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The Blog

Killer-Content-DistributionThe other day I had one of those “That’s so cool” moments that happen every now and then. I wrote a blog post on team leadership on LinkedIn that got picked up as one of the featured stories on Pulse. By the end of the day, over 3,000 people had read my post with many of them liking or commenting on it. My post went “sort-of” viral. I was so excited.

This was the second time in my life that I had a blog post go “sort-of” viral (the first was a post I wrote after attending Dreamforce 2012). In both cases, a few thousand people read what I had written. Going “sort-of” viral is not too shabby, but it’s not a great long-term strategy for your day-to-day marketing efforts. Creating content and just hoping that someone will find it, and share it, with the world is not going to get you very far. There is so much content being created these days, that if you don’t have a distribution strategy, it’s tough to stand out from the noise.

As you think about your content strategy, make sure you spend equal amount of time creating your distribution plan. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

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Why-The-Oracle-Eloqua-Events-Module-Rocks-BlogAs a consultant, I’ve executed many, many event-based campaigns for our customers. Now, as a marketer for Relationship One, I support the execution of at least one event campaign a month. To run this type of campaign, Oracle Eloqua users have a couple options. You can facilitate the invitation process and post-registration communications through the traditional Campaign Canvas or leverage the Event M=module for execution (included in Standard trim, add-on to Basic).

The Event module is a tool in the platform with the purpose of easily managing communications and actions that should happen once a contact has registered for an event. It’s a template interface that, within a handful of configuration decisions, manages the experience for a registrant including which emails go out to which registrants, when, and with what content. There are a few other bonuses that are mentioned later in this article but that’s the main gist.

While the Campaign Canvas can handle events, there are specific reasons why the Event module may be the better choice.

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5-Step-Game-Plan-for-Implementing-Oracle-Eloqua-BlogI’m an avid sports fan. Lucky for me, I have managed the majority of Oracle Eloqua implementations for our sports team clients. This has allowed me to work in some exciting and unique environments like the Honda Center for the Anaheim Ducks and Sports Authority Field for the Denver Broncos. I probably wouldn’t get much done if a stadium was my office building. It would be awesome but way too distracting.

During my time with our sports clients, I’ve often been asked how to start off successful with marketing automation. Although there’s always room for improvement along the way, here are a handful of things that I would recommend to ANY customer implementing Oracle Eloqua.

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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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