Emotional support: Are you making the leap between Marketo and Eloqua?

May 23, 2020 David Huml

It’s possible your company has decided to change the marketing automation platform. There can be various reasons behind this move - financial, easier integration with CRM or a very persuasive sales pitch... Either way you are stuck with the new tool and you are worried.

Do you feel like you’re leaping into the deep end? Don’t worry, I’ve worked with both Oracle’s Eloqua and Adobe’s Marketo Engage and trust me, you will find out way around over time. Each of the platforms has some super cool features you will end up to fall in love with. I can give you five of my favourite ones for each platform - give it a try.


  1. EloquaOverview of populated values. You can quickly retrieve what is populated on any contact field. It’s very useful for troubleshooting or just quick checks when creating segments. You can even update values from here this view. E.g. I can with just several clicks update all “The Netherlands” to correct “Netherlands" value. For me this is the best example of “I would miss this if I have to switch to other platform”.
  2. See dependencies and find out what is connected. Ok, this one can get tricky and some legacy objects will be still hard to reveal, but much better than Marketo’s and if you went through any cleaning procedure you will be grateful for this.
  3. Forms. Oh my... Having a form that is not directly connected to the database and allows you to create custom fields (without messing with the database) is golden. Moreover it holds a history log of all form submissions (all of them!) and processing steps are extremely powerful. Have I mentioned forms created in the new editor are mobile responsive out of the box? Marketo folks can be jealous here.
  4. EloquaLead scoring. It might look a a little bit limiting, but in my opinion it is much more clear visualisation than a “random number” you are working with in Marketo. Operating in a 16 cells matrix, on two dimensions - profile fit and engagement, is intuitive, easy to interpret and still pretty flexible. Thumbs up.
  5. Email templates. Here I completely changed opinion in the last two years. Marketo’s modular system was superior for such a long time, but with the new Eloqua editor we got a winner. First Oracle introduced customisable layouts and with the latest May 2020 update you can even save your own modules. It speeds up the process even more, helps with brand compliance and you would need to spend a lot of effort to break its native mobile responsiveness. Buzz words about new editor include: idiot-proof, user-friendly, intuitive, WYSIWYG and beginner-friendly.


  1. MarketoProgram tokens. Marketo lives and breaths with all those tokens so much that first couple of weeks on the platform you will even have nightmares about them. But after a while you will become a master and having a token relevant only for your program is GOLDEN. Eloqua can offer you some sort of shared content too, but it’s not applicable everywhere, it takes more time to prepare and it is less reusable. Raise hand all Eloqua users who hate creating .ics calendar files manually. Yes I thought so - it’s all of us. Marketo has different types of token data types including calendar files or even dynamic script.
  2. Folders structure. I’ve always preferred grouping assets by program, on campaign level and having all my emails, landing pages, and emails together for quick access. In Eloqua you will need to enjoy recreating your folder over and over for each assets.
  3. Webhooks. Connect your triggers to ANY custom-built service and expand functionality to your platform. Do you want to do a spam check? You can. Do you need to assign a promo code? You can. Do you need to cap events? You can. If you have in your team a backend developer (or good agency on retainer) sky’s the limit.
  4. MarketoA/B testing. By not testing at least subject line you are missing several good opens of your email communication and potential opportunities. Both Eloqua and Marketo allow you to easily test your emails if you use specific workflows (Email Batch, Simple campaign respectively). But Marketo got you covered with better visualisation and several additional options in the hat.
  5. UI. Let’s be honest - Eloqua drags a lot of legacy baggage although a lot of improvements were done in the last couple of years. But hey, there is still so much old Eloqua 9 user interface in the platform most of my colleagues were barely alive when E9 UI was still a thing. Marketo came with several facelift refreshes and for several years now is pushing Marketo Sky. At the end of the day - you will be clicking less in Marketo.

There is of course much more on both sides, CDO & data lookup, additional products like web personalisations, revenue explorer or cloud apps and integrations and much more.

Don't worry about the change, there is always something that will help you being more productive and catch up where you might be missing something else. It will teach you to be a better Marketing Operations specialist who understands principles beyond simple platform use.

Are you in a similar situation? Are you struggling with a brand new Marketing Automation platform? Let us know, we will help you to find the bright side.

About the Author

David Huml

Rocking in Eloqua & Marketo instances since 2012.

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