Oracle Embraces Content Marketing With Compendium Acquisition

G00258990

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Summary

With its acquisition of Compendium, Oracle Eloqua advances its multichannel customer engagement capabilities. But Oracle must maintain its focus on this space before customers benefit.

News Analysis

Event

On 17 October 2013, Oracle announced the acquisition of Compendium, a privately held provider of cloud-based content marketing technology. Oracle plans to incorporate Compendium into the Oracle Eloqua Marketing Cloud Service.

Analysis

This acquisition moves Oracle into the creative domain of the content marketing supply chain (see "Build a Content Supply Chain to Tell Your Brand's Story Every Day" ). The combination of Eloqua Marketing Cloud and Compendium could bridge creative and operational marketing disciplines by providing a platform that feeds multichannel, multiphase marketing campaigns. Compendium:

  • Provides calendaring and simple workflow for managing the content creation pipeline

  • Has features for intelligent content authoring, based on best practices for search engine optimization and signals of audience demand

  • Uses data-driven techniques to target specific content to individual personas in appropriate channels

  • Helps distribute content across earned and owned channels

  • Measures audience engagement to improve effectiveness

Compendium also helps to solve a big challenge of content marketing: how to maintain a steady supply of engaging content, distributed in a three-part publishing cadence (scheduled, daily and real-time), that is customized for different audiences. This cadence and one-to-one marketing put pressure on traditional work processes and governance.

Content marketing holds undeniable value for digital marketers. Audiences are inundated by pleas for their attention. Marketing campaigns increasingly depend on engaging content that rises above the noise. Content marketing tries to engage audiences with authentic, value-added content, often as part of brand storytelling initiatives. Thus, content marketing tools like Compendium complement marketing automation, where the former supplies rich content and the latter provides reach, frequency and optimization across earned and owned marketing and sales channels.

The Eloqua/Compendium combination could differentiate Oracle in the marketing automation space. It moves Oracle Eloqua upstream into the content creation process — beyond scheduling, distribution and measurement of content assets. However, customers will benefit from this acquisition only if Oracle deepens integrations between Eloqua Marketing Cloud and Compendium and keeps focus on the content marketing space. Oracle has embedded some past content management acquisitions in broader product lines. For example, FatWire and Stellent are now part of Oracle WebCenter (see "Magic Quadrant for Web Content Management" ). This sort of product rationalization may make sense for Oracle and its IT constituency, but could make specialized tools like Compendium less visible and harder for marketers to consume. While Oracle Eloqua remains a significant player in lead management and marketing automation, in Gartner’s view, its visibility for marketers has declined since the Oracle acquisition.

Recommendations

Digital marketers:

  • Consider Compendium for content marketing. The acquisition mitigates the risk of using a small provider. But evaluate Compendium as a point tool in the near term.

  • Consider Eloqua Marketing Cloud for content marketing after Oracle has fully "productized" integrations with Compendium and published a joint product road map.

  • Ask for references from joint Compendium/Oracle Eloqua customers as an early indication of progress. They should shed light on the maturity of integrations and on joint use cases.

  • Evaluate a joint Eloqua/Compendium offering if you're a business-to-business marketer; think twice if you're a business-to-consumer (B2C) one. Oracle Eloqua has B2C aspirations but a limited track record.

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