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These are the sessions at Eloqua Experience 2013 that I MUST ATTEND.  I've have followed or known several of these people for quite some time and I am really excited to see what they will share at EE13.

Most of what I focus on and my interests lie in strategy, process, analytics, content, and data health.  So here it goes! 


Engagement: Spin A Story That Stands Above The Noise
Ardath Albee, CEO, Marketing Interactions, Inc.
11:00-12:00 Thursday October 24
I have followed Ardath for several years and I greatly respect and admire her ideas.  She's in an elite class in understanding how to develop and deliver content to engage with a B2B markets.

Analytics: Don't Just Score Leads – Predict Your Next Customer
Brian Kardon, CMO, Lattice Engines, Jascha Kaykas-Wolf, CMO, Mindjet, Abner Germanow, Director of Worldwide Marketing, Juniper Networks
1:30 - 2:30 PM Thursday October 24
I have followed Brian Kardon since he was the CMO of Eloqua and I respect his strategic vision and how he looks at Revenue Marketing.  I know Mindjet is a leading user of Eloqua and I'm very interested to hear their story, along with Juniper Networks, on how they use analytics to predict the next customer.

Marketing Technology: Eloqua In The Fast Lane: Tools To Enhance Your Automation Efficiency
Ryan Schwartz, Director, Marketing Systems & Operations, DocuSign
3:30 - 4:30 PM Thursday October 24
In my book, Ryan Schwartz is the World's Top Eloquan. Period. He knows the system better than anyone I know and he has driven a phenomenal revenue marketing operation at DocuSign. Not only that, Ryan is just a darned nice guy and he loves to listen and share ideas on using Eloqua.  I'm especially excited for Ryan's session because he's presenting new tools he and his team have developed that the entire Eloqua Community will be able to use.

Targeting: The Power of a Data Washing Machine in Lead Creation
Amandah Magnarelli, Director, Database Marketing, Forrester Research, Inc.
9:45 - 10:45 AM Friday October 25
Forrester has been a long-time Eloqua user and Amandah's presentation on the Data Washing Machine fits perfectly with my focus on data hygiene.

Analytics: Optimizing The Demand Waterfall With Predictive Scoring, Analytics, And Eloqua Magic
Wade Tibke, Director, Demand Gen & Operations, Tableau Software
11:00-12:00 Friday October 25
Wade is another amazing Eloquan and he runs the marketing ops for Tableau.  Tableau is a fantastic company with very strong marketing efforts.  I'm very interested to see Wade's presentation on how Tableau grew and tracked SQL's year over year.

Engagement: Customer Marketing: B2B's Best-Kept Growth Secret
Megan Heuer, SiriusDecisions
2:30-3:30 Friday October 25
Megan is another person I have followed for a long time and have yet to see speak in person.  B2B marketers are notorious at forgetting about the customer once the sale is closed.  Customer engagement is a huge opportunity for B2B marketers to grow loyalty and revenue.  I'm sure will have some interesting ideas.

I'm also looking forward to Wednesday before the event to get some updated Eloqua information and training. Here are the Wednesday sessions I'm interested in:

Advanced Salesforce.Com Integration Demonstrations
Nathan Lichte, Oracle | Eloqua
Wednesday 8:30-10:00

Improved Custom Subscription Management
Tracy Traeger, Oracle | Eloqua
Wednesday 10:15 - 11:45

Best Practices: Introducing Eloqua To Your Sales Team
Alison Thomas, Oracle | Eloqua
Wednesday 1:00 - 2:30

What sessions are you most excited about attending at Eloqua Experience 2013?

Hi Folks - Heinz Marketing in Seattle/Redmond, WA is growing and our Marketing Automation Practice is doing incredibly well.  We need two Demand Gen pros to join the team to help our mid-market and enterprise customers drive revenue and engage customers.  Eloqua experience and certs are a HUGE plus. 

Here's a repost of our blog and what it's like to work at Heinz.  If you're interested or know someone who is, shoot me a note! 


The short story
We’re hiring, and we’re really picky.

The medium story
We’re looking to fill at least two demand generation positions immediately as we continue to grow, but we’re looking for far more than experience and capabilities. Just as important are cultural fit, a match with ourvalues, “fire in the eyes” and strong communication/writing skills.

The long story
We think a lot about values and service at Heinz Marketing. As a services business, our people are the product, so it’s really important that we hire, support, train and retain amazing people who can delight our customers and exceed their expectations.

We’ve been blessed with a strong year so far in 2013, so are looking to hire at least two new people into our team focused on demand generation and lead management services. Yes, we have job descriptions for these roles that specify desired years of experience, B2B and demand generation expertise, familiarity with certain sales & marketing systems, etc.

But I’ve met a lot of people who can adequately “do the work” that I would never hire. Just as important as competency is someone who matches the values we talk about and prioritize regularly. We need people who are results-oriented, client-focused, creative, curious, honest and responsible.

Interviews (let alone resumes) can be a tough way to gauge this, so referrals & references are really important. That said, it can become very clear in an interview (with the right questions) whether someone has fire in their eyes, passion for the work they’re doing, and can make the decisions necessary on their own to fit with our high standards of service and results for clients.

Finally, I can’t imagine anyone succeeding in a service business these days without excellent communication skills. Maybe it’s the old print journalist in me, but I think this starts with writing in its various forms – emails, status reports, blog posts, proposals, etc. But those communication skills also include verbal and in-person abilities, as well as how to work through the occasional difficult conversations with clients, vendors, technology partners, etc.

If you’re like to hear more, or are interested in joining our team, please check out the job description and email us with a link to your LinkedIn profile (and ideally a line or two about why the above criteria resonated with you).

Just about to postal here Why is pdf document tracking so infernally hard or am I just missing something?


Documents are at the center of any effective nurturing campaign and their handling and tracking should be as simple as tracking, filtering and scoring forms or emails. I know I have ranted about this before, but nothing seems to happen to this handicap the size of Mount Everest.


If I want to create campaign filter step that checks if contact has downloaded a document I have to:

1. Upload the document

2. Create a link on a landing page or email

3. Select 'File in File storage'

4. Find the document and select it

5. Select 'Webpage'

6. Select redirect and save

7. Go and click the links on the landing page or email.

8. Go to Setup -> Tracking ->Update sitemap

9. Go to Setup -> Page tagging -> New tag -> Scrolll around a huge sitemap info to find a document somewhere in and save the tag

10. Go to Segmenting and create a contact filter with Visited Page Tag -rule

11. Find the tag and save the segment.

12. Make the filter public.

13. Go to the campaign, drag a Shared Filter Member and choose the tag.

14. Repeat for all the documents.

And there you go. All this just for you to track document downloads. If there is an easier way, I haven't found one.

Please somebody tell us that something is being done about this


Written by my collegue & friend Carmelo Andronaco, a salesforce solution architect in our Australia office.


Highlights From The Salesforce Winter 14 Release

Winter is coming! Time to get inside and snuggle up. No need for a fire, just get a copy of the Salesforce Winter 14 release notes, there are plenty of fireworks to keep you warm. Here is a quick guide outlining some of the key features that could help your organisation make the most of the updates. These functional updates can help improve efficiency and keep your organisation ahead of the pack.


Performance Edition (to replace Unlimited)
Performance Edition includes all Unlimited functionality that combines CRM and the platform with,, Identity, Live Agent, Salesforce Knowledge, and additional sandbox functionality.

Unlimited Edition will no longer be available for purchase. Customers using Unlimited Edition can continue to maintain and renew their edition, or upgrade to Performance Edition.

Additional Search “All fields” on Enhanced Lookups
Salesforce lookups have always used the “Name” of the record to search for a match in a lookup field. Now you can use an “all fields” option to search across the record. This makes it easier to find the correct records. Now you have the ability to find a Contact by email address, or locate an Account by Account Number—very helpful.


Salesforce Console for Sales
Although the majority of the sales data can already be seen in the console, the official support will likely bring all of the standard Tabs into the Console view (i.e Home Tab, Activities, etc). The Salesforce Service Cloud™ Console has a very powerful “integration toolkit” to allow for improved agent flow in Service. The integration toolkit will likely unlock more diverse functionality from the Sales process flow. This feature is free in the Performance Edition, but it requires a Permission Set License in Enterprise and Unlimited editions.

Forecast Improvements
Forecasts now support the ability to show Opportunity Splits, a previous feature that allows you to share sales credit across multiple opportunity team members. Forecasts are just getting better and better, as they also now support the ability to forecast Product Groups. This powerful feature can make a difference to your budgets and forecasting— e.g., if your organization groups products and services into families (like “hardware” and “software”), forecasts now allow you to better predict revenue and a sales representative's quota attainment.


Case Feed
Case Feed will now be the default view for all Cases by new organisations. If you are an existing user of Cases and are not using the Case Feed, you should consider adding it to your roadmap. is investing in this layout and it has features that will not work in standard layout (e.g., Quick Text, Attach an article PDF to an email from knowledge sidebar, etc).

Knowledge is free, if you want to read it
Knowledgebase Articles are now available to “read” for the majority of users* without an additional feature license. Only the users who create, edit, delete, and publish knowledge articles require an additional feature license. Chatter will also be included for draft articles, to help collaborate on content prior to publishing. Time to share and spread the knowledge!
*Chatter Plus / license users will still need the feature license.

Recurring Milestones in Entitlement Processes

The Entitlement and Milestones in Salesforce were hard to fit into most use Cases for a lot of businesses. The linear timeline was sometimes unreliable, as there is frequently a need to alternate between internal groups, or the customer to help solve a Case. With recurring Milestones, we can now track the SLA for each step as it recurs over the Case lifecycle. There are also a few new Case Feed items to help with visibility and tracking.


Mention Groups
Chatter now makes it easier to reach out to internal specialist groups. This improves connectivity and collaboration when you need it most. Need help with a certain product for a sales pitch, or service support? Simply @mention a group of experts and have it appear in all of their feeds, as well as in the group feed. Find the information you need and get a collaborative response faster.

Mobile Updates
If you are using Salesforce Chatter and are not using the latest mobile edition, you are missing out! Chatter has become a powerful mobile application for your Salesforce data. Recent updates allow for chat on records, as well as editing and updating of the record data. When installed on an iOS device, any Salesforce email will also open in the Chatter Mobile App. Administrators are experiencing better controls to help manage Chatter apps connecting to their Salesforce instance.

Chatter is becoming the way companies communicate internally and do business. You won’t regret jumping on board with the latest mobile edition.


Historical Trends
Historical trending comes with a new custom report type designed to highlight changes between any five snapshot dates. It adds the ability to analyse day-to-day, week-to-week, and month-to-month changes in the Opportunities object and up to three custom objects.
There are some overall limitations to watch out for, but this is a step in the right direction by to improve the overall analytics of the platform.

Embedded Analytics
Constantly jumping into Salesforce Reports to obtain basic analytics about an Account or Case can be arduous. Now, up to two report charts can be embedded into the standard page layout. Add a quick graph to show the different opportunity or Case stages for an Account...everyone loves pictures!

Other features worth mentioning:

  • Workflow for the User Object
  • Salesforce Files — Pilot (Possibly a new name for Chatterbox?)
  • Chatter Posts now support 5000 characters
  • Ability to Freeze User Accounts
  • Analytics API - Access Salesforce Report results via an API

What Now?
Read the full release notes and official Winter 14 overview here.

Already using Salesforce and just never get a chance to take full use of enhancements in every release? Sign up for Bluewolf’s free Salesforce Health Check.

Data management and data hygiene are probably the most overlooked components to a successful marketing automation initiative, right after content.


I recently learned of a large enterprise with marketing automation that was blacklisted by ISPs.  The blacklist status effectively shuts down all outbound marketing efforts right as they are heading into Q4.  This happened because of poor data management and data hygiene.  It can happen to any organization with marketing automation.  When it happens, heads roll because it impacts customer engagement and revenue.  The audit process for getting off ISP blacklists isn’t easy. Can you imagine being responsible and for this with your organization?


Building a plan with a budget can prevent these nightmare situations.


Here are eye-opening stats on B2B data quality:


According to Sirius Decisions

  • 25% of the average B2B database is inaccurate
  • 60% of companies surveyed had an overall data health scale of “unreliable”
  • 80% of companies have “risky” phone contact records


NetProspex reports in their 2013 State of Marketing Data

  • 64% of companies surveyed have “unreliable” data and 34% have “questionable” data
  • 61% of companies surveyed said 35% of their records were “incomplete”


How do CMO’s and Demand Generation Directors avoid getting their companies blacklisted? How do Modern Marketers ensure over 90% email deliverability month after month? How do companies maintain CAN-SPAM Act compliance? What sources of data are used to build, maintain, and append the database?  How do marketing automation teams keep out the spam traps and keep the good contact records up to date?  These are mission-critical questions that need a plan.  Operating without a plan puts marketing operations, reputation, and revenue at risk!



Here are steps I recommend as the starting point for effective management.


Establish a data management strategy

Do you have a data strategy?  Chances are you don’t.  Build the strategy and business case that a budget will support.  A marketing automation platform needs regular health checks and ongoing maintenance.  Define the standards for complete records and manage how the database grows and where records come from.  Define the minimum standards for deliverability rates.  Establish requirements for data providers.


Marketing Automation and CRM platforms need regular updates, health checks, de-dupes, and data appends. A database will have a natural decay of contact data because people change jobs, companies go out of business, and mergers happen.  All of these events directly impact the effectiveness of a database.  Keeping the database healthy is strategic to maintaining a strong revenue pipeline.



Check your database for a baseline of health.

Get a database health scan before implementing the strategy or randomly buying tools or hiring consultants.  A good health check should identify spam traps and determine record completeness at a minimum.  Don’t forget to check phone records as well.  Find a reputable organization like Unlock The InboxReachforce or NetProspex to conduct a health scan for a baseline assessment.



Budget for data hygiene in 2014

Imagine the situation where in July 2014 your email deliverability tanks to 80% and pipeline opportunities decline. Not fun, right?  Data hygiene is an investment that builds marketing automation effectiveness and drives revenue!  Investments are typically needed to for tools and services regularly clean out spam traps, update and append data records, and perform detailed de-duplication.


CRM and marketing automation platforms have some basic tools for de-duplication and there are often free utilities or connectors that can serve as temporary solutions.  Finding service providers and platforms that can enhance the free tools are a prudent step, especially when starting a clean-up process.



Maintain Regular Maintenance and Updates

A database is like a car. Regular maintenance keeps the machine running smoothly and efficiently with the best performance.  Here are just some of the items to monitor and manage:

  • Deliverability – anything below 90% is a red flag.  Why are messages not delivered?
  • Opportunity pipeline growth – Are conversions and opportunities decreasing?  Many factors go into this but even the best content and campaigns will fall flat without a healthy database.
  • Reputable Data Sources and Partners – We all get the spam emails from the offshore list brokers that offer segmented B2B contacts for pennies on the dollar.  Don’t. Do. It.  Chances are cheap lists are loaded with questionable contacts scraped from websites by offshore sweatshops.
  • Monitor the soft email bounces – are they increasing over time? Why are soft bounces happening?
  • Monitor sender scores using services like ReturnPath. This is especially critical for marketing organizations using dedicated IP addresses for outbound marketing.  The higher a sender score, the better the reputation which helps ISP’s monitor and allow emails from trusted sources.
  • Prevent Duplicate Records – Use de-duplication platforms like RingLead whenever importing new data, or when performing regular updates.  This keeps records clean and can merge duplicate records in the CRM or marketing automation platform.
  • Append and Update Records – Keep records up to date with a data provider to ensure the proper taxonomy, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, and syntax are correct.
  • Segment Old Records – Don’t delete old or outdated records completely.  I recommend placing old records in a quarantine or sandbox that is kept away from marketing and sales operations.  Even after de-duplication and data append, old records may be needed for an audit or opportunity research.
  • Contact cadence and governance – Who can send outbound communications, when, how often, and who receives the messages?  Set a clear policy that the entire organization understands.
  • CAN SPAM – Does your marketing operations team understand CAN SPAM requirements for the US?  What about Canadian and EU requirements? Ignorance is not the same as innocence when trouble arises.  The US Federal Trade Commission offers these guidelines for compliance.


Plan Wisely!!

Data management and hygiene is strategic and helps keep marketing automation and demand generation running strong.  Putting off the health checks and maintenance will directly impact revenue opportunities, customer engagements, reputations, and even whether or not someone keeps a job.



What is YOUR plan for 2014?

Some of you in Topliners are running CRM systems for which Closed Loop Reporting is not provided.  If so, we have good news for you.  4Thought Marketing can now implement full Eloqua CLR functionality, even if you’re not using an Eloqua-supported CRM.


4Thought Marketing has implemented Closed Loop Reporting (CLR) for Eloqua/NetSuite that relies on its 4Bridge Eloqua Integration Solution.


The identical CLR functionality that SFDC and Oracle CRM customers have had, is now available for all NetSuite users. The 4Bridge implementation uses the exact same code, reports and functionality for CLR in Eloqua that are used with native Eloqua integrations.


To learn more about our services please visit our website.

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