Oracle gears up to battle Salesforce.com, IBM with Eloqua update

New features arrive for Oracle's multichannel marketing platform

Oracle is rolling out a series of new features for its Eloqua marketing automation suite, hoping to get a leg up on rivals such as Salesforce.com and IBM in the red-hot software segment.

Now generally available is AdFocus, which provides marketers with tools for running multichannel advertising campaigns. A key feature is the ability to deliver targeted display ads to customers and prospects, while comparing their effectiveness to so-called "owned" and "earned" media, such as company websites and buzz on social networks, respectively.

Another update concerns Eloqua Profiler, which like its name suggests, is used to build out profiles of prospects based on their interactions with "assets" tracked in Eloqua, such as emails and web pages. Now Profiler can also include asset activity that's occurring on properties the marketer's organization doesn't own, such as video content hosted on a third-party website.

Finally it's now possible to tap Facebook's custom audience feature from AdFocus, giving marketers the ability to target discrete blocks of users based on their social profile.

There's perhaps no hotter area of enterprise software these days than marketing automation, following a rash of consolidation as platform vendors attempt to build out broad product suites.

Last week, Oracle bought Compendium in order to bolster the capabilities of Eloqua, which it acquired in December for US$871 million. Compendium provides software for creating different types of content that can be used to entice customers to visit a marketer's web site or other property, said John Stetic, vice president of products, Oracle Eloqua Marketing Cloud.

Among others, Salesforce.com has also invested heavily in marketing software, scooping up ExactTarget, Buddy Media and Radian6 for its own cloud-based suite.

Oracle gets an edge over the competition with Eloqua, as its always been "built by marketers, for marketers," Stetic said. "We allow for really advanced targeting throughout the entire buying process."

In addition, Oracle is taking a more open approach, offering a full suite but not forcing customers to use it all, he said. "Lots of vendors want to think they'll have this whole stack and own the world, but what I hear from customers is, I want choice."

Meanwhile, as online privacy concerns mount in the wake of revelations over surveillance programs by the U.S. National Security Agency, marketers need to be mindful of the boundaries between themselves and customers, Stetic said.

"Ultimately what it comes down to things like government surveillance, people can't vote with their wallets on that, whereas in the commercial world if someone feels they're being overly tracked and overly monitored and not getting value out of it, they vote with their wallets," he said.

"What marketers need to be aware of is, relevancy is key," he added. "If you're just bombarding us with junk, we're going to effectively tune that out."

Oracle is conducting its Eloqua Experience user conference this week in San Francisco. The speaker list, which includes "Breaking Bad" creator Vince Gilligan, underscores the fact that Eloqua's target audience lies well outside the data center or developer communities on which most of Oracle's product catalog focuses.

Some 2,000 people are attending this year's show, up from 1,400 last year, according to an Oracle representative.

Salesforce.com is set to kick off its own Dreamforce event next month in San Francisco, which is also expected to have a heavy focus on marketing automation. In fact, Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff has said he believes marketing can become a $1 billion annual business for the company.

Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris' email address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Latest Videos

More Videos

fdgfd www.google.com

Caroline Natalia

How WW shifted physical engagement to virtual success in 5 days

Read more

I found decent information in your article. I am impressed with how nicely you described this subject, It is a gainful article for us. Th...

Daniel Hughes

What 1800 Flowers is doing to create a consistent customer communications experience

Read more

Extremely informative. One should definitely go through the blog in order to know different aspects of the Retail Business and retail Tec...

Sheetal Kamble

SAP retail chief: Why more retailers need to harness data differently

Read more

It's actually a nice and helpful piece of info. I am satisfied that you shared this helpful information with us. Please stay us informed ...

FIO Homes

How a brand facelift and content strategy turned real estate software, Rockend, around

Read more

I find this very strange. The Coles store i shop in still has Flouro lights? T though this would have been the 1st thing they would have ...

Brad

Coles launches new sustainability initiative

Read more

Blog Posts

9 lessons from 7 months of relentless failure

The most innovative organisations embrace failure. Why? Because it is often through failing the most creative out-of-box thinking happens. And with it comes vital learning opportunities that bring new knowledge and experience into teams.

Jacki James

Digital product lead, Starlight Children's Foundation

Why conflict can be good for your brand

Conflict is essentially a clash. When between two people, it’s just about always a clash of views or opinions. And when it comes to this type of conflict, more than the misaligned views themselves, what we typically hate the most is our physiological response.

Kathy Benson

Chief client officer, Ipsos

Brand storytelling lessons from Singapore’s iconic Fullerton hotel

In early 2020, I had the pleasure of staying at the newly opened Fullerton Hotel in Sydney. It was on this trip I first became aware of the Fullerton’s commitment to brand storytelling.

Gabrielle Dolan

Business storytelling leader

Sign in