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Deal Radar 2009: Eloqua

Posted on Tuesday, Nov 10th 2009

Eloqua, a provider of SaaS marketing automation platforms, was founded in 1999. Eloqua integrates direct marketing, interactive marketing, lead generation, and sales force automation to turn customer acquisition into a measurable process. There are now many companies in this space, but industry experts estimate that only 10% of B2B marketers use marketing automation systems, leaving the field wide open for Eloqua and its competitors.

The company is headquartered in Vienna, Virginia, with offices throughout the United States and in Toronto, London, and Singapore. Eloqua, which went live in January 2000, helps companies to execute, automate, and measure programs that generate revenue by helping them understand their buyers’ “digital body language.” This approach drives the entire marketing process from initial contact to close, while enable the client to keep an eye on the prospects’ interest and intent at each step, thereby helping companies to improve the quality and quantity of sales leads, increase marketing effectiveness, and accelerate the selling process.

Eloqua’s customers include Cognos, Dow Jones, Fidelity, Sybase, Seagate, Nokia, MySQL, Administaff, Nuance, and many other B2B marketers. One of Eloqua’s users says that the company is great at automating tasks that otherwise take days to do manually. She explains that with Eloqua, in addition to the basic email campaigns she sends out, she can track and nurture all online registrations prior to their reaching the sales team. Further, she developed a program within Eloqua’s Program Builder that helps her to zero-in on details that would be hard to get from a straight Web site form, including where the leads came from (search engines, Google AdWords, partner sites, etc.) and exactly what these leads downloaded. Eloqua, after registering the client, sends a number of emails to each registrant over the course of a few months and automatically tracks any subsequent Web activity. Once this information is fed into the integration program, it sends the results to the sales team for follow-up.Though the customer quoted above is happy with Eloqua, she points out flaws in the platform: it’s not user intuitive, and it’s expensive.

Yet, in spite of all this, Eloqua has enough reasons to cheer. In October 2009, a new research report from analyst firm Forrester Research Inc. recognized Eloqua for its leadership in lead management automation (LMA). CRM Magazine named Eloqua “The Market Leader” in its eighth annual CRM Market Awards for the third time. The company is also having success in Europe. In September, Eloqua announced that its European client base has grown to more than 120 companies.

Eloqua faces competition from Marketo, Marketbright, Pardot, Manticore, iContact, ConstantContact, LeadGenesys, Vtrenz, and Market2Lead, among others. In an interview with DemandGen Report, Eloqua’s CEO said that marketing automation is growing exponentially, with new companies entering the market almost every other day. Eloqua says that it isn’t too worried, not only because it is big but also because it claims to have more business than all of its competitors. Further, Eloqua’s customers can share ideas and best practices with each other, a feature that the company feels that it gives it an edge over competitors. But many of these competitors, notably Marketo, are growing quickly, and some offer systems that incorporate many features into a product offered at a price more suitable to small and medium businesses.

Eloqua has raised more than $35.8 million so far. While details of the first round of funding were not available, Eloqua said that it raised a $12.6 million Series B from Bay Partners and JMI Equity in 2006 and a $23 million Series C from Bay Partners, Bessemer Venture Partners, and JMI Equity in 2007. In 2008, Eloqua increased its revenues to $33 million in 2008, a 58% increase over 2007, and grew its customer roster to more than 500, the largest in the industry. The company announced that it became cash positive in early 2009 and expects to book a profit for the fiscal year 2009.

Suggested Reading:
*’s Incubator: René Bonvanie
*Innovation in Sales Prospecting: InsideView CEO Umberto Milletti

This segment is a part in the series : Deal Radar 2009

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Great summary of the lead management automation market, and Eloqua in specific.

You may want to add Neolane, Unica and Aprimo as high-end competitors, and as a mid-tier competitor.

I don’t see iContact and ConstantContact as competitors: those are entry-level email marketing tools that are not very sophisticated at all.

Vtrenz is now called Silverpop Engage B2B and Manticore’s full name is “Manticore Technology”.

I hope these are some useful additions 🙂

Jep Castelein Tuesday, November 10, 2009 at 7:29 PM PT

I agree, iContact and ConstantContact don’t really fall in this category.

Erik Wednesday, November 11, 2009 at 3:33 PM PT

Not directly. But in SaaS, the low-end of the SME customers would definitely consider those before looking at eloqua, so from a budget point of view, they do compete.

Sramana Mitra Wednesday, November 11, 2009 at 5:52 PM PT