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Our company is turning to account-based marketing as an alternative B2B strategy that concentrates sales and marketing resources on a clearly defined set of target accounts and we needed to be able to segment and market at the account level. However, Eloqua’s out of the box Account-based segmentation was too limited for our needs. We needed to extend it.


We needed to not only be able to segment on Contact and Account information, we needed to be able to filter by Opportunity, Opportunity Product or Partner Contract data at times. For example:

  • Segment for a campaign to CRM C-level contacts in Accounts who have a closed/lost opportunity
  • Segment for a campaign to CRM contacts in Accounts owned by John Smith with no open opportunities
  • Segment for a campaign to CRM Accounts who have active Partner Contracts


Use Custom Data Objects as a way to pull added data from our CRM (in this case Salesforce) into Eloqua in such a way that we can segment/filter for Account-based campaigns.

In essence, you can pull any table into an Eloqua CDO and map it to the Account table in Eloqua as long as that table has a CRM Account ID. (Opportunities, Partners, Cases, etc).

In our first use case, we chose to pull in the Opportunity table from our CRM with the following fields:

  • SFDC Account ID (18-char)
  • SFDC Opportunity ID
  • Opportunity Name
  • Opportunity Stage
  • Amount
  • Opportunity Owner
  • Opportunity Industry
  • Opportunity Region
  • Opportunity Create Date
  • Opportunity Close Date


To do this you need to:

    1. Create a CDO with the fields above. Be sure to set the Entity Type to Companies and Entity Field to your Account Table ID field. Set Opportunity ID as your unique field.


    1. Create an external call to pull data from your CRM. Settings/Integration/Inbound, Create Data Source with External Call.
      • Follow the wizard, being sure to set the external call type to Data Card and check to use for automatic execution.
      • Set the Filter Details to pull Opportunities where Last Modified date is >= Last Successful Upload.
      • Uniquely match on opportunity ID.
      • Map the data cards to Companies using your AccountIDs. In this way, you will be able to filter based on contacts in Accounts that match your criteria.




  1. Run the autosync. Your CDO should be populated with all of the Opportunities from your CRM that match your criteria.


Now you will be able to filter based off the CDO which is now tied to the Eloqua Account and mapped Contacts.



Segment Example:


Using this process, you can create CDOs for any table once removed from the Account table in your CRM – and filter on that data in Eloqua. Think of the possibilities for you within your environment.




  • Using this process, we were able to send more targeted emails and accommodate the account-based marketing requests from Sales.
  • We are now able to infer a variety of account types and market to them: customers, partners, recently expired customers, etc. We can also target based on Account (or team) ownership
  • We can now send cross-sell campaign messaging into Accounts who own one of our products but may be a good fit for others – targeting only the relevant titles and personalizing emails based on Account owner.


Courses that have helped:

  • B2B: Conversion
  • B2B: Profile and Target
  • B2B: Technology

Describe the marketing challenge you were trying to solve with your campaign or strategic initiative.

Our company acquired a smaller company, and was tasked with integrating their systems with our corporate instance of Eloqua.  Alongside an overall system migration to Eloqua, we were tasked with handling this business unit’s unique way of processing leads who download a trial of one of our software products.  This BU uses a home-grown CRM/invoicing system, created before they were acquired. Leads would click a download button on the website, download and install a .exe Installer, and then select products they were interested in from there.  A form to collect user information lived in the Installer, rather than on the website, and sent data to the home-grown system.  The Installer is integral to the products and how they are downloaded and accessed, as well as provides information to the invoicing system and details about how people are using the products, so the company could not easily be switched away from this.


Having this form on a user’s machine caused several challenges, however.  First, the data was not going into Eloqua.  We could not segment off of it, we could not add contacts to the database, and we could not create leads for sales to follow-up on.  The BU ran entirely off of names collected from this in-product form, so we needed to figure out a way to integrate it with Eloqua. By integrating with Eloqua, all of these challenges could be solved.


What goals did you set at the start of your campaign to validate success?

Success was defined as:

  1. Getting trial installation information into Eloqua
  2. Getting purchase information into Eloqua
  3. Using the trial installation information to create leads in Salesforce


How did you benchmark or document your current state?

We started off by walking through and understanding the current process.  Leads navigated to the website, chose to download a trial of a product, and then downloaded and installed our Installer.  From there, leads chose the products to install on their machine, submitted a form, completed installation of the products, and then were redirected to a web page.


On the backend, the in-installer form submit was creating a record called an “Order Detail” in the home-grown CRM system.  Sales people were then using this CRM system and the Order Detail records and following up on all new names created.


Describe your campaign or initiative and the steps you followed to implement.

The first thing that we had to do was to get the Order Detail records into Eloqua.  A Custom Data Object was created with all the fields collected in the home-grown CRM system, a form was set up in Eloqua, and an API was set up to push data from the CRM into the Eloqua form.  The form then contained a processing step to add records into the CDO. The submitted records were set up with a Unique Identifier other than email for the CDO, so edits made to the trials could write back into Eloqua, and one user could have multiple trials recorded.  Records were also set up with a checkbox that indicated whether something was active or not in the CRM.  This checkbox would be updated and turned on/off depending on the current status of the trial.  We also constructed this same process for purchase information.




Next, lead creation had to be set up for these trial products.  Campaign canvases were created in Eloqua – one for each trial product (15 total).  A processing step was added to the form to send the right trial product into the trial product campaign.  This campaign was necessary because some exclusions had to be built in before a lead gets created – exclusions for multiple trials downloaded during the same time period, or for existing customers of a product who might be downloading a trial to check out new features after a release.  The campaign checks for these exclusions, and then moves the record into a Program Builder Program if it is not excluded.



In Program Builder, an update rule first writes all of the necessary information to the contact record for lead creation in Salesforce: our campaign ID, Member status, etc.  Then, the record gets scored and sent to Salesforce via our standard Integration program.


We also use the after-exclusions contacts to feed a series of Trial Nurture programs running on the Campaign Canvas in Eloqua.  These nurture programs last the duration of a leads’ 30-day trial, and provide helpful information and tips and tricks to improve conversion rates at the end of the trial.


Which marketing cloud courses have directly influenced this campaign?

B2B: Advanced Segmentation

B2B: System Integration

B2B: Advanced Editing and Form Processing

B2B: Effective Marketing with Custom Objects


How has this campaign impacted your business?

Our business is built completely on this new model.  A trial is the MQL definition for this business unit, so nearly all Marketing-sourced pipeline ($13M) passes through this set up.  This project also tied closely to a migration for the business unit sales reps to our corporate instance of Salesforce.


Is there anything you would have done differently? Or elements you would change as you go forward?

Moving forward, there is still a lot that can be done.  Since we are a high-volume business, the CDOs have grown incredibly large (almost 5 million records!).  Cleanup needs to be done on these, and a Program set up to delete records when they get old, or to delete trial records once someone has purchased.  I also would have architected the data-pass for the trials slightly differently, increasing the API sync speed to every five minutes instead of every 15 minutes.  This would get our leads to sales much faster than they are currently.


How did you leverage the Topliners community when creating this campaign?

Topliners has always been a helpful resource when odd questions have come up through the project. Questions have been about the Bulk API, about how people are using Custom Object records in Program Builder processing, and more.  It was interesting to read about the experiences others have had, and determine if this is the best route for us to take, or if something different should be pursued.


Vienna Life's clients were facing the same problem for years - they didn't have enough knowledge and time to manage their investments products efficiently. That led them for financial losses and lack of overall satisfaction. As a result, Vienna Life started to losing clients. The remedy for this situation is a new free financial service, which helps in managing investments products. The main goal of a marketing campaign was to encourage at least 3000 customers to activate this service. As this service was absolutely new and unrecognized by the customers, at first we wanted to use a nurturing strategy.



To start with, we divided our customers into smaller segments with specific financial status on their investment accounts. Each of them received different kinds of marketing communication, so we can fit better to their financial perspective. Below I’m pointing out some of those segments:


-customers with a loss on their investment products

-customers who haven’t done any changes to their investment account for 6 months or more

-customers who haven’t logged in to online transactional system for 6 months or more


To distinguish content between segments, we used dynamic content in emails. Displayed content depended on customer membership in above segments. We used knowledge from the LVC course called “Conversion” to develop this solution. To personalize email content with a customer data we already owned, we used field merges which are easily accessed in email creator. Thanks to that, we could put customer first and last name and their investment value in an e-mail. To ensure best e-mail open rate, we used A/B testing to find the most suitable subject line for each e-mail.


To intensify our marketing communication, we searched for SMS add-on to Eloqua in Oracle App Cloud. After a brief research, we decided to choose Ubiquity Platform, as they weren’t charging for any additional cost, only of platform set up and actual SMS cost. The integration process was rather easy and after a few days was operational. As we haven’t used SMS channel in the past much, after the first SMS campaign, we observed a 500% growth of unique visitors on the landing page. What is more, SMS in Eloqua are highly customizable as you can put field merges into them.


The main point of the campaign was a landing page which contained expanded info about a service. Aside from text information, we have also created and uploaded to YouTube 3 simple videos explaining main functionalities of a new investment service.


Landing page also provided 3  ways of service activation:

-by transactional online system

-by calling our helpline

-by submitting an online form




Aside from Google Analytics script, we put an Eloqua tracking script on a landing page so we can look up exact visitors. Also, we put appropriate page tags to this landing page. Thanks to that in the end, we received two hot-lead segments:

-customers who visited our Landing Page 3 times or more, but haven’t activated service yet

-customers who clicked 2-3 e-mails about new service


Those two segments were imported to our CRM system to make it available for our Sales Reps. The conversion rate on these nurtured segments was 40% (for comparison, cold segments had 10% conversion rate).

During this campaign we have also tested Engage module and profiling. Part of our Sales Team were enabled to use Eloqua Engage to send email prepared by the marketing department. The main advantages of this solution were:


-Sales Reps tend to send unprofessional e-mails (in terms of marketing automation), so in this process they were using only this e-mails, which very previously approved by marketing department

-Sales Reps had access to email statistics (e-mail open, CTR) which are not available for example, in Outlook


We have prepared a scoring model based on customer engagement into new service communication and personal financial indicators. Thanks to that, Sales Reps could just enter Profiler in Eloqua and quickly look up specific customer and estimate their conversion chances. Another advantage of this action was familiarization our sales forces with Profiler and Engage by showing them decent and actual profit that can be gained by using these solutions.



Thanks to the nurturing approach to campaign communication, our company managed to reach 100% of a KPI goal within ½ designed campaign time. What is more, leads acquired by this approach have 4 times bigger conversion rate than previously acquired leads. Basic e-mail indicators (open rate and CTR) were also 2 times better than in campaigns that weren’t targeted, but just sent out to all contacts.


Recommended Oracle University Courses for this implementation:

-Conversion: Lead Score Model

-Conversion: Segmentation of Lead Scores

-Engagement: Personalizing Campaigns

-Targeting: Web tracking & page tagging

-RPM: Targeting & Nurturing


In my opinion, most of Oracle University courses are useful and I gained a lot of new skills and knowledge thanks to them, nevertheless some of them require to have at least basic Eloqua knowledge to fully benefit from them.


Thank you,



Vienna Life Team

Our organization implemented Eloqua in January of 2017, with no previous marketing automation in place. Working in a competitive industry, we struggle to determine when someone is interested and when "the right time" is for sales to reach out to potential customers. I wanted to find a way to excite staff and provide digital prospects to pass along as leads to our sales staff. With Oracle's Eloqua, I've found a process that works for my organization and may be helpful for yours as well.


Marketing Challenge:
Being in a competitive industry, we know that most research (about 70%) is done online before purchasing decisions are made. We needed a way to listen to "digital body language" in order to gauge interest into our company, as well as provide information about products and services and to answer questions. Additionally, our sales staff is constantly looking for new prospects and leads. Marketing didn't have a streamlined way to listen to that digital body language to properly nurture those that are researching, until we implemented Eloqua.


Our goal was simple. Identify and contact website visitors with an email while in the research or "Interest" and "Awareness" funnel stage and develop a nurture campaign that converts specific (and more profitable) website visitors to our company.


Since we had not historically tracked website conversions, we didn't have benchmarks to go off. Our first step was to benchmark how many website form requests we had from the previous year. The numbers were relatively low compared to website visits received. From that point, we were able to say we wanted to be able to increase the number of prospects given to sales by 10% when we first implemented Eloqua. Since we didn't have lead scoring implemented, this goal would help us determine what types of leads are most desirable to our sales staff. Additionally, since I wasn't sure, I set the same goals for both our business and retail staff.


  • B2B (Business 2 Business or Business Customers) Goals - increase prospects by 10%
  • B2C (Business 2 Consumer or Individual Customers) Goals - increase prospects by 10%



Making sure our website was properly tagged and tracking visitors was crucial for this campaign. The code was simple to retrieve through Eloqua. Our SmartStart implementation team was able to provide that script to us and our 3rd party website vendor was able to install it quickly. We had our tracking script on for almost 2 full months before attempting to generate new prospects via our website visits because we needed time for our contacts to build.


Once the tracking script had time to run, we were able to filter criteria within segments for key pages on our website. This was done by creating filter criteria within a segment called "Visited Websites" at least 1 time within the last week. Website pages were chosen by the website pages of most desirable products and services by our sales staff. Examples of both segments can be seen below. Our sales staff found this very interesting and became very engaged within the campaign once they could see tangible evidence of website visitors looking at various pages.
Business Segment.JPG

Consumer Segment.JPG

Our consumer (B2C) campaign consisted of the segment above which identified targeted website visitors. I chose to add members regularly until the campaign is deactivated with a re-evaluation frequency of 1 hour. I put a wait step for 1 business day so emails didn't come immediately after the contact visited the website, then triggered an email to those visitors with a special offer for opening a new account. An evaluation period was set, and after 5 business days, non-responders (contacts that didn't open the email) received a second email reminder about the special offer. People that responded to our special offer were added into a shared list. We wanted to keep these people easily identified in a list so we can create future nurturing campaigns. Non-responders simply dropped out of the campaign.


Our B2B campaign consisted of the segment above which identified a website visitor with a 3 day wait step. Again, the segment was created to add members regularly until the campaign is deactivated with a re-evaluation frequency of 1 hour. After 3 days of visiting any of our selected business product pages, an email was triggered to invite the contact to attend an upcoming continuing education event that were links within an Eloqua landing page. The landing page included a form that consisted of email, first name, last name, and business name. The form included conditions within the processing steps, so if the Eloqua form was completed, a thank you for registering email was sent. I considered a form submission from a non-customer a prospect. If the email recipient didn't sign up, another reminder email was sent that directed them to our "Meet our staff" page which includes a short video explaining continuing education events offered.


This is an ongoing nurturing campaign that we actually still have running. But in the 4th quarter of 2017, we found that we exceeded our initial goals to increase prospects.


In one quarter (4th Quarter 2017)

  • B2B (Business Customers) - increased prospects passed to sales by 11%
  • B2C (Individual Customers) - increased prospects passed to sales by 15%


Business Impact:

Increased leads to sales help us not only fill our continuing education events, but helps us identify website visitors while they are in the research funnel phase. At the time of this blog post, it was unknown how many converted to actual customers, but continual tracking and benchmarking will allow us to see how many of those converted and how long our customer sales cycle really is.


Eloqua is helping us achieve these goals, which would have been impossible without the ability of website tracking scripts.

Additional goals from this campaign are to now build upon this campaign to nurture even further. We are working toward creating a landing page with video resources about our events as well as products and services. This campaign will also help us create customer personas since working with sales allowed us to determine what an "ideal customer" looks like.  I hope to implement Profiler in the near future so we can share even more marketing data with sales staff!


Recommended Courses:

B2B: Targeting; B2B: Engagement; MM: Revenue Performance Management

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