I had an amazing time at Eloqua Experience last week in Orlando!
The conference was well constructed and organized. The folks from Eloqua were gracious hosts. The speakers were top notch (especially Eloqua CEO Joe Payne and Jeffrey Hayzlett). And the attendees were a mix of senior level and more tactically oriented corporate marketers.
Yet, all is not 100 percent groovy in the world of Eloqua as I see the company presented with a formidable set of challenges.
1. The majority of Eloqua’s customers use only some of the software’s capabilities to run their programs.
This presents quite a dilemma for Eloqua. Like all software vendors, the company is in a race to add functionality to meet the requirements of its most advanced users, while staying ahead of the competition.
2. Eloqua gives away for free its most important differentiation.
The company’s Revenue Performance Methodology and the portfolio of marketing best practices it has compiled serves as the foundation for success for all Eloqua users. Yet, that’s tossed in for free in both the sales process and once a company becomes a customer.
3. Automation lacks a human element and, ultimately, that is the driver of success for sales in the business-to-business environment.
I say it to clients all the time: their products and services are what they do. A relationship based on trust is why the customer buys. The relationship building process cannot be baked into software. It’s an outcome of human interaction.
What do you see as the most significant challenges faced by Eloqua and other marketing automation software companies? I welcome and encourage your thoughts.