The Battle Of The Marketing Clouds: Oracle Buys Eloqua

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oracleHaving acquired social marketing software-as-a-service company Vitrue in May, Oracle continued its acquisition of marketing tech companies today with B2B SaaS marketing provider Eloqua for roughly $810 million. Read more.

From the release about the acquisition:

    "The combination of Oracle and Eloqua is expected to create a comprehensive Customer Experience Cloud offering to help companies transform the way they market, sell, support and serve their customers. The combined offering is expected to enable organizations to provide a highly personalized and unified experience across channels, create brand loyalty through social and online interactions, grow revenue by driving more qualified leads to sales teams, and provide superior service at every touchpoint."

It's the battle of the marketing clouds - Oracle's "Customer Experience Cloud" versus the Salesforce Marketing Cloud.

Eloqua, which finally went public in August, had an annual revenue run rate reaching toward $100 million - $61 million by the end of the third quarter according to Eloqua's Q3 earnings report.

Eloqua's past financials and S-1 registration statement (this one's from March) in preparation for its August IPO remains behind with clues to Oracle's interest.

Mapping social signal to marketing, and business-wide, databases appeared to be at the heart of the Vitrue acquisition by Oracle which also echoed Salesforce.com's acquisition of Radian6 last year.

With Eloqua, Oracle gets its hooks into the B2B marketing landing page and all the customer data that swirls from there. Will Salesforce buy Marketo or an ExactTarget? Wall Street was already bidding up ExactTarget stock early Thursday.

In an April interview with AdExchanger, competitor Marketo's CEO Phil Fernandez said about his competitive set including Eloqua:

    "I don’t worry the slightest about anything like being commoditized. We’re still in the early days of a wildly innovative run with the stuff we’re doing, Eloqua and others.

    The market is only fractionally penetrated. Anybody that is marketing online, marketing in social and mobile environments and has any desire to build either a brand relationship needs what we do. With the whole 'big data' side of things, we’re still in very early days of the kind of insights that are going to start to come out."

This acquisition feels media-ish to me. Is a solid play in the B2C paid media space next for Oracle?

Oracle has posted more about the Eloqua acquisition at www.oracle.com/eloqua.

Read a reaction to the acquisition by Ken Allen of The Blackstone Group here.
 

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