Has your Oracle Eloqua investment lived up to your expectations and hopes? Many frustrated and worried product marketing teams, struggling to master this complex platform, share the same fear: maybe Eloqua wasn’t the right tool for the job. But with the right support partner, it could be.
Oracle Eloqua is designed to bring ease and flow to even the most complex marketing campaigns through its robust marketing automation capabilities. But Eloqua is not a “plug-and-play” tool. It requires training to use it and an advanced level of expertise to implement it properly.
“Sometimes clients aren’t experiencing the full potential of Eloqua because they aren’t aware that there are better, more efficient ways to set up marketing campaigns,” says Alice Matthews, Ciberspring’s Eloqua practice developer manager.
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If you’re wondering if Eloqua is worth the investment and looking for ways to prove its value to your organization and C-suite, read on. These three optimization tips have helped our clients supercharge their marketing with Eloqua.
1. Start with a clear strategy to fully leverage your Eloqua instance
To get meaningful results, start every new campaign with a deep understanding of objectives and an established strategy. “Often it’s not the platform causing poor results, it’s the lack of strategy and planning behind it,” says Matthews.
At many organizations, there’s a big push to get Eloqua up and running quickly, with pressure from above to start getting return on the investment. Product marketing teams send out emails as if they were using a regular email tool, without taking the time to think through the customer journey.
Take the time to begin with strategy for everything from naming conventions and segmentation to business processes and customer journeys. Where does automation best support the journey? Establish a strategy first, then monitor the engagement throughout the journey and make adjustments as needed. Continually “reading” what is happening and course-correcting is the best way to see that ROI from Eloqua.
2. Organize your assets with clear naming conventions
Marketing automation teams set themselves up for success by establishing consistent naming conventions from the start.
“You can never go wrong with having a clean naming convention,” says Peter Shilton, Eloqua solutions architect at Ciberspring. “Reporting will be easier, evaluating campaign performance will be easier, searching within reports will be easier… clean naming conventions will repel disaster.”
Develop clear naming conventions around your reporting needs and document the name scheme in process documents. Make sure that these documents are readily available to all team members for consistent usage. This is especially important in today’s pandemic environment, where most teams are at least partially remote now.
3. Root out repetitive work and replace with Eloqua automation
Platforms like Eloqua exist to automate your marketing efforts and make them more effective and efficient. “If you’re spending time doing repetitive work, you’re not using Eloqua optimally,” says Shilton.
Everything should be designed for re-use where possible. If your team is performing the same tasks every week, that’s likely an opportunity to build reusable components or automate processes.
“We’ve seen companies that have monthly campaigns with related emails month to month, sending from Eloqua,” says Matthews. “Instead of building several of the emails dynamically or setting up the campaign to nurture their prospects through the process from month to month, the product marketing team is building them new every month. While some may feel building new each month is their best approach, there are potential insights being missed, and the analytics folks have to do more work to collect and compare activity reports.”
This creates extra work for many teams (such as design, writers, developers and analytics), and raises the potential for errors. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel with each new campaign.
Make good use of shared and dynamic content when building responsive templates in Eloqua. This keeps your process standardized and improves efficiencies for the product marketing team.
Different types of communications may require the build new approach, however spending time to cultivate meaningful content to engage your customer or prospect bases will likely have better end results. When possible, utilize a template approach to create a consistent method of reaching your audience. Spending time analyzing campaign results and applying the new knowledge can drastically improve future campaigns.
Have all of your strategy, potential audience and creative ideas, and a campaign flow ready before you begin building anything. Past data can help you to visualize new approaches as well. Building your emails properly and automating your campaign can help save design and development time.
Getting the best value out of Eloqua
Implement any one of these optimization tips into your Eloqua instance to see improved ROI. Even with all of them implemented, however, the payoff may take months, and the customer journey may need refocusing along the way.
Shilton warns clients that getting the quality of data that Eloqua needs to run at its full potential may take six months to a year. “You can’t have a customer journey without first designing it and then monitoring the journey happening in your data,” he says. “The customer journey doesn’t happen within a week. You have to get your leads flowing through the system and coming out the other end. And it’s definitely something you have to iterate as you go.”
Many companies find that to get the full value out of their Eloqua investment, they need a combination of in-house product marketing expertise and an outside partner with deep Eloqua experience.
Ciberspring is an Oracle Marketing Cloud Partner and our Eloqua team is well-versed in the nuances of the platform. We specialize in providing the strategic and technical expertise necessary to bring your goals over the finish line.
Ready to supercharge your Eloqua instance and increase your marketing ROI? Let’s talk. Fill out the form below and one of our specialists will be in touch right away.