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11 Posts authored by: 4Thought Marketing

OrCloud Connector Deprecation Blog PNG.pngacle recently announced they are decommissioning Eloqua Cloud Connectors and Cloud Components.  Their announcement is jam-packed with information, but some of it could be confusing, so we wanted to clarify some of the key elements.


Cloud Connectors deprecation only applies to Cloud Connectors used in a Campaign Canvas or Cloud Connectors built by Oracle Eloqua that are in use in Program Builder. 


  • If you are using your own, or a third party built Cloud Connector in Program Builder – this announcement does not apply to those Cloud Connectors.
  • If you want to add a home-grown or third party Cloud Connector to Program Builder after February 1st, you will be able to do so and it will continue to function after March 31st.


Another thing that may have seemed confusing is whether this announcement applies to Cloud Connectors (standard or customized) that function on Custom Objects. The answer is ‘NO.’  These Cloud Connectors are NOT affected by this announcement.


To get the best and latest source of updates on this subject, go to Topliners.


Looking ahead

While Oracle continues to support Cloud Connectors in Program Builder, it’s clear that they will remove these at some time in the future. They haven’t set a date yet, but as Program Canvas continues to evolve and replace Program Builder functionality, Oracle is clearly going in this direction.


So what can you do?

Follow the instructions on the Topliners document to move to the new App Framework. In most cases, migration should be straightforward if you are using standard Cloud Connectors.  If you have customized Cloud Connectors, or have purchased customized Connectors from a third party, you should start now and work diligently to get those replaced by Cloud Apps so you will not be impacted by the February and March dates listed in the announcement.


We know the announcement from Oracle may have set off some alarms for you or your team.  We hope this information will alleviate some of your concerns and help you on your path to continued success.


4Thought Marketing

Have you ever wondered what your Eloqua infrastructure looks like behind the scenes? telon.png


Lead Gen, Conversion, Retention – whichever parts of the Marketing spectrum you are responsible for, we know the right way for you to leverage, architect and integrate your MarTech tools where Eloqua is at the core.


By following this marketing automation framework you’ll be well suited to prove marketing’s contribution to revenue.


Go ahead, give it try, then tell us how it goes!


4Thought Marketing


ROI website.png


You may think you can live with dirty data. But can you compete with dirty data? Sign up for our “Data Health Check”, and find out more about how you can improve your ROI.

Bad data affects your ROI in more ways than just leads.

One of the biggest problems with dirty data is that if you don’t treat it, it can quickly get out of control.  This is especially true when integrating your Marketing Automation platform to a third party system such as a CRM.

When you integrate systems, dirty data rapidly spreads as a plague that can interrupt your entire operations, from diminishing campaign effectiveness, to causing distrust in your sales department, to drastically lowering your sender score.  Remember that every contact and every field in your systems costs you money.


Even little problems in your database can have big consequences

Here’s a quick data exercise: How many different ways can you express the title “Vice President’?  We counted at least six in a matter of seconds (vice pres., VP, V.P., V.P, V.President).

Now, think of all the possible miss-spellings within those variations. To you and me, all of these title expressions mean the same thing.  But your marketing automation software isn’t quite as smart.  Each one of these variations is treated as a different title and a different listing, which effectively clouds the focus of your campaign.


In short, dirty data means your:

  • Personalization fails
  • Segments contain junk
  • Leads are scored badly, annoying sales
  • Reports are inaccurate, upsetting management


The result? Fewer quality leads, high unsubscribe/bounce rates, lower engagement, poor ROI and worst of all, upset coworkers.  In short, the more you let dirty data accumulate, the more it snowballs.


This is an excerpt from our whitepapers “How Dirty Data Can Destroy an Integration” and “Why Dirty Data is Costing you a Ton of Money”)


For more on a 5-Step process to clean your data:

  1. Do a data review
  2. Do a one-time Cleanse
  3. Build a Data Washing Machine
  4. Data Processes Definition
  5. Establish & support the role of Data Steward


To make sure you are getting the most out of your data, sign up for our complementary “Data Health Check”.

To find out how 4ThoughMarketing can help you set up a Data Washing Machine for your Oracle Eloqua Marketing Cloud, call us at 1-888-ELOQUA4 (888-356-7824) or email


SmartStart150x200.jpgSmartStart is one of the best ways to rapidly build the foundation for your entire marketing automation operation. However, it’s important to understand that it’s still just a foundation. Now that SmartStart is finished, it’s time to start building the structure that will ultimately make your marketing automation efforts payoff.


In their newest, comprehensive White Paper, 4Thought Marketing has detailed the exact steps organizations need to take over the next six months once their SmartStart implementation is finished. This includes the three BIG first steps for long-term marketing automation success.

Click here to download the FREE white paper.


Do you market to BIG Companies, with multiple divisions and acquisitions? How do you treat them in your data?


You can treat them all as a single company -- and risk losing the kind of personalization you want in your marketing.


Is there another alternative?


What's the right way to handle these situations? How do you leverage Eloqua and your CRM systems to market to these organizations, providing the kind of personalization that's needed, while still getting the 'big picture' information for your own managers and executives?


Download this whitepaper and learn how.

Often for territory routing it’s necessary to determine what country a contact is from. Of course you can always ask them on a form, but this uses up a valuable field, and as Dr. House on TV has taught us, “people lie”, especially on forms!


Note that this article is about determining the country a contact is located in, not an Account (which is a lot easier)!


Recently we came across a client who was determining contact country by email domain suffix. However, an email domain suffix or even the registered location of an email domain is a low quality basis on which to set a contact’s country in today’s multi-national conglomerate world. This is especially true for a company that sells a lot to large organizations.

As an example, consider 4Thought Marketing. We are a very small company, with people located in two different countries. But if somebody assumed a country from either our domain suffix or our domain registration location, they would have a 70% chance of being wrong!

So for large companies with multinational employees that centralize their email (like most do), the problem is thousands of times worse.

Here is another example. Should the 450,000 employees of Tata be assumed to work out of India or 120,000 Phillips employees be assumed to work out of the Netherlands? Do people from BP, GE, and Sony work in the UK, USA and Japan respectively?

Obviously there are better ways to determine a contact’s country. Here are seven different ways, generally ordered from most effective to least:


If you would like to read more:


4Thought Marketing



Why don't you call us? 888-ELOQUA4 (888-356-7824)

Would you like to know more about building Eloqua Cloud Connectors?


At 4Thought Marketing, we've published a new Whitepaper that can help you do just that.


It's intended for companies who are thinking about developing Cloud Connectors for the Eloqua App Cloud, and would like a quick overview of how to avoid the most common mistakes.


As an overview in this White Paper you'll learn:


  • How your "business needs" should influence your design
  • What technical considerations should take priority
  • Why you should design your cloud connector to fail
  • And much more...


If you want access to great guide you can click here

You ncloud-connector.jpgeed a cloud connector, and eventually you may need several. You have bright people in the computer room – they’re pretty good – so you ask yourself, why can’t they put something together? Or maybe you have an existing partner who is more than willing to custom program a cloud connector for you.


After all, do you really need to spend all that money on a professionally built Cloud Connector?


Here are a few reasons you may not have thought of:


Turnover: Managing home-built cloud connectors requires a trained and skilled programmer and preferably the very one that programmed it. Of course, turnover occurs in all companies. Two years is average! When your Cloud Connector needs to be updated, where will your programmer be? Keep in mind that 4Thought Marketing’s business is Cloud Connectors. We have multiple folks capable of addressing and fixing any Cloud Connector issues at any point in time.


Speed to Deployment: When you buy an existing customer-proven cloud connector, you’ll have a minimal deployment time and most importantly, there’s no testing and re-programming time. 4Thought Marketing Cloud Connectors work right the first time because they’ve been used and tested by multiple customers.


Features: It’s unlikely that your internal IT department will build the robust features that have been suggested and incorporated by various 4Thought Marketing clients over years of usage. Also, it is frequently the case with pre-built cloud connectors that additional valuable features will be made available to you as time goes on. Quite simply, there’s power in the numbers of the multiple customers behind 4Thought Marketing Cloud Connectors.


Reliability: A flow of leads is only as reliable as its weakest link. Cloud connectors are typically considered of minor importance to an internal IT department and frequently they’re either deployed on a server stuck in the corner, or relegated to sharing a server with more important applications.


Do you want one small link in your pipeline – a simple cloud connector – to delay the movement of your data? Data that is the cornerstone of the lead flow of all marketing and sales?


4Thought Marketing’s professional Cloud Connectors are running on multiple redundant servers on opposite sides of the United States, with automated failover, all monitored by a 24x7 Cloud Connector Monitoring Portal.


Maintenance: We fix even small bugs in our Cloud Connectors free of charge. Not by the hour as a partner would, or as a secondary priority like an IT department might. And don’t kid yourself: bugs will show up weeks, months, even years after deployment. A connector that has been debugged by multiple customers, and funded by multiple customers, is fixed faster, more reliably and less expensively than trying to reinvent the wheel in-house.


Hardware: An internally-deployed Cloud Connector will typically require a server, a Windows Server Operating system, and Microsoft IIS, along with security software, network configuration, and other infrastructure components that can all be more easily handled “in the cloud.”


These need to be patched, upgraded, maintained and even fixed at times. When you buy cloud connectors from 4Thought Marketing, we share these costs among hundreds of running Cloud Connectors. Does it make sense for you to do it for one? Or will you just slap it alongside other running applications and hope for the best?


Experience: The Eloqua API is pretty good, but we’ve build all sort of exception and compensation mechanisms to compensate for various gaps and limitations in it. Your IT team won’t have that experience on day one. We’ve earned it by building almost 100 cloud connectors and living through 5 years and dozens of customers’ worth of experience. How much will it cost you and your IT team both in IT man-hours to gain that type of experience? More importantly, how much will inefficiencies in sales and marketing while the problems and solutions are uncovered?


API Changes: Our continued success demands that we maintain our Cloud Connectors. In October of 2013 Eloqua changed their API substantially and we had to reprogram our system before that change launched, just to keep our customer’s systems running properly. This means we keep on top of all API update bulletins coming from our vendors, and anticipate the required updates before they throw errors into your pipeline. Is your team or partner prepared to do that for one Custom Cloud Connector? Will they make those updates free of charge? Are they as motivated to do that as a company dedicated to Eloqua Cloud Connectors?



Is building Eloqua Cloud Connectors and working with the Eloqua API your company’s best use of resources? Is it your core competency? It IS ours!


It just makes sense to allow 4Thought Marketing to provide your Cloud Connectors – it’s faster, safer, and less expensive. It is a good business decision.

A growing number of non-supported CRM solutions now integrate with Eloqua – including Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013, NetSuite, Sage, Sugar, SalesLogix, OracleDB, SqlServerDB, Leads360, AWS RDS (MySql), Connectwise, and TrialPay. Do you have one of them?


4Thought Marketing has identified “Five Ways to Integrate Eloqua and CRM”, in a vendor-agnostic white paper that overviews the various ways to make these connections.


Designed for non-technical Eloqua users, this white paper will give you the information you need to understand the decision, and to prepare for conversations with your IT department and executives on the best approach to integrating your systems with Eloqua.


You’ll also learn:

  • How to make sure your integration encourages sales and marketing alignment.
  • How to make sure you’re capable of segmenting on necessary data after an integration.
  • How to make sure your sales force gets the lead details they need.


Do you need to integrate a data source other than the Oracle Sales Cloud or to Eloqua?


Maximize the benefits of your Eloqua-to-CRM integration. Visit “Five Ways to Integrate Eloqua and CRM” and gain immediate access to this valuable white paper.

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.

Here’s the challenge: You’ve got thousands or tens of thousands of contacts in your Eloqua database for whom you don’t know the country. This is a serious issue, given the privacy laws.


Question: For data cleansing or data washing machine, what’s the best way to determine the country given the information that you do have access to?


False Start: No, the email domain suffix is NOT the best way to determine “country”, especially in today’s multinational world.

In this article, we outline seven decision rules that will give you much better results.

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