A Long time ago, in an Eloqua Instance far, far away….

 

There were two fields: Lead source - Original and Lead Source - Most recent.

The battle for revenue attribution supremacy was fierce, but some people still asked “what was the deal?”, & “why do those fields even exist?”

Well, it is simple,... and if you so wish, I shall train you young Marketing ones, in 'the ways of the Source’.

 

The purpose of these fields is to give you some clear information on where your contacts originated and what their most recent interaction with you was.... Simple, right?

 

Lead source - Original is an indication of the FIRST time a contact was created in your instance and once set this value should never be altered.

This allows you to backtrack & identify what the original source was of that data. For example if a list of data was being imported and fields mapped. – One of the fields in your data file should be lead Source - Original.
This should be imported and then mapped into your Lead source - Original field with an update type of ‘only if Blank’

 

‘Only if Blank’? 

Yes, absolutely, - the reason as indicated above is that this will only write that value into the record if the record does not already have a value in that field. Therefore, if you accidentally upload a list containing some existing contacts (& we all know it happens from time to time) then you will not overwrite the value that was already in that field from when the record was first created. – So essentially you should have 100% of your records with a value in the Lead source - Original field & that should enable you to breakdown exactly the sources ( & volumes) of Lead generation for your instance.

 

OK, That makes sense wise master, but so what about this Lead Source - Most recent field?

Well conversely Lead Source - Most Recent should of course be updated as well, but updated in every situation, to give a clear reflection of the contact's most recent interaction with your marketing materials.

This should capture the activity they just conducted. – Whether their 1st, or 421st.
Initially it will be the same as Lead source - Original, but as time progresses they will start to diverge, with Lead Source - Original always remaining constant, & Lead Source - Most recent always showing what they did most recently.

 

Here is a simple article demonstrating how to do this correctly on the processing steps on the back of a form.
How To: Updating Lead Source fields from a Form Submission.

 

 

 

But how granular should it be?

Well that’s up to you really, but essentially it should be detailed enough to categorise your leads in a useful way, but not so detailed that it becomes onerous for you to report on.

if you have a set of fixed values: like web form, Webinar, Tradeshow, Event, Sales, Whitepaper download, etc. then you can run a simple field population report & it will break down the field into those clear distinctions, along with numbers.

 

Lead SourceCount
Web form7,631
Webinar90,057
Tradeshow45,769
Event20,749
Sales1,230
Whitepaper97
Total165,533

 

Perhaps you do want to be more granular, - that’s fine too of course, just be mindful that having fewer set values is easier to maintain & you can even use Eloqua to ‘listen’ for invalid values and present them to you in a filter (see below),
so you can readily see that this month you have had 3 records created without the correct values, and you should be able to deduce where they originated in order to educate the person responsible (choking not advocated!).

 

So why is all this important?

Well it might become relevant if you start to conduct Closed Loop Reporting (CLR), and wish to perform analysis on the amount of your closed leads, - where they originated, and the last interactions they had before they closed.

Case in point, - if your CLR evidences that 40% of your closed leads entered your database after registering at one of your Webinar events, but thereafter downloaded a particular whitepaper before purchasing – well, you can infer two things here.
Firstly to put more money into your webinars as they are generating good quality leads*, but also that you should be pushing leads who come from that source into a campaign to try & forward these important Whitepapers directly to them proactively.

If you can see a winning recipe for sales in your data, then you can use the power of Eloqua to try and replicate that.

 

*I am aware that other factors are at play here, such as cost per lead etc. (this is a simple explanation though)

 

 

Here is a working Example for you to see it in action.

Initially we upload some contacts from an event (along with Lead Source - Original & Lead Source - Most Recent).
Lead Source - Most Recent should always update, Lead source - Original should only update if blank.

The Event in question is a meetup and music Event at a local Cantina in Mos Eisley.

 

First Name

Last Name

Title

Company

Lead Source - Most recent

Lead Source - Original

Luke S.

Walker

Apprentice

JED1 inc.

Event- Cantina (01/01/19)

Event- Cantina (01/01/19)

Stu

Backer

P.A.

Falcon Aluminiums

Event- Cantina (01/01/19)

Event- Cantina (01/01/19)

Stan

Solo

CEO

Falcon Aliminiums

Event- Cantina (01/01/19)

Event- Cantina (01/01/19)

Bob

Fett

Consultant

Carbonite storage solutions

Event- Cantina (01/01/19)

Event- Cantina (01/01/19)

Dave

Maul

Head hunter

Force Removals

Event- Cantina (01/01/19)

Event- Cantina (01/01/19)

EmPerorCTODark Side recruitmentEvent- Cantina (01/01/19)Event- Cantina (01/01/19)

 

 

As detailed earlier all of these contacts have a common Lead Source - Original & Lead Source - Most Recent. This is expected if they have only had one interaction with you.

 

Over the next few months there are a number of other interactions involving our demo subjects.

 

Stan Solo downloads a whitepaper on smartening up scruffy interiors.

Stu Backer watched a webinar on Anger management

Luke Walker Submitted a form to update his details & preferences

Bob Fett clicked through an email with a blind form submit to get information on updated storage.

Em Peror requested a callback (sometime around December 19th 2019 probably!)

Dave Maul was never heard from again.

 

All of these Changes should be reflected in the Lead Source - Most Recent, but NOT Lead Source – Original, as for all those contacts were created as part of the Cantina (01/01/19) event.
This is where the contact originated so this should never alter as they will only ever originate one time, from one place.

 

A few Months later the table would have altered like this. – Note that Lead Source – Original has not changed for any of them as that field denotes how they first originally arrived into the contact table. That fact will never alter.

 

First Name

Last Name

Title

Company

Lead Source - Most recent

Lead Source - Original

Luke S.

Walker

Apprentice

JED1 inc.

Re-Engagement (04/05/19)

Event- Cantina (01/01/19)

Stu

Backer

P.A.

Falcon Aluminiums

Webinar – Anger Mgmt (11/02/19)

Event- Cantina (01/01/19)

Stan

Solo

CEO

Falcon Aliminiums

Whitepaper – Scuffy int’ (01/03/19)

Event- Cantina (01/01/19)

Bob

Fett

Consultant

Carbonite storage solutions

Blind form- Storage (01/04/19)

Event- Cantina (01/01/19)

Dave

Maul

Head hunter

Force Removals

Event- Cantina (01/01/19)

Event- Cantina (01/01/19)

EmPerorCTODark Side RecruitmentCallback form (12/04/2019)Event- Cantina (01/01/19)

 

You can see the cell alterations in Yellow (You don't necessarily need to include dates, I've included those just to communicate my point).

What we've started to do here though is get more granular in the recording, allowing us to delve deeper into exactly what communication resonated, but making it much harder to report on.

 

What is often used is a code, consisting of the details of the email that drove the contact to that resource, something like EM_05_19_UK_Y0DA

 

EM, denoting Email, then MM_YY, then Country code, then a 3 or 4 letter code for detail.

This code should be added to all links in all emails ( unique to each email), - then if it is catalogued somewhere,  you can refer back to see what codes relate to what emails.

 

So you might end up with the below, which is complex, but can be traced back to individual emails driving the contacts to forms or other content.

 

Lead SourceCount
EM_01_19_UK_NEWS97
EM_01_19_US_NEWS120
EM_02_19_DE_C3P073
EM_02_19_NL_R2D24,210
EM_03_19_UK_STAR61
EM_03_19_UK_WARS11
EM_04_19_BR_SNIP123
EM_04_19_US_GAME51
EM_04_19_UK_CHEW37
EM_04_19_US_SH1P201
EM_03_19_FR_TRAP12

 

 

So How do I update those values once they're included in the links?

Well fortunately there are a few techniques you can employ within the Eloqua platform which will help you here, see below for a couple,
but first things first, you must bring balance to your data and you do this by committing to data quality and then tidying up your data sanity. Adding good data onto bad helps no-one.

It is not a small job to get things set right, but it’s much easier to maintain once the effort is in place to solve data sanity.
It’s also important to maintain this rigidly. If you do not, the erroneous values will be back, (and in greater numbers). So you must track the fields and correct errors as they arise.

 

Want to learn more...?

 

Read my guide to see how to populate your records with Lead Source values consistently off the back of an Eloqua form.
How To: Updating Lead Source fields from a Form Submission.

 

And Read my Guide here on using JavaScript / JQuery to capture values on your web pages & pass those into hidden fields.
How To: Using JavaScript / JQuery to update a Hidden Formfield.

 

And finally read my guide on how to lift rocks whilst standing on your head.
(Just kidding!)

 

 

Now, *waves hand* repeat after me,
“This was the article I was looking for”….

“I will commit to better data sanity and reap the rewards”

 

Very good.

Now Move along please…..

 

Clip Art Jedi Clipart

 

 

Andy Ball

Eloqua Principal Technical Account Manager,

Oracle Cloud Priority Support.