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Oracle Eloqua Review: Best Marketing Automation Software for Enterprises

Oracle Eloqua Review: Best Marketing Automation Software for Enterprises
Credit: Oracle/Eloqua

After conducting extensive research and analysis in 2017, we recommend Oracle Eloqua as the best marketing automation platform for enterprises. We chose Eloqua from a pool of dozens of marketing automation solutions we considered. To understand how we selected our best picks, you can find our methodology and a comprehensive list of marketing automation software on our best picks page.

Oracle's marketing automation solution, Eloqua, is aimed at enterprises with vast marketing needs, but that doesn't mean it should be complicated. Eloqua does a good job of making marketing automation intuitive, with drag-and-drop functionality and a user interface that illustrates the step-by-step flow of your marketing campaign.

Ready to choose a marketing automation solution? Here's a breakdown of our complete coverage:

Editor's Note: Trying to choose a marketing automation solution? Use the questionnaire below to have our sister site BuyerZone provide you with information from a variety of vendors for free:

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Eloqua offers a hefty slate of features that aim to improve not only conversion rates but the allocation of your marketing budget. By using reporting tools, lead scoring and segmentation, users can identify the leads and customers most likely to buy again, and then target them directly for progression in the pipeline. Here are some of our favorite features in Eloqua.

  • Email marketing: Email marketing in Eloqua is easy and straightforward, requiring no knowledge of coding or use of an IT department. Imagery, text and dynamic content are all programmable within a user-friendly visual editor.
  • Central dashboard: All marketing resources, from assets to market segments, are accessible from drop-down menus located on this page. Reporting results are also featured prominently here, giving users an at-a-glance update of the health of their marketing campaigns. A series of shortcuts make jumping from the dashboard to another section of Eloqua as easy as a single click.
  • Reporting and analytics: Reporting is relatively simple with Eloqua, though it offers an effective breakdown of campaigns to help users gauge the effectiveness of their current strategy. Reports feature breakdowns of statistics, such as emails sent, opened, forms filled out, etc. Graphs and charts help users visualize the information, while additional context, such as click-through rates, are represented as gauges on the bottom of the screen.
  • Lead scoring: Eloqua allows users to configure existing lead scoring models and assign them to all campaigns or individual ones, making it easy to change scoring methods on the fly. Multiple scoring models can also be applied to one lead or an entire segment as well.
  • Marketing calendar/scheduling: Users are able to set run and end dates for campaigns, which appear alongside events on a unified marketing calendar. The calendar provides one central overview of all campaigns, events and other aspects of an organization's overarching marketing strategy.
  • A/B testing: A/B testing enables users to send two iterations of the same content, such as an email, and test a similar audience or segmentations response. A/B testing is essential for optimizing marketing campaigns with the best content possible.
  • Segmentation: This tool allows users to build segmentations based on lead profiles, including companies they work for, geography, demographics and more. This information can be easily shared between Eloqua and other company databases.
  • Dynamic content: Content is presented based on segmentations and rules set by the user. For example, if a user is targeting leads internationally, dynamic content can be set to present in multiple languages, depending on the recipient's location. Further, other dynamic content rules can be set directly inside the content creation tool, making it easy to view your marketing materials as they will appear to potential customers.

Eloqua makes the marketing automation process intuitive with its sleek user interface and central dashboard as well as a series of shortcuts that makes navigating the majority of the software as easy as hitting the Home button.

Each channel a user might need – email, landing pages, forms and so on – are neatly organized under an Assets tab for quick access. Directly next to it, an Audience tab displays contacts, leads and accounts as well as any segmentation a user has created and lead scoring to determine lead viability.

Creating automated campaigns is also straightforward with Eloqua's Campaign Canvas, which features prebuilt templates or enables users to create campaigns from scratch. Campaign Canvas's drag-and-drop functionality makes campaign creation simple and eliminates the need for coding. Users simply connect icons that represent audiences, assets, behaviors and actions to create a coherent, automated sequence that can be monitored and edited in real time.

Eloqua is truly an enterprise-focused solution, aiming its price points for companies with larger budgets and contact rolls. The monthly prices below reflect the cost for implementation with a database of less than 10,000 contacts.

  • Basic: Includes access to the central dashboard and reporting tools, unified marketing calendar, lead scoring and routing, mobile friendly templates, lead nurturing, drip marketing, multichannel campaigns, events, email marketing, A/B testing, segmentation, and dynamic content. $2,000 per month for up to 10 users.
  • Standard: Includes access to all features in basic plus full link branding, digital advertising, event management modules, multi-lead scoring and advanced routing, custom security administration, and access to Eloqua's Data Tools cloud service Insight Analyzer. $4,000 per month for up to 50 users.
  • Enterprise: Contact sales for a price quote. Supports an unlimited number of users. Includes all features in Standard, plus a sandbox testing environment and Oracle Cloud priority service.

Our customer service experience was adequate. After a short wait, sales representatives helped walk us through Eloqua's features, especially those unique to the platform. We were transferred to a manager at one point after asking a question about the enterprise pricing package, but we found the reps overall to be knowledgeable, friendly and patient. They were quite understanding when we said we were only interested in exploring options at the moment and accommodated us accordingly.

Eloqua offers 24/7 toll-free support lines and a live web chat. Oracle also maintains a help center on Eloqua's website, which features a contact form, access to a community of other Eloqua users and a series of resources and training materials available for free.

We found Eloqua's reporting tools to be lacking in terms of detail and granular insights. The information provided (statistics on current campaigns, lead scoring, etc.) is useful, but it only scratches the surface compared to other solutions we reviewed.

Long-time customers also complained of difficulty obtaining support assistance when bugs or other issues cropped up. Lacking technical support can be detrimental when a system as crucial as marketing automation goes down, especially for a large company using the software to govern a campaign that touches thousands of leads and customers.

Editor's Note: Trying to choose a marketing automation solution? Use the questionnaire below to have our sister site BuyerZone provide you with information from a variety of vendors for free:

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Adam C. Uzialko

Adam received his Bachelor's degree in Political Science and Journalism & Media Studies at Rutgers University. He worked for a local newspaper and freelanced for several publications after graduating college. He can be reached by email, or follow him on Twitter.