Oracle Eloqua vs. Marketo are two marketing automation giants that have long been in competition. Both companies started out as independent software vendors—Eloqua was founded in 1999 and Marketo in 2006—and were later acquired by larger software conglomerates. Eloqua was acquired by Oracle in 2012, Marketo was acquired by Adobe in 2018.
Despite the change in management, the basic functionality of both software options has remained consistent, and some might argue that the functionality improved due to connections to databases, business intelligence software, and other marketing tools.
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Accounts, targeting, and segmentation
Eloqua has built targeting and segmentation into most of the tools within the software. Marketers can track the entire customer’s journey across multiple channels within the tool. By tracking all the customer touches within Eloqua, the software builds a complete picture of the customer that you can then use to segment and personalize further marketing.
Integrated customer behavior and sentiment analysis within Eloqua helps marketers understand how the customer’s actions signal purchase intent. Behavioral triggers set off alerts that improve right-time customer outreach, and connections to the Oracle Data Cloud enrich customer data to improve personalization and help identify customers. The enriched data profile follows a customer through the marketing and sales process, so you won’t lose your data when you transfer a lead into the CRM.
Marketo splits its account enrichment tools into two main sections: targeted marketing and account insights. The targeted marketing tools scan your website with SEO-focused tools to give suggestions to improve website rankings and target the most profitable keywords. Marketo will also gather marketing and customer data that you can send to third-party ad providers like Facebook, Adwords, and LinkedIn to enrich your advertising with improved segmentation.
Marketo account insights uses your current accounts and your profiling choices to help identify other accounts to go after. These tools are especially useful for companies who want to build their account-based marketing (ABM) strategy. The account research tools can be deployed progressively to improve output without doing a major overhaul that breaks the current system. Account insight tools also generate prioritization lists for sales and marketing to focus on. These lists include right-fit metrics and lead scoring the team can set up and customize right in Marketo.
Eloqua and Marketo provide email tools in addition to other multichannel campaign management features. Because both of these tools seek to centralize data from all your marketing campaigns, they feature multi-touch visual campaign workflows that marketers can edit to plan and edit campaigns with a clear view of the marketing funnel.
Eloqua’s email campaign software features dynamic content builders that can send personalized content to different segments all within a single send. According to online reviews, many users love this feature, as it reduces the number and complexity of individual email sends they have to build. However, clickthrough tracking is not available for dynamic emails, and they can also cause problems if you attempt to send a campaign that requires all recipients to remain present on the email.
Marketo’s email tool features a fully responsive visual editor and templates marketers can use for no-code campaigns. They claim that “if you know how to use a word processor, you can use the email tool.” Despite this somewhat outdated comparison, Marketo has some advanced technical features like predictive content, a/b/n testing, and automatic segmentation. The Audience Hub manages personalization and segmentation, and can trigger emails to send to segments based on website actions, inactions, or timelines to re-engage customers. Some customers have reported ongoing issues with the landing page builder, which is not as robust as you might find with other marketing automation tools.
Multichannel campaigns and lead management
Eloqua’s multichannel campaign tools are focused on lead management by using customer behavior and lead scoring to promote right-time content. Use Eloqua’s Listener Framework to understand who’s looking at your brand and set up automatic triggers to target those potential leads across any channel. Teams can use the lead routing, prioritizations, and lead scoring tools to keep marketing and sales in alignment, and reduce the number of premature lead hand-offs.
Eloqua’s visual cross-channel workflows let marketers build comprehensive campaigns without any coding. You can pause and update existing campaigns quickly without interrupting the workflow. Making these multi-channel workflows gives marketers a full data picture, and that equals better segmentation and more complete campaign control.
The tool can run multiple lead scoring models on a single contact to understand behavior types and readiness for outreach. And account-based lead scoring with predictive analytics will help you find better prospects and reach out to them proactively.
Marketo’s multichannel campaign tools are focused on delivering the right content to the right prospect at the right time. Marketo crawls your website to give you a full picture of the content that you have. This can save you money on a third-party document management tool. Use behavior and lead metrics plus any third party enrichment data you want to bring in to deliver content to the right customers. And content analysis tools help you better understand how each piece of content you send to customers performs, so you can improve your existing assets and make better content in the future.
Marketo also includes automatic prioritization of sales targets to ensure that sales can turn the best leads into high-performing accounts. The lead scoring tools combine marketing and sales touchpoints to better prioritize contacts and outreach. Then use your content assets to nurture across channels and watch the success of those touchpoints in Marketo.
Analytics and reporting
Eloqua uses a closed-loop system for understanding previous customer behaviors and triggers to better understand your current customers and their behaviors. Those in-system analytics provide instant feedback that improve campaigns as they happen.
Eloqua also features detailed reporting on channel-specific engagement metrics that show you where you should invest and what channels need improvement. Add to this web analytics and custom reporting with interactive data and dashboards for a full picture of marketing efforts. One of the best parts of Eloqua is that it has direct connections to the Oracle business intelligence system so you can enrich marketing data with financial, sales, and customer data to make more informative reports.
Marketo’s analytics focus on the customer journey to help your marketing team better understand how your campaigns perform and where they need improvement. For an added fee, Marketo provides multi-touch campaign attribution through Bizible, which brings together data from across your marketing tools and campaigns to understand the most profitable marketing channels.
Unfortunately, multiple reviewers have mentioned that Marketo’s reporting is difficult to use, highly manual, and may not have all the data you need. If you need advanced reporting tools, you may consider paying for the add-on Revenue Cycle tools to enrich your analytics.
Extras and integrations
In addition to connections to other Oracle products and databases, Eloqua also integrates with 700 other pieces of software, so you’d be hard-pressed to find a tool you can’t integrate with. The software has also recently integrated WeChat for marketers to communicate directly with buyers in China.
Because of the extensive control Eloqua can assert over the entire marketing funnel, the tool is complicated to set up. Be prepared for a long implementation and customization process and possibly outsourcing some of the setup to a consulting firm.
It’s unclear how many different software types Marketo integrates with, but you can connect the tool to several different CRMs plus social accounts and event marketing tools. Marketo is in the middle of rolling out an updated user interface called Marketo Sky that contains lots of new features. This is currently in beta with a rollout through 2020, so there are a lot of kinks to work out. But the new UI should hopefully solve some of the usability issues in the legacy version.
Is Eloqua or Marketo right for your team?
Marketers will compare Eloqua vs. Marketo for teams at medium to large and enterprise businesses, but these marketing automation tools may not be right for all companies. While both tools are powerful and provide deep insight into lead pipelines, they come at a heavy price tag.
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