co-founder diginomica
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Oracle: Eloqua will make our customer experience Cloud reign supreme

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25th Feb 2013
co-founder diginomica
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Oracle believes that once its planned acquisition of Cloud marketing specialist Eloqua is completed, it will be able to deliver the most comprehensive customer experience Cloud.

If 2013 is to be the year of the Marketing Cloud, customers face a lot of choices between fundamentally different definitions of what such a beast is.

So it’s no surprise then that Oracle is emphasising that once its planned acquisition of Cloud marketing specialist Eloqua is completed, its version of the Marketing Cloud will still play nicely with the likes of Salesforce.com and Microsoft.
After laying out $871 million for loss-making Eloqua last December, senior Oracle executives, including president Mark Hurd, drilled down a little bit further into what the firm plans to do with its latest acquisition.
“Oracle has been investing in the Oracle Cloud and we’re seeing significant momentum. We currently have 10,000 customers and 25 million users,” said Hurd. “Eloqua is the centrepiece of Oracle’s Marketing Cloud and is expected to be a strong contributor to Oracle’s other customer experience Cloud offerings, which include Oracle sales, commerce, service, content and social Clouds.”
“With Eloqua we’ll be able to deliver the most comprehensive customer experience Cloud,” he added. “Eloqua’s modern marketing capabilities will extend our customer experience Cloud with modern marketing automation and revenue performance management to help our customers transform the way they market, sell, support and service their customers.”
Hurd pledged that while Oracle plans to integrate Eloqua’s technology with its own portfolio of offerings, the realities of non-Oracle systems will not be overlooked. “Oracle remains committed to enabling users to use Eloqua’s Marketing Cloud in a multi-vendor environment, including non-Oracle sales automation systems, to support customer choice,” he stated.
CEXy
Ultimately Eloque is being pitched by Oracle as a means of expanding and enhancing its customer experience offerings. “There’s a fundamental shift in the customer’s expectations during the selection and buying process. Customers are simply demanding a better experience,” said Hurd. “86% of customers are willing to pay more for a great customer experience. On the flip side, 89% of customers stop doing business with an organisation after one bad experience.”
But customers are evolving creatures, he admitted. “Customers are more informed than they ever have been before,” he argued. “They choose where, when and how often they engage with a company and its sales personnel. The customer has more influence and can provide immediate feedback and referrals which are often the most trusted source.
Marketing can play a key part in customer acquisition and retention, said Hurd – or modern marketing can at any rate. “Modern marketing helps automate and personalise the process to create a better buying experience. It helps a company to respond to a customer’s digital body language with targeted dynamic marketing content at the right time,” explained Hurd. “Dynamic marketing content can improve the conversion rates of contact to opportunity by 50%, having a direct impact to the bottom line.”
Oracle's executive vice president of product development, Thomas Kurian explained some of the planned integrations between Oracle’s portfolio and Eloqua within the context of the wider Oracle Cloud push.
“We had a simple mission for Oracle Cloud,” he said. “We wanted to take Oracle’s leading platform technology of database and middleware, our comprehensive set of applications capabilities, and social software, build it on a common infrastructure and deliver it to customers at the end of a browser.”
Oracle Social Engagement and Monitoring will classify and aggregate social data and feed it into Eloqua's segmentation mode; while Oracle's core CRM software will provide lead management, sales automation and contact management as well as feed customer profile data into Eloqua for campaign targeting and other purposes.
Oracle will also continue to support and enhance existing two-way integrations between Eloqua and third parties, including Salesforce.com and Microsoft Dynamics CRM as part of an "open integration strategy".
This open integration will also extend to a choice of what social collaboration tool customers want to use in conjunction with Eloqua. Oracle’s Social Network is pitched as a collaboration vehicle for sales and marketing to work together, but the open strategy will mean that if Chatter from Salesforce.com is preferred, then customers can use that.
“Customers are free to use just one piece of our suite and mix and match it with other components of their own footprint,” Kurian emphasised.
Enhancements
There will also be enhancements to the current Eloqua offering. Kurian highlighted a roadmap that includes improvements and additions to:
  • User Experience – enhanced user experience for Profiler, Discover and Engage.
  • Functional, including integrating display advertising into the content strategy via AdFocus.
  • Integration between Eloqua and Oracle Sales Cloud and Oracle Social Relationship Management
  • Enhanced Analytics – releasing dynamic marketing and sales funnel management as well as new reporting on revenue performance and benchmarking.
  • Global Deployment - additional localisation and internationalisation support.
“We’re building a common customer experience foundation,” concluded Kurian. “On this we’re building a unified product set – content, social, marketing, commerce, sales and service. We’ve got a unified portfolio and it works across all the channels that a customer may come in from - web, mobile, social, in store, contact centre, etc.
“Eloqua is leading solution to create modern marketers. A modern marketer is a person who knows exactly what their customers and prospects want. They need to understand what’s the value of the pipeline; what’s the reach – who’s the individual I want to target. What what percentage of these prospects will become revenue? How long will it take to realise revenue from a prospect. What is the return on my marketing and sales investment.”

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