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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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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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Eloqua FanaticHave you been accused of drinking the Oracle Eloqua kool-aid? No judgement here! You are amongst friends at Relationship One. Our team of consultants joke about the geek-out moments we have when we implement a complex solution or receive a ‘like’ to a posting on Topliners.

When does one’s immense adoration for the platform reach an unhealthy level? My personal response is never. But, here are a handful of indicators that, if met, may mean you’ve landed way over the line of the average Eloqua user.


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Twin Cities Oracle Marketing Cloud User Group

The Twin Cities Oracle Marketing Cloud users are dedicated! Yet again, and despite the short holiday week, we had a packed room of locals in attendance ready to share, learn and discuss all things marketing automation.

The agenda for November included:

  • an overview of email subscription management with a focus on custom options for Eloqua
  • an explanation and demonstration of the Custom Object Record Selector app available in the Relationship One AppCloud
  • a facilitated discussion around considerations for training new Eloqua users and evangelizing Eloqua within your company

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It's not just about emailTwo things I really enjoy about my job are:

1) Working with the Oracle Eloqua platform allows for unrivaled flexibility. You can make Eloqua do things that no other marketing automation is capable of. This is great because it allows organizations to really use the platform as the central hub for all marketing activities.

2) I work with a diverse group of clients that cut across industries, product lines, and business practices. This means I get to hear from a lot of really smart marketers on any given day.

One of the things I’ve been hearing a lot as I talk with our clients is the desire to be multi-channel or omni-channel. Savvy marketers have realized that, while elaborate email campaigns are great, there’s more that can be done. How much more effective would your marketing efforts be if you were able to reach people through different mediums and throughout different points of their day? Wouldn’t that improve your chances of closing a deal? Fortunately, Oracle Eloqua can handle so much more than just emailing marketing. It supports integrations with third party applications, with ease.

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Twin Cities Oracle Marketing Cloud User GroupWe had a full house at the October user group, including several new faces!

Mike Bernard, Relationship One’s Oracle Marketing Cloud Practice Director, covered the Fall Release in detail. If you haven’t had a chance to review the Fall Release, check out a summary here: Fall Eloqua Release – Little things make a BIG impact.

Desiree Quinn from Ameripride teamed up with Relationship One’s consultant Teshon Dyer to present Ameripride’s CASL opt-in campaign. The campaign was executed through Eloqua and involved a custom solution for the fulfillment of a download offer. This presentation offered great inspiration and insightful learnings for the marketers in the room.

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Eloqua MaintenanceI’ll admit it. When my husband and I purchased our home in 2012, I drove to the closest Barnes & Noble and picked up Home Maintenance for Dummies. We had previously lived in a town house, so a majority of the outside maintenance was managed by the association. The upkeep tasks for the interior might not have received the attention they should have. Our new home offered a fresh start and, with this book, I would become the best homeowner in the neighborhood.

I made it through 17 of 388 pages.

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The June Oracle Marketing Cloud user group was awesome! The room was filled with veteran and newbie Eloqua users. The agenda included:

  • Updates & Announcements
  • ’14 Summer Release Highlights
  • Overview of and by Zift Solutions
  • Creative Uses for Custom Objects

We finished up with a valuable open discussion around how the group is implementing campaigns and configuring Eloqua in preparation for Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation. Then, we headed to enjoy a lovely happy hour with one another.

Thanks to all who attended for your participation!

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Are you undecided about attending Interact 2014? Think no further. Here is a list of reasons to attend this year’s modern marketing conference from July 16-18 in San Francisco!

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