Another marketing maker heading to market?

Contact: Brenon Daly

Will Eloqua respond to Responsys? Does the rival on-demand marketing vendor perhaps have an IPO of its own planned? We couldn’t help but wonder that last Thursday as investors showed that they could hardly get enough of the Responsys offering, which priced above range and then tacked on another 28% in its first day of trading. The IPO created some $680m in market value for Responsys.

Responsys’ rather heady valuation (roughly 7x trailing sales and 5x projected sales) undoubtedly has to have generated more than a little interest from folks at Eloqua. And the company certainly has been taking steps in recent years that could indicate that it is eyeing the public market. For instance, three years ago it moved its headquarters from Canada to the Washington DC area while also hiring a raft of senior executives, most of whom have experience at public companies.

According to our understanding, Eloqua is a bit less than one-third the size of Responsys, which generated $94m in sales last year. Also, we gather that Eloqua lags a bit behind the 40% compound annual growth rate that Responsys has put up over the past half-decade. Still, the company offers a fairly compelling profile, with predictable subscription revenue flowing from its more than 800 customers. The strong debut from Responsys, plus the fact that shares of fellow on-demand marketer Constant Contact are trading around all-time highs, clearly suggest that Wall Street is in the market for marketing vendors.