Oracle Buys Eloqua: Expanding Marketing Footprint

Eloqua’s Fit in the Oracle Application Portolio
Eloqua is being brought in as the ‘centerpiece of the marketing cloud’ solution within the broader Customer Experience Cloud offering.  The Customer Experience Cloud is Oracle’s comprehensive go-to-market strategy for its CRM offerings that it introduced in mid-2012.  Additionally, Eloqua will be leveraged with integrations to Fusion CRM and ultimately extended into vertical offerings.  There is overlap with the previously acquired Market2Lead product in terms of campaign capabilities but Oracle spokesmen stated that Eloqua would be the primary product and Market2Lead would be integrated to it.
Market Reaction
First and foremost, Oracle is serious about its CRM business.   According to IDC market numbers, Oracle has led the worldwide CRM applications market since its purchase of Siebel, holding 11% of the market in the 2011 shares data.  However, both SAP and are within two percentage points of that share fueling Oracle’s motivation to maintain and increase the distance.  The current battle ground of competition within the CRM applications market is being fought in the marketing automation segment where, as this IDC Data Map shows, the traditional transactional vendors hold much smaller footprints.  

This acquisition immediately brings to mind the question, ‘what will do now?’  Not only was and is Eloqua a key partner of Salesforce’s, the company relied on it and similar partners to provide this capability to its customer base.’s acquisitions in the marketing arena to date have been focused on social marketing capabilities.  While Oracle was explicit in stating that the product, like the other components of its various applications offerings, is capable of being used in a heterogeneous environment, won’t be happy long sharing its customer base  Eloqua today, has a significant number of customers in its base as well as Microsoft Dynamics CRM.  Marketo may become far more attractive to as the new year begins.
Overall, the latest acquisition by Oracle signals a commitment to building a fully comprehensive product offering for its CRM business that covers all the major elements of the CRM applications market.  For Oracle the coming year will be one of bringing integrations and proof points to market.  For the other marketing automation vendors with broad marketing capabilities, specifically Adobe, IBM and SAS, there will be more of a trade-off for customer evaluating products between a CRM suite solution and best-of-breed. 

#CMOFact: IDC 2013 Marketing Investment Planner

With 2012 coming to an end, for many businesses planning for 2013 will bleed into the New Year. Marketers are no exception; in anticipation of the planning cycle each year, the CMO Advisory Service publishes our annual Marketing Planner in August/September, developing the B2B tech industry’s leading marketing (and sales) benchmarking study. To anyone familiar with the industry, you are probably used to hearing that Marketing is transforming. What is so exciting about our Marketing Planner is we are able to provide specific guidance on changes, challenges, and successes within the industry through incredibly accurate industry data and qualitative information provided by you, the senior marketers. Marketers in turn are able to use this information to successfully plan for the upcoming year.
I’ve taken the liberty of pulling out some key facts below from our report that are particularly interesting or useful. Feel free to share them and remember to follow me on twitteror check out the CMOFact hashtag – we will continue to share some marketing goodness there.

#CMOFact Number 1:  In 2012 the average large B2B Marketing organization is in receipt of a 1.7% budget increase. This is 50% LESS than the 2011 rate.

#CMOFact Number 2:  The Marketing Budget Ratio for B2B tech companies has declined each year from 2009 through 2012. Marketing Investment is not keeping up with revenue growth.

#CMOFact Number 3: B2B Tech CMOs are spending approximately 30% of their budget on digital marketing programs. This is up from 12% in 2009. 

#CMOFact Number 4: For Large Tech Companies, only those in Software (vs Services & Hardware) are receiving increased budgets!

#CMOFact Number 5: The marketing automation train is picking up speed, and fast. Jump on now or prepare to be left behind. This is a new category in our survey and is already at 3.1% of programs budget and 1.6% of staff allocations.

These are just 5 nuggets from the 2013 Marketing Planner. The full version includes a complete overview of the current state of the B2B Tech Marketing it includes; program spend, staffing breakdowns, up and coming technology, and forward looking advice. For your own copy, reach out to Wendy Pemberton at wpemberton@idc.comor find it here

Brand Strategy Reminders, Regardless of the Size of Your Company

There was something for everyone at MassTLC‘s recent marketing seminar – “On Brand: What Does it Take?”; if you’re building a brand at a $1B+ company like PTC, or fighting your way up the ladder at a smaller company like Actifio or Verivo Software. Here are some of my keys take-aways:

1.  Something for everyone to learn (or to be reminded of)

  • You need buy-in from executives:  The CEO and his/her team need to admit that there’s a problem with your brand strategy, and they’re on-board to fix it.
  • Be realistic about the costs involved in branding:
    • “The rule of thumb that we used was 2.5X the cost of our marketing investment over a 5 year period.”[Jill St. George, PTC]
    • Brand investment is even more critical today with the more mature Buyer 2.0. IDC recommends 50% of all marketing investment be spend on awareness building.
    • Launch activities will touch many aspects of your customer creation process (e.g., collateral, web site, presentations, videos, training)
  • Set targets for your branding effort
    • “Prior to our rebranding effort, only 40% of our company understood our brand.  Our target penetration is 75%.”[PTC]
    • “# analyst briefings, web site activity metrics, social metrics”[Parna Sarkar-Basu, Verivo]
    • “increase in revenue per sales rep, time to rep. productivity, # and quality of inbound leads“[Michael Troiano, Acitifio]
  • Don’t forget about the importance of keeping sales in the equation!
    • “Stay close to sales!  They can make or break you.” [Actifio]
    • Include sales executives and sales operations on your team
  • Tell it with stories:  Nothing speaks louder or sticks with influencers and buyers more than a good, relevant story.  Drop the MBA speak and industry terminology that all of your competitors have, and capture the essence of your company and value it provides in a story.  And most importantly, get your entire organization to communicate these stories. 

2.  Large companies

  • Strive to be a “branded house” and not a “house of brands”:  As Jill St. George from PTC pointed out, managing a company with many disparate brands can be significantly more costly than having a single, corporate brand.  And certainly let’s not forget the confusion that a house of brands brings to your sales teams and customers as you’re attempting to expand your market share and share of wallet at specific customers.
  • Leverage your resources: PTC outsourced much of their brand strategy and design work (e.g., customer and employee interviews, surveys, design work) to Lippincott.  A smart move for any large company in order to rapidly leverage resources versus trying to support this type of significant effort internally, not to mention the expertise that can be attained by working with this type of firm.
  • Align your branding strategy with your sales enablement strategy: Particularly in large organizations, your key to success will be rolling out a 1 to many strategy, and your sales enablement team(s) in marketing and sales can help here.

3.  Small companies

  • Time is of the essence!  The good news is that you don’t have as much to do as a larger company in rebranding your organization.  The bad news is that you don’t have as much time or resources to accomplish your goals.  Think “months”, not “years”.
  • Stay connected at the hip with your sales team:  Go on sales calls with the reps, if they like it or not. Test out your ideas, messages and stories with different folks on the sales team.
  • Align your metrics with the company’s and sales’ targets. There’s little time, resources or patience for brand studies, brand awareness metrics or market share analyses at a small company.  Hard line your team’s metrics into sales productivity, sales pipeline and revenue targets.

Please share your thoughts below, or email me at Michael Gerard.