Oracle has been rolling out new features for Eloqua, its marketing automation solution. Since Salesforce took over Radian6 and Exact Target (and through them Pardot), it is clear the competition remains fierce in this sector.
Eloqua’s AdFocus and Profiler tools enhance the solution nicely. Oracle also bought Compendium (a content marketing tool) to add to the Eloqua offering. In theory, with Oracle’s marketing database expertise and the fact that Eloqua has always been a marketer’s tool, they should have a head start on Salesforce.com. Whatever direction each organisation takes though, the competition will bring good and bad news to buyers. Continuing healthy rivalry should ensure new features and hopefully keen pricing, but it will mean marketers have to constantly assess whether they are in the best place. Is the new functionality “must-have” and do the cost-savings of moving between platforms for lower licence fees justify the business upheaval? Our advice, as always, is keep nimble if you can, as things are changing quickly.
Oracle is well placed, as is Adobe, to offer modular based solutions to marketers. And it is likely that the sales practices of Salesforce.com that have worked so well on sales teams, will not win over a database marketer quite so easily. Marketing is more complicated (in terms of technology needs) that sales and because of the complexities of customer data management, this isn’t going to change. Considered purchasing and careful choices of technology will remain essential, however quickly the vendors move and whatever new features they tell you you should have.