Oracle Headquarters

In its quest to offer a useful cloud service for just about everything, Oracle announced today that it has bought Eloqua, a cloud-based marketing automation firm, for $871 million.

Eloqua’s technology lets companies easily begin, manage, and analyze marketing campaigns. The company also offers revenue performance management that’s intimately tied into its cloud marketing service.

Oracle paid $23.50 per share for Eloqua, a 31 percent increase over the company’s closing price of $17.92 yesterday. Eloqua’s board has already approved the deal, and it’s expected to close in the first half of 2013, pending regulatory and shareholder approval.

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Notably, Eloqua’s chief executive Joe Payne had poked Oracle in the eye last year, during our CloudBeat event, when he told VentureBeat executive editor Dylan Tweney on stage: “I wake up every day, and I know I’m adding value…Ask someone at Oracle if they feel good about what they’re selling.”

Together, Oracle and Eloqua will create a “Customer Experience Cloud” to streamline the way companies market to their customers, as well as how they sell, support, and further serve them. Ultimately, it looks like Oracle wants to build the one customer experience service to rule them all. That includes offering a single brand experience for customers, pushing loyalty through social services, and pushing better leads to sales teams to drive revenue.

The acquisition comes on top of Oracle’s SelectMinds purchase in September, which gave it a leg-up on cloud human resource services.

Photo: Peter Kaminski/Flickr