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12/4/2012
06:28 PM
Jake Wengroff
Jake Wengroff
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Why Eloqua Has the Right Stuff

Marketing automation platform broadens its appeal for social media managers.



The BrainYard's 7 Social Business Leaders Of 2012
The BrainYard's 7 Social Business Leaders Of 2012
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)
With keynotes by Altimeter Group founder Charlene Li and business celebrity Jeffrey Hayzlett -- along with a a flash mob dancing to New Kids on the Block's 1988 hit You Got It (The Right Stuff) -- the Eloqua Experience conference held last month in Orlando, Fla. was certainly memorable.

Although I attended this marketing automation and revenue performance management software company's event mainly to learn about what was going on with only one component of its offering -- Social Suite -- Eloqua continues to push the boundaries of what marketing software can do. Along the way, it fights the fight for any marketer who needs to demonstrate ROI every day in his or her workplace.

[ Building an enterprise social network? Learn 7 Lessons From Social Business Leaders. ]

Below, a review of Eloqua's new and not-so-new features for the social media marketer and social business professional:

1. Social Login.

Customers now can add social login -- those ubiquitous "Sign in with" Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn prompts -- to their landing pages and other content. This is a tremendous benefit for marketing automation, as companies can allow prospects to skip the long forms required for gated content. The marketer can have a deeper view of the prospect, as the platform can now deliver a deep set of user data, such as associations, skills and connections or followers (except a user's email, I learned), which can be used to tailor future campaigns.

I covered social login earlier this year and am happy to learn that Eloqua has integrated this feature. According to Rob Bois, product marketing manager for Eloqua Social Suite, social login has been available since December 2011, but has only recently been seeing faster adoption.

2. Chatter Inside Eloqua.

Eloqua rolled out an integration of enterprise collaboration tool Chatter, which was created by and is a part of Salesforce.com. This makes perfect sense, as Eloqua is being used by more than just the marketing department, and additional professionals within an organization control or have access to the instance. "Eloqua is not just for power users anymore," remarked CEO Joe Payne in his keynote.

With Chatter, all individuals working on a particular campaign can use the collaboration tool free of charge. Chatter, of course, is available free from Salesforce.com anyway, but integration with Eloqua campaigns makes communications much easier.

3. Social Apps In The AppCloud.

According to Payne, 74% of Eloqua customers are using the AppCloud, which allows customers to port functionality and data from additional applications right into their Eloqua instance. A client could have an existing account or subscription with that third-party app -- or not -- and Eloqua will work with the client to deliver a seamless experience.

Eloqua divides the AppCloud's social apps into three categories: social landing page, social data and social reporting. Social landing page apps include the usual suspects: Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube (the second-most popular app on the AppCloud, after webinar apps), and SlideShare. Social data apps include Klout and Radian6 and social reporting includes campaign activity, landing page, and website traffic analysis dashboards.

One useful app, which I've used in a past job, is the SlideShare connector, which allows for a company that collects leads through SlideShare's premium LeadShare service to send the captured leads directly to the Eloqua instance. As a side note, this only works when all fields are mapped properly.

Although social has become the darling of PR types, their demand counterparts require more measurable pipeline results to build their case. I've always maintained that marketers who control their companies' marketing automation instance have an enormous opportunity to maximize results by simultaneously "running social" at their companies. Here is a slideshow I created for CMO.com earlier this year, 6 Ways to Supply a Social Boost to Demand Generation. I'm happy Eloqua is evangelizing social louder than before.

As an industry analyst, I'm going to make a big, bold prediction here: I think Eloqua is going to make an acquisition in the social media monitoring or social interaction management space. This would make sense, as Eloqua can strengthen its offering to marketers and further its intention to become a one-stop shop for marketers. (There is also a data collection and data management issue, which I plan to cover in a subsequent blogpost.) Eloqua went public in August 2012 and can use its stock as currency for an acquisition.

And in case you're wondering, yes, Payne was up there on stage with the rest of the flash mob dancing to "The Right Stuff." He's definitely got it.

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