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The Goal


Around the end of 2014, our company -- a small-midsize software company -- decided to launch Eloqua as a marketing automation tool. We moved ahead with the implementation after receiving an initial training on Eloqua Best practices that was conducted for both our implementation team along with stakeholders. None of them had any prior knowledge of Eloqua, but were excited to dive into this new technology.  Our implementation team consisted of our marketing and business process SME, a technical counterpart and a business analyst. As a business analyst on the team, I was responsible for the testing of this new technology and integration with our CRM system. In a short time frame, I had to complete business process documents specific to our business. I also provided the needed support and training to our stakeholders.

All my fears were set aside working alongside this great team with one common goal, implementing a marketing automation tool to strive towards better and targeted marketing segmentation and providing more MQL leads to sales. With no prior knowledge of Eloqua, the implementation team came up to speed with this new technology by enrolling in Eloqua University (now Oracle Marketing Cloud Academy) basic marketing courses -- namely Fundamentals of Segmentation, Fundamentals of Emails, Fundamentals of Forms and Landing pages and Fundamentals of the Campaign Canvas.


The Challenge


In the past, our stakeholders relied heavily on a third party company for the campaign creation process and the process was outsourced to this company. This company charged us a high price for email creation and for all marketing effort. Before implementing Eloqua, we did segment pulls from the CRM system based on certain criteria and then provided our third party company both email content and contacts that we wanted to target for our campaign launch. We relied on them to provide us data on specific emails. At the end of the campaign, we would have to upload files into sales force as leads for the campaigns.


Mission Accomplished!


By the end of March 2015, we had implemented Eloqua at our company and launched our first nurture campaign. We introduced a buddy system to help our marketing managers understand and get comfortable with Eloqua. In order to help them understand all the elements of campaign creation, we put together detailed process documents for their reference that were specific to our company’s business process. As a business analyst, I was responsible for creating this documentation with feedback from my business SME and technical counterparts. We incorporated best practices recommended by Eloqua, like naming conventions for all our assets, folder structures, campaign cost worksheets and campaign calendar to schedule and maintain all the campaigns and emails that would be launched for the month.

We came up with specific segment, email and campaign templates to outline details on how these should be configured in Eloqua, depending on if it was a webcast, trade show, telemarketing event or an email campaign. We outlined detailed process documents for campaign and all of the asset creation like emails and segments associated with a campaign.


Examples of Segment Templates that we used to include or exclude in our segmentation:

We also built basic Shared filters to allow for easy segment creation.


  • Current customers
  • Current customers with titles
  • Alliances and Partners
  • Competitors
  • Prospects


Examples of Email Templates:


  • Newsletter templates
  • Product templates.
  • Webcast/Event templates


Examples of Campaign Templates:

  • Basic Event campaigns
  • One Touch & Muti-Touch Email campaigns.
  • Advanced Event campaigns



As a result of implementing Eloqua and following the best practices, we were able to reduce our reliance on a process, which was heavily outsourced into an in-house process where we had more control over our campaigns, data, reports and analytics. This also helped us save a substantial amount of money that we were paying to the outside third party company for managing our campaigns. In addition, after form submission, our leads showed up in our CRM system without having to upload them.




It has now been more than a year since we implemented Eloqua and we were able to reap immediate benefits from this implementation. Some of them are outlined below:

  • Build and launch marketing Campaigns in one system versus multiple systems requiring less resources and expense.
  • More targeted segmentation based on contacts title or products licensed by customers, are just a few of the examples.
  • Campaign calendar to schedule our monthly campaigns and emails.
  • Tracking and monitoring of marketing campaign and email performance.


As we implemented Closed Loop reporting within one months of our initial launch, we were further able to leverage the benefits of closed loop reporting.


  • Real time lead creation in our CRM system after form submissions based on the external assets.
  • Send required Campaign information to CRM so that Sales team can access this information.
  • Run reports and dashboards for all assets using Insight.
  • Evaluate ROI reports to determine the effectiveness of the marketing campaigns


Helpful Eloqua Courses


Topliners was a great resource providing abundant information on many topics. In addition to topliners the following Eloqua courses were very helpful to the team in the launch of marketing automation.

Eloqua 10: Fundamentals of Segmentation

Eloqua 10: Fundamentals of Emails

Eloqua 10: Fundamentals of the Campaign Canvas

Eloqua 10:  System Integration

Eloqua 10: Advanced Segmentation

Eloqua 10:  Testing Campaigns and Assets

Eloqua 10:  Closed Loop Reporting

Eloqua 10: Basic Event Management

Congratulations! Your content marketing team is equipped with the most powerful content marketing platform on the market! To ensure that you configure each feature properly and use the platform to its full potential, it’s time to kick-off your Oracle Content Marketing Smart Start.


What is the Oracle Content Marketing Smart Start?


The Oracle Marketing Cloud Academy Content Marketing Smart Start is designed to walk users through the best practice process for configuring the platform, demonstrate all features and workspaces related to content creation, publication, and promotion, and provide an overview of tools for measuring content performance and production analytics. The Smart Start consists of three Instructor-Led trainings (ILTs), which provides customers with the opportunity to interact and engage with a content marketing expert, as well as other content marketers in the field.


The Smart Start is best supported by the Smart Start Assistant, an onDemand course meant to accompany and support implementation so that customers are able to successfully set-up their platform and are equipped to deploy a pilot project in the first two months.


How do I access the trainings?


In order to enroll in and complete these courses, you must have access to the Academy learning portal. A training purchase can be made through the Academy Sales Team. Request more information here or contact the team for information at


What other support will I have?


To guide you through the Smart Start, your Customer Success Manager will provide you with a Prerequisites Workbook and the Smart Start Guide. The Prerequisites Workbook is meant to serve an overview of the information you will need in order to setup your account as well as the features you will need to define with, and for, your team. The Smart Start Guide is meant to serve as an education and configuration roadmap for ensuring you and your team are not only versed in the best practices of both content marketing and the platform itself, but that your administrator configures the appropriate pieces at the proper time. Lastly, the Smart Start Assistant also references a Smart Start calendar, meant to help you scope and plan for your first two months of adoption.


If you need to submit a support ticket, check out these video trainings, and don't forget to bookmark the Oracle Content Marketing Help Center which is a great resource for additional documentation.


Does it work?


It sure does! Check out these customer advocacy interviews!


What’s next?


After you have completed the Smart Start courses, expand your education by taking some of the more advanced, best practice, or QuickCast courses from the full Oracle Content Marketing catalog!


If you have any feedback, or further questions, ask in the comment section below!

Marketing Challenge:

Modern marketers' day-to-day job has shifted to take on a more sophisticated and calculated approach to marketing. This blog post will not only provide you with methods on how to measure marketing's impact on revenue, but it will arm you with the tips and tools you need to increase your contact engagement and retention while simultaneously reducing the number of unsubscribe rate.


Goals and Success validation:


Do your homework. Prior to resolving any issue, you want to scope out the problem and benchmark your current operation metrics.  Figure out what exactly you are currently measuring, what are you missing, and what you need to do in order to get to your goals.  Discuss with all stakeholders, get an agreement on what’s missing and come up with a plan to solve this problem. 


Since we have two different issues we’re tackling simultaneously, here’s how to approach each:


  1. Increasing engagement and retention

In order to improve your engagement and retention while reducing your unsubscribe rates, I suggest you do the following:


                        a. Personalization

Many marketers and marketing operation personals are still performing monotonous A/B testing on personalization vs. no personalization. This is a very fruitful effort when it has been proven that personalization always trumps no personalization. People like to receive an email whereby the subject line and the greetings include their first name. People are just more likely to open an email if they see their name in the subject line; it makes people feel special and important. So field merges and personalization are there for a reason.  Use it and stop wasting your time and your stakeholder's time on conducting A/B tests on features that we know they work.


                        b. Segmentation

I hope that this goes without saying that you can’t send the same message to your entire database. In order to successfully increase your engagement, retention, and reduce your unsubscribes rate, you need to segment your data. You can’t send the same message to an enterprise and a mom and pops shop or send an email in English to a non-English speaking country unless the user has possibly specified their language is English. Regardless of how you’d like to segment and target, we all know that it’s an integral process of a successful marketing and user experience. My recommendation is that you segment your database based on the following:

          • By product line
          • By region
          • By company size
          • By revenue
          • By customer persona (where they are in your funnel)


These are simply suggestions; if you find a better way of segmenting your database then do so. In the end, you want to do what’s right and what works for your business. Remember you can always test, optimize, and refine your segmentation.


                        c. Right time and right message

Many marketers make the mistake of talking at their prospects and customers instead of actually conversing with them. The days of batch and blast are over, unless it’s promotional or notifying them of a policy change. If you want to succeed at marketing to your contacts, you need to listen to them. You want to have a two-way conversation.  Not only is this one of the best methods to engage and retain your audience but it will also reduce your unsubscribe rates.


                        d. Frequency

Nothing is more annoying than constantly being bombarded with emails. Unless you don’t care about being flagged as spam, please don’t constantly barrage your contacts with emails. You want to ensure there is enough time between emails as well as that they’re not getting a large number of emails from your company in one week.


                        e. Adopt a full funnel marketing strategy

Not only will full funnel marketing allows you to reach across all stages of your funnel, but it allows you to run analysis on the funnel cycle and see where engagement is decreasing and where leads are falling out.


    2. Measuring marketing impact on business

In this day and age, the marketing department needs to prove their impact on business. Executives are not fazed by this campaign or that campaign; they want to know how your marketing efforts impacted closed deals or influenced them.


In order to measure marketing impact on business, I highly suggest you have two things in place “marketing influence” and “close loop reporting.”


                        a. Marketing Influence in other words “attribution”

Marketing influence helps measure and tie any closed deals back to marketing efforts. Say a lead was once touched by a campaign that marketing sent out. By having some type of marketing attribution in place ensures that that campaign gets credit for influencing the closure of the deal and thus proving marketing impact on business. Companies often have first touch attribution, last touch, or multi touch attribution. You can do your own research on which type of attribution model is best for your business.


          b. Closed loop reporting.

This does a full funnel analysis on the different stages of your funnel and determines how many closed deals were influenced or directly tied back to marketing efforts.

Benchmark and documenting current metrics

Some of the basic and minimum KPI’s any team should track are the following:


  • Opens
  • CTR
  • Unsubscribes
  • Conversion



Campaign or initiative and implementation

Our problem was that we weren’t really doing any campaign measurement nor full funnel analysis such as closed loop reporting.  First thing we did is that we looked into all the campaigns and pulled out the basic reporting for each (opens, CTR, unsubscribes, and conversion). We did a cross analysis, what preformed well, what didn’t perform well, and how to prevent this from happening in the future. So while we were trying to improve our tracking and being able to prove marketing impact on business, we were also able to improve and optimize on current campaigns and gain a better understanding of what’s working and what’s not working for our business and enhance and optimize on what’s not working to increase engagement, lower unsubscribes, and increase conversion. 


Recommended Courses

For those of you who are considering applying the concepts I discussed in this blog post to your own marketing, I highly recommend the following courses:

  1. Segmentation
  2. RPM Effective Nurturing
  3. RPM Targeting & Segmentation
  4. B2B: Personalizing campaigns
  5. Applied Best Practices: Leadership Metrics (WBT)
  6. B2B: Blind Form Submits

Takeaways and Expected Results                                                                                                                                                                              

Incorporating these tips into your marketing strategy will do the following:

  1. You will do more with less by improving your marketing efforts, increase results while reducing cost and time.
  2. Gives you a macro overarching view on how well your funnel is doing and where are the leaks so that you can patch them correctly.
  3. Understand channel performance and allocate resources accordingly.
  4. Reduce unsubscribes rates, make prospects and customers happy, and increase engagement.
  5. You will be able to prove marketing impact on revenue and this will help secure funds for your department and gain recognition.

Start following these best practices and see your marketing impact shine.

“The goal is to turn data into information, and information into insight.” – Carly Fiorina, former executive, president, and chair of Hewlett-Packard Co.





There are two basic facts we probably all agree on:


• First of all, having a clean database is the key to all marketing activities. You cannot build a house without foundation and you cannot build a successful marketing campaign without good data. We need it for segmentation, personalization and lead scoring. Good data helps us convert a prospect into a customer in a short time.

• Secondly, every organization is struggling with data management. When you ask someone about their database, have you ever heard an answer like: “Oh, thank you, our database is just perfect”? Of course not. The best you can get is a diplomatic answer: “Well, we are working on it” or “We have our challenges.”


How is it possible then that even though we recognize the importance of data, we are not able to build and maintain a clean database? The answer is simple: it is a huge task and needs continuous effort.


In this post, I walk you through a concrete example of how you can take your first steps toward a better database.



Case Study


Let’s take the example of a large international company which sells its product and services in 170 countries and has several offices all around the globe. I am going to focus on the Dutch market only. During my daily work, I noticed several mistakes in the database. When I explored a little deeper, I realized that the Dutch database has serious issues and needs immediate attention.


I am going to walk you through the steps I made to improve our data quality and allowed us to reach our audience in a much more efficient way.



Focus and Goals


Because the time and resources are limited, I decided to focus on only a few key fields instead of trying to improve the entire database. I selected the fields we use for segmentation and personalization. These are:


• First name

• Last name

• Email address

• Country


• Preferred language

• Job title


I started pulling reports about the Dutch database and analyzed these fields carefully.



Data Audit


The result of the audit was alarming. I found:


• Blank or incomplete fields

We often use field merge to personalize our event invitations so a missing first and/or last name can easily be the cause of bad customer experience.


• Wrong “Country” fields

This is one of the main issues. This field is not standardized but free entry, so sales can write anything. Instead of “The Netherlands” I have seen several different versions including: “Netherlands, Nederland, NL, Holland, Dutch, Netherlands Antilles.”


Another issue here is confusing 'The Netherlands' with its constituent country, The Netherlands Antilles.


• Wrong “GEO” field

All Dutch records are supposed to have “EMEA” set as GEO. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.


• Wrong “Preferred language” field

This is another field which is not standardized. Instead of one version 'Dutch' I see also NL and Nederlands as well.


• First names lacking capital first letter

This can be an issue at using a field merge.


My short-term goal was to clean up the “Country,” “Preferred language” and “GEO” fields and make sure everyone’s first name is correct in the system.



Methods Used


To focus on both long- and short-term goals, I decided to:


• Standardize data fields

• Build a Contact Washing machine with program builder, lookup tables, update rules and cloud connectors.



Standardize fields


The very first step I took was standardizing the country and preferred language fields. This was necessary to ensure that we do not just clean data, but we also decrease the chance to receive dirty data in the first place. I needed to make sure that people cannot just type in anything they want into those fields, but choose the correct data from a pre-built dropdown menu.


I recommend standardizing as many fields as possible -- like country, industry, GEO, job-level, preferred language, state or province.


How to do it?


First of all, you need a picklist. It is either already available in the system or you need to create it.


Click to open the “Settings” page then choose “Fields and Views” from the “Database Setup” section. Under the “Fields” tab, browse for “Country.” Set the data type to “Text,” then define the field type and make sure you choose “Picklist.” You do the same with the “Preferred language” and “GEO” fields.


language field.PNG



Build Contact Washing Machine


Lookup tables

The “GEO,” “Country” and “Preferred language” fields were normalized with the help of lookup tables and update rules.

I created three .csv files with two columns for each fields and uploaded them under Audience-> Tools -> Data tools -> New lookup table.


geo_excel.PNG geo_lookup2.PNG




Update rules

With the three lookup tables ready, I created the necessary update rules. The “New Update Rule Set” option is located under the same “Data tools” button where I created the tables at the first place.


country_update rule.PNG



Program builder

After creating the lookup tables and update rules, I created the Contact Washing Machine in Program Builder. It consists of:


• Feeder

• 3 Update rule steps,

• Cloud connector step and

• An exit step at the end.


program builder.PNG


The feeder is a filter which adds new members to the program every day. The filter logic is:


Country = The Netherlands OR NL OR Nederlands OR Holland OR Dutch


Preferred language = NL OR Dutch OR Nederlands



Cloud connector

To capitalize the “First name” field, I used a “String Manipulation Cloud Connector”


capitalize fn.PNG




Summary & Recommendations


With the help of a Contact Washing Machine, I was able to make the first steps towards a cleaner database and improve a few key fields.

In the near future, I am planning to:


• Run a social media campaign with “Social sign-on” to be able to capture better and more data, plus build social identity
• Build a program with a multi-touch email campaign and landing pages using pre-populated fields in the form. The feeder pulls in contacts with missing or incomplete fields to validate and confirm data

• Implement progressive profiling


Courses Influencing this Post


Eloqua 10: Advanced Segmentation

Eloqua 10: Data Cleansing

Eloqua 10: Program Builder Overview

Eloqua 10: Lead Scoring

Eloqua 10: Advanced Editing and Form Processing

B2B: Social Suite Applications

Best Practices: Writing a Great Blog Post

EdDaysmall.jpgIt's always an exciting day and an honor for OMC Academy to be the 'opening act' for a great event like Modern Marketing Experience. This year, our pre-conference Education Day on April 26 welcomed several hundred students to classes and featured over 30 live, free training sessions presented by some of our best instructors and experts.


Beginning bright and early on Education Day, attendees participated in Academy training sessions across all five product offerings, including Eloqua: Data Cleansing, Responsys: Essentials of Program and DMP: Audiences and Campaigns. The training offerings also included strategic and best practice sessions including classes like B2B Success Accelerators and Implementing a DMP.


In recognition of the work and dedication of our 2015 accredited students, our annual accreditation reception was held at the conclusion of Education Day. Awards and recognition were presented to attendees who achieved any of four Academy titles, including B2C Program, B2C Campaign, B2B Master and B2B Luminary. Attendees had the opportunity to meet and network with other modern marketers and Academy instructors, as well as hear updates from the Academy leadership team. Guests heard details from leadership about the new B2C Master accreditation and about the Academy offerings and badges available for Oracle Testing & Optimization (Maxymiser) training.


Our Academy demo booth was also available in the Oracle demo grounds for the duration of the conference, offering information about Academy training offerings and access to team experts. We were happy to meet many current and potential students at the booth! For a look at the Academy training overview available at our booth, click here.  


For those who attended Education Day, we hope it was the start of a productive and informative week at Modern Marketing Experience 2016. We plan to welcome even more attendees for future events and we welcome your thoughts and suggestions for future pre-conference training.To reach us with any questions about your training or to provide feedback or suggestions, email our Help Desk at


Please enjoy some of our favorite images from Education Day and Modern Marketing Experience 2016!



Instructor Chris Dias leads a morning session at Education Day



Oracle Marketing Cloud Academy 'Flair'



A few of our 2016 B2B Luminaries with instructors and leadership

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