Eloqua announced today that Chatter–the popular Salesforce.com-owned enterprise social network–will soon integrate into Eloqua’s Marketing Automation (MA) platform. This new functionality will be available to all Eloqua users in the fourth quarter this year, at no charge.
Eloqua generously offered me a sneak preview into the new "Chatter inside Eloqua" and connected me with their product team to discuss the integration. In short, the product’s purpose is to bring Marketing and Sales closer, and to extend socialized enterprise value further in an organization.
"Sales and marketing have lacked a common set of tools for managing human collaboration. They've more or less been tossing leads over the wall and hoping they are responded to. Chatter breaks down those barriers by immediately providing context to every conversation and eliminating the need for constant emails, chat and calls.” — Rob Bois, Eloqua Product Marketer
On a technical level, the integration enables a single Chatter instance to be shared across both Eloqua and Salesforce.com (if a customer has both systems). However, specific feeds can still be restricted to one system or the other.
How Eloqua/Chatter Works
Eloqua Product Marketer Rob Bois and Egan Cheung, Eloqua’s Revenue Performance Analytics Product Manager, walked me through a demo that showed how Chatter works in a realistic marketing scenario. The expert search function was one of the more useful features.
The marketer in this scenario needed a subject matter expert to review a health-related email before sending it to a customer segment, so he typed "?Health" in the search field. Chatter responded with the profiles of individuals who previously worked with health-related campaigns, including the qualifications and success they had (such as “completed 36 email campaigns with that keyword” or “has the highest email open success rate for that term”).
He then contacted the selected expert, Jill Roberts, by simply typing "@JillRoberts" and his message into Chatter, which alerted her through her dashboard. Jill scanned the discussion thread for context into the campaign and caught a critical issue: "Docs would say patient, not customer,” she replied.
This entire interaction happened without one email. Without Chatter, the marketer might have instead emailed or called a dozen people before finding the source he needed–or not contacted anyone at all. If he had sent the email to "all customers," it might have resulted in a lower response rate.
Using Chatter to Boost Employee Recognition and Engagement
Last week, I interviewed large social enterprise app users, who discussed how these tools could be used to facilitate employee recognition and engagement. The Eloqua/Chatter integration can be used effectively to this end.
"It's personally really rewarding, especially in a big company, when your boss says ‘great work’ in front of the entire company," Cheung says. In the demo scenario, the CEO posted a snapshot from in Chatter showing how many opportunities were opened as a result of the campaign.
Eloqua can also automatically push information into the Chatter newsfeed when various milestones are reached. For instance, in the demo scenario, Eloqua posted, "Good News! The Health Care Campaign has achieved a 15% better than average open rate." In response, the marketer commented, just as you might on a link in Facebook, “Thanks @JillRoberts — I couldn't have done it without you!"
Chatter for Eloqua isn't quite complete. MA users can't form groups like Salesforce Chatter users. But Eloqua is working on it, Cheung told me. The vendor is also developing the ability for users to type @Eloqua in their newsfeed to contact the Eloqua support team.
Eloqua is an on-demand Revenue Performance Management solutions provider. Officials expect the product to hit market in the fourth quarter this year. Do you plan to use it? Tell us what you think with a comment here.