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ChecklistMy first Eloqua campaign. I launched it in 2008 but I remember it like it was yesterday. My email was all set up, tested and had been approved by the product manager. My distribution list (I was using E9 at the time) was created and ready for use. I clicked to ‘Send as Batch’ (again, E9) and nervously completed each step in the wizard. Then, the dreadful last step came upon my screen: Step 5, Review. As my cursor moved towards the “Finish” button, my hand shook like I was in an 8.0 earthquake. Eek! Finish. I held my breath for what felt like days. There’s no “Undo” button. It’s out there. Did I do everything I could have to ensure it was perfect? I think so, but I’m only human!

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query-strings-are-coolQuery string. You may have heard the term before, or perhaps you are new to the concept. For those who are the latter, first things first: what is it?

In a URL, a query string follows a separating character, usually a question mark, with identifying data appearing after.


The “?” identifies when the query strings start. The “src=” and “cmp=” represent the query string parameters. The characters that come after the equals sign, in this case, “Eloqua” and “Welcome,” are the query string values. The “&” represents a break point between the parameter/value pairs.

Query strings can be used on dynamic websites as a means to trigger a query program to recover specific information from a database and populate content on the webpage based on the data provided.

They are also used by website reporting tools like Google Analytics and Omniture for reporting purposes whereby standard or custom query string parameters can be set up with the purpose of tracking specific data about a person’s website visit. Marketers add query strings to URLs used for web-based or email ad campaigns. When visitors click a link with a custom parameter, the unique parameters are tracked within their Google Analytics account so they can identify the campaigns that are most effective in attracting visitors to their content.

With the knowledge of what a query string looks like and common use cases, I’d love to share with you some creative ways that they can be leveraged in Oracle Eloqua.

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Twin Cities Oracle Marketing Cloud User GroupTwin Cities Oracle Marketing Cloud users met in Minneapolis this week to learn about incorporating a tele-qualification strategy in their demand generation and customer retention campaigns. The presentations were followed by a networking happy hour sponsored by OppSource (thanks!).

Attendees heard Mark Galloway, Co-founder and CEO of OppSource, present on best practices for a lead qualification process prior to sales hand-off. An interesting take-away: OppSource’s data shows that a lead is one hundred times more likely to purchase if sales follows up within five minutes of the inquiry. This is when I turned to my business developers in the room and nodded to be sure they knew that I heard that statement. #SLA

Judy Jossi of Slice Consulting and Amy Anderson, Senior Oracle Marketing Cloud Consultant at Relationship One, presented a case study on Red Wing Shoes’ use of tele-qualification in several multi-channel campaigns. Judy was kind enough to share the details of what has worked, what hasn’t worked, and what they’re still testing. “We measure the performance of each tactic but we also use use call data to inform other decisions like PPC and email deploy timeframes ,” said Judy, “My motto: test, test, test.” Amy explained how Red Wing Shoes has leveraged the robust capabilities of Oracle Eloqua to automate these ever-green multi-step, multi-team member campaigns.

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Why-You-Need-MA-BlogI will admit it. I am a total marketing geek. I think about new campaign ideas in the middle of the night. I love learning about the latest marketing technology that’s going to revolutionize how we do business. I dig reading articles about the latest marketing tech companies that get bought up or raise a bunch of venture money. I could talk marketing geek speak all day long and with anyone who’s willing to talk to me. It’s one of the many reasons I love working at Relationship One.

With all this love and excitement for marketing geek-ery, it’s easy to forget that not everyone shares my passion. Even some people who work in marketing don’t share my level of enthusiasm. When I talk with fellow marketers who work at an organization that has a very slim marketing technology stack, I find it odd. I can’t fathom how I would do my job without all the amazing technology I have access to. At the core of this is marketing automation. Whether it’s the best enterprise-level tool, Oracle Eloqua, or a lighter weight tool, the modern marketer needs something to serve as the hub for digital marketing activities. If you aren’t using marketing automation now, but are thinking about it, here are some reasons why you should pull the trigger.

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Lead-ScoringSimply put, lead scoring is a methodology used by marketing and sales to objectively grade leads. If done right, it’s the Holy Grail we strive for as we dream of reaching the mythical pinnacle of lead qualification nirvana, envisioning each lead marketing passes over to sales is from the goose that laid golden eggs. In reality, sales looks at them more like rotten eggs two weeks past their expiration date.

Wait, you mean the contacts who registered for a free iPad aren’t really interested in our product? Why not? Even companies that are leading the way in marketing innovation and sales collaboration deal with this scenario. Lead scoring can bring harmony and sanity to the sales and marketing relationship. Harmony between sales and marketing? Surely I’ve lost my mind. On the contrary. When executed well, lead scoring can help achieve this.

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Ask-An-OracleEloqua-Partner-BlogSo you’ve decided to make a big investment in your future marketing success and have chosen Oracle over the competition. First of all, let me say, I think you made an excellent choice. You’ve gone with the industry leader and have chosen the most flexible, powerful, robust solution on the market.

Now what?

First, you will need help with the implementation of the platform to get you set up for success. Once this is complete and you are ready to fly, you may require outside support for executing campaigns or managing your integrations. Down the road, you may look for help with running the platform when you have staff transition and need extra capacity; when you recognize there’s a skills gap on your team and you would rather contract out the work, or you might want to go with a fully managed service option. Whatever the business need is, you will want to make sure you thoroughly vet any potential partner you will hire.

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Chicago User GroupAnother Chicago User Group is officially in the books. Thank you all for who attended, as this was by far our largest (and most active) audience to date.

In addition to general announcements and updates, due to the gap between our quarterly events, we covered, in detail, Oracle Eloqua Release updates for Version 470 and 471, as well as Sales/Apps Versions 2.7-2.9.

Oracle Eloqua’s own Mike MacFarlane, stopped by and presented an updated version of this “Eloqua+: Advanced Tips n’ Tricks” presentation from MME15. This was a definite crowd-pleaser as group got a walkthrough on how to incorporate dynamic content in subject lines, capturing historical lead scores and building a gated form with the progressive profiling cloud component.

Our event wrapped up with a lively group discussion including topics such as Lead Scoring and the Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL) to Sales Accepted Lead (SAL) flow.

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lead-nurturing“Batch and blast.”

I still cringe whenever I hear someone say this phrase. Maybe it’s because it brings me back to my marketing intern days when “lick it and stick it” was the story of my life. More likely, however, it’s because the phrase implies such unrealized potential. So many marketers get stuck in the land of one-time sends, event marketing, and newsletters. Although email marketing can be very effective for these campaigns, it’s a small percentage of a marketing automation platform’s capabilities. It’s like buying a Ferrari and only driving it back and forth to the grocery store. Yes, it will get you there, but think of how much more fun you’ll have driving on the autobahn.

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Twin Cities Oracle Marketing Cloud User GroupIt’s been a couple months since the Twin Cities Oracle Marketing Cloud user group has met. We took a brief hiatus with the custom conference, Modern Marketing Experience, being in March but we are back in action!

The addition of a few folks we met at the Modern Marketing MashUp in March and Oracle team members had us at full capacity. We’ll be looking for a new location as the user group grows; a reflection of the thirst for knowledge from the Oracle Marketing Cloud community and the great discussions being had. Speaking of, if you want to review the slides (or check them out for the first time) please do. There is some valuable information that you won’t want to miss.

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Data-HighwayAs Oracle Eloqua users, our jobs require that we wear many hats, from html coders and database managers to email creators and strategic thinkers. Like everyone, I certainly have my favorite hats. I was talking with a client recently who said she just doesn’t like spending time in the integration area of the platform. I could tell she has a solid understanding of integration and can make changes as needed; however, she prefers other roles and wants to leave the integration work to us.

Even if your role is not to maintain your integration, a basic understanding of how it works will make you a stronger and more valuable team member. Understanding the terminology is the place to start.

So grab your integration hat, make sure it fits snugly, and let’s hit the data highway.

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