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Rapportive Gmail plugin

Posted by OhKyleL Nov 29, 2012

Many of you may already be familiar with this, but I just found a great gmail plugin, Rapportive, thanks to Leigh Burke.


Rapportive shows you everything about your contacts right inside your inbox. You can immediately see what people look like, where they're based, and what they do. You can establish rapport by mentioning shared interests. You can grow your network by connecting on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and more. And you can record thoughts for later by leaving notes. Rapportive supports the following browsers; Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Mailplane.


If you are a gmail user, do yourself a favor and ad this add-on to any browser you use to access your email.

Kristin Connell

Superhero or Sidekick?

Posted by Kristin Connell Nov 28, 2012

So, I was watching Sky High last night with my kids and they started debating on whether or not they'd rather be a superhero or a sidekick. I wish I'd recorded their discussion as it was quite entertaining - as you can imagine between a 10 year old "I'm the biggest, baddest thing on a Razor scooter" boy and a 7 year old "I'm a sparklicious pinkinista who can do anything my brother can do - but better" girl. They had good arguments both for and against each role.


It got me to thinking about a question one of my team members asked me yesterday "What does the "day in the life" of a marketing automation manager look like? How is it different - good or bad - than the "day in the life" of a marketing automation specialist?" The question surprised me as I'd thought we'd discussed this before, however, I do tend to have entire conversations in my head and forget that others can't hear me. Before I responded, I asked a few questions of my own to make sure I really understood what they were asking. A core concern - which also surprised me - seemed to be about the Marketing Automation Manager role being "less visible" than the Specialist role, i.e., less direct support of our internal customers and more indirect support in terms of system administration and management, integration development, advanced execution, etc...


It's a very timely question for my organization, as we're currently experiencing significant change management "pain" by transitioning from a decentralized MAP model to a centralized MAP model, with a Specialist within each team and the Marketing Automation Manager within my team. We've also just gone through a round of lay-offs and where we previously had disparate marketing operations teams, we now just have one. I won't go into the details of my response here - suffice it to say that I'm very passionate about the value that Eloqua has played within my career path in addition to team building and role development within my teams. I thought this might make an interesting discussion as we all are getting ready to roll into 2013. (And yes, I will be adding additional change management curriculum to my E10 upgrade and MAP model transition projects.)


Long story short... Marketing Automation Manager or Marketing Automation Specialist... Which one is the superhero and which one is the sidekick? Are they one and the same? Is it even a accurate delineation given today's expectations for both?


Small Print Disclosure: I'm not comparing Sky High to Eloqua University or the descendents of super heroes to today's teams of Eloqua specialists learning from Eloqua Masters... Not in this post, anyway.

Join us in this CSC Town Hall to learn how one of Eloqua's top sales performer - and undisputed social media fanatic - Jill Rowley uses social media tools and techniques to rise above the rest. Learn how she artfully blends outstanding old-world relationship skills with new-world tools and good timing to build and maintain win-win client relationships and long-lasting advocates.  Plus, CSC Social Media Manager Kerry Noone will share how you too can benefit from social media, giving insights into the tools and support that CSC makes available to its employees.




Jill Rowley, EloQueen at Eloqua
Kerry Noone, Social Media Manager, CSC




Nick Panayi, Director, Global Brand & Digital Marketing, CSC



According to, "conundrum" can be defined as "a confusing and difficult problem or question." So, I've definitely got that in spades - the problem being "communication rights" to the contacts in our marketing platforms. The question that the field marketing teams have brought to me is "so what are you going to do about it?"


Rock-Paper-Scissors.pngAt first, I have to admit, I was like "Rock, paper, scissors?" I mean, seriously, I'm way deep in E10 upgrade preparation mode, so I'm thinking this "little squabble" can wait until Q1. And then it escalated to my CMO - whom I report to directly. Long story short, I was pulled in about a month ago. I immediately called for a cease-fire on the not-quite-polite-yet-not-quite-rude emails, IM's and phone calls. Then, I recommended a simple three-step plan to first review, then execute and finally, measure - I mean, this isn't rocket science, right? I don't know about y'all, but "plan" is largely a four-letter word within our teams (that's a whole different post), so the feedback has ranged from "awesome" to "ugh." This is the first in my three-part series on Marketing Contact Management - starting with "Review."


So, back to the conundrum at hand... Again, my field marketing teams are in an uproar over who owns "communication rights" to which contacts in our platforms right now. Team C states that they owned a set of "net new" contacts prior to the acquisition of their business by Deltek, so they should own all communication to those contacts. Team A states that Team C's logic is faulty because they've spot-checked the said contact set and have found multiple infractions, i.e., where the supposed "net new" contacts previously existed. Team B is also defending their stake, stating that their industry audiences are more segmented than that of the Team C, even though the roles are sometimes similar, so Team B should trump Team C within those industries. And there was also some question as to source field integrity during the integration and subsequent deduplication of Team C into the mix. And a bit of "my budget is bigger than your budget." Get the picture?


It quickly became evident that none of the teams understood the others targeting and segmentation requirements. I wasn't even fully confident that they understood their own. So, I made a simple ask: "Please compile profiles of your target audiences, including any specific segmentation criteria, and send them to me." I explained that we would review each of the profiles and identify those with no overlaps and then negotiate those with overlaps.


While waiting for the profiles, I've been thinking further about who really owns the "communications rights." My conclusion? The answer is, ultimately, the contact.Y'all know what I mean, right? We can make assertions and assumptions until the cows come home - BUT - what would happen if we decided to play in the big leagues here and optimize digital body language with proactive outbound communications and self-selected communication preferences? No, seriously, do you know? Because we don't yet, but we will soon - fingers crossed.


To that point, after further review of our current state, I've formulated the following plan to compliment the "profile exercise" I've asked each team to complete:


Welcome Program (Note: Question as to messaging for those "net new" via self-directed activity vs. those captured by our teams)

Re-Engagement Program (Note: Leaning towards a 3 strike rule)

Communication Preference Center (Note: Under construction based on consolidating the 5+ silo'ed "list" pages we currently present across the business)


I'm about to start my strawman designs now and I look forward to wrapping this all up in a big beautiful bow to say "Happy New Year!" to the teams (or "Happy Valentine's Day," as I haven't nailed the roll-out timeline yet).


Stay tuned for Part 2 of this three-part series on Marketing Contact Management - "Execution" - ETC TBD. Any feedback on this conundrum of a topic is most welcome!


Strategy vs. "Do-ers"

Posted by dliloia Nov 12, 2012

This morning during our monthly operating call, someone from my org expressed concern that we (Marketing Operations) would be sharing the concept that we are strategists vs. being (their words) "the do-ers". This was all driven out of sharing our enthusiasm about both ee12 and the Marketing Operations Infographic ( that we created for the event. This was incredibly frustrating to hear, as it made it clear to me that 1) we hadn't made our case clear and 2) it felt very much as if we were being put back on the shelf and not taking advantage of our expertise.


But this raised an interesting question. While Marketing Operations does need to roll up their sleeves every Monday morning and get knee-deep into Excel spreadsheets does this group also have a place at the table in driving strategy? From my perspective this is absolutely where we are headed as a profession. The ability to help anyone, in any profession drive strategy requires three elements; academic knowledge of the domain, in-depth direct experience, and data...lots and lots of data.


What other group besides Marketing Operations has the perfect blend of all three aspects? I would challenge anyone to survey marketers based on role and prove me incorrect in making the statement that "Marketing operations (and adjacent roles) professionals invest more time and effort in their personal and professional educations than any other marketing discipline". Just look at Topliners in and of itself, that is the entire purpose of this community and  conferences such as EE and SiriusDecisions. Let's face it, we're nerds and embrace this kind of thing.


Experience? As this entire post is couched on the comment that we are "the do-ers" we clearly have the experience. This industry is barely 10 years old and most of us have been around since the beginning. We are the fore-parents of innovation. We've been there from before tools like Eloqua existed, before Twitter started chirping and remember when Bing meant someone was ringing your doorbell.


Do I even need to mention data? We are the data kings and queens! Not only do we collect the heck out of data but we are the leaders in transforming this data into actionable information for the marketing organization. It is our role to make sense of the chaos and drive the important factors home rather than allowing our marketing colleagues drown in the numbers. Not only that, but we have the technical skills to manage and massage the data to get the most out of it.


Who else is better positioned to advise on strategy? Who else knows the background, the benchmarks and can command the tools? The only piece missing is having a vision for the path forward...and if you can't see this shameless plug coming a mile away then go visit my other post about What is your vision for Marketing Operations?


So what are you waiting for? Stop being a button pusher. Stop compiling spreadsheets. Keep your sleeves rolled up and get the work done, but show how you add value to the organization by forcing your teams to be better and to connect more intimately with your customers in a meaningful manner.


Fly you fools.


Establishing a vision for Marketing Operations isn't about technology, people or process. It's all about building a culture and driving change for enhanced marketing excellence in your organization. Marketing Operations starts more like an art form with tactical elements and ends with highly technical and strategic elements. In today's marketing environment, Marketing Operations is currently a service based element in the organization. They are at the bottom of the line, getting limited vision and input and don't have a seat at the table.


So how do you get there? First, build out the data both internal to your organization and external (benchmark) to help educate your constituents on the value of your input. Move forward by raising the bar across the organization through shifting the vernacular away from generalizations and towards marketing excellence. Most importantly, surgically eliminate the word "BLAST" from the organization. Anyone using that word doesn't understand what your team does and doesn't respect the work that you do. Make what we do important and relevant, then you can move them forward by implementing more technical and strategic actions.



So what's the next step? That's not for me to tell you, but for you to tell me. It isn't so important that you get all the pieces right or use any one technology over another. What's more important is that you can close your eyes, see the end point and begin to enjoy the journey.


A PDF version of this infographic can also be found at

The marketing team at ReadyTalk is responsible for driving a significant amount of revenue for the company. (That probably sounds familiar, right?) They were already relying heavily on Eloqua to help them in pursuing their goal, but they knew that in order to fully meet their target they would need to enable the sales team more efficiently so that they could be jointly successful.


At ReadyTalk from the moment a prospect enters the funnel, their lead score, activity history and more are all tracked in detail inside Eloqua. This information is used to segment messaging and create targeted campaigns. But it was also important that the sales team start seeing this information to help them close deals faster and target the right buyers. The marketing team turned to Eloqua Sales Tools to help them share all this great digital body language with their sales counterparts.


They implemented Eloqua Profiler which integrates with (ReadyTalk’s CRM system) so the account executive can see the behavioral patterns of their prospects -- email opens, page visits, downloads, clicks, form fills, etc. right inside the tool they’re already familiar with. With this insight, the account executive can see what patterns make up the lead score and modify their calls based upon recent activity.


The Eloqua Engage tool enables account executives to send personalized emails, usually based on templates provided by the marketing team to ensure brand and message consistency and also make the life of the sales team a bit easier. Sales representatives are given the freedom to customize each email if desired, but at least they have an easy starting point. Because these emails are tracked via the Eloqua application, everyone can see important metrics such as email opens and click-throughs as this information is recorded in as well.


Finally, while not officially part of the Eloqua Sales Tools suite, ReadyTalk made effective use of a Cloud Connector to enhance the amount of information that the sales team received about a prospect’s level of engagement by seeing webinar attendance date, time and length, as well as their answers to polling questions. This has made that first follow-up call from the account executive much more effective and timely.


How did all of these tools move the revenue needle?


First the marketing team simply tracked several metrics to gauge the effectiveness of sales enablement tools. They found a 30% email open rate for sales emails sent using Eloqua Engage which was significantly higher than their non-personalized marketing-based emails. In addition, their attendance rate at demos is now over 60% when the prospect is invited through an Eloqua Engage template – again, significantly higher than their previous response rates.


Now let’s talk about revenue – where the rubber meets the road. Driven by sales enablement, marketing met their revenue targets and sourced a significant amount of new revenue that continues to increase year over year. In addition, they’ve seen a 50% increase in deal velocity which has had a direct positive impact on their bottom line.


Finally, the relationship between marketing and sales has improved significantly because the sales team has more insight into the programs and activities that marketing is running. Having a holistic view of a prospect’s activities makes them more motivated to follow up on leads. It also makes them more effective.


From one of their sales team members: “Marketing has given us several tools over the course of the year that have been great in helping me uncover the right prospect., prospect profiler and the Eloqua plug-in for Outlook have helped me tremendously in my job over the course of this year. I am having better conversations and deeper discussions because of these tools.”


Want to learn more?

One thing we have learned (the hard way) is that business evolves. That means both Eloqua and your CRM System (ours is Microsoft Dynamics CRM) must stay aligned. Account and Contact profiles are one quick example. The drop down menus for our registration forms slipped out of alignment with business strategy. That meant two things: we were not capturing the correct Job Role and Department and the data in both systems was out of date. We recently revised these fields and now can do a much better job at segmenting our target lists to the prospects we want to reach. Same thing goes for Industries and Sub-Industries. We are in process of aligning these fields with NAICS categories since it has been over a decade since the American SIC system has been updated by the Federal Government. Data is precious. Treat it like gold. Our database has directly contributed to 180 lead handoffs to AEs for just one business unit in our company. That is a big payoff.

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