Originally posted on LinkedIn.
Last Monday 17th of July Oracle organised its quarterly partner session talking about the Eloqua vision and roadmap. The session started (after the obvious Safe Harbor Statement) with some observations that Oracle likes to share during almost every meeting: 94% of customers have discontinued communications with a company because of irrelevant messages (Blue Research); 93% of marketers have siloed teams and technologies by channels (Econsultancy); 11% of marketers have high confidence in the audience they’re targeting (Nielsen); and there are now 5,381 [marketing technology] solutions on the graphic, 39% more than last year (chiefmartech.com). They also explained that they are more and more looking to offer not so much the whole suite (as they are aware that customers have made previous budget decisions for parts of the marketing landscape).
Marketing Cloud Vision
This flexibility is also their vision: be able to handle all parts of the marketing landscape, but understand that customers have already purchased certain packages. Oracle focusses on being data-driven (preferences, interests and behaviours), adaptive (contextual, personalised and intelligent) as well as being able to act cross-channel and cross device (email, social, mobile, display and in store, events and online). Moreover, for the marketer, Oracle wants to offer a solution that gives them an opportunity to just send the message to the customer without having to think where to reach them.
After the vision of the Marketing Cloud, the session continued to the recent innovations that Oracle released within Eloqua (as well as a few other products within the stack). The dashboards that were released earlier are expanded with extra dashboards; focusing on form performance as well as lead scoring comparison (up to 4 models). The shared lists and filters have been expanded with several options (able to check dependencies as well as removing contacts through shared lists). Two new APIs were released: the first one is available within the app developer framework that gives the option to retrieve service instances; the second one is new event endpoints that give the Eloqua users the option to create, read, update and delete events and event registrations. On the campaign Canvas, they also implemented copy and paste of assets, making it easier to duplicate steps in a campaign. Oracle also updated the Eloqua apps, Sales Cloud options were expanded, new cross-channel apps were released, testing of certain apps on the campaign or program canvas have been improved as well as enhancements to the Marketing Calendar app, giving users of the simple version the option to (re-)schedule Eloqua campaigns and within the advanced calendar, users can see detailed info about the campaigns.
Forward look on the roadmap
The next part of the session was the main interest point, a look forward on the Eloqua roadmap! The first thing Oracle talked about was the new reporting options they have released and are more and more expanding; on the one hand, the dashboards that were already discussed earlier, on the other hand, the Eloqua Insights (OBI) that is available under controlled availability. Within Insights, the most important feature that is coming soon is the option to see emails opened by device; this has been requested through the Dream it section on Topliners, where it received loads of votes from users. In the (far) future, Oracle is going to expand Insights with Contact Level Security (already available within Eloqua itself), and they will end support and retire Classic Insights somewhere late 2018. Remember: Oracle does these sessions under their famous Safe Harbor Statement.
Two options that are improved within the campaign canvas are wait step and campaign end date notifications. The first one will inform you when a contact is stuck on a wait step, very handy for pushing those stuck contacts to the next step. The second one gives a notification 5, 2 or 1 day before the campaign end date. Oracle is also working on a Sales Tool within Microsoft Outlook that gives the Sales department insight into the full digital profile, and interactions will be tracked, and approved content can be used. This will be available somewhere in the Fall timeframe. The Marketing Calendar will be further improved within the near future, giving users unified insights across Eloqua campaigns and activities, and it will give Eloqua consumers the option to share the calendar externally within the business so that other departments can have insight into the Marketing Calendar as well.
The main interesting point that Oracle is going to release within the near future is most likely a new responsive email editor that gives users the option to build stunning cross-device emails without having to see or touch a single piece of code. It will give a guided experience as well as modular templates and will be natively responsive. This feature will also be available somewhere within the Fall time frame (keep in mind that Oracle holds tight to the Safe Harbor statement!).
Strategic investments for the future
Oracle also gave a look ahead into their strategic investments for the next 4 to 6 quarters. They are focusing on authenticated microsites (landing pages where consumers can log in), data privacy and GDPR, a new Reporting API that will give the option to do calculations within the OBI environment before exporting to clients’ reporting program, better auditing on primary assets and objects. Moreover, their most important investment (in my eyes, and a shame that it will not come earlier), will be the option to do A/B testing within the campaign canvas. The reason that this has not been available yet is that there was a lot of back-end development that had to be done before as well as developers that were working on other features. The A/B testing feature in the campaign canvas will unfortunately not be available for the next few quarters…
Overall view of the session
Oracle gave a nice overview of just-released features as well as upcoming features that will come within the next few months and also features that are coming in 2018. In case you are looking for more information on Eloqua or one of the features I have mentioned in this article, send me a message!