It’s that time of year again, where I begin the ultimate task of auditing and organizing our Eloqua database for the upcoming year. A certain amount of degradation happens naturally throughout the year with processes and data, so it’s important to perform this type of check at least on an annual basis, if not more frequently. This year is going to be more challenging, however, as we extend our global reach from the U.S., Europe and South America to bring Asia Pacific support into the fold. The number of assets is growing and the number of folders to keep organized has increased. With the European Union (EU) General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) coming into effect in May 2018, we must execute programs while meeting rapidly evolving and more rigorous data privacy and compliance standards. All modern marketers are in the same boat in this regard so I’m sharing my process in hopes that it helps others or encourages people in stride with me to share what they are doing to tackle the exciting times ahead of us all.




Objective: Capture current state of contacts to improve health and measure against the previous year

Goal: Clean, complete database


Data is at the very foundation of our sales and marketing strategies. As such, it needs to be as accurate, complete and modified to stay that way as much as humanly possible. With that in mind, I like to begin by purging our database of contacts marked for deletion, including inactive and invalid contacts. I will also be reviewing picklist and lookup table values to ensure the data is still accurate. Documentation will be need to either be created or updated throughout this entire process.


To capture the current state of our contact database, I will perform contact audits using the following out-of-the-box Eloqua reports:

•    Database Health Dashboard – This is a must-have for all Eloqua Administrators because it quickly gives you at a glance an overview of your entire contact database.

Contact Details – This report shows you what percentage of your contacts are active and reachable, as well as those who have been inactive and unreachable within a 12-month period.. This report can easily answer your questions surrounding the size of your database, your actual reach, how engaged your active contacts are, and if your database is growing at the rate you have set.




Contact Field Completeness – I use the Contact Field report to keep an eye on if we are properly are using segmentation or lead scoring, as it shows you the completeness of your standard contact fields. This can help you determine the quality of your data and what fields may need to be appended.




After a thorough review of our contacts and fields, immediate issues can be addressed and recommendations are given with plans to improve the future health of the database.


Objective: Review areas where we can improve privacy for GDPR compliance

Goal: Achieve and maintain GDPR and Privacy Shield compliance


If you collect and manage personal data from contacts in the European Union (EU), an accurate and complete database is only the beginning of being able to establish GDPR compliancy. Here are a couple main practices I will be focusing on improving to meet these regulations:

•    Opt-In Policy: Consent is required to email these contacts, and this includes opt-in renewals as well. If you already have a defined policy in place you are halfway to meeting compliance. Just make sure you apply a date/time stamp to prove when they consented to your emails. If not, here is a helpful article and a document from Topliners on how to set up a double opt-in in Eloqua 10 to get you started.

•    Data Cleanup: If you don’t have the correct permissions to contact someone via email, you should remove them. You can setup an automated process to take care of this in the future. Also get rid of your hardbounces and unsubscribes if you haven’t already.


Objective: Determine if our CRM integration is still supporting our needs for the global business and our planned marketing programs

Goal: Ensure our CRM integration supports global business processes


To help facilitate alignment between our marketing and sales team, and to connect our global lead gen processes, our integration with Salesforce must be functioning properly. Some of the areas of CRM integration I will be focusing on are:

•   Field mapping – This will include a complete review of all fields used on a lead, contact and account record in Salesforce, as well as the contact and account fields in Eloqua. It will begin with my field mapping worksheet that documents all the fields that are shared between the two systems. I have attached an example worksheet for you to use and update as you see fit for your own integration. This worksheet was created during the implementation and integration setup and is continuously updated as new fields are added and changes are made. Any field changes that were made throughout the year but not updated on this document can be added now.




•    Auto Synchs, Internal Events and External Calls – An audit will be performed to ensure these calls are working as intended and linking the correct information in each of the systems. At this time, I will also review our lead routing programs in Program Builder to ensure the lead flow delivery process is current or if it needs to be updated in any way.


Objective: Organize and clean up our assets, components and folders from the previous year

Goal: Organized database that is accessible to all users


This last exercise is the most time consuming, but a good one to get to know your assets and where they are housed. Now is also a good time to document your folder structure and the assets within them if you haven’t already done so. This review includes:

•    Folder structure and naming conventions – Make sure they are organized and the assets within them are still easily accessible. I found this Naming Convention Generator from Topliners very helpful when first developing an organized structure in our database. It is especially helpful when applying names to global assets.

•    Reviewing and organizing all assets - Make sure you include Programs, Campaigns, Landing Pages, Emails, Forms, Components, Users, Custom Objects, Segments, Lists and Filters, Data Tools and Reports. We can then determine which ones are active, no longer being used, outdated, ones that can be re-purposed or can be archived. I start this review by pulling the out-of-box Overview reports for most of the assets from Insight, that way I can see everything at a glance and not in their individual folders in each asset area.


Next Steps:


Create a schedule for ongoing weekly, monthly, and quarterly maintenance and optimization of the system. The more I keep up with it throughout the year, the easier it will be next year during this time. The more organized and accessible the assets in the instance are, the more agile and proficient we can be.


Happy cleaning my friends. Until next year!


Helpful Academy Courses:


B2B: Fundamentals Series

Eloqua 10: Data Cleansing (ILT)

Eloqua 10: Database Configuration

Eloqua 10: System Integration

B2B: Insight for Reporters

Eloqua 10: CRM Integrations (WBT)