Skip navigation

There is a four-letter word that has been plaguing Marketers across Europe (and even beyond) for some time now. As May 2018 came and went, the frequency with which this four-letter word was yelled in frustration throughout the departments of companies large and small, became increasingly commonplace.


That four-letter word is, of course, GDPR and it has struck fear into many a Marketer and continues to do so as the repercussions of the law coming into force have yet to fully be understood.


Ultimately, all companies in the EU, or who market to the EU, have had to face this head-on and put in place a data and communication strategy robust enough to withstand the scrutiny of the Supervisory Authorities and avoid heavy penalties. Having the right tools available to be able to manage and adapt your strategy is key – this is where Eloqua and the Oracle Marketing Cloud comes in!


The following five functions are included out-of-the-box for all Standard and Enterprise trims:



1. Form Functionality

Whilst there are still grey areas around the definitions of what constitutes explicit engagement, and the timeframes in which it is acceptable to continue marketing based on previous engagements, it is best-practice to have a standardised approach to asking explicitly for consent to communicate. In the world of Eloqua and nurturing leads as part of a Marketing strategy, this presents itself most commonly in form submissions.


Eloqua’s form building tool allows you to offer a checkbox on all campaign forms to gain explicit consent upon submission. The checkbox is normally mapped to a contact or Custom Object record field and allows for filtering in the database. With the built-in Progressive Profiling functionality, it can be set that the box only displays for contacts whose explicit consent has not yet been gained:

Eloqua’s in-depth form processing options allow users to automate the opt-in and opt-out process at the point of submission, meaning that people who submit the form in different ways can be treated differently called Conditional processing steps. These are decision rules that run once a form is submitted, and determine what actions should be taken either based on what information the submitter has provided, or based on implicit information such as the source from which they reached the form:



2. Subscription Management

A recent report*, indicated that, “customers feel they have been subjected to too many emails, too many irrelevant emails, and too many emails from companies they don’t recognise." In the same report, its states, “The proportion of consumers who say they find more than half of messages ‘interesting or relevant’ has declined to 16%.”


So what is clear from this research is that, companies who provide their prospects and customers the opportunity to tailor how they are communicated to, are more likely to build their engagement levels and develop a stronger connection.


From a GDPR perspective, this means that, the chance that your database, likely to have been curated over a long period, is less likely to dwindle significantly over time. So how does this work in Eloqua? Well, Eloqua uses ‘Email Groups’ to identify different types of communication such as Event invites and Newsletters, and is the driver behind the Subscription Centre structure:

When building out Email Groups, you can define the characteristics of the emails that sit within those groups. This includes the default header and footer text, to make sure that the correct disclaimers are included for the types of communication, the subscription / unsubscriptions confirmation pages that get displayed when contacts or prospects opt in or out, and whether these groups are available for Sales to use as part of the Engage Sales Tool.


You can also choose whether or not these groups should be made available for contacts and prospects to select as part of their subscription management options



3. Program Canvas

Released at the end of 2016, the Program Canvas operates alongside the existing Program Builder, allowing the automation of large or repetitive data management tasks in a simple, Campaign Canvas style format. Using the Program Canvas, tasks such a rented data expiry management and inactive contact re-engagement can be automated.


As well as new Listener step, which is a data source step and a point of entry for contacts or custom data objects into the program, the Program Canvas allows for components such as Segments, Shared Filters & Lists and Update Rules to be incorporated to leverage functionality available across the Eloqua platform.


In the below example, you can see there are two segments based on the source of the data. Contacts will be filtered into the Program on an hourly basis based on their levels of inactivity.

Using Shared filters contacts will be either moved into targeted, content-driven Re-engagement campaigns if they are inactive. If they do engage, however, they will have the relevant data in their contact record or related custom data object updated accordingly.

Take the B2B:Program Canvas course on the Oracle Academy to get a better idea of how the Program Canvas can be used to automate the compliance management process.



4. Update Rules

Eloqua’s Data Tools have long been part of the core platform, pre-dating the Eloqua 10 update, and represent the foundations for Eloqua’s data management structure. Among powerful tools such as Lookup tables (containing useful data for automatically updating records with other data), deduplication rules (for the automation of contact data deduplication), but the most versatile and largely underused Data Tools are the Update Rules.


Update rules can be used on their own or in conjunction with other Data Tools to automating the process of updating contacts based on pre-built conditions and criteria. For GDPR, they are a valuable aid to help maintain the status of all contacts in your instance, based on their preferences and engagement. They can be used across the Program Canvas, as well as the Program Builder and even on the Campaign Canvas:


5. Campaign Approvals

Campaign Approvals facilitate the verification of content (emails, landing pages etc) before activating a campaign. They are customisable to suit an organisation’s approval processes and can have multiple stages and multiple approvers. Once the campaign is built and all the elements are on the canvas, they would go to the Campaign Approvals section and request Approvals:



Following the request for Approvals, the campaign is no longer available to activate, instead replacing the button with an Approvals button. Clicking the Approvals button gives the marketer a progress report on the status of each step so they can see where any delays may be:



Once a campaign is built and ready to activate, each approver receives an email notification requesting approval. They are also accessible on the My Eloqua page.

Approvals can be made from here with comments on each approval and rejections can be sent with amends in the comments section. The Campaign Approvals functionality can be used to ensure that all communications are signed by the relevant approval teams before going live.



Key Things to Consider

  • Eloqua forms allow for submitters to be treated as per their opt-in preferences Add a few bullet points here
  • Subscription Management allows an organisation to capture a contact’s legitimate interest
  • The Program canvas can be used to automate the compliance management process
  • Data Tools, and specifically, Update rules can be used to ensure that data is being  handled and updated correctly and accurately
  • When signing off campaigns, the Campaign Approvals functionality allows organisations to implement a GDPR-compliant approval process


Filter Blog

By date: By tag: