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4 Posts authored by: Vanessa Shayan-Oracle

I had the opportunity to co-chair a Power Hour this month on Success Planning and some topics emerged that I think are worth repeating.  First of all, very special thanks to erin.cox  from Deloitte and Patrice Greene of DemandGen for joining and discussing this topic with gregory_huckabee1 and me!

We talk a lot about “success, crawl-walk-run, it’s a marathon and not a sprint” and all of this sounds great, but how do those epithets actually break down into tangible snippets of what to do next?  Well Patrice gave us the answer: whiteboard it out.  Yes, that’s right.  Physically draw or map out what dashboards and metrics you feel are important.  Why is this the right approach, you ask? Because you need to tell a story and the data are the building blocks you need to tell that story.  It will also help you uncover the data you need that may be missing.

If you missed the Power Hour, it’s worth a replay to hear how Erin Cox, Digital Marketer at Deloitte, helped to transition her marketing team’s metrics measurement from batch and blast to engagements and conversions.  She reminds us that we need to think of creative ways to tell the data story so management understands the themes you are trying to get across.  Erin cites the example of a management member not understanding that the conversion rate of MQLs was more important than the number of MQLs created. 

Her comment reminded me about my time running Marketing Automation and building dashboards for my boss, the VP of Marketing.  We were good at it. Damn good at it and went overboard.  We measured everything in every possible manner:  bar graph, pie chart, plot graph and any other you could think of.  We continually patted ourselves on the back for the amazing and awesome job we were doing.  High five! Unfortunately, Sales and the rest of the company didn’t agree with us.  They were totally confused by all the charts we were showing, they constantly told us that they didn’t “get” what we were trying to prove.  Did we have an MQL problem? What should our conversion rate be? Where will we be in 5 months if we continue with this trend? We were focusing so much on the raw data and the metrics that we lost the value and the “story” we were trying to bring to the business.  We had gone off the deep end with data overload and needed to re-assess.

From my experience it turns out that we are not alone as it’s a problem I’ve witnessed with many other marketers.  Avanish Kaushik explains why on his blog Occam’s Razor:

“there is one crucial part we often don't invest in sufficiently. The last mile. Data presentation! The actual output that is almost singularly responsible for driving the change we want in our organizations. The thing that is the difference between an organization that data pukes and the one that influences actions based on understandable insights.”

This is hard for us to do because we are in the weeds with our campaigns and we think EVERYTHING is important.  As marketers the metrics and data we produce can sometimes be our proudest moment and we want to shout it from the rooftops!  Alas, Avanish gives examples as to why this isn’t the best approach.  Take a look at the before and after examples he provides, the differences are pointed not only in aesthetic quality but also the intended action he wants the viewer to take.   

Perhaps then we can argue, as a marketer, you’re only as good as the story you can tell with your data. Happy Whiteboarding


Last week I had the opportunity to attend the FutureM conference in Boston as well as the Inbound Marketing Summit.  Wow—it was full of killer content and ideas and the energy in the room was palpable!  As a fellow marketer, you understand the importance of innovation and implementing cutting-edge practices into your campaigns, so I’d like to share some of the key takeaways with you.

Optimize for the human experience.  Think Mobile first, desktop second!  Already 68% of web traffic comes through a mobile device and yet most sites and content are designed for a PC experience.  Another benefit is that designing for a tablet or mobile device makes you really think about what matters to the user and what their experience should be.

  • Clean designs and user experiences win in search rankings.
  • Social proof is imperative for content ranking and building trust and credibility—authors need to build authority and have a relevant community behind them.
  • If you're not using Google+ then you’re missing the easiest way to get your content indexed by Google.


Attention is the new currency. In an over saturated marketplace, if you can successfully garner someone’s attention and turn it into intention then you’ve reached a level of success.  This happens by having people do a little to get a lot in return (think Foursquare).

  • Link your audience to better and more engaging content based on their behavior (i.e. if they are active on your website or in your email campaigns then push them to that juicy content you can’t wait to show off)!
  • Rich media, like videos, in the right places really pays off.  A “TV Style” webinar or webcast yields longer viewing times and more clicks then a boring power point presentation.  What about chopping it up into meaty 5 minute segments and including in an email nurture campaign?  And don’t forget to monitor your content and social media circles to see what is being digested and shared the most frequently.


Most importantly—tell a bigger story.  It’s not about what you sell but it’s about how you help make people’s lives better.  It’s your company’s mission statement, soul, value proposition, reason for being . . . and all of these things need to be conveyed in your emails, be felt on your website and emboldened through  your social circles.  Without this you’re just another company trying to sell someone something that they really don’t want or need.


Please let me know how you plan on implementing these into your Eloqua Marketing Campaigns!  If you’re already doing some (or all) of these things, what kind of successes have you had?

Everyone seems to be talking about “engagement” these days.  As marketers we need to create engaging content to make sure our prospects and customers remain engaged.  We are constantly figuring out ways to re-engage dormant leads.  Marketers that understand how to do this and simultaneously create programs that drive closed-won opportunities for the sales pipeline are the ones with the winning formula.  That’s because their programs embrace engagement as an interactive conversation with a strong emphasis on the follow-up experience.  They ask themselves, what do I do once I have the visitors and what will my response engagement look like?


A lot of B2C companies embrace this and are able to excel in this arena.  They know that every additional second you spend on their site makes you more likely to purchase. To keep your attention and keep you engaged, they begin outlining pieces of content, related products, and open new pathways for you as soon as you arrive. B2C companies have a clear idea of where your intent lies (i.e. if you’re looking at a shirt they can show you color, print, size or related styles).


I’ve noticed that a lot of B2B companies struggle with this and have over complicated websites that end up as content repositories for products and features.   Little thought is given to the overall experience and this is where the opportunity to engage prospects falls flats.  The person who arrived at your website has some intent, they clicked on a link and have some preconceived idea of what you’ll provide them.  And you’re goal is get them to keep saying yes by taking the next step, whether that’s reading the next line of text or picking up the phone to schedule a demo.   Don’t lose the momentum you've built!

What are your thoughts and how have you improved your website to make it a better user experience?

When using progressive profiling as part of your lead nurturing efforts, I've found capturing one high value piece of information at a time works best.  For example, if you are going to offer a case study, video or whitepaper for download, only ask for either email or social media log-in credentials and company name.  Then when a prospect responds to the next call to action in the nurturing series, ask for an additional piece of information such as industry or pain point and deliver content based upon information gathered from previous interactions.  This not only creates a personalized experience but it keeps the tone conversational.


In addition, you should be incorporating your lead scoring criteria into this process so subsequent interactions will boost up your prospects lead score! With any relationship, it's best built over time and there's no better way to do this then with progressive profiling.


As a next step, why not try out progressive profiling using Eloqua's new Cloud Component How to do Progressive Profiling in E10 Using the Cloud Component

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