Eloqua Review—Company Viability
With its first marketing software version launched in 2000 and over a decade of experience, Eloqua is one of the most mature marketing automation software vendors in the industry. And in an increasingly fragmented industry made up of venture backed start-ups and small but emerging growth companies, Eloqua is one of the larger players.
Company strengths which suggest Eloqua may continue to retain a leadership role include the following.
- The company is the de facto marketing automation software leader for the enterprise market.
- The company shows impressive growth. Eloqua finished the 2011 year with just over $71 million revenues, a notable 30% year over year increase.
- Eloqua shows impressive software innovation. Somewhat recently, the company released a major new version of its flagship product—Eloqua10—as well as Eloqua Insight, a new analytics and reporting application and Eloqua Discover for Salesforce.com, to better identify the most likely lead candidates and allow improved sales person facilitation with campaigns. More recently, the company released its Eloqua Social Suite and AppCloud, an online ecosystem of social media, data management and other marketing related integration connectors to popular third party services.
- Eloqua's global partnerships will aid the company in increased enterprise and global customer acquisitions. Key business partners include Accenture, CapGemini, Harte-Hanks, Microsoft and Salesforce.com.
- The company is the first marketing automation software industry pure play to achieve a successful initial public offering (IPO). The Eloqua management team is a group of top talent and veteran professionals who likely possess the skills and experience to use this event along with its cash proceeds to accelerate growth and potentially leap frog the competition.
However, like all marketing software technology vendors, the company is not without substantial risks.
- Eloqua has top of mind share and a leadership position, however, both factors are increasingly challenged and at risk. Eloqua's messaging is indistinguishable from several smaller competitors—causing the brand to lose relevance and degrade. Smaller competitors are acquiring customers at a feverish pace and may very well outpace Eloqua in the near term, passing Eloqua in total customer acquisitions, but probably not revenues.
- The majority of Eloqua customers use the Salesforce.com CRM system. Salesforce.com may expand its social marketing cloud to include traditional marketing automation capabilities. Many CRM pundits believe it is only a matter of time. In fact, the morphing of CRM and marketing automation software systems may have already begun with Oracle's acquisition and integration of Market2Lead or Microsoft's acquisition of Marketing Pilot. If Salesforce.com were to acquire a marketing automation software company as part of its marketing cloud, it would cause significant disruption to the small B2B marketing software industry. Each marketing software vendor, including Eloqua, would likely lose a substantial portion of their customer base that also uses Salesforce.com. Further, their one time partner turned competitor would likely represent fierce competition and the market would bifurcate into best of breed marketing software providers versus suite providers which deliver integrated CRM and marketing software systems.
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