The objective of this article is to help you start marketing automation or inbound marketing project since we know that you will be asking yourself two types of questions:
What are the best marketing automation tools on the market?
What is the best tool for me?
Based on our experience, we assure you that the best marketing automation and inbound marketing tool is HubSpot. However, depending on the technological ecosystem that you already have set up in your company, it may be that the most suitable for you is to use Eloqua or a different program.
We have taken our Comparative Guide of Marketing Automation Tools as the main source of information. In it, you will find a very detailed analysis of the following platforms:
- Eloqua (Oracle)
- Marketing Cloud (Salesforce)
- Marketo (Adobe)
- Pardot (Salesforce)
- RD Station Marketing
Origin of HubSpot and Eloqua
HubSpot was developed by Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah, the same pioneers of the inbound marketing methodology. They defined the idea of inbound marketing in 2005, and as none of the automation tools that existed to date could adapt to this new methodology, they decided to create HubSpot in 2006 as well. Since then, this tool has stood out for being the one that has better performance when automating inbound marketing processes, and hence, from PostJournal, we consider it to be the best tool in the sector.
Eloqua was developed in 1999, which makes it one of the oldest automation tools on the market and, in fact, it is the oldest of all the platforms we have reviewed.
The appearance of Eloqua established a standard in the industry, that standard is still maintained today and is all about offering a highly visual and intuitive automation flow editor. Due to its growing popularity, Eloqua was acquired by Oracle in 2012, thus becoming the centerpiece of the Oracle Marketing Cloud ecosystem.
HubSpot vs. Eloqua according to the stages of inbound marketing
As we have mentioned, HubSpot is the tool that best adapts to the inbound marketing methodology. However, you need to know what makes this platform so special compared to others like Eloqua so that you can draw your own conclusions.
Therefore, in our Marketing Automation Tools Comparison Guide, we make a review of the capabilities that HubSpot and Eloqua have to effectively address the four stages of inbound marketing, which are:
- Education (maturation)
- Closure and loyalty
HubSpot has an internal CMS that allows the creation of web pages and blogs. On the other hand, Eloqua does not have its own CMS, which prevents the user from creating pages and blogs from the platform, a very negative aspect considering that these are fundamental resources for any inbound marketing strategy. To solve this lack, Eloqua allows integration with external CMS platforms, although, obviously, it is best to have your own CMS as HubSpot does.
HubSpot offers quite important SEO functionalities, such as Page performance, through which web pages, landing pages, and blog content can be optimized, thus promoting that they are highly regarded by Google’s algorithm. As for Eloqua, another of its great weaknesses is that it does not have any SEO functionality.
HubSpot can be synchronized directly with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube for the execution of social media marketing actions. Eloqua does not offer direct synchronization with social networks, although you can integrate independent modules or add-ons that allow you to perform some social media actions.
From this stage, HubSpot begins to offer much more robust functions as an automation platform. For example, with this tool, you can create advanced forms, landing pages, chatbots, pop-ups, smart and customizable calls to action (CTA), among others. It also has web analytics modules for monitoring users who click on CTAs and for monitoring channel attribution.
Leaving behind the great weaknesses of Eloqua in terms of the attraction stage, in this conversion stage, the tool already begins to show its benefits. For example, with this platform, you can create smart forms with progressive profiling functions, landing pages, or microsites, among others. One of the most outstanding features of Eloqua is that it has WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) design functions, which allows you to create very attractive visual elements. However, Eloqua doesn’t offer as much functionality as HubSpot for user conversion.
Education stage (maturation)
The education stage is where HubSpot has its strongest and differentiating points from the rest of the platforms. This tool is specially designed to execute and customize the different processes associated with lead nurturing, which is basically the cornerstone of all inbound marketing. For example, HubSpot’s functions for lead scoring are very effective, and, also, it has quite varied options for the development of small and large-scale strategies, such as creating lists and assigning properties, tracking the channel allocation, among others. Basically, everything you could need for lead education HubSpot has it.
If you want to know more about lead management, we recommend reading our Guides on lead nurturing and lead scoring in inbound marketing.
Eloqua offers interesting features for lead maturation, such as the option to create custom lead scoring models taking into account the information from the users’ profile and their engagement levels. Importantly though, these features don’t come close to the power or robustness of HubSpot. However, as it is one of the first automation tools to have a highly visual editor, it is possible to create customer journeys in a very practical and dynamic way. The problem is that this functionality has become somewhat outdated due to a lack of update by Oracle.
Closing and loyalty stage
Both HubSpot and Eloqua have developed options to create a very effective synergy between the marketing and sales teams, intending to maximize the results of closing and loyalty. In fact, in the case of Eloqua, this stage is where its greatest strengths are in terms of inbound marketing. Let’s see them:
HubSpot has an internal CRM that allows you to tackle the entire stage of the end of the conversion funnel in a very powerful way. That is to say, that of closing and loyalty. However, this company has gone much further, since it has also developed the Sales Hub (sales) and Service Hub (after-sales) solutions. These allow you to automate, with a high degree of customization, other types of typical closing and loyalty workflows, in which the most important thing is the customer experience.
Eloqua does not have its CRM, but it can be perfectly synchronized with Oracle, Salesforce, and Microsoft CRMs. On the other hand, Oracle has created for Eloqua a marketplace of applications and add-ons, which go very well to boost sales processes. However, again the ecosystem of HubSpot is more complete and specialized products because of their sales automation, and service to the customer and aftersales.
HubSpot vs. Eloqua according to other comparison variables
When choosing an automation platform, not only the strategic point of view is important, but also the operational and cost. Therefore, in addition to the analysis criteria on the four stages of inbound marketing, it is necessary to compare HubSpot and Eloqua with the following variables:
In our guide, we explain how we have defined these comparison criteria at a methodological level. We recommend that you download it so that you can have a deeper vision of both platforms.
At this point, there is an important contrast between the two tools:
The costs of HubSpot plans are affordable when the database of contacts you work with is small or medium, but they become very high when the database is large. However, in any case, the profitability of the projects is usually excellent when each functionality of the tool is used to the maximum for the benefit of the strategy outlined.
Eloqua’s costs are one of its greatest strengths. In this case, unlike HubSpot, the prices of Eloqua plans turn out to be quite attractive when you have to manage large databases of contacts.
HubSpot has always been known for offering powerful and friendly scalability, especially when you have to make changes or configurations on a massive scale. For example, if you modify a landing page or email template, that modification is automatically replicated in all the landing pages or emails associated with that template, which speeds up all your work.
Similar to HubSpot, Eloqua’s scalability allows you to easily replicate email and landing page templates, among other functions that make your daily work easier. This is because Eloqua is a tool designed primarily for large companies or for work teams located in different countries, so the brand has made an effort to offer high-performance scalability. However, in our assessment, the scalability of HubSpot is still more powerful.
As for the support, here too, there is an extreme difference between both tools. Do we see it?
In conclusion, HubSpot and Eloqua are quite powerful tools and they can be more or less useful compared to the other depending on the type of work you want to do. Despite this, we cannot ignore the fact that HubSpot adapts much better to the entire inbound marketing methodology, has more scalable resources, and, also, is a platform that does not require technical knowledge of any kind.
However, as we said at the beginning of this article, while we consider HubSpot to be the best automation tool, it may not be the most convenient for you. For example, if your company uses multiple Oracle tools, then Eloqua can be perfectly synchronized with all of them.
That said, you should know that HubSpot is very well suited to both B2C SMEs and B2B companies of any size, since in both cases, the contact databases are not usually that large. On the other hand, Eloqua can be ideal for large companies since, on the one hand, its prices favor the management of large databases, and, on the other hand, it can have an IT department to support the configuration of the tool.
And if you want to know more details, read our Marketing Automation Tools Comparison Guide, in which you can see a much more in-depth analysis of the ActiveCampaign, Eloqua, HubSpot, Marketing Cloud, Marketo, Pardot, and RD Station Marketing platforms.