Oracle Social Relationship Management increases enterprise footprint with Oracle Eloqua integration

OVUM VIEW

Summary

At Oracle OpenWorld in September, the company announced that its Social Relationship Management (SRM) suite is now further integrated with Oracle Eloqua, its newly acquired marketing automation platform.

This integration enables greater insight into potential customers’ social behaviors and preferences, which can be factored into marketing campaigns and customer nurturing activities. Principally, social insights integrated into sales lead management enables more targeted, relevant, and timely marketing communications and sales offers that can dramatically increase sales conversions. B2B enterprises, for whom sales lead management is a mission-critical activity to guide high-value contracts to their conclusion, will benefit from this new functionality in particular.

Oracle’s SRM covers all the main enterprise use cases

Oracle entered the social relationship management market through its acquisitions of Vitrue, Collective Intellect, and Involver. These were acquired in quick succession between May and July 2012. The core integration of these three products was completed, in Ovum’s opinion, surprisingly quickly, and by March 2013 the combined SRM product suite was generally available. Oracle SRM currently has three key attributes:

  • Oracle Social Engagement & Monitoring (from Collective Intellect and Involver) – listening for market “buzz” signals, sentiment analysis, and reporting
  • Oracle Social Marketing (from Vitrue) – the execution of social marketing campaigns via content creation, social publishing, and response analysis
  • Oracle Social Network (organically developed) – an enterprise social networking tool for large enterprises.

A fourth piece, Oracle Social Data, is coming in a future release. This will provide customer profiling using enterprise data, social media data, and third-party data. Oracle Social Data is a customer opt-in program, and will leverage Oracle’s Big Data capabilities to provide analytic insights into customer behavior and future buying needs. This should be of great interest to Oracle’s enterprise clients, as it provides another application for Oracle’s advanced database management capabilities.

Oracle Eloqua is one deployment option among many for Oracle SRM

Vitrue was the largest social software that Oracle acquired, from which Oracle gained “hundreds” of customers. Vitrue customers Petco and Husqvarna Forest & Garden are impressive early adopters and references for the Oracle Eloqua and Oracle SRM combination. Eloqua, which was acquired by Oracle in December 2012, provides a somewhat larger base of customers (1,200) to upgrade to Oracle SRM. The key target however is Oracle’s own base of 400,000 customers who will be targeted with a combined Oracle Eloqua and SRM message from within the overall “big picture” context of the Oracle CX (Customer Experience) enterprise platform.

Oracle’s SRM has a single user sign-on and an attractive (Facebook-like) uniform GUI. Like Oracle’s other recent product initiatives, it is only available in the cloud – not on-premise. Oracle’s SRM is integrated into Oracle Eloqua in the Marketing Cloud (as well as the Oracle Sales Cloud), but is also available as a horizontal enterprise platform and as a separate vertical piece of the CX stack, alongside Sales, Service, Marketing, and Commerce. Indeed, Social is positioned as the lead component of the Oracle CX stack. This ubiquity and prioritization of Social is an indicator of the importance and strategic intent that Oracle places on its SRM offering.

The integration provides competitive differentiation and value for enterprise customers

Oracle is the only leading vendor to date to have fully integrated social with a sales lead management platform within the context of marketing automation. The key promise is “Social to Lead” as Oracle describes it. From a customer perspective this integration delivers significant value by layering a realtime social behavioral element onto sales lead scoring, nurturing, and conversion processes. This means that sales and marketing offers and messages can be personalized and aligned with current customer concerns and interests as are exposed socially by today’s connected customer, rather than relying on historical data and broad-brush segmentation messages.

The integration of Oracle SRM products and Oracle Eloqua positions Oracle up with the leaders in the social marketing arena. The challenge now is to educate Oracle’s omnipresent direct salesforce and channel partners in the nuances of social marketing in order to make a significant market impact.

APPENDIX

Author

Gerry Brown, Senior Analyst, Consumer IT and Integrated Media

gerry.brown@ovum.com

Further reading

Marketing Automation Technologies: What’s Next for Vendors and Customers? IT013-000206

(May 2013)

Evaluating Mega-Vendors’ Digital Marketing Platforms and Strategies IT013-000210 (July 2013)

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