has been a bit rough. It's not quite as easy as it used to be when Eloqua was running the show. If it doesn't get any more difficult and the quality of support is maintained, there will be no issue. But if support quality is degraded over throughout the rest of our term, that will be a major consideration when it comes time to renew.