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Configure Contact Security!

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Many organizations have a broad range of contact data, and they need to control what employees have access to that information. You can use contact security in Eloqua to achieve this. Contact security allows you to create labels, and apply them to users and contacts in your database. Users in a security group can only access contacts that are assigned the same label(s) as them. Any combination of labels can be assigned to a contact or a group, and this provides a significant degree of control over your contact data. This functionality is also known as Label-Based Access Control (LBAC).

 

For example, if you have geographically separate business units, then you can create labels based on geographical region in order to keep your targeted audiences separate. Once you have defined the users or groups that will require specific sections of contact data, applying the appropriate labels will prevent from those users or groups from accidentally mishandling other contacts outside their region.
Contact-security supports the management and combination of labels so that access to contact data is clearly and explicitly defined. Determining what labels are applied to which contacts depends on your current business processes, and the needs of your organization.

 

Labels and categories

All labels are grouped under categories. When you want to create a label, you must first create a category and then add the label to it, or simply add the label to an existing category as needed.

Categories should accurately reflect the types of labels they contain. For instance, many companies categorize labels by region or country. If your organization has competing divisions, sales organizations, channels, or user responsibilities, then you may want to set up a category for that structure, and define labels for each division or channel.

 

Assigning labels: how it works

With an out-of-the-box Eloqua installation, contacts that are added to your database will not have any label; those contacts are searchable and visible by all users. Administrators can create labels from within the User Management area of Eloqua, and subsequently apply those labels to the appropriate user security groups.

 

Labels are then applied to contacts through a program that you build and activate in the label assignment workflow canvas. This canvas functions similarly to the standard program canvas, but is itself a separate area for the purposes of label-based access control. Contacts are pulled into the program by a data source step, are fed along a path and filtered through decision steps, and arrive at an action step where labels are applied (or removed, depending on your configuration).

 

ExampleProgramLBAC.png

A label-based program can be designed in a number of ways. For example, you can use the Listener step to listen for all new contacts as they are added to database in real time, and immediately add them to your program. Alternatively, you can create segments of existing contacts and send them through your program for the sake of organizing your database. All program steps are configured directly on the workflow canvas.

 

Learn more by watching the video! - How to Create a Label Assignment Program

 

 

Best Practice Tips:

  • Keep it simple. We recommenced no more than 2 or 3 categories when starting out.
  • Define criteria for the division of contacts in advance, and set business rules within your own sales divisions (if applicable).
  • Optionally, you can create a basic label (and its category) and assign it to an administrator security group. Then, configure the assign default label settings so that all new contacts will be given this label by default. This will restrict access to all new contacts before they are processed by a label program.
  • A campaign or program inherits the security labels of the person who (re)activates it. This means that if a user creates and activates a campaign consisting of contacts with "Security Label A" applied, and a second user with "Security Label B" deactivates and reactivates the same program, all of the contacts with "Security Label A" will be immediately removed from the program. This ensures that a user cannot directly process contacts for whom they have no security rights. If you need to run a campaign created by another user, use the Run As User function to avoid changing the security labels of that campaign.

 

Additional Resources:

Oracle Eloqua Help Center: Contact Security

Topliners Community: Contact Level Security: Talking Through the Use-Cases

Topliners Community: What is Eloqua Contact Level Security? 8 Steps for Success

Oracle University Academy Course: Eloqua 10: Database Security (Web Based Training)

Download this Guide: Eloqua Contact Security and FAQ

 

Additional FAQ:

Q: How do we provide separate reporting dashboards for the different business segments?

A: This could accomplished in Insights by creating custom dashboards that could be filtered. An Analyzer license is required for creating custom reports and dashboards in Insights. Learn More with the Academy Course: Eloqua 10: B2B: Insight for Reporters (OBI)

 

Q: What Form notification changes will be needed for the different business segments?

A: Form processing steps for notifications can be configured with conditional steps to determine which notification to send depending on what was captured on the form, or a contact field that has been flagged with their Business Unit potentially. Learn more with the Oracle Eloqua Help Center: Processing Form Data

 

Q: If one business segment has a blocked contact in the master exclude list, but the other business segment needs the contact, how to proceed?

A: Once Contact Security is configured and contacts are being labeled properly, they could be removed from the master exclude list as Contact Security will keep other business units from having the ability to email to that contact.


This is the final post I'll be making this month on Interactive Dashboards and Interactive Dashboards Plus. I know that it's important for your teams to be comfortable in the new tool as Insight begins sun-setting, so please follow me to be updated every time I post. And I will be monitoring the comment sections, so if you have questions please feel free to post them! I'll do my best to reply.

 

You can find a free recording of my presentation on Interactive Dashboards on Oracle University.

 

Consider Carefully

 

Interactive Dashboards Plus is an advanced analytics feature – a full-fledged Business Intelligence tool, very powerful and complex – that can be activated on your account at no extra charge. It allows a user to build custom email reports either from scratch or by starting with an existing analysis. But it is much more than most clients will need. If you don't need it, great – don’t over-complicate your reporting. If you do need it, consider restricting access – as perhaps not everyone on your team needs to use it.

 

Keep in mind that in designing the standard report library on Interactive Dashboards, the Product team analyzed the custom reports clients had built on legacy Insight and how they used them. They found that many clients had a lot of custom reports, but only used a handful of them regularly, and they used this information to make the Interactive Dashboards catalog more flexible and robust. For instance, seeing that many clients created one-off reports to look at just one or two particular campaigns, they added the prompt feature to search for and select individual campaigns. We estimate that approximately 75% of the custom reports on classic Insight can be replicated in Interactive Dashboards without using Interactive Dashboards Plus functionality. So please consider carefully your use-case for Interactive Dashboards Plus before setting about to get it activated on your account.

 

To get access to this feature, you will need to complete two short – and free – online courses, with two quick quizzes. These are to help you get the most benefit from Interactive Dashboards Plus. These courses take only a few hours and then you can work with your CSM to open a service request to have Interactive Dashboards Plus activated on your account. The SLA on that ticket is 3-5 business days. Once Interactive Dashboards Plus is enabled, there will be an additional role available in your account settings: Email Analytics Author. The account administrator should assign this role to anyone who needs access to the custom report functions. It can take up to 10 minutes for a new role to be recognized by the system.

 

Building a Custom Report from a Standard Analysis

 

We are only going to cover modifying a standard report and saving it.

 

Once you have the Author role, when you view the catalog, you will see this option to “Edit” any of the reports you want.

 

Catalog Edit.jpg

 

It will open the analysis in the editor, defaulting to the Results tab (click image for more detail):

 

Editor Results.jpg

 

You can manipulate the report here on the Results tab much as you would on the Dashboard - exclude/include hidden columns, sort, rearrange, etc.

 

Editor Results Rightclick.jpg

 

There is an additional option to add a Grand Total line to the bottom (click image for more detail):

 

grand total.jpg

 

You are not changing the bones of the report here, just the layout. So if you only needed Interactive Dashboards Plus in order to save the a custom layout of a standard report so it can be scheduled using an Agent, this is all you really need.

 

The analyses are built in a compound layout and you can rearrange the elements or include additional views, like a variety of visualizations, from the bottom left corner.

 

New view.jpg

 

And each view (or module) on the report can be modified. You can format the container - which deals with cell alignment, borders, and even background colors.

Format Container.jpg

 

Here you can see that I have dragged and dropped the Filter element - usually at the bottom of the analysis - to the top under the Title, and I've used the Format Container options to left align the text (click image for more detail):

 

moved filter.jpg

 

And by clicking the Edit icon on the Title element, I can change the copy or text color of the title, or choose to display the saved name of the report:

 

Edit title.jpg

 

You can also change the properties for the table. The Data Viewing option controls whether you see Content Paging (default on standard reports) or a scrolling page.

 

Table Properties.jpg

 

Content paging means you get the little blue arrows that let you page down, or view up to 500 rows at once. You can set where these controls are placed and how many rows you want on a page.

 

paging.jpg

 

The other option is to use the Fixed headers with scrolling content. But unless you set your width and height preferences, the window will display quite small.

 

Fixed Header.jpg

 

Here I've set my width so it fills my screen, and you can see the scroll down the side (click for more detail):

Scrolling.jpg

 

Changing the Bones of the Report

 

If you actually want to change the metrics available in the report (the options in "Include Column" menu aren't sufficient for your needs), then you must go to the Criteria tab (click image for more detail):

 

Editor Criteria.jpg

 

Filters

 

At the bottom you can see a series of filters, all set to "is prompted". This should look familiar, as these are the same prompts as are available when you customize this report to be sent by an Agent. You can hard-code these filters if you'd like, but you lose that flexibility to customize in the Agent (or on My Dashboard). Click the pencil icon to edit.

 

Edit prompts.jpg

 

Change the operator from "is prompted". The most commonly used option is "is equal to / is in".

 

Edit Filter.jpg

 

Then I can use the magnifying glass icon to pull up a list of values. NOTE: When selecting a Sent Date Range (or custom To and From dates) only select one! If you select more than one, the report will try to apply both ranges, causing possible double-counting.

 

Edit Filter Search.jpg

 

So I have set my report to only display data from launches in the past 7 days. I'll no longer have the option to change this in the Agent customization, or use a prompt on My Dashboard.

 

Prompts Updated.jpg

 

You can delete or add new filters too - using the icon in the top right of the module. It will list all the columns included in the report, but at the bottom you can also select from "More Columns" so you can filter on info not actually in the report. This is how you can set your Agent to filter by the Event Date even though that column isn't in the Campaign Performance analysis.

 

Add filter.jpg

 

 

Selected Columns

In the Selected Columns section you can see all of the metrics that are included in the bones of the report. You can delete them if you don't need that column available for your report. You can see some sorts have been applied here, represented by a purple arrow like the one on on Sent Year, which you can clear if you’d like.

 

Delete Column.jpg

 

You can also add more from the Subject Area folders down the left side here. For instance, you can add a Sent Date value so that you don’t have to drill down to find it. You can drop the column anywhere - the order doesn't matter, since you'll be manipulating that in the Results tab. You can refer to my metrics document (attached) to see all the Subject Area folders expanded.

 

Adding Column.jpg

 

You can also adjust the properties of an individual column.

Column Properties.jpg

 

The first tab is all about styling the column - cell alignment, borders, wrapping text, font family and color.

 

Column Properties Style.jpg

 

Next is format - setting the header value and deciding if you want repeated grouping values to result in a merged cell or not.

 

Column Properties Format.jpg

 

The Data Format allows you to select how the data is treated - as a percentage or just a number, how many decimal places, etc. True zero values aren't displayed in the tables - it will just be blank - so if you see a 0.00% value it's just been rounded down to zero. Adding some decimal places, or exporting raw data, could provide more precise information.

 

Column Properties Data Format.jpg

 

Conditional formatting can be fun - for instance, I'm going to set a rule that when my Unsubscribe rate is too high (over 0.3% in this case) that I want that cell to be red so that it pops out and I see it right away.

 

Column Properties Conditional.jpg

 

So I click the "Add Condition" and have to select a column to base my condition on.

 

Adding Condition.jpg

 

I select "Unsubscribe Rate" and set my condition.

new condition.jpg

 

Once I've set my condition - when Unsubscribe Rate is greater than 0.3 - I set my formatting. Here I am setting my background color to red, and my font color to white.

 

Conditional Format.jpg

 

When I'm done, it displays with the condition and format adjustment:

 

Finished conditional.jpg

 

When I go to the Results tab now, I can see my condition is working, and those instances really pop! (click image for more detail)

 

Condition in results.jpg

 

There are lots of nifty things you can do - I've only pointed out a few here - so I encourage you to explore and experiment! If you find something particularly cool, go ahead and post about it in the comments so others can learn!

 

Saving the Report

 

When you save your report, you must use "Save As", because the system won't let you overwrite the standard report. If you try, you'll get this error:

 

save.jpg

 

And when you Save As, you must select either "My Folder", where only you can access it, or "Company Shared/Shared Folder", where all users can access it - you cannot save in a system folder like Email/Reports.

 

Save as.jpg

 

Once the report is saved, you should be able to see it in the Catalog and select it when you are building an Agent.

 

Keep it Flexible

 

To minimize the number of custom reports bring built, try to consider flexibility when designing your reports. Use those filters as "is prompted" to allow for different Agents to pull different information.

 

For instance, you need a Campaign Performance report with the past 7 days of campaigns sent to you daily, but your manager needs a report of the past 30 days of just transactional campaigns delivered monthly. By leaving the Sent Date Range and the Campaign Purpose filters as "is prompted", you can build one report and use two Agents to customize it for each person's needs.

 

Thank You

 

I hope these blogs have been useful to you and your team as you begin to navigate the new Interactive Dashboards! Thank you so much for reading.

 

Previous Post: Scheduling Reports by Email

This is the fourth of five posts I'll be making this month on Interactive Dashboards and Interactive Dashboards Plus. I know that it's important for your teams to be comfortable in the new tool as Insight begins sun-setting, so please follow me to be updated every time I post. And I will be monitoring the comment sections, so if you have questions please feel free to post them! I'll do my best to reply.

 

UPDATE: You can find a recording of my presentation on Interactive Dashboards on Oracle University

 

The Catalog

 

You can open the catalog from the top right hand menu – Catalog. It provides the folder structure within Interactive Dashboards. You’ll spend most of your time in the Shared Folders, where you can see folders for each of the communication channels you have active on your account. And for each channel, there is a subfolder of Reports. Everything else in here is a system folder that you can ignore. But in Reports, you can find a list of all the standard analyses – these are the individual tables, charts or graphs that you see on the Dashboards.

 

You can open each analysis from the catalog but take note that you won’t have the smart prompts to filter the data and there is no gear icon in the top right corner, so while you can do a lot of the same adjustments – add and rearrange columns, drill and sort – you can’t save or apply a customized view. You can only use customized views if you are looking at the analysis on the dashboard.

 

Schedule from Catalog.jpg

 

In the “More” menu for each analysis there is an option to “Schedule” – but please DO NOT use it until further notice. Scheduling from the Catalog will apply a feature that isn’t active yet. Instead, go to the “New” menu in the top right and create an Actionable Intelligence Agent.

New Agent.jpg

 

Not-So-Secret Agents

 

I like to think of Agents like James Bond sneaking into the villain’s study, breaking into their computer and forwarding the valuable data to his contacts back at MI6. Whatever helps you remember – Agents are the tools that trigger a report to be run.

 

The Agents tool is an example of how Interactive Dashboards has a strong roadmap ahead to add functionality. About half of the tabs here are features still being developed and fine-tuned. I’ve indicated in this image which areas you should be concerned with – ignore the rest for now.

Agent Overview.jpg

Schedule (When)

On this tab, you’ll set up when you want the report to run. First select the frequency – as with most scheduling tools in Responsys, you have a lot of flexibility in scheduling options. You can set it to run just once, or on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.

Agent Schedule Frequency.jpg

You select your start day and time, and you can even set a time zone different from your account’s default. Or you don’t have to set a schedule at all – you can leave the Frequency as Never, and just run the agent manually from within the tool.

Agent Schedule Start.jpg

You can also set an End Date for the Agent.

Agent Schedule End date.jpg

 

The Re-run Agent settings should be left alone, as should the whole Condition tab. Conditions is a feature that is still in development – it will allow for a report to be sent or not in certain pre-selected situations – for instance if there is no activity in the date range you selected then you won’t be sent an empty report. This is why you shouldn't schedule from the catalog, because it automatically adds a condition to the agent, and conditions are live yet, so the agent wouldn’t work.

 

Delivery Content (What)

The Delivery Content tab is where you tell the agent which analysis to send. You set the subject line of the email you’ll receive, and for now an Analysis is the only option you can choose to send, but in the future you can send a whole dashboard.

Agent Content Overview.jpg

Browse the catalog to find the analysis you want.

Agent Content Browse.jpg

You’ll then have the option to customize that analysis using prompts – just like you can on Dashboards. You should at least set a relative or custom date range – otherwise you’ll get everything from the last two years in your report!

Agent Content Customize.jpg

Also note – there is an Event Date range here, which is not included on the Dashboard prompts. If instead of seeing all the activity for campaigns launched in March, you want to see all the activity in March – even clicks on campaigns that were sent earlier, and excluding any conversions that happened in April – then use the Event Date prompt and the “is between” operator to set your activity window.

 

To set a filter, click the pencil icon next for that row. Drop down the Operator menu and select “is equal to / is in”. There are a lot of operators to select from, but “is equal to / is in” and “between” are really the most useful ones.

Agent Content Customize operator.jpg

Once you have set the operator, you’ll get a value text box. Click the magnifying glass icon, which will give you a searchable list of values.

Agent Content Customize Select Values.jpg

 

Take note – this might seem obvious, but when it comes to date ranges, only select one. If you select more than one date range, the report will total up the number of events for each range. So a campaign that you sent yesterday with 5 opens will be counted once for yesterday range, another time for Last 7 Days, another time for Last 14 Days, etc. So if you select all three ranges, you’ll have a report with 15 opens. Same issue if you set both a relative date range AND a custom date range.

 

These settings are only for this agent to use – you’re not changing the bones underlying the Analysis. You could set up two different agents sending the same analysis, but customized with different prompts, resulting in completely different reports being delivered. For instance, you can send yourself a monthly Campaign Performance report with just data from the last month of your Winback strategy, and send your manager a weekly Campaign Performance report with 7 days of data on all the promotional campaigns. Two agents, customizing the same report.

 

Once you’ve completed customizing the delivery content, you choose what format you want the report sent in. For HTML and Plain text, you can choose to have the report either embedded in the email, or as an attachment. With CSV, PDF, Excel and other formats they can only be sent as attachments. And as with the Dashboard, if you send HTML, Excel or PDF, what you see is what you get. But if you send your self the raw data, as a CSV or txt document, you get all the hidden data of the report. This is a new feature, as you couldn’t email yourself raw data reports in classic Insight.

 

Agent Content Format.jpg

You can add a note for the body of the email if you’d like. And of course, ignore the Conditional part for now.

Agent Content Attach.jpg

 

Recipients (Who)

In the Recipients tab, add who you want to receive the email. We recommend using the envelope icon with the green plus sign, so you’re adding actual email addresses, not just Responsys user accounts. This way, you can send to people who may not have a Responsys login. You can also remove people from the list using the ‘X’ button.

Agent Recipient Emails.jpg

 

And don’t worry about the Publish for Subscription and Use Analysis sections here, or the Destinations or Actions tabs.

 

Use the buttons in the top right to save your Agent – you can save it in My Folders, where only you can access it, or if you have authorization, in Company Shared / Shared Folders so everyone can see it.

Agent Save.jpg

Setting up an Agent can be intimidating at first, but once you’ve built one or two, you’ll get the hang of it.

 

Agents Can’t Send Customized Views (for now)

 

Remember how you could rearrange, add or exclude columns, sort and drill down on the Dashboard and save the final result as a customized view? You can export that with the Export button on the Dashboard, but for now you cannot select it to be emailed using an Agent. You can only email the standard Analysis, customized only by using the prompts in the Agent. For most users, this is just fine. The Agent will send the standard report, you will see the data you need to see and not worry about the exact order of the columns.

 

If the precise layout is important to you, you can export the raw data of an analysis and then set up some macros in your workbook application to recreate the formatting you want.

 

Or, you can get into building custom analyses in Interactive Dashboards Plus…!

 

Previous Post: Saving Customized Views

 

Next Post: Custom Reports

This is the third of five posts I'll be making this month on Interactive Dashboards and Interactive Dashboards Plus. I know that it's important for your teams to be comfortable in the new tool as Insight begins sun-setting, so please follow me to be updated every time I post. And I will be monitoring the comment sections, so if you have questions please feel free to post them! I'll do my best to reply.

 

UPDATE: You can find a recording of my presentation on Interactive Dashboards on Oracle University

 

More Than Meets the Eye

 

It’s important to understand that when you look at a table on a dashboard – like this Campaign Performance Report – the bones of the report contain much more data than what is immediately visible. What you see is the default view of a standard analysis, but you can customize that view.

(click image to see more detail)

Campaign Performance 1.jpg

 

First, notice the columns with blue hyperlinks – Program and Campaign. The hyperlink means you can drill down. If you drill on the column header, it adds an additional column. Here you can see if I click the header Campaign, it adds a column for the subject line.

Campaign Performance 2.jpg

 

But if you click on a hyperlinked value within the column, you'll not only add the column, but filter the report to only look at that Program or Campaign that you selected. Here I clicked on a Program name, and you can see the report added a column for Stage and only shows results of that Program.

Campaign Performance 3.jpg

 

All of this filtering by prompts and drilling is displayed at the bottom of the table, so you can easily reference what filters have been applied.

filter.jpg

 

If you need to back up a drill, use the "Return" and "Back" buttons - which will let you either return to the original view or just back up one step.

 

By hovering over the column headers you can see a grey bar across the top that you can use to drag and drop columns to rearrange as you’d like, and small up and down arrows to sort the table.

sort and drag.jpg

 

You can also apply a sort, or an additional level of sorting, by right clicking on the column header.

sort.jpg

 

Exclude or Include

 

Remember I mentioned that there is more in the analysis than meets the eye – by right clicking on a column header, you can also include or exclude a column.

 

Exclude is pretty self-explanatory, it removes the column from the view. But keep in mind that if you remove a column that is grouping the data, like Campaign Name is here, you can actually roll the data up under the next value.

before rollup.jpg

 

So if you remove the Campaign column, it becomes just the totals!

after rollup.jpg

 

In the Include Column option, you get to see all the hidden data that is in the bones of the analysis, and you can choose to add any of it to your customized view. For instance here I could add the number of emails that Bounced, instead of just seeing the Bounce Rate.

include.jpg

 

Different reports have different fields that can be included, so to see the full breakdown of which metrics can be added to each dashboard, review my chart attached here. It will show you which data points are in the default view of a report, and which can be included or drilled down to.

 

If you want to see the Sent Date in your report, you need to add the Sent Year column, and drill down to quarter, month and day from there. And you can then exclude the columns you don’t need to see anymore.

sent year.jpg           sent date.jpg

 

 

 

 

There is an automatic sort on Sent Date, so you'll see Campaigns grouped by what day they were sent. You can move Sent Date to the second column, and the sort will stay in place.

sort by date.jpg

 

But if you manually sort by Campaign, it overrides the default sort, and you can see the Campaigns listed and then the date column broken out to see every date that a campaign launched.

sort by campaign.jpg

 

Prompts and Sections

 

Finally, you can move a column to either Prompts, to view the results on one value at a time, or Sections, which breaks the table into smaller tables each featuring a single value. When selecting a column to move to one of these positions, keep it to a column with a reasonable number of values. For instance, if you've got hundreds of campaigns in a report, don't put Campaign in Sections or Prompts. The system will let you know if you are trying to use a column with too many.

 

Here, I'll include the column "Folders".

folders.jpg

 

Then by right clicking on the header, you can see the options to "Move Column".

move column to prompts.jpg

 

By moving "To Prompts", the values of that column are put into a drop down menu at the top of the table and you can view the results of only one folder at a time.

folder in prompts.jpg        folder in prompts menu.jpg

And if you move it to Sections, it will break out into separate tables for each value in the column.

folders in sections.jpg

 

Saving the Custom View

 

Once I have my analysis customized just the way I like it – I go to the top right and there is a gear icon. Select “Save Current Customization” and give the view a name.

gear icon.jpg    save current customization.jpg

 

Right now you can only assign yourself to be able to view a customization, and you get to pick if you want it to be the default view whenever you come to this dashboard.

 

Once saved, you can clear your customization using that same gear icon menu, and it returns to the original default view. But then you can go to the menu and apply your saved customization again. Any views you have saved for this dashboard will appear in the menu.

apply saved customization.jpg

 

Editing a customization just applies to the name and the default setting – if you want to edit the content or layout of the view, make your changes and then save over the old version.

 

Now if you apply your custom view and export the table to a PDF or Excel document, you will get a file that mimics the exact layout here – what you see is what you get. But if you export the raw data, you can get ALL of the data in the bones of the analysis – all those hidden columns. So depending on whether you want to something easy to read or something easy to manipulate in a workbook application, you can choose different file formats.

 

Previous Post: Navigating the Dashboards

 

Next Post: Scheduling Reports by Email

This is the second of five posts I'll be making this month on Interactive Dashboards and Interactive Dashboards Plus. I know that it's important for your teams to be comfortable in the new tool as Insight begins sun-setting, so please follow me to be updated every time I post. And I will be monitoring the comment sections, so if you have questions please feel free to post them! I'll do my best to reply.

 

UPDATE: You can find a recording of my presentation on Interactive Dashboards on Oracle University

 

Accessing Interactive Dashboards

You can open Interactive Dashboards from the main menu, under Insight. If you don't see it as an option in that sub-menu, please refer to my previous post about assigning roles for Interactive Dashboards. Without the proper user roles, you won't see Interactive Dashboards in the menu.

 

(Click on the images to see more detail)

accessing dashboards2.jpg

 

To get you familiar with the language of Interactive Dashboards, here’s a quick overview:

 

Analysis (or Report)

  • One discrete set of data
  • Can be exported or scheduled to be delivered via email
  • Chart/Graph: Visualization of data
  • Table: Tabular view of data

Dashboard

  • Contains one or more analyses with smart prompts to filter data across all of them
  • Each communications channel has one primary Analytics Dashboard, which is a good account overview
  • Each communications channel has several Sub-Dashboards, which are more targeted to particular sets of metrics. The attached document shows what data can be found on each dashboard.
  • Users can save customized views of an analysis on a dashboard

 

Here is the “home page” of Interactive Dashboards – the Email Analytics Dashboard.

(Click on the images to see more detail)

analytics dashboard2.jpg

 

  • Channel Dashboards: tabs for each communication channel you have active on your account. Each tab opens the main analytics dashboard for that channel.
  • Sub-Dashboards: expand the list to see all of the other sub-dashboards available for the selected channel.
  • Prompts: define the data in the analyses. Once you have selected your criteria, hit “Apply” and the dashboard will refresh with the revised data.

 

Prompts

I can use the prompts across the top of a dashboard to update all the analyses on that dashboard. I can select a campaign purpose, a rolling date range, a particular Marketing Strategy or Program, or even search to find a particular campaign.

(Click on the images to see more detail)

prompts2.jpg

 

You can use the “search/more” option at the bottom of each dropdown to open a searchable window - in this case, I want to specify particular campaigns.

Search Function.jpg

 

In the window, I can search using several operators, like "Starts" or "Contains".

 

Search Function 1.jpg

 

Here, I can specify the campaign name should contain “Welcome”, and I get all my relevant campaigns.

 

Search Function 2.jpg

 

I move the results I want to include in my report to the selected side and click OK.

 

Search Function 3.jpg

 

These are smart prompts – when you make a selection for one, the other menus update to only include options that work with your initial choice. For instance, if I select a Campaign Purpose of “Transactional”, then the Campaign drop-down would only show me the names of Transactional campaigns.

 

A few important notes on the Dates and Date Ranges prompts:

1) The Date Range does NOT include the current time period. When you select "Last 7 Days", it doesn't include today. If you select "Last Month" it doesn't include the current calendar month. If you select "Last Year", it doesn't include the current calendar year. If you want the past 365 days, instead of 2016, you can set the custom To and From dates.

2) If you want to use a custom ‘From Date’ and ‘To Date’, then you need to set the ‘Sent Date Range’ drop-down to blank. Otherwise the system will try to apply both date ranges!

 

date range.jpg

 

Once you’ve set your prompts, hit apply to update all the analyses on the Dashboard.

 

More than meets the eye

 

On many of the charts, you can identify an outlying campaign by hovering your mouse over that point on the graph, and even drill down to see an analysis on that particular campaign.

Campaign Exploration Hover.jpg

You can change the metrics for charts on this Dashboard by using the simple drop-down menus and see that each report has much more data built into the bones of the analysis than is immediately visible in the default view.

Performance Trend.jpg

 

And you can Refresh, Print, or Export any of the individual analyses in multiple formats using the buttons provided.

 

print.jpg  export.jpg

 

If you print or export to PDF, Excel, PowerPoint, web archive, then what you see is what you get - you get the picture that you see on the Dashboard. But if you export to CSV or tab delimited files, you get all the raw data behind the chart. See below how exporting to Excel gets you the graph of the clicks, while the CSV export includes the data behind the graph, plus the data for the opens and conversions that aren't visible in the chart default view.

 

export to exel.jpg  export to csv.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Note: It is on the roadmap to be able to print or export an entire Dashboard, but for now if you need the visual of the Dashboard for a presentation, you can use the gear icon in the top right to print the page.

 

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Where is the information I need?

Because there is more data built into the bones of the report than is initially visible when you view a chart or table - how can I find which reports contain the information that I need to see? Use the attached Excel document where I have laid out which analyses contain which data metrics, on which Dashboard you can find that analysis, and whether it is a table or a chart. Here is a peek below.

 

The Legend is as follows:

X = Data is visible in Default View of report

O = Data is behind the scenes and can be added with a right click

* = Data is behind the scenes and can be added by drilling down

 

metrics chart.jpg

 

Hopefully you will find this chart useful as you start exploring the Dashboards to find the data that is important to you. The next step is to customize the view of those reports so you see what you want...

 

Previous Post: Getting Started

 

Next Post: Saving Customized Views

This is the first of five posts I'll be making this month on Interactive Dashboards and Interactive Dashboards Plus. I know that it's important for your teams to be comfortable in the new tool as Insight begins sun-setting, so please follow me to be updated every time I post. And I will be monitoring the comment sections, so if you have questions please feel free to post them! I'll do my best to reply.

 

UPDATE: You can find a recording of my presentation on Interactive Dashboards on Oracle University

 

Why is Interactive Dashboards better?

Marketing performance data is growing faster and faster in volume and velocity and marketers must be able to analyze this data more effectively. Oracle Responsys has introduced a next-generation reporting solution called Interactive Dashboards.

While the existing tool was good for basic reporting needs, Interactive Dashboards provides several improvements over the legacy Insight reports and will be the platform for all analytics features on the Oracle Responsys product roadmap.

  • Using Oracle Business Intelligence and Exadata: Interactive Dashboards leverages the power of Oracle Business Intelligence (OBI), Oracle’s flagship technology for analytics, and Exadata, Oracle’s big data technology.
  • More efficient processing: Putting Interactive Dashboards on OBI eliminates much of the processing required for classic Insight. This means that the data refresh time will be greatly reduced. Currently, the SLA is still 24 hours, but clients will likely see reports updated in 7 or 8 hours, and that should continue to reduce.
  • Full 25 months of data: Interactive Dashboards retains a full 25 months of data for easy time period comparison analysis.
  • Richer Standard Report Library: In preparation for creating the new report library, our Product team thoroughly analyzed the custom reports clients had built in Insight - what information they were looking at, how many they had and how often they were looked at. All of this data informed the new, more flexible, report library, and an estimated 75% of custom Insight reports can be replicated in Interactive Dashboards using just the standard reports.
  • Multivariate Testing Reports: You can see the results of your multivariate testing without having to go into Program.
  • New Key Performance Indicators, trend analysis, top contributors, customizations, drill-downs, download options and search capabilities will help you see the big picture while new search and drill-down functions allow you to be as granular as you’d like. You can manipulate the structure of the data tables to see only the information you want, in the layout you want, and export it in new formats.
  • And we’re just getting started: While legacy Insight was reaching its outer limits, with Interactive Dashboards, we are just starting to take advantage of the robust capabilities available through Oracle BI.

User Roles

Interactive Dashboards has been enabled on all accounts, but to use it you must assign appropriate roles. A user’s role determines which functional areas they can access or edit, and without the proper role assignment, you won't even be able to see Interactive Dashboards in your menu. To update a user's role, the Administrator must go into the main menu, to Account, Manage Users, select the user and select Edit.

 

menu to manage users.jpg      manage users to roles.jpg

 

Note that once saved, this edit could take up to 10 minutes to populate in the system.

 

These New Roles are distinct from the Legacy Restrictions, so make the update in the drop-down menu if needed. If your account was created before August

2015, you likely have the Legacy Restrictions option.

New Roles.jpg

You can find Assigning Roles for Interactive Dashboards, a document outlining the roles and their permissions, as well as comparing legacy restrictions to new roles, in the Responsys WebHelp under Guides and Best Practices. You’ll want to reference that guide because there are a lot of available roles! Super User and Account Administrator are essentially the same, but they do NOT cover Interactive Dashboards. You must assign one or more of the Analytics roles, indicated in red here, to have access:

User Roles_rev.jpg

 

Once you have set up user roles for your team, it's time to start exploring the tool...

 

Next Post: Navigating the Dashboards

Data quality is the foundation for success for all marketing efforts. From segmentation and personalization, to lead management and analytics. The quality of your marketing data can make or break the success of a campaign and, potentially, your overall digital marketing strategy. 

 

 

This is a widely known truth, and in fact, according to ReachForce, companies that focus on regular data cleansing and maintenance enjoy as much as 700 percent more inquiries and 400 percent more leads than those without a data cleansing strategy.

 

That's because the formula is simple: better data quality increases campaign performance, which results in higher conversions, which translates to more revenue. While this is a simple formula, data quality issues are laden with complexities: Inconsistent and incomplete data; aging data; duplicate data; and data reconciliation between multiple sources.

 

Many marketers who are ready and willing to fix data quality issues struggle with not knowing what to do or where to start. The task simply seems too complex and daunting. But, it doesn’t have to be! Fixing data quality issues truly starts with the big C word – COMMITMENT! Here are 5 tips for how to get that commitment to improve your marketing data quality:

 

  1. Executive Sponsorship: In order to get true commitment to improve data quality, it’s going to need to come from the top down. Since data quality projects require time, effort and resources, you must start with getting executive buy-in and sponsorship. To do this, start by building a case for your top data quality initiative/s and outline what will be needed, how it will be executed, the costs involved, roles and responsibilities, and the expected outcomes and benefits. 
  2. Align Data Stakeholders: Identify the cross-functional teams that you will need to work with on data projects (think teams that manage platforms integrated with your marketing automation system – CRM, Web CMS, Event Management, POS, etc.). These will be teams that are either a source of data for marketing, or rely on marketing data. Once you know who they are, collaborate with them and secure their buy-in for helping to support data improvement initiatives.
  3. Establish Data Owners: Assign the responsibility of data ownership to someone on the marketing team. The owner could be one person or a select few people. Make sure that whoever is designated as the owner has clear data quality responsibilities added to their job description and MBO’s that are aligned to these responsibilities. This responsibility should include managing integrations, governance, validity, standardization, and completeness. Set KPIs for data quality standards such as % completeness for key fields, low bounceback or unsubscribe rates, database growth metrics, etc. that will be used to assess their effectiveness or performance as it relates to this area of responsibility.
  4. Map Your Data Flow: Using a flowchart tool, or a whiteboard, map out your marketing systems and the flow of data between these sources and repositories. This allows you to understand where your data is coming from, where it is going to, and how your platforms and sources are interrelated. This can be an eye-opening exercise! Here is an example of what to create. It does not need to be overly complex. Just get a general picture of what you have going on so that you can identify areas for improvement.

5. Identify Your High Priority Fields: This may be the most fundamental step I can recommend. Many marketers have a hard time committing to data quality improvement projects because cleansing your entire database can seem like a daunting project. So rather than trying to boil the ocean,  start by identifying the 5 high-priority fields that you rely on for important activities like segmentation, personalization, lead routing, lead scoring, account based marketing, etc. Some common data attributes to consider starting with are: title, geography, industry, company revenue, and lead source.

6. Analyze Your Existing Data: You have to know where you stand today in order to know where to start your cleansing efforts. Pick one of your high priority fields and dig into the state of the data in that field. The analysis will uncover what you need to do to start fixing it. Do you need to standardize the values? Do you need to fill in the gaps? Do you need to refresh old data? Once you have a good idea of what needs to be done, scope out how your marketing automation system can automate the cleansing process. Determine how much work will be involved, and if you need leverage third party partners.

 

An important note: Keep in mind your integrations – whatever you do in one system is going to affect the data in the other integrated systems. Hence step #1. For example, if you decide that, in your marketing automation platform, Title needs to be standardized into picklists for Department/Function and Level, then you need to work with your CRM counterparts to ensure that they will make the necessary system changes to support this effort.

 

Finally, use all of this information to create a Data Quality Maintenance Plan - a document that outlines your data management processes. This document should be comprehensive and regularly updated with changes. It should also be shared with executive and cross-functional stakeholders, which will help to create alignment and buy-in for the plan.

 

It’s time to cast aside those fears and get started! Get the right stakeholders aligned, assign data owners, map your data flows, identify your high priority fields, and analyze the state of your existing data for those fields. Then document and share your plan across the business.

 

Need help? Check out this Do-It-Yourself Marketing Success page on Data Management for resources and case studies. Use the Data Management Plan Builder Boost Series to help you identify your data sources to map your data ecosystem and bring together the right people for your data management team.

Part Three: Expand resources by creating the ‘it’ team & crowd source your company’s talent.

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In the previous two installments of this blog series: Part One: My team is the best – let me show you why! and Part Two: Get the word out! Socialize, Evangelize & Network, we explored tips in how to create value by sharing insights to stakeholders, broadcast valuable content both to a larger internal audience as well as publicly, now it’s time to look at your team’s resources to confirm you are prepared for growth.

 

Your team’s success depends on meeting the demands of an ever changing marketing landscape.  As your marketing maturity increases and as you expand your resources to include more marketing automation tools, the talents within a marketing team may or may not match. 

 

Do I have who or what I need to succeed?

Understanding the skills and competencies needed is the first step in defining whether you need to train, hire or outsource to meet these demands. 

 

To help you prepare for that Open Rec you dream about, it may be helpful to know what roles really are important to your team and even more importantly, what skills & competencies are most needed.   Sometimes a new hire is needed though often your own team or other personnel within your company may be a great match – they just may have not been discovered. 

 

  1. Start with the People: Helpful Definitions and Assessment
    • Define: Want some help with defining what characteristics are part of the most Common Marketing Roles? Check out this post on Topliners as well as our posts on Skills & Competencies.  
    • Assess: Use this handy Full Team Assessment to rank what skills & competencies your team has now, what ideal levels you desire and determine the gaps. This assessment tool is also helpful in addressing whether it is time to Hire, Train or Outsource*. 
      • And remember, now that your team has a proven track record and buzz, *outsourcing can include a temporary hire but it can also include leveraging the talents of personnel outside of your immediate department.  When you are able to prove to management that you have a dynamic recipe for success, it becomes contagious across the organization and internal talent may want to contribute too!  Being able to assist in meeting corporate retention goals provides tremendous value…and is measurable.

2.   What’s next? Demonstrating your value is constant and questioning your investments in MarTech can also factor into our roles as marketers.  Please enjoy my colleague, Melissa McConnell’s blog on how to Get More Value Out of Your MarTech Investments: Balancing People, Processes and Technology.

3. Looking for a larger transformation? Learn from 20 progressive CMOs and senior digital marketing executives about building more effective Modern Marketing teams in this guide: The CMO Solution Guide to Building A Modern Marketing Organization.

 

The key to your success as a marketer is not just about building and executing the perfect plan, it also includes being able to prove your value within the organization.  Create a path to success and don’t forget to also do a little self-promotion, and buy yourself a cookie

Part Two: Get the word out! Socialize, Evangelize & Network!

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In the previous installment of this blog series Part One: My team is the best – let me show you why!, we explored tips in how to create value primarily with top stakeholders in your organization by     sharing insights, not just reports.  Now, it’s time to expand our reach and extend our value to the broader organization, as well as through external channels.

 

Here are four tips to get you started:

    1. Start with a Nugget: Once your team has mastered a marketing initiative with proven and/or solid directional insight - prepare a case study.  Need inspiration? Check out the Oracle Customer Success Stories.
    2. Find a Forum: Consider all of your broadcast channels to get the word out.
    3. Modify to fit your Audience: For each channel, the format of the content may vary slightly but often one solid case study can be shared both internally and in other marketing forums offering positive PR to not only your team but to your company.  That spotlight is definitely valued!
      • Internal broadcast channels: Start the internal buzzzz
        • Regardless of size, most organizations develop a regular communication or newsletter that will reach all the employees.  It can take the shape of an email or a webpage or both – find out how you can insert your content.
        • Write a blog post that references the case study for the internal corporate site.
      • External broadcast channels:
        • With a few modifications to the same case study (so as to not violate any corporate privacy concerns), look to external social channels to reach not only other marketing professionals, but also partners and customers. There is a lot of ethos gained by highlighting internal process successes, so share!
        • Examples of where to post:
          • Your LinkedIn personal profile and Industry vertical groups
          • Appropriate professional sites for marketing as well as for the industry you market
          • Oracle is always happy to share your successes on Topliner.

 

4. Network! Finally, it’s time to get out there, make new connections, learn about new technologies, share ideas and potentially find additional resources. Feeling a little nervous? Muse is a great resource for professionals looking to enhance their career – check out their Networking page that includes many helpful articles from a variety of industry resources.

      • Oracle Network: Of course, we also welcome you to share, post and comment through these Oracle channels:  Oracle User Groups, Marketing Mashups, Modern Marketing Experience

 

Your team has now shown insights to stakeholders, broadcasted valuable content both to a larger internal audience as well as publicly, now it’s time to look at your team’s resources to confirm you are prepared for the next step.

Please click here to continue to the next Marketing the Marketer tip: Expand resources by creating the ‘it’ team & crowdsource your company’s talent. Share what kind of content you have shared and where in the comments below.

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We've all experienced this site: the Sales team ringing the bell, buying a round of drinks for the team. Heck, that's just the start of the fanfare as it continues with stories to their success with frankly everyone and anyone they know internally and on social media. Truthfully, this is great for morale and the team feels justified because they have provided a proven value to the company – a sale. As marketers, we all know that this sale was fostered by our efforts.

So I ask you, isn’t it time that Marketing determines some ways to prove value and share in this success too? 

 

Marketers are great at building out strategies with value propositions and implementing creative messaging to represent their products and services but often, they forget to market themselves.  With most companies identifying Marketing as an expense – unless we find ways to attribute our marketing efforts to the bottom line and brand success, we run the risk of budget cuts, dwindling personnel and unfortunately – even the risk of our own job.  Attribution sometimes is more challenging if there is not a direct link from campaign to conversion so it may be up to the marketer to demonstrate additional value through self-promotion.

 

Self-promotion has long been debated in marketing – mostly because it is confused with self adulation.  What’s the difference? Self-promotion provides a value to those that engage with what you are sharing, self adulation is merely a glorified touched up selfie. Colleagues will be more appreciative and enthusiastic if you are able to share new ideas, direction & concepts (value) as this creates a bigger value to them and an interest to share in your success. 

 

In this three-part blog series, we will explore some tips to marketing the successes of your team as well as yourself.  Fair warning: Results will range from some ‘atta boy/girls to possibly additional resources including; budget increases, additional personnel, and marketing automation tools to help advance your success even more.  Sound good? Let’s get going!

 

Part One: My team is the best – let me show you why!

Getting the word out that your team is not only covering their own marketing goals but is also impacting the organization as a whole can be accomplished by several key actions, this post will focus on the top driver, developing and sharing insights.

Share valuable insights – not just reports!

  • Be SMART: Like any good marketing strategy, it’s best to start by understanding key corporate goals. These will drive the creation of SMART objectives (Specific, Measurable, Agreed upon, Realistic and Time-based).
  • Create Insights: To help with alignment – it’s also vital to your success to understand what insights are most valuable to your stakeholders.
    • Determine what questions your organizations’ top stakeholders find relevant to their success and then determine the insights that can support these questions. This will go a long way in elevating your team’s efforts and provide a stronger partnership with these stakeholders.

  • Do the math: Most executives like to see ROI, so explore creating a ROI calculator that fits your model. Still needing to illustrate how automating the integrated marketing and sales funnel can have a measurable impact on top-line revenue? Try our ROI Calculator
    • If there is a mix of direct and indirect levers that drive conversions – consider developing a Revenue Performance Management strategy. This is definitely a more advance approach but can help show growth across your organization where marketing will play a key role. Oracle has seen a pattern among best in class adopters of RPM – these are four business practices that are key to a successful RPM strategy:
      1. Modeling the integrated sales and marketing funnel.
      2. Continuous improvement through industry benchmarking.
      3. Making data actionable with deep analytics.

      4. Long-term forecasting to identify future revenue opportunities.
  • Set Expectations: Create a regular reporting cadence that stakeholders can anticipate. Ideally, reports will be reviewed in a meeting to be able to address any questions in the moment.

Best practice reporting includes:

    • An at a glance executive summary that demonstrates how these metrics align to insights.
    • The good and the bad. As we know, not every review cycle will be stellar so highlight successes but also any stumbling blocks with a course correction recommendation.  This transparency will aid in gaining trust with leadership.
    • Finally, take the opportunity to illustrate a bright spot on the team. For example, two members of the team completed a data integration that will lead to more specific results on a new marketing channel.

 

Adding value can be demonstrated in other ways but it is ideal to start with the metrics. Share them with confidence that you are providing value to your stakeholders – then, buy a round of cookies for your team!

Please click here to continue to the next Marketing the Marketer tip: Get the word out! Socialize, Evangelize & Network. And also share what successes, tools, tips you have developed below in the comments.

ABM or Account Based Marketing has been generating quite a buzz over the past several months amongst marketers.  Taking an account based approach is not a new concept, Sales has been operating within this team or buying committee lens for quite some time, however Marketing has traditionally worked to reach and influence individuals.  While some early adopters have already started down the path of implementing an ABM strategy, I have been increasingly asked what ABM is all about, what it looks like and how it can be implemented. 

 

Like many other marketing strategies, an ABM strategy is not one-size fits all.  It can mean different things to different companies and can take on various forms, depending on what works best for each particular organization. Additionally, like some marketing strategies, ABM is not “right” for all organizations.  Yet, I am rarely asked “Is ABM right for my organization?” “Are we ready to implement an ABM strategy?” 

 

Before jumping in or committing to management, there needs to be an honest, current-state analysis conducted to determine whether or not ABM is an appropriate strategy to take on. What things should a company look at to assess readiness?  While there are many factors that go into assessing readiness and preparing for this type of transformational change, some key ABM considerations include:

 

Data
I listed this first because the state of your data can make or break your ABM success.  You need to conduct an in-depth analysis of the state of your data. A few questions you’ll want answered are:

  • Are you tracking the right account data?
  • Do you have data on your existing customers and their value?
  • Are the fields you need to identify and market to your target accounts standardized?
  • Is your data complete and accurate?

 

These are all important questions to ask before you embark on the ABM journey.  Don’t overlook or underestimate the importance of data - without trustworthy and complete data, it will be difficult to implement a successful ABM approach.

 

Ability and Commitment to Change
ABM will require a significant change in the way in which various groups operate.  There will need to be more alignment and transparency, a change in key success metrics and MBO’s, a change in the way you market and approach segmentation – just to start.  Some questions you want to consider:

  • Are your key stakeholders ready to make a big change in the way they operate and the processes they execute on?
  • How has your company dealt with change in the past – was it embraced or was there resistance to change?
  • Do the primary stakeholders understand what ABM is and how it will affect them at a high level, as well as on a day to day basis?

 

Everyone involved in this transformational change needs to both understand what ABM entails as well as buy-in to the strategy and what it means for the organization. It’s not enough for everyone to “get it,” they have to truly embrace the change and their role in making this a success.

 

Cross-functional Alignment
ABM is not just a Sales thing….or just a Marketing thing – it’s encompasses Sales AND Marketing coming together to execute on a joint strategy. Often it includes working and creating tight cross functional alignment with Sales, Marketing, Operations, and sometimes Finance. Ask yourself these things:

  • Is there tight alignment between Sales and Marketing- are they BFF’s?
  • Does Sales and Marketing have visibility into what each other are working on?
  • Are both teams held accountable for shared metrics and MBO’s?
  • Does your organization operate in a culture of cross functional collaboration or siloed operations?

 

For ABM to be successful, there needs be a culture of collaboration, transparency, and alignment.

 

Understanding of Your Customers
If you don’t have a deep understanding of your current customers, what they look like, and their value – it will be difficult for you to identify which accounts should be included on your target account list. To ensure you have a solid understanding of your customers or ideal customers, determine:

  • Do you know the value that each of your customers brings to the table?
  • Do you have a deep enough understanding (or data to inform you) of your customer trends?
  • What do your typical customers look like?
  • Which types of customers bring the highest value?
  • Which types of customers make up the highest portion of your customer base?

 

If you have the data, there are technologies that can help you identify the right accounts and/or conduct look-a-like modeling to help you create your list.

 

Personalizing Experiences
With ABM, there is no longer a one size fits all approach to marketing (though you shouldn’t be doing this anyway). ABM requires that you create a more personalized approach targeted directly to the potential customers that matter most to your organization. Start by answering these question:

  • Do you create targeted programs?
  • Are you personalizing your messages and creating unique, relevant, customer experiences?
  • Have you mapped out your buyers journey and aligned your content to each stage?
  • Is your content personalized – does it speak to different types of customers, is it vertical specific (where appropriate), does it address unique pain points and challenges?
  • How personalized are your communications and content?

 

For ABM to be successful, your marketing campaigns and communications need to be 1:1, tailored for each account and aligned with their stage in the buying cycle.  Your messaging needs to speak to their problems.

 

After taking a look at your practices and where you stand, you can determine whether or not your organization is truly ready to implement an ABM strategy. You want to be sure you have a solid foundation in place to launch and be successful with ABM.

 

However, keep in mind that you don’t have to be perfect in each aspect, you can start small and enhance each of these out as you gradually scale your ABM strategy. If you would like to talk to someone about getting started, reach out to your Oracle Marketing Cloud Customer Success Manager and inquire about what resources they have available to you.

Is your organization currently using a lead scoring model to prioritize which leads your Sales team should call first? And does it work effectively? If it’s not working that well or you actually don't have a lead scoring model in place yet,  don't worry! You’re not alone.

 

Lead management is a complex process with a lot of moving parts, and to do it right you need to put a lot of things in place before jumping into Oracle Eloqua.

Here are a few tips to help you build a better lead scoring model:

 

Collaborate with Sales

The best way to understand what makes an ideal lead is to talk to the people who process the leads on a daily basis. Start having conversations and getting input from your Sales team. You'll uncover plenty of insights that you might never have discovered by just looking at your own team's marketing data. You don't necessarily need to achieve full Sales and Marketing alignment before you start scoring leads, but starting the conversation with Sales gets the process on its way.

 

Streamline Your Data

Lead scoring models use data, so getting the right data in the right format is crucial. The right data comes from your conversations with your Sales teams. What traits do good leads have in common? And how can you translate that into profile data that you can store in contact fields? The right format comes from standardizing your contact fields. Again, while a complete data management strategy is a nice lofty goal, you can implement lead scoring after collecting and standardizing data on a few key contact fields.

 

Measure and Refine

The first time you set up your lead scoring model, you probably won't get it exactly right. But that's ok! Your lead scoring model will need to be refined and calibrated over time. You can look at the built-in reports for your lead scoring model to see how your contacts are being scored. And for more robust data, don't forget to talk to your Sales team! The feedback they give you will let you know whether your high quality leads really are high quality. And if not, you can work with Sales to understand exactly which settings you need to calibrate to prioritize better leads.

 

As you can see, there is a lot that you can do to build a better lead scoring model. If you're feeling overwhelmed, don't worry. We've created a new self-guided Lead Scoring Plan Builder to help you get started. It's part of the new Boost Series service that includes a Plan Builder, a step-by-step checklist, and follow-up emails to keep you on track.

 

Learn more about the Boost Series and the other topics available.

It’s probably no surprise to you that mobile Internet usage has overtaken desktop as the most used digital platform—and it’s not only important for B2C marketers anymore. B2B marketers should also have a mobile plan in place to meet their customers’ changing needs and expectations. An excerpt from this Forbes column sums it up by saying: “…the new B2B buyer, which is also always a B2C consumer, will seek to have their mobile experience with your brand provide them real value and insights into your company. Bottom line is this, B2Bs can no longer hope for their buyer to find them on the PC or Laptop because that isn’t the way things are going.” Both B2B and B2C companies need to have a mobile plan in place to support the growing needs of their customers.

 

Our new Boost Mobile Plan Builder can help you take the first step in making sure you're on the right path to implementing a mobile strategy. In the Boost Plan Builder, you’ll learn why mobile is important for your organization, see examples, and work through guided exercises to begin building your customized mobile plan. You can then take this plan back to your organization and gather input, fill in the gaps, collect buy-in, and then start implementing with our DIY Marketing Success checklist.

 

If you already have a mobile strategy, the Boost Mobile Plan Builder can help you re-focus and make sure you’re thinking through all of the critical steps. You might even learn a few new tips and tricks along the way!

 

Find out more about the Boost Series, and start building your mobile plan to keep up with the demands of your customers.

 

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We test subject lines once in a while.” 

“We do testing randomly and it’s usually decided right before we launch the campaign.” 

“I know we should be testing, but I’m not sure what to test or where to start.”

 

These are all statements I hear, in some form or another, from marketers when talking about their approach to testing.  Some companies have testing as a consistent part of their marketing strategy, but for the majority of people I talk to, testing is something that is done on an ad-hoc basis and typically centers on subject lines.

 

With the many activities and tasks that a marketer has to juggle, combined with the myriad of elements to test, it’s no wonder that testing becomes one of the things that there isn’t time for.  However, that doesn’t have to be the case.  There is a way to narrow in on what elements to test so that you are able to see the biggest impact. Additionally, by conducting some pre-test planning and analysis, you will have an easier time building testing in as a consistent part of your campaign process (to start), thereby enabling you to make continuous improvements and enhance the results of your marketing efforts.

 

To help optimize your approach to testing – making it measurable, impactful, consistent and insightful - start with these 4 steps:

 

1. Analyze the Effectiveness of your Marketing
When trying to determine what elements to test, the first place NOT to look is Google (shocking, I know!!). The first place to look is at your own marketing efforts and result. Then, ask yourself, where is there room for improvement?  Conduct this analysis with the three core areas of testing in mind. Elements to test typically fall into one of three categories: Content, Creative and Timing & Frequency. 

    1. Content – This group of testing elements is made up of all the things that go into your communication: call to action, headlines, subject line, personalization, from line, messaging etc.
    2. Creative – This area of testing focuses on the look and feel of your communications: layout, length, image style, placement of offer, use of buttons and/or web navigation etc.
    3. Timing & Frequency - This area is all around how often you send communications or post on social and what day and time your sends or posts typically occur on.

As you look at your past performance, rank your performance in these three areas on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the best.  The area you score the lowest on is where you should focus your immediate testing efforts.

 

You’ll want to take this analysis a step further to really narrow down exactly what elements to test. Take the results of your initial analysis and then rank yourself on each of the testing elements in your 2 categories (see above for listing of testing elements in each category).  The specific elements you scored lowest on are where your efforts should be focused first. These are the elements where testing and resulting optimization will be the most impactful.

 

2. Identifying Testing Objectives and Business Impact

Building testing into your processes will add extra steps, resources and time required, so you want to be sure that you understand what you want to gain from testing and how it aligns to your overall Marketing or corporate goals. Document your testing objectives and what success would look like – make sure success metrics are specific and measurable. A sample objective would be: I want to increase form submissions by 20% over the next 1 year.

 

It is also important to document what your current benchmarks are for each testing area and  what your current performance looks like.  Finally, you want to identify how this objective aligns with your larger corporate objective(s).  Does it align with awareness objectives, market penetration, revenue, etc.? If you aren’t able to determine how testing a particular element and enhancing its performance will contribute and map to your larger objectives, you may want to re-evaluate whether or not it’s worth spending time and resources on it.

 

3. Build a Testing Roadmap
To be truly effective and telling, testing needs to happen repeatedly and consistently.  To help ensure that you test more than “once in a while,” and are testing elements that will have an impact on your performance,  build a testing roadmap that document what elements you will test and over what time period.  You would begin with the elements that make up the core area you scored lowest in your analysis and would be followed with the elements covered in the category you scored 2nd lowest. As you build out this roadmap you don’t want to just pick elements to test in a random order.  Your testing roadmap should be organized so that you begin testing the areas you have the most room for improvement and build out from there. Depending on the cadence of your communications, and the number of elements you need to test you can break your roadmap out by month or quarter.

 

4. Create a Testing Tracking Document
For testing to provide true, actionable insight, the same test needs to be run several times to ensure validity.  If you aren’t documenting the details of your tests and the results, it can be difficult to keep track of what happened and the lessons learned – thereby making it more difficult to see the true value. This is why creating a detailed testing tracking document is so critical. Your tracking document should include details such as:

    1. Testing element
    2. Testing versions/variations
    3. What campaign or communication the test was a part of
    4. Target audience
    5. The audience split
    6. Results of the test
    7. Lessons or key takeaways 

By documenting these details for each test, you not only have a reference as you work through your roadmap, but you have a place to document key takeaways and lessons that can be applied to future campaigns to optimize their performance. 

 

Testing doesn’t have to an overwhelming task and by following these few key steps you will be better positioned to weave testing into your marketing processes. Digging into your past performance and identifying key testing objectives will allow you to hone in on where to focus your testing efforts and resources in terms of business and performance impact, as well as value. Building out a testing roadmap will allow you to prioritize and have a strategy and plan around what elements you will test and when. Finally, detailed documentation of each test and results will ensure that you are able to identify and implement lessons learned so you are able to apply the insights gained to make changes and enhance your marketing performance.

 

Still not sure how to get started or want to have a deeper conversation around testing strategy? Reach out to your Oracle Customer Success Manager and see what resources they have available to help guide you. 

Image result for people process technology oracleAccording to Gartner, CMOs will likely spend more on technology than CIOs.  Yet, there are many marketers that feel let down by the promise of marketing technology. Why? Some say it’s not as easy as they thought/were promised it would be. Others say they don’t have enough resources or support from the business to be successful. Some say they are just scratching the surface of using all of the capabilities. Finally, others say they are so busy working through their to-do lists that they don’t have the time to optimize what they are doing. Sound familiar?

 

As an Adoption Advisor for the Oracle Marketing Cloud, I talk with a lot of customers about improving and extending their usage of marketing technology. Typically, most adoption and change management challenges are due to one or more of these three essential criteria being out of balance: People, Processes, and Technology.  The principle of People, Processes, and Technology is not new and aligning these three criteria is essential to the success of every technology deployment. Yet, while it is essential, it can be challenging for many companies.

 

Let’s look at these in more depth to find out how you can start getting more value out of your martech investments.

 

PEOPLE

 

  • Align Skills & Roles: First, make sure you have the right people in the right roles. Does your marketing team consist of the right people with the right skills/aptitude in place to manage your technology investments? You can’t expect an abstract, creative marketing person to manage the data and infrastructure of your marketing technology. Just like you can’t expect an IT professional to put together a complex, creative multi-channel campaign. It just won’t work. Make sure you align skills and responsibilities appropriately.
  • Invest in Training & Development: Next, it’s critical to invest the time and money into training your team and developing their skills and expertise around the platforms you purchased. Think beyond just technical training, professional and strategic training are equally as important. There are countless times I’ve talked with customers who haven’t invested the time in product training and wonder why they are only using a fraction of their system’s capabilities.  On the other hand, there are some very talented technical people that know the technology inside and out, but don’t have the strategic vision for how the technology can be used to create efficiencies for their company. Implementing and using marketing technology is not like setting up a new iPhone. You have to participate in the training, read the product documentation, understand the overall strategy/vision, and put in the hard work. There are no shortcuts.

 

PROCESSES

 

  • Define & Document Your Process: Marketing runs on processes. Or at least, it should. Processes for campaign creation and execution, content creation, reporting and analytics, lead management, data management….you get the idea. These should all be defined, documented, assigned owners, and have built in accountability with service level agreements. Broken and undefined processes result in inefficiencies, wasted time, and ultimately, wasted money. Take the time to audit your processes to see where you can become more efficient as a marketing team.
  • A Real World Example: I experienced this first hand: When I was a marketing practitioner at a previous company, we had so many work arounds for how marketing passed leads to sales, and work arounds for those work arounds, which made the entire lead management process incredibly inefficient. Sales cherry picked what leads they wanted to follow up with, good leads with bad data didn’t make it into the queues, and marketing had no idea what was happening to the leads they had spent precious budget in generating. We spent a year and a half fixing our broken lead management processes. The time, resources, and tremendous effort that were invested paid off in spades in terms of influenced revenue on the business. Leads were now being tracked throughout the funnel, the process was monitored with reports and dashboards, and both marketing and sales were held accountable.

 

TECHNOLOGY

 

  • It’s Not Always Perfect: Let’s get one thing out of the way upfront – no technology is perfect. [Gasp!] There will usually be bugs, limitations, and frustrations. Marketing technology is not exempt from this. While this isn’t what you should expect, it’s just a given. Make sure you get help from support services and submit requests to the product development team to get issues fixed and new features added. For Oralce Marketing Cloud products, you can always submit product feature requests via Dream It on Topliners. We have often taken these ideas and developed them into the products. Now that we have that out of the way, let’s continue…
  • Success Begins with a Successful Implementation: Success with technology starts with a successful implementation. It’s important to hire the right implementation partner, align internal stakeholders, and secure executive sponsorship to achieve a successful implementation. Make sure that your unique business needs are going to be met and supported when implementing a new technology. An unsuccessful implementation inhibits success and results in frustration, setbacks, and the good chance that the technology will not be adopted.
  • Crawl, Walk, Run: Finally, utilization of marketing technology can be as easy or as complex as you make it. Take a Marketing Automation Platform as an example. Companies don’t invest in marketing automation platforms to send batch and blast emails. Yet, oftentimes, this is all it is being used for. And it’s usually because either the people or the processes aren’t in place supporting the technology. Use a crawl, walk, run approach to become more sophisticated with your usage. Pick one project to start with and build from there.

 

http://chiefmartec.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/marketing_tech_landscape_timeline_2016.jpg

 

As you can see from the Chief MarTech Marketing Technology Landscape Supergraphic (right), the number marketing technology companies has exploded year over year. The booming and complex marketing technology landscape is reflective of the increasingly important role that marketing plays in business today.  Balancing people, process and technology is how you can make your marketing technology work better for you, get return on your investments, and achieve real results.

 

Do you want to start maximizing your technology investments, but aren’t sure where to start? Contact your Oracle Marketing Cloud Customer Success Manager to find out how we can help your company achieve success with its technology investments.