Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Eloqua Experience: Highlights from 2008 - Paul Rosien, Greg Forrest, Concur

The third in our series of highlights from last year’s Eloqua Experience comes from Paul Rosien and Greg Forrest at Concur. Concur is the leader in employee spend management software, and is also the home of one of the most innovative marketing teams we have the pleasure of working with.

In the campaign that was highlighted in their presentation, an entertaining viral B2B marketing campaign drove lots of interest and engagement, while a carefully structured free trial and nurture campaign moved business travelers and their organizations through to being buyers.

At Eloqua Experience 2009, you’ll have a chance to connect with marketers like Paul and Greg, and see campaigns like theirs highlighted in the Markies Gala on Tuesday night. The Concur campaign might fit into a few of the 12 categories, including “Most Creative Marketing Campaign”, “Social Media Marketing Award”, and the “Best Lead Nurturing Program Award”.

I hope you enjoy their presentation – a highlight of the 2008 event

Some highlights from the presentation if you want to use the “Chapters” tab to skip ahead (once the audio has loaded):

1:25 Key Challenges
Needed a unique experience that would bridge the gap between the “end user” – the business traveler – and the buyer, a C-level executive.

3:28 Deployment
Concur created an ad campaign that used the viral element of true tales of business travel to engage with the audience and drive traffic

4:40 Ad Campaign
Some very bold creative that highlighted the crazy stories shared by business travelers – especially for the C-level executives who were targeted

6:01 Microsite
The True Tales of Business Travel microsite was both where the stories were shared, rated, and commented on, and the point to where all the Ad campaigns drove people. Great example of community-generated content in a B2B marketing scenario.

10:40 Tying it Together with a Free Trial
This was the main driver that transitioned people into the lead funnel. A free trial was heavily promoted alongside the Stories campaign in order to draw in the business travelers who were intrigued by the stories

12:54 Mature Campaign
Combining tips and tricks with awareness of whether the individual had logged in and used the product, a maturation and nurturing campaign guided the user and showed value that could be passed to the buying executive in the trial user’s organization.

15:50 Results
The Concur team got some great results out of this campaign – over 106,000 stories were viewed, and 900 people signed up for the trial edition and passed on to the sales team.

Remember, Eloqua Experience is in San Francisco on Nov 2nd - 4th, 2009, and is the event of the year for any marketer focused on marketing automation and demand generation. Hope to see you there.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Eloqua Experience: Highlights from 2008 - Nic Zangre, Aquent

Continuing on the theme of Eloqua Experience 2009 that we started recently, I wanted to continue with a highlight presentation from Eloqua Experience 2008 that remains very relevant today. Nic Zangre from Aquent would clearly be in the theme of this year’s “Rock Star” track (see the agenda for more details) with his detailed presentation on data management and advanced approaches to sales and marketing alignment.

If you’ve taken Sales and Marketing Alignment to a new level, as Nic did, don’t be shy about submitting it for consideration for an award at the Markies Gala on Tuesday night, where the industry’s best marketers will be celebrated in 12 categories. An entire category is dedicated to Sales and Marketing Alignment, as it is such an important topic. Remember, the deadline is fast approaching on Friday, October 2nd so you’ll want to submit soon.

In this presentation, Nic draws on his experience at both Fast Search and Aquent, in order to provide a very deep and hands-on presentation about data management, and the nuts and bolts of lead hand-off to sales:

Some highlights from the presentation if you want to use the “Chapters” tab to skip ahead (once the audio has loaded):

4:45 The CRM Engine
Nic’s perspective on the lifecycle of lead flow from marketing to sales, and the feedback to marketing in terms of successful results and the levers available to you.

7:15 Symptoms of Engine Trouble
How does data quality affect marketing and sales results
Can you identify segments and territories effectively?

13:40 Right Tools
Looking at which Eloqua tools work for which data challenge you might be having
- Decision rules
- Contact Groups and Filters
- Deduplication Rules
- Data Tools (validation, update, match rules)
- Multiple Program Feeders

16:20 Garbage In, Garbage Out
Nic looks at dealing with duplicated data, and managing a clean database from that point forward through data validation

20:59 Dashboards
Aaron Rothschild looks at some sales dashboards that can be based on marketing activity once a good marketing process is in place.

27:10 Sales Needs
Nic explores territory distribution and advanced lead routing in order to handle lead allocation by geographic territory, especially in cases where territories or sales staff have changed

28:35 CRM Update Program (through to CRM Cleanup at 40:00)
A deep dive into the way that leads are identified, matched to territories, routed, and sent over to This is a very interesting and deep section that looks at a very robust process for lead handoff and management. If you are looking at advancing how you think about sales and marketing alignment, this is a great section to watch in full.

41:55 Results
Some very compelling, real, and clearly measured results from Nic’s work.

Remember, Eloqua Experience is in San Francisco on Nov 2nd - 4th, 2009, and is the event of the year for any marketer focused on marketing automation and demand generation. Hope to see you there.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Eloqua Experience: Highlights from 2008 - Fred Waugh, Convio

Eloqua Experience 2009 is just around the corner. Coming to San Francisco on Nov 2nd - 4th, 2009, this is the event of the year for any marketer focused on marketing automation and demand generation. We’ll have 3 tracks this year; a “Rising Star” track for those just getting up to speed with campaigning, lead scoring, lead nurturing, and sales alignment, a “Rock Star” track for those who are looking for cutting edge ideas on understanding, communicating with, and facilitating buying processes, and an “Executive Insights” track for those leading marketing organizations and looking to transform their businesses.

Topping it all of is the Markies Gala on Tuesday night, where the industry’s best marketers will be celebrated in 12 categories. If you have not yet written up your Markies submission, the deadline is fast approaching on Friday, October 2nd so you’ll want to submit soon.

In preparation for this year’s event, I wanted to highlight a few of the presentations from last year that I thought were particularly interesting. Not only are the ideas shared in these presentations still highly relevant today, but most of the marketers you hear in these presentations will be back at Eloqua Experience this year as veterans, and you will have a great opportunity to talk with them and get their advice and insights into not just how they re-engineered their businesses as discussed in these presentations, but how they have grown from there in the past year.

Today’s highlight is Fred Waugh, VP Marketing and Alliances at Convio. Convio is a leader in software for non-profits, and as such they serve a very broad base of customers, ranging in size from local food banks to the American Red Cross, and in their focus, ranging from libraries to cancer foundations.

In this presentation, Fred walks through their transition in Sales and Marketing alignment, from a “Field Marketing 1.0” perspective, to their current state. The presentation is rich in metrics, and ways of analyzing the Marketing pipeline.

Some highlights from Fred's Sales and Marketing Alignment Presentation (use the “Chapters” tab to quickly jump through the presentation):

5:03 Marketing 1.0
Fred discusses their previous state, what they were measure on, and how they tied closed/won business back to marketing’s influence.

14:00 Model Sensitivity
Fred looks at the sensitivity that their models had to changes in assumptions on close rate and what that did to drive the need for more leads in Marketing.

20:12 Report Card
A comparison of Convio data to benchmarks from Sirius Decisions

22:21 Pipeline Contribution
A full report of funnel data all the way from marketing through to sales, based on the quarter in which an opportunity was created

I look forward to seeing you all at Eloqua Experience 2009 in San Francisco, and I hope you will all submit your Markie award submissions before next Friday.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Pedowitz Group Ties in Twitter Activity to Marketing Automation

As B2B marketers, many of us are exploring social media. It is easy to understand the basics, but when it comes to integrating social media into other aspects of demand generation and marketing automation, it can be difficult to understand how to begin.

A few weeks back, Mike McFarlane highlighted a way to set up a social media GPS to get CRM visibility into social media activity that refers people to your web properties. This, however, was focused on the "periphery" that is the link between most B2B marketer's web properties and social media.

Now, Pedowitz Group takes this one step further by using their Sweet platform to capture general conversation about you, your products and your brand in Twitter, irrespective of whether this conversation resulted in a visit to your site.

This type of social media engagement can be highly relevant in determining who is a qualified lead when you build a lead scoring system, and who is already actively engaged when you think through your lead nurturing plan.

Essentially, what the Pedowitz Group's Sweet platform does is to capture Twitter activity based on a keyword. The keyword should be your brand name or a product name - something specific enough that it can be definitively identified as a conversation about you. This social media engagement is then captured and passed into Eloqua as a web form submit.

The information in the web form submit includes the keyword, the individual's Twitter ID, and the content of the Tweet that was captured. Within Eloqua, from here, you can do anythign with the web form submit that you would like. One thing that may be of use is to record the Twitter activities within custom data objects so that they can be filtered against for lead scoring or segmentation purposes.

Capturing a link between a person's contact information and their Twitter ID is necessary for some of the filtering to be possible, and there are a variety of techniques that can be used to make sure you capture that link. We'll discuss those in a later post.

Social media activity is highly interesting in its ability to determine a prospect's level of engagement. The Pedowitz Group's Sweet platform provides a great way to incorporate this level of engagement within Eloqua, so it can be used for all your marketing automation purposes.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Quick Tip: Activity Filters based on Campaigns

Activity filters are getting progressively more powerful within Eloqua. As marketers have started using them for lead scoring, lead nurturing, and deeper analysis, the feedback has been clear on where we have needed to extend them.

Back in June, we added increased activity filter granularity to let you build contact filters based on a much more precise definition of what email, form, or content area a person interacted with. This was well received, but for those using campaigns, the need was clear for filtering based on an asset in a campaign.

It's now available, and getting great comments. If you have a campaign, say a webinar or an eBook series, that has a set of emails in it, you can now build a filter that identifies just the emails in that campaign.

Add the emails (or whichever other marketing asset you are looking to filter against) to your campaign as you normally would. If you are doing any A/B testing, and want to also include those results, be sure to include all test version within the campaign.

Then, when you are building your contact filter, select an Activity-based filter, and the action you are looking to filter against. For example, we might be looking for individuals who have clicked through emails in our campaign.

Add your criteria of how many emails, over what period of time you are interested in looking at, and then select Campaign from the "Included in" menu. Select the campaign you are interested in looking at in the search & select menu below.

With this in place, your filter will only select contacts who have clicked through emails in the specific campaign you choose. This makes it much easier to define the rules you need for your scoring or nurturing campaigns.

This was developed based on very clear feedback from you on what our priorities should be, so please keep that feedback coming.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Embedding Facebook into blogs

I wrote a while ago about our B2B Marketing strategy on Facebook, which was to connect on a more relaxed, social level with our customer community, many of whom are also friends. This has worked very well, and we do our best to share the latest event pictures and videos on that site.

The interesting challenge, however, is how to make sure everyone is aware of it as a venue. This is a challenge that a number of marketers I've chatted with have also shared.

There's a simple trick, which I've recently enabled on Eloqua Artisan (if you're reading this in a reader, you'll have to come to the blog itself to see it in action), which is to embed a Facebook gadget into your blog sidebar so that anyone who reads your posts will become aware of your Facebook presence, and can join you there.

It was a simple technique, so I thought it worth sharing here, as it can be of value to any marketer focused on incorporating social media within an overall marketing messaging approach. I personally use Blogger as a platform, so the instructions will be specific to that, but I suspect they are easily transferable to other platforms.

First, add an HTML widget to the sidebar of your main blog layout. Give it an appropriate title, and then add the Facebook embed code to that widget. (content for the embed code is available at this link, but as it's javascript, you won't see anything in a browser).

There are 3 things you may want to change. First, one that you must change, is the Facebook profile ID (highlighted in the image). Change this to your own Facebook fan page profile, which you can find in the URL for your fan page when you view it on Facebook.

You can also change the "width" parameter to set the size of the embedded widget, and the "connections" parameter to change the number of fans that are shown. With that completed, save it, and you are live with an embedded Facebook fan page in your blog, which will help you greatly with awareness of the page.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Sales Enablement and Management

As marketing organizations move beyond just lead flow and more into sales enablement, a number of new opportunities and also new challenges arise. One of the new opportunities that we spoke about recently was the use of marketing content in the sales organization through Eloqua for Microsoft Outlook (commonly known as ELMO).

The advantages are great in that you can provide on-message, on-brand content to your sales organization and allow them to quickly nurture and educate their prospects from an environment that they are comfortable in - Microsoft Outlook. However, this opens up a new question - how do you know that your efforts in enabling sales are successful?

This is very easy to do with Eloqua, as long as you set yourself (or your sales management team) up with the right reports on their team's performance. Now that all communications are trackable, not just for prospects' interaction with them, but also for how sales used them, it is much easier to understand how they are being used.

Let's look at a few of the reports that are available for managing your team's performance. For each of these reports, you can search for all or part of the name in the Reporting Console, choose the parameters (usually just time frame, sometime also which sales person) you are interested in, and then run the report.

For an overview the AutoTracker Email Overview shows you, both in aggregate, an for each of your sales people, how many emails were sent, how many of those were marketing provided templates, and the open, clickthrough, and form submit rates for those emails.

(might have to click on this image to see it more clearly)

Next, you can easily look at which of your content is being used most (and most effectively) through the Templated Email for Microsoft Outlook Overview. This shows, for each piece of content, how many times it has been requested by sales people, how many times they have used it, and how effective it has been with its recipients.

(again, click on the image for a larger version)

You can also see a similar view, but by person, for what each person has done in terms of both requesting and sending marketing-supplied content through Eloqua for Microsoft Outlook. Note that this only includes marketing-supplied content, not emails that have been written by the sales person themselves. Use the Templated Email for Microsoft Outlook Usage report

Another very interesting and insightful report is the AutoTracker Email Visitors report, which shows the visitors to your website who have clicked on tracked emails sent from Outlook. This gives you a great sense of who in your prospect base is showing interest.

If you want to see which of your sales reps have installed, updated, and begun using the Outlook Plugin, the AutoTracker Usage Overview does this well. Not only can you see which version each person has installed, and when they last used it, but you can see the settings they have selected as their defaults, which can be useful in understanding their usage profile.

With the wealth of analytics available on the ELMO product, you can easily see what content is deemed useful, who is using it, and whether it is being effective. This gives you great insight into whether your sales team has adopted the content and tools you are providing to them as they engage their prospects.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Email Content and Sales Enablement - Quick Tip on Security

The recent posts around sales enablement have generated a lot of discussions. One specific topic was the Eloqua for Microsoft Outlook plugin (aka. ELMO to many), that allows you to provide marketing content for sales. The content can easily be controlled at the folder level, so specific folders can be enabled for sales, while other folders are not provided to sales.

However, the discussion surfaced an interesting challenge. If you are keeping your marketing content organized through foldering, based on topics or initiatives, then it may not make sense to use the folders to split content into that which is accessible by sales and that which is not. Luckily, there is an easier solution to this.

Within any folder of emails that is available to sales, you can select whether the content should be kept private from users of MS Outlook (except for the email's creator of course). Under advanced options, just click the checkbox for "Private in MS Outlook" and that email will not be accessible by sales. You can keep a folder-based organization scheme in place, while still maintaining full control over which emails are accessible to sales.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Check-box Confirmations and Web Forms

Today's post on Artisan is another guest post, this time from Ben McPhee, on our Product Management team. Ben is most well known for his recent work on Prospect Profiler, one of our keys to sales enablement, but he is also responsible for our work with the sports marketing vertical where we work with a number of professional sports teams, arenas, and racing facilities.

Ben's work in this area leads to him bringing some interesting requirements to the table, and gives him some unique experiences that are of value to a broader set of marketers. In today's post, he explores the use of validation rules to ensure that a visitor has checked a check-box on a form that indicates that they are of a certain age, or have read the terms and conditions. This is a useful technique for many marketing situations.


Do you require visitors to agree to particular terms and conditions before you can accept the data they are providing through a form? Do you require a checkbox to be checked before accepting a form submission? Well, you don't need to be an HTML or JavaScript expert to set this up in your Eloqua forms.

Check out the simple instructions below to show you how to do this yourself!

First, add the checkbox field to your form. From the Fields menu on the form, you can list the fields in your form, or add a new field. If this is a form hosted within Eloqua, you'll need to add the field, if it is hosted on your site you will have already captured the field.

For this example, we'll look at a Checkbox field type, but the same techniques can be used on any type of field.

Next, go to the Form menu and select "Edit Server Validation" to edit your server-site validation (the process that runs after the submission of your form to ensure that people have filled in the information you require).

You can set the rules to validate against, the fields to validate, and the error pages to display if the field is incorrect.

To set up validation, first select an Error Page that will be presented to submittors if the info they have provided DOES NOT meet the requirements you set. When you have done this, select the field to validate (the checkbox field you added to your form) and create a NEW validation rule.

You'll be looking for the value submitted by the checkbox field to be "on", so select "Field value in Data Set" as your Validation Type - this is essentially saying, "I'd like to validate that the checkbox has been checked by comparing what is submitted to a list of acceptable submissions".

Selecting this give you options below that you need to configure to define exactly what the form validation should be looking for. Go to the "Form Field Validation Parameters" area of the page to define that list of acceptable submissions. To do this you will be creating a new Data Value Set and saying, "Do not accept a form submission unless the value submitted in this checkbox is in this Data Value Set".

Give your Value Set a name (in this example, "Checkbox- Must Be Checked", and then as your value, enter the value "On". The reason you are entering "On" is because by default, when a checkbox field in a form is checked, the system passes in a value of On or blank, depending on whether or not the box was checked.

With that validation set (of just one value - "On") created, you'll return to the previous page. Make sure that you have the "Set to the default value..." option Un-Checked so that your form submission is not altered.

And you're done! With this technique you can quickly ensure that no forms are submitted unless the right checkboxes are checked.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Quick Tip: Dashboard Pop-Outs

One of the most powerful ways to ensure the your marketing organization adopts a culture of analytics is to focus heavily on building great dashboards. One very quick tip that some users of Eloqua dashboards may not be aware of is the Pop-Out function.

For the sake of keeping your dashboards clean and clear, many tabular reports are automatically truncated to 10 or 15 rows. This is great for clean viewing of an overall dashboard, but can be problematic if you are looking to do a deeper dive into trends that are below your top 10.

If you want to dig in further than the top 10, you'll need to see a full list. Whereas you could easily see this in the report console, there is an easier way with dashboard pop-outs.

Under the "Actions" menu, select "Pop-out Report", and you will pop that report out into its own window, giving you a full screen to work with (useful for larger reports such as visitor lists), and allowing you to go beyond the top 10 or 15 rows.

A lot of thought can be put into what you include on your dashboards, and it's an area that I recommend reading up on. Tim Wilson has a great post on the art of dashboard design and development to get you started on his Gilligan on Data blog.

A well crafted dashboard can give your team great insights into your overall marketing efforts and their success, and when presented to your executive team, can alter their overall thinking about the investments you need to make in marketing.