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The Blog

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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Theres No Place Like Program BuilderAre you the kind of Eloquan who configures complex email campaigns using Campaign Canvas before you’ve downed your first cup of coffee, yet it would take a stiff shot of whiskey to get you to brave your way into Program Builder? You’re not alone. For some, Program Builder lives in the shadows of Oracle Eloqua, and it’s best to not disturb the beast unless you absolutely must.

From a distance, Program Builder may lack luster. Where’s the drag? Where’s the drop? But once you get to know it, it has its own shine. It’s a little like visiting Oz: once you’re there, the gray fades to a whole world of color.

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Making-Data-Work-For-You“Would you like to add your email address to our distribution list?” This question came right as I was swiping my credit card to pay for my five-year-old’s new Frozen sneakers. I shop here occasionally so I figured, why not? Maybe they’ll send me coupons. “Sure,” I said. The cashier then instructed me to enter my email address on the keypad. I quickly entered my secondary email address (the one I use for email marketing) and privately smiled knowing that my main email address continued to be “safe.”

As I walked away with bag in hand, I realized just how difficult it is to gain the attention of our customers. After all, I myself had once again given out a secondary email address — the one I use to keep my main inbox clutter-free. Only a select few email marketers know my main email address. These marketers have earned the “privilege” by proving that they know me as a customer. They send me relevant communications that I want, not generic emails that have no bearing on my interests.

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Email-Canvas-BlogSay it with me now, “It’s okay to not know everything.” This little piece of advice has helped me tremendously in my endless pursuit to master all things Oracle Eloqua. Whether you’re an Eloqua savant or just getting your sea legs, there’s always an opportunity to learn something new. That being said, my intent here is not to drown you with the painfully obvious and mundane email editor “how-to’s,” but to highlight key areas of interest that you either may not know about, under-utilize or haven’t had the pleasure of re-introducing yourself, post release updates.

As the title states, this will be 101-type coverage, however, I’ve found that many of these tips are commonly asked questions on Topliners and/or brought up by my clients. Hopefully, everyone will be able to use a few of these tips as you expand your Oracle Eloqua knowledge.

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Guest Blogger: Ready-TalkPart Three: Our Automation Solution and Implementation

In my first blog post, I talked about the short comings of most nurture tracks. In my second, I discussed our solution to these perceived problems. In this blog post, I am going to detail how we implemented this solution within Oracle Eloqua; in other words, the fun part. I also want to share with you some of the metrics we are seeing from our nurture track.

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To Delete or Not Delete?Here’s a random question for you: How many contacts are in your Oracle Eloqua database? Do you know? If you don’t, please stop reading this article and go check right away. If you’re getting close to your contracted limit, or over the threshold, you’re in danger of having an unsuspected bill show up. Getting hit with an expense you weren’t planning on is no way to start your day.

Welcome back. Now that you have an idea of how many contacts are in your database, here’s the next set of questions to ask yourself: How many of those contacts are hard-bounced? Of those with current email addresses, how many are active vs. inactive? You can run a couple of reports in Insight or create segments to figure out how many fall into each bucket.

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Marketing AutomationI recently read an article stating that only 53% of Fortune 500 companies use some sort of marketing automation tool. That number is up 112% from one year ago. Marketing automation is the fastest growing CRM-related segment in the past five years, with Google searches on that term up 22% over 2013.

In this fast-growing industry, sometimes we can lose sight of the simple things. What exactly is marketing automation and what can it do for your business? I’ve been in this industry awhile and learned to tailor my answer to whom I’m speaking with. On a personal level, it’s a bit trickier. As a Marketing Automation Consultant (and if you’re in this industry, you know exactly what I’m talking about), the inevitable family dinner conversation or an introduction to a new friend can be exhausting. “So what do you do for work?” Immediately, I think, “Ugh, here we go.” Why can’t I be a nurse or teacher or something easy to explain?

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Markie AwardI love this time of year. Not only do I get to celebrate the holidays with family and friends, it’s also the time when everyone is making Top 10 lists of things that happened throughout the year and giving their prognostications about what they think the future entails. I love reading the summaries of the things I may have missed and checking out the predictions of forward-thinking people.

Reading through all the great year-end commentary got me thinking, “There should be some sort of award handed out to the people who predict trends that actually come to fruition.” After awhile, I think we would see several people touting multi-year wins and others remaining noticeably devoid of recognition. Let’s be honest. Anyone can spout off some predictions. It takes true forward thinking to be able to see into the future and actually get it right.

Perhaps an award already exists for these list-building visionaries, but what I do know is that, when it comes to marketing, there are awards for people who are visionaries in their field: The Markie Awards

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Achieve SMarketing

At Relationship One, we love to throw around the term “smarketing.” When I first heard it, I found it a little off-putting. I thought, “You can’t just go around making up words.” But, the more I heard it, the more I grew to like it.

So what does “smarketing” mean? Well, it’s pretty simple. It’s how we define the hybrid set of skills needed to be successful as a modern sales and marketing professional. Best-in-class organizations have realized that it’s no longer acceptable to have siloed sales and marketing teams acting independently of each other. Sales and marketing need to be tightly aligned, have well-defined Service Level Agreements (SLA’s) in place, and work side-by-side to move someone from prospect to client.

As a modern marketer, I love seeing traditional boundaries that separate the sales and marketing teams erode. Providing sales with qualified leads is great, but why stop there? Any way I can find to make life easier for a sales person is something I’m interested in doing, especially if it’s automated, so I can develop something once and let it run.

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Subscription ManagementRemember when email subscription management was easy? Back in the “good old days” someone was either in or out, subscribed or unsubscribed, opted-in or opted-out. It was black and white. Plus, we were able to more easily manage our database’s preferences in our one marketing tool.

When did so many shades of grey get added to the considerations for managing subscriptions? What changed? A lot!

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