Discussions

Normalizing Titles: The Contact Washing Machine

chorenf
chorenf Posts: 18 Silver Trophy
edited Apr 29, 2022 6:21AM in Eloqua

While the concept of the Contact Washing Machine has been out for a while, I wanted to provide a simplified post for those looking to get started in data cleansing. It's not a surprise that the cleaner your data, the more effective your segmentation and lead qualification strategies will be. If you can't make sense of the data that you have, you are leaving opportunities to your competitors that are able to reach those people. You can also check out this excellent post on Hexaware's Data Washing Machine by Amit Varshneya from Hexaware.

We'll start with the concept of normalizing titles. If you're looking through your database and you have hundreds to thousands of job titles that you want to group into buckets, this post will help you create a process to clean your existing data by grouping your database into job title buckets. While some recommend forcing the user on webforms to select their job role, sales people prefer knowing the specific job title and when data is added to the database, it's difficult to ensure that people are assigning the correct job title. It's time to put Eloqua to work to make this easier for you.

This post assumes that you are familiar with Eloqua. You may need to do some research in the Knowledgebase on some of the specifics of the features mentioned. In addition as it uses Program Builder, I would check out the video on Program Builder in Eloqua University or the courses that are available.

To begin this process you need to have analyzed the title field in your database and created normalized "title buckets" that will be used to group the contacts in your database. Examples may include: COO, Manager Level, Sales Professional. These are based on how you currently do your segmentation (or how you want to do your segmentation). One tip worth experimenting with is using a free tool called "Google Refine" to help examine your data and look for trends.

Step by step instructions:

  • Create a new contact field in Eloqua called:"Title Normalized" or "Segmentation Title" (or whatever you feel is appropriate). This field will be the field that you will use for creating your segments and for scoring off of.
  • Create a new Update Rule Set called: "SYSTEM - Data Normalization - Title (Contacts)". Select the entity as Contacts when you create it.
  • Now you're going to create a bunch of update rules so that all of your contacts that have different titles will be updated with a normalized title. For example, if you want all contacts that have a title of "Chief Operating Officer" to have a normalized title of "COO", you would do the following:
  • Add an Update Rule to the Update Rule Set
  • Select the new field "Title Normalized" you created as the field you want to update
  • Select "Set to Value" as the update Action
  • For Value, enter the "title bucket" that you want. In this example, it's COO
  • Check off "Make this rule Conditional"
  • Choose the Title contact field
  • Change it to "Equal to"
  • Enter in the value that the program should look for to normalize. In this example, enter in: Chief Operating Officer

Here is what it looks like:
Update_Rule.gif

  • Since this is a washing machine, you now have to rinse and repeat. Save this Update Rule you created and create as many rules that are needed so that you can normalize all of your records into consistent title buckets. Keep in mind that you many not get all of them at the first go and that this is an iterative process.

    An added feature with Update Rules is that you can use the wild card character: *. This makes it easier to identify records and update them. For example, if you are looking to create a normalized title bucket of COO, you can enter a value such as Chief Op*. In this case, the wild card looks for any contact with a title of "Chief Op". Therefore, Chief Operating Officer would be picked up as well just "Chief Operator". You need to be careful on how you apply the wild card character.


When you're done, you'll have a list that looks like this:

Update_Rule_List.gif

Something to consider: Order the evaluation criteria (the Update Rules) of your Update Rule Set to ensure the highest quality matches. You may need to test some data to perfect this which we'll do once we build a Program in Program Builder in the next step.

  • Now you can create a Washing Machine Program and run your contacts through the program using Program Builder. Go to Program Builder and create a new program. This is a very simple program. In the Program Details, make sure the Default Member type is Contacts. This will be a very simple program.
  • Once you've created the program, add an Action step as the first step in the program but don't add any actions to it.
  • Now, add a new Action step to the first step. Select the "Update Contact/Prospect/Company Data" action and choose the Update Rule Set you created:

    Program_TitleB.jpg
  • Add a final step that will remove contacts from the program. Your Program should look like this:

Program_TitleC.jpg

  • Test your Update rules by running some sample contacts through the program and make changes if needed to ensure that the majority of titles are accounted for and are normalized. You may want to disable the final step in the program and review the data for the first few weeks. Once you are confident that all is OK, let the contacts flow freely through the program.
  • You can now add in feeders to the program and add it to your overall data flow:
  • You can also pass the data to your CRM integration program using the "Move to Another Program" program action. Change the last step of the program to this action as per below:


Program_TitleD.jpg

Good luck on cleansing your data!

Post edited by OIT Integration User on
Tagged:

Comments

  • Hi

    I'm trying to do this in E10, but I can't seem to find this option.

    Is it something that is not available or did I oversee something?

  • gaea.connary
    gaea.connary Posts: 31 Bronze Trophy

    Hi

    I'm trying to do this in E10, but I can't seem to find this option.

    Is it something that is not available or did I oversee something?

    Hi Niels, Access to Program Builder in E10 is in the Setup area.

  • Markku Alikoski
    Markku Alikoski Posts: 2 Silver Medal

    A very Good article, thank you! I'd like to add, though: if you have a large amount of different titles to normalize, using a lookup table populated from an Excel file is the way to go. In our marketing register (<10 000 contacts), there are 451 different job titles. Creating the update rule manually would take several days:-). The Excel file can be edited quickly and updated to Eloqua by uploading it anew.

  • chorenf
    chorenf Posts: 18 Silver Trophy

    A very Good article, thank you! I'd like to add, though: if you have a large amount of different titles to normalize, using a lookup table populated from an Excel file is the way to go. In our marketing register (<10 000 contacts), there are 451 different job titles. Creating the update rule manually would take several days:-). The Excel file can be edited quickly and updated to Eloqua by uploading it anew.

    Markku - great tip and thanks for commenting. For others looking for more info on Lookup Tables, search for "Lookup Tables" in the Eloqua Knowledgebase.

  • I need more that one condition for an update rule.  Like title equals *Principal* and vertical hsa a value in Education- Higher Edu, Education /K-14.  How can I do this wiht an update rule?

  • Markku Alikoski
    Markku Alikoski Posts: 2 Silver Medal

    Elizabeth, you can do it if you make a decision rule in Program Builder using  Contact is in Contact Filter. With filters you can test multiple value combinations. You may have to "fall through" a couple of these rules, if there are many possible field value combinations.

  • 2868882
    2868882 Posts: 7 Green Ribbon

    I need more that one condition for an update rule.  Like title equals *Principal* and vertical hsa a value in Education- Higher Edu, Education /K-14.  How can I do this wiht an update rule?

    Elizabeth, we break titles into to normalized fields.  Title, like "Principal" and Focus, like your hsa vertical. They are essentailly the same programs using different update rules and tables.  First we find the title, then it moves int to the focus program where we pull out the focus.  You could then use the Eloqua Cloud Connector to conacatnate the two fields together into a third field.

    We also use the cloud connector to strip out any extra spaces.

  • 2871449
    2871449 Posts: 7 Green Ribbon

    Can anyone recommend an Eloqua consulting firm that can set up this type of data normalization program?

  • autumn.coleman
    autumn.coleman Posts: 20 Silver Trophy

    Can anyone recommend an Eloqua consulting firm that can set up this type of data normalization program?

    I'm using Eloqua Expert Services to create our washing machine program. They work for Eloqua and can do a variety of complex projects, as needed.

  • 2871449
    2871449 Posts: 7 Green Ribbon

    I'm using Eloqua Expert Services to create our washing machine program. They work for Eloqua and can do a variety of complex projects, as needed.

    Thanks Autumn!

  • 2871449
    2871449 Posts: 7 Green Ribbon

    I'm using Eloqua Expert Services to create our washing machine program. They work for Eloqua and can do a variety of complex projects, as needed.

    Do you have a link?

  • Can anyone recommend an Eloqua consulting firm that can set up this type of data normalization program?

    Hi Nicole,

    My name is Mike MacFarlane, and I am a Senior Marketing Consultant with Couch & Associates, and Eloqua Certified Partner (http://www.couch-associates.com/).

    We have built many variations of the Contact Washing Machine   If you are interested in discussing your options, please do let me know! ([email protected]).

    You can also check out a blog post that I wrote back in 2010 on getting started with a Contact Washing Machine on the Eloqua Artisan blog (http://eloqua.blogspot.com/2010/03/reporting-on-sparkly-clean-data.html)

    Take care,

    Mike MacFarlane

    Senior Marketing Consultant

    Couch & Associates

  • autumn.coleman
    autumn.coleman Posts: 20 Silver Trophy

    Do you have a link?

    Hey Nicole,


    I just sent you an email and a contact for their services. Let me know if you need anything else!

    Best,

    Autumn