Eloqua was good for us until it wasn't
Updated June 16, 2015

Eloqua was good for us until it wasn't

Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 3 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Software Version

Enterprise

Modules Used

  • Eloqua
  • E9, Prospect Profiler, Engage

Overall Satisfaction with Oracle Eloqua

We used Eloqua across the organization. In marketing, we used Eloqua for nurturing and scoring prospects as well as running customer programs to support Client Services and the Account Management teams. We have multiple products, so our set up was somewhat complicated. Overall Eloqua allowed us to ramp up our content marketing efforts because it gave us a way to score leads based on ongoing engagement instead of just those that explicitly asked to be contacted by sales for more info. The sales team also had access to Eloqua via Prospect Profiler and Engage. In theory this helped them understand what a prospect was interested in and track their own emails, but unfortunately we had a lot of problems with Engage.
  • Eloqua supports organizations with complex structures when it comes to multiple products.
  • There's a TON of flexibility when building out nurture programs. You can make them as simple or complicated as you'd like.
  • Seems like a small thing, but I love that Eloqua offers Form Level data so you can collect information just specific to that form (like the source of the download) without affecting contact data. I didn't realize how critical this was until I didn't have it when we switched providers.
  • Some of our biggest problems with Eloqua come from still being on E9. This obviously only affects existing clients, but we were one of them.
  • I never felt like Eloqua played well with other systems. Sure they have an integration with Salesforce, but it's not as good as some other options. We also used Omniture and the integration there (my understanding is that the integration is only available on E9) was mostly for "marketing". We never really saw that much value from their out of the box integration and ended up having to pay for additional development to meet our needs.
  • We were always frustrated by the way pricing works. We wanted to have a 1-to-1 sync from Salesforce to Eloqua, but we have a lot of historical contacts in Salesforce that we didn't want to remove, but it made our syncing process overly complicated to keep them out of Eloqua.
  • Since the Oracle acquisition, I've felt that the overall quality of the customer facing organization has declined substantially. It just seemed like it wasn't a priority for Oracle. And then all the people that I personally felt like made Eloqua great (and me a huge advocate for them) left or were pushed out.
  • When we got Eloqua we really had to get on the same page with the sales team. Having an automation tool really helped our marketing and sales alignment, which translated to better handling of things marketing was passing over the fence.
  • We were able to run longer, ongoing programs. Prior to Eloqua it was 100% batch and blast, and we rarely paid attention to previous activity (because we just didn't have the systems to do that).
  • We were able to help the Client Services team streamline new client onboarding. We created product specific onboarding programs that pushed new users to take training. We found that if new users took training in the beginning they were less likely to call support - so it deflected a lot of inbound tickets. It also gave us a better way to suggest new products for the AM team to upsell/cross sell without having to talk to every client about every product (AKA increased revenue).
Due to some issues (downtime, being on E9, feature availability, customer support) we ultimately decided to go with Marketo. When we were first looking for automation (2009) we decided on Eloqua over Marketo because we were worried about Marketo's ability to scale with us. At that point Marketo was very new to the market still and only had a few large clients. When we went through the evaluation this past fall, we were looking at ease of use. Our experience with Eloqua (E9) was that it was difficult to use so marketing operations ALWAYS had to run the programs. We wanted to empower the product marketing teams to handle more of their own programs with support and approval from marketing operations. We just thought Marketo would be better for us overall.
If you have complicated use cases (multiple products, multiple sales teams), really dive into those use cases when you are evaluating tools. This goes for all of them. The "obvious" stuff Eloqua can handle, it's when you get into more complicated programs and requirements that you won't to be able to compare system to system. While I haven't used E10, based on conversations I had with people that went through the upgrade process, they lost some power that was available through E9. I'd also challenge them on the way Engage works for sales. We had problems where we couldn't fence off visibility for various types of emails and programs--and at the point we stopped using it, Sales could not create their own templates easily (it had to be done in the backend of Eloqua by a marketing user).

Using Oracle Eloqua

200 - Marketing: Everyone on the marketing operations team (10) used Eloqua
Sales: This was the bulk of our users. The sales team leveraged Prospect Profiler to understand what prospects were interested in or why they had the score they did. They also used Engage -- unfortunately there were a LOT of issues with Engage from the sales usage perspective. It got to the point where we actually told them to stop using it because it was unreliable and difficult for them to use.
10 - We had a couple writers who would write copy for emails, landing pages and assets. We also had technical people who would create the nurture programs and handle the Salesforce integration. The technical team had HTML and Java experience. Our web team also had logins to make sure forms were integrated on our website correctly (all our forms were integrated, very few were created as Eloqua hosted landing pages)
  • Sales visibility into what prospects were doing
  • Nurturing leads that sales recycled or weren't yet ready to talk to sales
  • Scoring leads so we knew when to push leads to sales
  • Customer marketing
  • Pre-conference campaigns to set meetings
  • Omniture "integration"
We ultimately didn't renew with Eloqua because of a lot of the issues I've already talked about.

Oracle Eloqua Implementation

  • Vendor implemented
  • Implemented in-house
  • Professional services company
We had a smart start from Eloqua, but most of the "real" work to make Eloqua successful happened in house. We also used DemandGen and Dave Lewis's team for support after we'd had eloqua for a few years.

Oracle Eloqua Support

We found that we often were telling support people how the system worked. Because we were on E9 that created a lot of support issues as well since few people on the support team seemed to know how E9 worked. That was mostly okay except when we had major system issues (like SSO preventing us from logging in after an update), it became really hard to get answers that weren't vague. It was always the issues that had the highest visibility within the organization (like with Sales) that seemed to take forever to resolve and didn't have a clear escalation path. When Oracle switched Eloqua over to the Oracle support portal it just got worse.
ProsCons
None
Slow Resolution
Poor followup
Less knowledgeable
Problems left unsolved
Not kept informed
Escalation required
Difficult to get immediate help
Need to explain problems multiple times
Support doesn't seem to care
No. I can recall several times we were promised they were going to make it right, but it always turned out to be a lot of talk and not a lot of real action. At the end of it, I would say we as a team were pretty soured on their customer experience and disappointed to have seen it take such a turn. I've had similar experiences when Oracle has acquired other vendors we used.