Located: Vienna, Virginia
Market: Revenue Performance Management
Products: Marketing Automation platform and Revenue Performance Management applications that help growing businesses align their sales and marketing teams, identify and nurture revenue opportunities and measure marketing and sales effectiveness
Key Customers: Adobe, AON, Dow Jones, ADP, Fidelity, Polycom, and National Instruments.
Blog: It’s All About Revenue
I asked Joe Payne, Eloqua’s CEO, a few questions about his business and view of the SaaS market in 2011 and beyond.
Did you start out as a Software-as-a-Service company?
Eloqua has always been a SaaS company from the day it was founded in late 1999. The vision at the time was to help businesses sell products through a combination of web analytics, email, and chat. As prospect data was collected and tracked through Eloqua, it soon became obvious that companies could really benefit from tracking this “digital body language” and then use it for demand generation. We went on to develop marketing automation technology and became the unquestioned leader in the space.
We recognized early on that businesses wanted cutting edge technology but were often burdened by the expensive infrastructure and IT staff. Eloqua was a pioneer in the Software-as-a-Service delivery model long before it became popular.
Why do your customers buy from Eloqua?
We help our customers win their markets. If you can be more effective and faster than your competitor, you can win your market. Eloqua’s technology and best practices helps our clients win.
A major reason companies choose Eloqua is that we invest heavily in our customers and really promote a culture of customer success. Our SmartStart program is an on-boarding process that provides customers with marketing best practices from day one. With a SmartStart our clients are up and running in days. It is such a successful program that we offer a money-back guarantee to all clients who use it. We have numerous resources available to our customers helping to ensure their success. We provide education services through Eloqua University, best practices through our Topliners community, success coaching, and more. Our culture is rooted in customer success and every employee’s bonus is actually tied to customer satisfaction.
Finally, our product is the deepest and most powerful in the industry. As the largest player in the space we can invest in R&D to innovate. For example, we’re currently the only vendor in our space to invest in HTML 5 for our platform delivering an exceptional browser interface and user experience. We also developed the industry’s first online marketplace for B2B marketing applications called the Eloqua AppCloud. The AppCloud eliminates custom integration offering on-demand “connections” from marketing, sales and social media applications to Eloqua.
What do you see as the key trends emerging in the SaaS industry?
Social, Mobile and Apps. SaaS applications are perfectly situated to take advantage of emerging trends in a way that on-premise software cannot.
- SOCIAL. Because our applications are already in the cloud we can use components to connect and embrace social media. We allow our clients to quickly tie their marketing and social efforts together and to track the effectiveness of both. It is almost impossible for an on-premise application to have this kind of social extensibility.
- MOBILE. Extending the capabilities of a SaaS app to a mobile device is easy. We build that mobile app once and it works for all our customers. We don’t have to worry about different firewall settings or VPNs or configuration issues for each client like an on-premise vendor would. This gives us a tremendous advantage in responding to the speed with which customer browsing is changing.
- APPS. Apps allow cloud offerings to talk to each other. Any Eloqua customer – no matter the size — has instant integration with D&B, ON24, Cvent, Klout, Radian6 and 35 other platforms. That integration all occurs in the Cloud. Such an undertaking in a non-SaaS environment would be cost prohibitive for most companies. This is a huge advantage for SaaS companies.
What is your market outlook for 2011?
Our outlook is positive. Our products are market-leading. We are twice as big as our closest competitor and we’re in a fast growing market, which will continue to experience strong growth in the next few years. Compared to other software categories, there is still relatively low adoption of our technology. Companies in the software and technology space were early adopters and now we’re seeing other vertical markets adopt marketing automation. We also introduced an entire new business category, Revenue Performance Management (RPM). While RPM is still new, the category is gaining steam (other vendors and analysts in the industry are adopting it) and we expect to see this continue into 2012.