The marketing automation segment of the digital marketing technology marketplace currently buzzes with many competing vendors. In the ample B2B-oriented part of this segment, however, lies two players who frequently go head to head: Marketo and Oracle Eloqua.
On the surface, it seems like a classic confrontation between old-school reliable (Eloqua) and a more experimental player (Marketo). There's some truth to this veneer, and even the two vendors describe themselves (and their competitor) in relevant terms. Eloqua: "we're dependable!" Marketo: "we're innovative!"
In terms of business scenario fit — the most important criterion for you the customer — they tend to cluster together on our RealQuadrant output charts, so it's understandable that prospective customers will short-list them together.
Like many things in life, the truth is more nuanced. As we talk to more customers, some real differences emerge. Marketo does roll out features faster, but the company tends to under-deliver on depth, leaving customers to teach them some important lessons. Eloqua likes to point to spiffy new interfaces, but when you start working every day in the tool, you realize that much underlying clunkiness still remains. Either of those sound familiar?
Note that you should be especially cautious of both vendors' claims to address B2C environments; they talk a good game but may struggle to deliver.
Like most other technology segments we cover, the experience and breadth of your digital marketing team should play a big role in how well any vendor "fits" for you.
You can learn more about the real weakness of both platforms in RSG's MarTech vendor evaluations. Or just skip ahead to download a complimentary sample evaluation, of IBM Watson Marketing.