One of the questions I often get from my customers is "what exactly are data cards?"  In E10, you know them as custom data objects.  My favorite explanation comes from one of our brilliant Eloqua University instructors (thanks, Mindy Thompson), so I wanted to share it:


Data cards are like extended filing cabinet space for your Contact Records. There are three ways to interact with data cards:

  1. Push data into custom object fields from a form submission using form processing steps
  2. Use the Events Module
  3. Push data into custom object fields via an API upload or integrated sync with your CRM


Here are use cases for each of the above:


  1. If you are capturing information on a form that is important, but perhaps doesn’t need to be on the Contact Record, you can use the Update Existing Record or Data Object processing step and create a new Update Rule (with lookup) based on a Custom Object.
  2. If you are capturing information about events – attendance, food preference, registration – I recommend using the Events Module.  The Eloqua University class called Increase Online Event Attendance is a primer on this module and covers data cards. This module not only writes data to data cards, but can also be used to trigger confirmation, reminder, waitlist and follow up emails. This is the most common way that clients use data cards.
  3. If you are capturing information from your CRM on purchase history, for example, you can set up to have that information push into data cards instead of the Contact Record.


I hope this helps clarify for everyone a sometimes confusing topic!