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MME15-Packing-ListThe marketing event of the year is just around the corner, and I’m pumped. I can’t wait to dig into all the great sessions, meet a bunch of new people, celebrate marketing excellence, and party it up Vegas style.

I’ve been to Modern Markting Experience (used to be called Eloqua Experience) several times, so I know what to expect. But, if this is your first time attending, you might be unsure of what you will need. For those who will be packing over the weekend like me, here is what you need to bring:

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Spring-Tune-UpPunxsutawney Phil’s six weeks are up, and our clocks have officially “sprung” forward. With spring now upon us, it’s time to break out your figurative Oracle Eloqua spray bottles and sponges and get ready to spruce up your instance.

Below, I’ve captured some fairly quick quality checks along with some recommendations on how to best go about cleaning (aka next steps).

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What vs. WhyA friend on LinkedIn recently posted an interesting question that I’ve been thinking about the past week:

“What’s the difference between Reporting and Analytics?”

I laughed when I first read it. “Isn’t it obvious?” I almost blurted out loud. Being a data guy, I was ready to jump in and post the response of a lifetime. But then a funny thing happened. The more I wrote, the harder it was to actually answer the question.

Do you have a good answer? Perhaps you’ve pondered this data mystery yourself. It’s okay if you don’t know. Many executives and even Business Intelligence vendors use the terms interchangeably.

As data practitioners, we generally believe that they’re not the same thing, but don’t really know how to explain the difference. Perhaps more importantly, we don’t always know when we should use one over the other.

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Get the Most out of Eloqua ReportingWe all understand the importance of analysis and data-driven decisions, but let’s be honest – sometimes it’s hard to know where to start. You might not feel like you have the time to become a data genius. Or, you could be wondering if you even have the right tools in place. Excel is great, but it’s not always the easiest thing to use for advanced data projects.

Fear not! The road to data mastery is not as daunting as it first appears. Below are five of my favorite ways to get better insight into your Oracle Eloqua instance without giving you a headache.

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Should I buy a list?There it is again. Every time I register on a website, buy something online, or sign up for retail discounts, I see that checkbox. “By clicking this box, I agree to receive communications and special offers from XYZ Company’s partners and affiliates…” blah, blah, blah. Unless I somehow get tricked into checking this box, it always remains unchecked. Why? Because I don’t want a company that I don’t know sending me information on products that I don’t need or want. No doubt, you have felt the same way. Yet, even as marketers, we sometimes forget this golden rule.

Most of us don’t want to receive email communications from companies that have never crossed our path. We certainly don’t want emails on products, promotions, or content that doesn’t apply to us. Have you ever gotten an email and thought, “How on earth did I end up on this email list?” Yes? Me too. And what’s the first thing you do? Typically unsubscribe if you’re being nice. Hit the “spam” button if you’re not. And that sums up why purchasing lists can be so dangerous.

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Breaking Bad Data[Disclaimer: I should admit now that I did not watch all five seasons of Breaking Bad. I ended after season four with the intention of spending a nice rainy Sunday afternoon with Netflix finishing the series, but that has yet to happen. So, for those of you who are also behind the times, there will be no spoilers in this blog.]

I always hear analysts proclaim, “I love data.” Many of us say we love data, but chances are, we don’t actually love the data itself. What we really love is the insight gained from data after the analysis, which is NOT the same thing. I personally don’t love data (numbers and words associated with more numbers and words), but I DO love what I can glean from it.

If insight is what we’re after, we have to find a way to organize and prioritize all the data that’s out there and weed out anything that detracts from further understanding. Data that creates noise and chaos is what I call “Bad Data”. Bad data contains missing values, unknown metrics, unfinished records, strange file formats and any number of things that can prevent the type of analysis that leads to understanding and action. This is the data that takes up hours of your time, causes you to stay late in the office, pull out your hair, and may cause instant computer combustion. This includes data that you had and then lost; data that you swear is not the same today as it was yesterday, and all the stuff that gradually became sloppy over the years. Hopefully, I can help you avoid bad data with these four steps of good data governance.

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Our-Clients-are-OutstandingOne thing I love about Relationship One is that I get to work with all the cool clients. Our clients really push the envelope when it comes to marketing automation and digital marketing, and it’s a privilege to help them along in their journey.

Each year, Oracle awards the gold standard in marketing automation excellence: The Markie Awards. Preparing and submitting for a Markie Award nomination is no small task. First, you have to do outstanding, cutting-edge work. Second, you have to have the reporting in place to determine if what you’re doing is successful or not. Third, you have to complete a lengthy award submission process that documents the work you’ve done and shows off the metrics to prove it. Fourth, you have to wait with baited breath for Oracle to review all the submissions and determine the best-of-the-best.

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Chicago User GroupAt this quarter’s Chicago User Group, we peeled back the onion known as Oracle Eloqua to see first-hand what new features, enhancements and fixed issues became available during the recent 469 Release.

Jonathan Macchi from Oracle Eloqua stopped by to share his knowledge on how BlueKai serves up customer and audience data in the cloud to help implement personalized marketing campaigns across channels, delivering better results and higher ROI.

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Twin Cities Oracle Marketing Cloud User GroupOracle Eloqua is a pretty flexible tool. For the majority of the time, the functionality that comes out-of-the-box is fine for what you need. But, what do you do when you want a little something extra? You need a little more pizazz. You want something that pops. What do you do?

Fortunately, Oracle Eloqua is ready to meet your needs. You can do custom HTML, CSS and JavaScript to get your assets to look and behave just the way want them to.

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How-to-Evangelize-Oracle-Eloqua-Inside-Your-OrganizationI’m a marketing geek at my very core. I love talking about technology, metrics and moving buyers along a journey. I read articles about marketing in my spare time. I study people in the industry who are doing new things. I LinkedIn-stalk leaders in the space. I love everything about marketing.

My wife, an elementary school teacher, will graciously listen to me ramble on for about 30 minutes before she reaches her limit of geek talk for the day. She’s not as in love with marketing as I am. Few people are.

Nearly five years ago, I brought Oracle Eloqua into the fast-growing tech startup I was working at. I had been using lesser tools at previous jobs to do demand generation and marketing automation. Now, I had my hands on the industry leader. I was so pumped! But, I quickly found out that others in my company were not as jazzed as I was. (I’m not sure why I didn’t anticipate this happening given my own wife’s reaction to marketing geek talk). Didn’t they see the potential? Couldn’t they wrap their minds around how much better life was going to be now that we had Oracle Eloqua?

They thought it was just a tool for the marketing department to do whatever it is that marketing departments do. They didn’t really know what the marketing team did; let alone why a new software platform was so exciting for me. They were indifferent because they didn’t think Oracle Eloqua would affect their life in any way.

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