Still the Best Out There
Steve Keifer | TrustRadius Reviewer
May 29, 2015

Still the Best Out There

Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Software Version

Enterprise

Overall Satisfaction with Oracle Eloqua

Eloqua is the primary marketing automation platform that serves as the foundation for all demand generation programs. It is used to automate outbound email communications; nurture marketing qualified leads; and to score leads based on demographic and behavioral intelligence. Eloqua is used by over 100 field marketing and online marketing personnel across the Americas, Europe and Asia Pacific.
  • Eloqua provides amazing insights into user's online behavior. Once a prospect registers you can gain amazing insights into what content they access. You can see what emails they open; what links they click through and who forwards the messages. You can see what website pages they visit; what content they download and how often they return. Your sales team can use these insights to make smarter calls. And your marketing team can use the insights to build intelligence nurturing programs.
  • Eloqua scales well to handle very large implementations. At midsize and large corporations the marketing database can grow into the millions of users. And the number of insights gained from behavioral activity can be in the tens of millions per year. In my experience, Eloqua is able to scale its database and implementation better than other marketing automation vendors.
  • Analytics - The insights gained from Eloqua's reporting I find to be very 20th century. Eloqua has a tremendous opportunity to offer insights based upon analyzing the massive data it collects across multiple tenants. Why can't it tell what time of day a particular user is most likely to open an email? Or what type of subject lines work best? Why can't it recommend what content I should use next in a lead nurturing campaign (think Amazon product recommendations)? Shouldn't Eloqua know that 50% of users that downloaded white paper A also watched webinar B?
  • Marketing - Eloqua does a poor job of marketing its feature set. The marketing presentations and collateral are poorly written, chalked full of technobabble and jargon. The application is extremely powerful, but you will get far greater insights from speaking to another end-user than talking to a sales rep. I use Marketo's amazing library of marketing resources to educate myself on what these types of products can do.
  • Upgrades - With a SaaS or cloud product you expect upgrades to be relatively painless. Not the case with Eloqua. For a large implementation an Eloqua upgrade will suck up many of your marketing operations and lead generation resources. It requires the same type of planning and testing as an Oracle or SAP ERP upgrade. However, I will say that Eloqua does provide great support for the process and I have never had anything go wrong.
  • Usability - The user interface for Eloqua is not intuitive at all. Many users in sales and marketing find it intimidating which impacts uptake. The confusing interface can lead to mistakes as well such as sending duplicate campaigns to the same distribution list. You likely will need to hire a full time person to manage the application because of its complexity. I do not believe this is the case with competitive products such as Yesware or HubSpot.
  • In one business unit that I measured, the percentage of marketing-sourced sales qualified leads doubled from 20% to 40%. The improved performance was primarily attributed to the lead nurturing, scoring and automation capabilities of Eloqua. Before Eloqua there was always a big debate about what contribution marketing was having to the sales pipeline. With Eloqua, we are able to conclusively demonstrate the impact - ending the debate.
  • Due its complexity Eloqua can have a negative impact on your responsiveness to customers. The complexity of the lead scoring engine can result in significant delays in the time before leads are passed to a sales representative. Also, if programmed incorrectly the lead scoring engine will recommend you not follow up on leads that may have high potential. For example, you might configure Eloqua to score leads from Executive Assistants relatively low, but they are often doing research on behalf of their boss (e.g. the CIO).
I evaluated Eloqua for a large-scale B2B marketing program at a software company. Also considered Marketo and Hubspot. I liked Marketo and Hubspot's usability, feature set and pricing better, but at the time of evaluation they did not have as many references from large programs.
For large implementations and databases I still believe Eloqua is the best marketing automation tool out there. However, the marketing automation space is becoming much more competitive. Far more innovative startups (that are easier to use) are capturing market share quickly. If you are small or midsize company consider HubSpot, Yesware or Marketo.

Key questions to ask Eloqua:
- What are you doing to out-innovate companies such as Lattice, HubSpot and Yesware?
- How is Oracle investing in Eloqua since the acquisition? What is the product roadmap?

Oracle CX Marketing (formerly Oracle Marketing Cloud) Feature Ratings

WYSIWYG email editor
8
Dynamic content
Not Rated
Ability to test dynamic content
Not Rated
Landing pages
9
A/B testing
9
Mobile optimization
Not Rated
Email deliverability reporting
9
List management
6
Triggered drip sequences
Not Rated
Lead nurturing
6
Lead scoring and grading
8
Data quality management
4
Automated sales alerts and tasks
Not Rated
Calendaring
Not Rated
Event/webinar marketing
Not Rated
Social sharing and campaigns
Not Rated
Social profile integration
Not Rated
Dashboards
5
Standard reports
5
Custom reports
6
API
Not Rated
Role-based workflow & approvals
Not Rated
Customizability
Not Rated
Integration with Salesforce.com
9
Integration with Microsoft Dynamics CRM
Not Rated
Integration with SugarCRM
Not Rated