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Implementing a marketing automation strategy and solution can feel like drinking from a fire hose. For excited and passionate marketers lucky enough to lead this effort, the possibilities that come with this type of initiative can be both inspiring and overwhelming. This becomes magnified when marketing automation and revenue performance management are foreign concepts to most of your organization, and you not only have to implement the strategy, but also get the rest of the organization on board.


The good news is, you're not alone! In all my conversations with marketing automation professionals over the past few years, a few themes have emerged which I have compiled into a list of tips for avoiding "bright shiny objects" and leading transformative change. Here goes...


  1. Oil the Squeaky Wheels First – Identify low-hanging fruit and get some quick wins, so you can clear your plate to focus on the bigger issues next. Although it's important to keep the larger strategy in mind, and always be working toward your organization's high level goals, you don't have to wait to start making an impact. Identify a key area of two - perhaps a division that needs to up the ante on lead generation, or a sales team that is flooded with leads and needs some simple qualification in place to help them prioritize. Get a project or two off the ground in the areas that seem to be yelling for it the most, and use that as a foundation for credibility to move toward your larger strategy in the long term.
  2. Read the Contract – Know what you bought and what you didn’t. It’s tempting to try and scoop up add-ons every time you uncover a need or see a cool new things you’d like to do, but focus on making what you have work first and only then start to enhance. There are a lot of great things you can do with marketing automation solutions, and if you're anything like me, you get excited at the "cool" factor. However, getting some of those key wins under your belt will help justify additional spend for tools that will enhance your larger strategy later. It's a lot easier to ask for more money when you have proven some results.
  3. Only You Can Create Your Success Plan – No two organizations are the same. There are plenty of tools and planning documents for documenting your strategy and prioritizing, but they aren't cookie cutter templates. They are typically based on best practices learned from existing customers and provide a great starting point. But only you can prioritize and come up with the best approach for your organization. The order in which you accomplish your quick wins and your long term strategic projects are completely dependent on the larger organizational goals. You may need to switch out elements, expand or contract the time frame in which you need to accomplish certain things, or add completely new elements that are specific to your company. That's ok. It's YOUR should control the path to get there.
  4. Stop Your Yapping and Do It – If you're lucky, you work for an organization that "gets it" and understands what you are talking about when you are trying to explain the potential awesome things you can accomplish with this new strategy. But honestly, most don't. At least not enough to take your word for it alone. Do some test/pilot campaigns in the “new way,” track the results and use the data to do some internal PR work. No one cares what you say as much as they care what you do. Don’t just tell them what can be done, show them. This goes back to getting some quick wins. Seeing results, seeing things done a new way, seeing the impact is far more powerful than hearing someone talk on and on about "we can do THIS and it will help us with THIS."
  5. Tell Everyone You’re Awesome – when you’re implementing something that requires a lot of behind the scenes foundational work, and people don’t truly understand the broader vision, it’s easy for them to assume you’re not doing anything.  Your value may be questioned along the way and it’s easy to become deflated. Jump up and down and scream about what you’re doing in as many ways as possible – talk about how the small things add up to the bigger vision. Use your marketing automation solution to run internal campaigns, and SHOW them what you're up to. Share reports and results in as many ways and to as many internal influencers as possible.
  6. “Segment” your internal audiences. Every group that will be impacted by this change has a different take on “what’s in it for me.” Tailor your messages when having the tough conversations. When talking to executives and sales/marketing leaders, talk in terms of revenue. Campaign Managers? Talk about cool things they can do and making them look good. Sales Operations? Focus on efficiency and data to make their jobs easier. Want to really impress them? Create your own internal personas and use them to plan your internal PR campaign content - then show them how they can do it for their own customers.
  7. Be Ready to Dig Up Some Dirt. When you implement something as foundational as marketing automation, you’re bound to bring bigger organizational challenges to the surface – such as core customer data integrity issues or massive sales and marketing alignment challenges. It’s critical to bring these issues up and try to help solve them, but communicating the problems in an effective and tactful manner that doesn’t “throw people under the bus” is the first step. People don’t like to hear that things they’ve done aren’t working, so the WAY you communicate the problems is almost as important as the SOLUTIONS you come up with. That being said, never be afraid to talk about the hard stuff, and if you need help justifying your findings, use benchmarking data and industry research to back you up.


For the other experienced Topliners out there - what are your tips for navigating the tricky waters of change management?


Hi -


I found a lot of examples using the WebEx Cloud Connectors in Program Builder, but would like to accomplish this in the Campaign Canvas.  After talking to Support, they said this was possible, but I'm having trouble conceptualizing it.  Does anyone have a Campaign Canvas they could share that uses the WebEx Cloud Connectors for an event?


I understand:

1) Create Segment

2) Send email with register button.  Goes to Eloqua form.  Contact completes form and is added to shared list. 


I don't understand:

  • Now, I'd like to pass that contact to Webex so that that Webex sends out the confirmation/reminders, etc.   Do I just link the Shared List? Component = Yes to the Cloud Connector Webex Register Component?


Also, post event, how to pull back all the Registrants to Eloqua (using Campaign Canvas, not a Program).



We've struggled just like everyone else to motivate our marketers to make smaller more targeted lists, more focused campaigns and more relevant content. Over the last few years, we have tried a wide variety of things including training, personal guidance on activities, etc. The better marketers are always receptive to new ideas and jump right on things, but even with great interest in getting better we never saw the results that we needed. This past month we launched our monthly email marketing excellence awards. Each month a marketer who shows the best open rate and click through rate gets a trophy and recognition from their peers. We awarded this past months trophy just the other day and the ladies who won them were proud to boast their 46% open rate and 39% click-through rate for their respective campaigns.


What can you do to motivate better performance?



The end of the "blast" era...

Posted by dliloia Sep 17, 2012

Those of you who know me well, are familiar with my tendency to get "a little" passionate. One of the areas I am a stickler for is the use of the word "blast" It's an insipid term that degrades us as Marketers and should be stricken from all of our vocabulary...


Over the last three years I have little by little worked to get the word "blast" surgically removed from PerkinElmer. I've never resorted to yelling or anything silly like that, but anytime someone in the room uses it, I promptly correct them and explain why it has no place in marketing whatsoever.


Think of the word...what do you imagine? I won't make the trite move of copying and pasting from Websters or Wikipedia, but honestly what do you think of? For me, it's a shotgun. Wide pattern, random spread, unfocused (for the most part) and an inprecise tool whose end result is one that sometimes leaves more damage than any benefit you might have gained. It is essentially a bludgeoning tool.


This is where I start to get a little feisty. Marketers, and others like to use the phrase "email blast". Perhaps some organizations are still working in this manner and sending out communications this way but not me. Relating it back to my shotgun example, an "email blast" is (IMHO) a communication that is sent out to an unsegmented group of customer, with poor targeting and a lack of quality positioning and call-to-action. Any quality marketer will tell you that STP, while also standing for an excellent band from the 90's is the basis for almost all marketing activity.


Why would anyone want to associate the work that they do with a lack of quality, customer consideration and relevant content? Many of us (especially those of us who frequent topliners) work diligently every day to change the flow of our organizations by rallying against these aspects.We build smaller, tightly profiled lists to only those customers that truly want to receive this content (or at least we try). We look for best practices and learning that others have seen as daily opportunities to get better. We are not "blasting" anything.


So I ask you this...will you join me in eliminating "Blast" from our common vernacular? Will you promise to stand up to your senior leaders and tell them they are wrong, but explain why? Moving the needle starts with stepping on the gas pedal and getting moving. Let's do it

In our organization we have a team of 4 ISAs and 7 AE's. For our most recent product launch we wanted to launch a campaign for our upcoming product launch. We just released a major product upgrade and wanted to give the account executives the weight to upsell their accounts, while marketing was launching a campaign simply to drum up excitement and anticipation.


To accomplish this we setup a campaign for each AE and personalized the communications making sure that the reply-to settings were set for each individual AE. The first-touch email contained a blind form submit (BFS)with a unique hardcoded hidden form to mark the product release in SFDC. This way the AE's could see exactly which campaign these leads were from – thus prioritizing the leads that clicked the BFS expressing interest about the new product release.


Marketing would then follow-up with a second touch for customers who didn't respond to the first communication. This campaign allowed us to:


1. Scale the outreach - AE's would have otherwise had to individually contact each one of their accounts individually

2. Track responses

3. Let the salespeople sell – Marketing wanted to simply "warm the door" with this campaign, and then step aside and let our sales team knock em dead.



While it's still early to establish revenue success metric the campaign has already started converting leads, and filling the pipeline.


Campaign Canvas and Outline

Screen Shot 2012-09-15 at 9.06.23 PM_redacted.jpgAE - Product Launch.jpg

Our regional sales reps were needing a way to host regional events to push their late stage prospects over the hump outside of our pre-scheduled "road shows." The problem is we don't have the time or resources to add new road show stops mid year and promote them withing our already scheduled set. So we found a way to allow our reps to host their own regional events on their own timing by templatizing everything including the Eloqua efforts.


First, we loaded custom Lunch and Learn and Power Breakfast email templates into Eloqua in a plug and play layout and saving the email in a group accessible to ELMO. We also templated an RSVP form, confirmation email and thank you and sorry we missed you emails. Outside of Eloqua we created a few pre-packaged event supply boxes with everything the sales rep will need onsite to host the event and two keynote decks to choose from.


So now when a rep needs a small regional event, we start with one kick-off meeting to select the venue and presenters. I then plug-in the new venue and presenter info in the email, update the form, upload the sales rep's invite list, and set up the campaign timing in the canvas automation to email the invites and manage the RSVP's for me. The last thing we do is ship the event box to the venue before the event and Wala!, we have a regional, pipeline closing event with minimal time invested. All it takes is a 30 minute meeting and a little over an hour's worth of work in Eloqua.


Thank you Eloqua!

The very first campaign we did in Eloqua was to target an audience that uses our services for Serice A, but never Service B.  We combined a 3-dimensional direct mailer, email, landing pages, and phone follow-up to get the word out.  Targeting about 5,000 people in the Labor community, we were able to increase our awareness of this service leading to new sales this year, and already signing up sales for 2013.  Plus it has helped us forge a stronger relationship with Business Development as they did not beleive we could drive sales utilizng such a campaign. 


Want to hear more about it?  I'll be one of the speakers at EE12 in the See It Track,  I look forward to seeing you there!

Eloqua 10 makes it very easy to add validation to form fields.  However, occasionally you may want to do something a little more advanced with form field validation, such as password protecting a form submission or adding a mathematical captcha.  In Eloqua 9 you can create these types of validations with custom server-side validation rules, however in Eloqua 10 there isn't yet a native feature to support these types of more advanced validations.  Below is the process you can use to add password protection or a mathematical captcha to a form.


  1. Step 1 - Create the target form (the form that will receive the submission after a successful validation).  This form will contain all of the processing steps and actions you want the registrant to have after they've successfully validated their form submission.
  2. Step 2 - Create the passthrough form (the form that will originally receive the initial submission).  The passthrough form will have the same fields as the target form, but will only contain three processing steps to achieve the validation:
    1. Redirect to Web Page: Configure the first redirect to web page to redirect to the thank-you page.  Add a condition to verify that the form field password/captcha IS equal to a specific value.  This implies it'll only redirect to the thank-you page when the correct value is submitted.
    2. Redirect to Web Page: Configure the second redirect to web page to redirect to a validation error page.  Add a condition to verify that the form field password/captcha IS NOT equal to a specific value (the same value as the first redirect check).  This implies it'll only redirect to the validation error page if the correct value is not submitted.
    3. Post Data to Server: Here we will have the form re-post the data to the target form created in step 1.  Add a condition to verify that the form field password/captcha IS equal to a specific value (the same as those in the redirect check).  This implies that the form will only re-post to the target form if the correct value is submitted.  To successfully repost to an Eloqua form, you need to include the site id, target Eloqua form name, and a couple of tracking fields.  The rest of the fields you can control in the field mapping.  Below is a sample destination URL, you'll need to replace the variables in CAPS with the correct value for the target form.  You can find these values by going to your target form, selecting the Gears icon, then selecting the View Form HTML option, and selecting the Integration Details tab.
      1. http://YOUR_POST_URL/?elqSiteID=YOUR_SITE_ID&elqFormName=TARGET_ELOQUA_FORM_NAME&elqCustomerGUID=&elqCookieWrite=0
      2. Where:
        1. YOUR_POST_URL = The url in the "Post URL for this form" section
        2. YOUR_SITE_ID = The site id specified as the value for the "elqSiteID" field
        3. TARGET_ELOQUA_FORM_NAME = The value specified for the "elqFormName" field


Following this process will allow you to achieve either a password protected form, or a form with a mathematical captcha validation.


EDIT: You can achieve a similar validation by adding the conditions to all of the processing steps on the target form, but then you're limited to that being the only condition for those processing steps.  The process above will allow you to have the conditional steps in the target form still in tact.




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