Hit The Ground Running in 2014

It’s the first day back at work and I spent the morning with a prospect who’s looking to move from another marketing automation platform to Oracle Eloqua Marketing Cloud. I thought it was interesting to hear from them about why they wanted to make the change.

 

They’re in the event business and have a number of systems in play to support the various stages of their engagement with event attendees. They’re also about to sign with salesforce.com and interestingly it will largely be used by the marketing team. The registration process is just half of the objective for these guys, getting the registrants to attend an event is the measurement of success. Some of their events are no charge, hence the need to keep registrants engaged so they actually show up on the day.

Oracle Eloqua Marketing Cloud will be used to engage with the prospect and drive them to the registration pages and keep them engaged right up until the event. As we talked about the functionality of Eloqua I asked them about post event engagement. At the moment this is not something they specifically do. Post event campaigns are also on the drawing board.

Opportunity For Deeper Engagement

As they gain clarity around those who register and attend versus those who register and do no attend, there’s room for specific campaigns to keep all parties engaged. The other audience is the exhibitor. Each event has specific deadlines leading up to an event, Eloqua will be used to provide specific details to these people to help ensure a smooth setup of the venue and a smooth pack down following the event.

At a minimum, specific campaigns will be built to engage exhibitors for next years “event” as well as possible cross selling opportunities given the range of exhibitions this prospect manages.

What I Found Most Interesting

As I walked them through the Eloqua Campaign Canvas as well as the email and landing page builders, they were delighted. The key plus for them is that they no longer need to use an external agency to help with HTML. While HTML is available in Eloqua, it’s not the only way to build emails and landing pages.

The Eloqua interface takes advantage of HTML5 and provides drag and drop functionality, it’s simple and elegant. I think I forget these things because I have my nose buried in Eloqua every day.

It’s always interesting in a pre-sales meeting like this when very specific questions are asked that you know relate to a limitation of their existing platform. There were a few of those questions, mostly around HTML – they were easy to answer. The other related to user administration. Eloqua provides for the ability to limit a users access to various parts of the system. The key things people generally want to do is limit a user’s ability to export contacts and limit who’s able to activate or launch a campaign.

They asked about an automated A/B Testing tool within Eloqua, which doesn’t exist today. Generally a more B2C tool, it’s not something Eloqua has built to date. That may change with the Oracle acquisition of Responsys in late 2013. However the prospect made the point that with the ability to segment in Eloqua based on a contact’s digital body language, there would be less of a need for A/B testing. I thought that was an interesting observation.

I explained A/B testing can be done manually using the Campaign Canvas to essentially reach the same end goal. This didn’t seem like a deal breaker to them.

2014 is Off & Running

January is already looking quite busy with a mix of new clients I need to help get started as well as prospects who have questions before they press hard and sign in triplicate!