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Eloqua Marketing Software Strengths and Weaknesses

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Oracle Eloqua Strengths & Weaknesses

Competitive positioning in the marketing software industry is highlighted with the following strengths and weaknesses.

Eloqua Strengths

  • The Eloqua marketing software historical reputation has not included ease of use. However, with the most recent release this is no longer the case. Eloqua has stepped up to deliver an inviting interface, intuitive navigation and a dramatically improved user experience—all collectively contributing to strong ease of use for novice or experienced marketers.
  • Eloqua tools are some of the most mature and flexible among the marketing software landscape. Eloqua visual editors and design tools have succeeded in building a workspace that is easy to use while still supporting marketing creativity. Data management tools are very helpful for tasks such as data normalization, cleansing and appending data with integrated third party services (such as Demandbase or Data.com).
  • Eloqua is a category leader in email deliverability.
  • Eloqua is particularly strong at automating targeted communications over a wide range of both digital (email, personalized microsites, RSS feeds, instant messaging) and offline (direct mail, fax, SMS and call center outbound voice messages) channels—and reporting marketing performance across channels.
  • Eloqua supports object oriented creation and reuse when it comes to assembling marketing assets. For example, the marketing system permits content blocks to be created independently of campaigns so that they can be reused and dynamically inserted to emails and other marketing assets. More so, when changes are made to the content blocks those changes are reflected in all marketing assets using those blocks. Content blocks may include their own sub-components of text, images, database fields, forms, links and signatures.
  • Many lead management systems can only forward leads to the first step of a defined process. Eloqua is more flexible than that and with its Program Builder it can define lead distribution to any step in a campaign. Workflow rules also permit marketers to conduct random audience splitting on common forms for A/B testing.
  • Eloqua provides Marketing Resource Management (MRM) functionality, that while short when compared to best of breed MRM software vendors, offers far more MRM execution that most marketing automation software vendors. MRM permits marketers to centrally manage and update assets and elements, such as target lists, forms, emails, content blocks, scripts, workflows and other templates, so that users and campaigns are referencing the most current content.
  • There are a high number of optional rule driven parameters throughout the system. For example, campaign distributions can be excluded for select domain names—such as for competitors. These types of rules are often utilized as marketers progress in the system and seek out greater functionality.
  • Vantive Media reference checks consistently found praises for Eloqua customer support and professional services.

Eloqua Weaknesses

  • Eloqua comes with one of the highest SaaS subscription price tags, potentially lengthy implementations and generally requires some internal IT or other resourcing. These factors may collectively result in a higher total cost of ownership (TCO) than many other marketing software systems.
  • The inability to force unsubscribe links can permit marketers to run afoul of CAN-SPAM requirements and potentially black list the entire neighborhood (of a shared IP address).
  • Despite some strengths in email distributions, there's no feature to split email distributions for A/B testing of emails.
  • Eloqua's MRM functionality does not extend to project management, including scheduling of resources or managing project plans.
  • Eloqua does not provide a custom report writer for users to create new reports from scratch.
  • Marketing financial data is not captured within the system. Marketing costs, particularly at the campaign level, necessary to calculate payback and ROMI (Return on Marketing Investment) must be tracked in a separate cost accounting or project accounting system and manually entered back to the marketing application.
  • There's no function to identify and merge duplicate lead records (although this process can possibly be accomplished in the integrated CRM system).
  • There isn't a packaged integration with PPC keywords such as Google Adwords so the system cannot calculate the actual cost and payback of keyword campaigns.
  • The system supports double byte character sets, however, is available in few languages. Something a bit surprising as the product supports global companies particularly well.
  • Eloqua does not offer a trial program.

Next - Eloqua Best Fit and Alternative Solutions >>

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