Monday, March 14, 2011

Adobe Connect and Eloqua Integration

Integration between Eloqua's marketing automation programs and webinar providers is an area we've covered quite a bit lately. Of course, for those who use systems other than WebEx or On24, the comments have been consistent - great structure, but can you support my chosen webinar provider. We're happy to add another popular provider to that community - Adobe Connect.

Adobe Connect, part of the Adobe family, provides an excellent platform for hosting large or small events for marketing, education, or sales. They also provide a robust way to tie the data on who attended webinar events into your digital body language on each prospect within Eloqua.

Like any other Eloqua Cloud Connectors, the connectors act as steps within Program Builder's marketing automation workflows, so the first step is to whiteboard what you would like to have happen. With Adobe Connect, to ensure that the individuals are uniquely tracked (by email address), you'll want to register them for the event via Eloqua.

This creates a guest user account in Adobe Connect that allows you to see who is attending. After the event has taken place, you'll likely want to pull information on who attended into Eloqua. To do this, there is a Cloud Connector step to Query Attendance.

With the plan set out on the whiteboard, let's look at how to get these Cloud Connectors set up in your Eloqua instance. We looked at how to install a Cloud Connector into Eloqua recently, and you'll need to do that for the steps you are going to use. Find these connectors at

Register Contact with Adobe Connect: to create a user account and register them for the webinar.

Unregister Contact from Adobe Connect: if you want to remove people from the event automatically.

Query Adobe Connect Attendance: to get information on who attended after the event has taken place.

and also

Feeder of Adobe Connect Attendees: to feed in all Adobe Connect attendees directly into Eloqua for nurture and follow-up (without using a program step to query from)

Install any of these connector types you wish to use and then you are ready to add them into your marketing automation program. To add a step, put the step in the program as you would normally, then select “Cloud Connector” as a step action. You’ll then see a drop-down of installed Cloud Connectors below (if you have installed the Cloud Connectors into your Eloqua instance). For this post, we’ll look at just one of the connectors, but the flow is similar for all of them. Select the Adobe Connect Query Attendance connector for the step that looks to see if people actually attended the event.

Click the Configure button to begin setting it up. You will be asked for your credentials, and it will confirm the Program Builder step you’re connecting to, and from there it will go straight into configuration. The Configuration tab asks you for some options on configuring the Adobe Connect side of the connector. Important: you’ll need an account that is part of the Administrator group for this integration as user accounts (just guests) are being created.

If the account you are using is your own, you should see your meetings with the “My Meetings” option selected, but if you are using a system administrator account, you’ll want to select “All Meetings” and save to see your meetings. Also configure where you want to store the information retrieved by Adobe Connect; you can either use fields on the contact record or, better, store the information in a custom data object.

Move to the field mappings tab and select the fields on the contact record and/or in custom data objects that you are interested in using.

That’s all that is needed in order to configure the connector. You can run it manually a few times under the “Run Step” tab or go to the Configuration tab to enable it to run automatically. Follow the same flow for the “Register with Adobe Connect” step, and you now have your Eloqua marketing automation fully integrated with your Adobe Connect web conferencing.

Enjoy, and please keep the feedback coming, we’d love to hear from you what about this integration is working for you, and what you’d like to see us add, change, or improve.

Monday, March 7, 2011

String Manipulation in Marketing Automation

Advanced users of marketing automation software like Eloqua sometimes find themselves in a situation where they need to manipulate string data. This can be as simple as trimming the space characters from the start or end of a string or detecting whether a value exists in a string, and it can be as advanced as search and replace or even complex Regular Expression work.

Now, there's a Cloud Connector that allows you to do just that - any form of string manipulation - within Eloqua.

Add the string manipulation Cloud Connector to your Eloqua instance by following the normal Cloud Connector installation instructions. The URL for the step can be found under Contact Data -> String Manipulation in

With this Cloud Connector installed, you're set to go. Add a step into a marketing automation program in Program Builder, and set it as being a Cloud Connector step type.

Choose String Manipulator from the drop-down list of Cloud Connectors, and click the button to begin configuring the settings for how you want your string data to be manipulated. The Cloud Connector will allow you to manipulate the string data in any one contact field for all contacts that flow through this step, and either return the data to that same field, or place it in another field.

Click the Configure button to begin configuring your string manipulation. The first thing you will need to select is what you want to do. There are a few choices:

  • String Find: Looks for an exact string that you input (not case sensitive), and returns "True" or "False"
  • String Replace: Looks for an exact string (not case sensitive), replaces that string with another string that you provide, and returns the final edited text
  • Regular Expression Find: Evaluates a regular expression (RegEx) against the string in the contact field and returns "True" or "False"
  • Regular Expression Replace: Evaluates a regular expression (RegEx) against the string in the contact field and then replaces it with the string or Regular Expression you provide. This allows replacing a string with a derivative of itself (ie, replacing any number with "(#)" where # represents the original number.
  • Trim (Left/Right/Full): Trims the whitespace from the front, end, or both of a string
Select this from the drop-down in the configuration screen.

With this selected, hit Save, and you'll be asked for the values (find/replace/etc) that your select requires. Use the help provided for syntax assistance on how to write Regular Expressions.

Use the Field Mappings tab to define which field you want to manipulate and which field you want to return the manipulated value to.

Use the "Run" tab to test your string expression against values in the contacts within the step. You'll see the final value that is returned in the Result column, and can make sure your Regular Expressions are performing as expected.

When you are happy with the configuration you have set up, use the "Enable Step" checkbox on the Credentials tab to set the Cloud Connector to run automatically. From here, any contacts that flow into the step will have the field you specified manipulated automatically.

Enjoy this new capability, please don't hesitate to provide us any feedback that you have as you begin working with this.