Go where you’ve never been

Seek input from other who have been there before you

I met with a client recently and was a little distressed at some of the incorrect assumptions they’d made about Eloqua and specific functionality they weren’t aware of. It developed into an interesting discussion, I’ve tried to capture some of that discussion here.

NOTE: This blog post was updated in April 2024

As a consultant, I find that sometimes people have expectations that I should know the answer to just about everything, clearly that just isn’t possible. I was taught a long time ago that if you don’t know the answer to a question, the best response is…

I don’t know the answer to that question, but I’m pretty sure I know where to get the answer from.

That tip has served me well throughout my career. Nothing erodes credibility more than to provide an answer only to have your client discover it was wrong. It’s also taught me that it’s ok to not know the answer to everything on a specific subject. I’ve always been a little cautious with the phrase “Subject Matter Expert”.

Assumptions can be dangerous

Being blissfully unaware is one thing, being obstinate* is another. Talking amongst my peers, one of the hardest discussions to have with a client is when a member of their team – typically not certified in a specific platform insists on a configuration that we know will cause pain down the track or is generally just a poor business decision. 

In the technology industry there are often many ways to do one thing. The way you choose to design a function may work ok, however there may be better, more effective ways to do it. Given my grey hair, I’m at a stage in my career where I will just tell the client out-right that the decision they’re making is the wrong one and then outline the reasons why. If they continue, that’s their call. 

If your organisation is engaging certified external consultants to assist, take a moment to listen to their suggestion, it might just save you time and money.

Eloqua Functionality

Some of the key errors that came up in the meeting I referred to above were the following:

  • Eloqua forms can’t be integrated with non-Eloqua website pages. INCORRECT
  • Once a form is Live, I can’t make any changes to the Form Processing Steps. INCORRECT
  • Our Eloqua Landing Pages aren’t tracked by Google Analytics. INCORRECT
  • We can’t link Eloqua Landing Pages back to our main website.  INCORRECT
  • Can I have one form to manage many brochure downloads instead of managing so many forms? YES

There were many more misunderstandings of Eloqua’s functionality. One that jumped out at me was a Segment they’d built to show them website traffic to a specific page.

They entered a single URL for a period of three months and Eloqua returned 43 Contacts. The discussion was that Eloqua must be wrong, because it’s a really busy page, there would be many more people who looked at that page.

SOLUTION: What Eloqua was showing them was the number of Known Contacts in Eloqua that had viewed that page in the period requested. It was NOT showing them Unknown Visitors.  The key here is to know what you’re actually looking at and what the data is telling you.

When you don’t know what you don’t know

Three online tools to improve your Eloqua knowledge

Take charge of your own development

You will find a significant range of learning opportunities to help you get up to speed with the Oracle Marketing Cloud and Eloqua specifically. In 2018 Oracle University launched Oracle LaunchPad, a free self-help learning environment for Oracle Cloud customers. 

Eloqua modules are available through the Marketing icon. Click on the banner below to get started, you will need your Oracle ID to login. If you don’t have an Oracle ID, simply click on the SIGN IN button and you will be prompted to create your Oracle Account.

Your “Oracle Account” is not your Eloqua login.

Become an Oracle Learning Explorer, Training & Accreditation

“The hands-on product learning included in this learning path is designed to orient new users to the capabilities of Oracle Eloqua, examine modern marketing best practices, and review the latest updates over the last calendar year. When complete you’ll be able to demonstrate your own proficiency and have proven to be an Eloqua Expert!”

You’ll find many answers to your questions here

The Eloqua Help Centre is your #1 place to understand how Eloqua works. The Get Started area of the Help Centre takes you through practical lab style learning experiences. You can complete them at your own pace and fit them into your busy schedule.

You’ll find self-paced learn modules here

The Eloqua Help Centre contains a range of self-paced learning modules to help you get started. Everything is covered from Segment building, Email and Landing Page design editors as well as Forms, Campaigns and more.

Join the largest online community of Eloqua Users at Oracle Cloud Customer Connect

If you’ve not created an account for yourself on Cloud Customer Connect, you’re a little behind the eight ball to start with. No, this isn’t facebook and you won’t be logging in every day. However you will find the community a valuable source of information and a great place to collaborate with your peers from all around the world.

Cloud Customer Connect is not just for Eloqua clients, it’s for all Oracle Marketing Cloud clients. You will need an Oracle ID in order to access all areas of Topliners. If you don’t have one already you can click on the REGISTER Link in the far top right-hand corner of the Cloud Customer Connect home page.

Topliners has a new home, Oracle Communities

In mid 2023 the previous Eloqua community site, Topliners moved to Oracle Cloud Customer Connect part of Oracle Communities.

In Summary

  1. If you don’t have an Oracle Account† (ID), create one today. Visit Oracle Cloud Customer Connect and create an Oracle Account which is a single ID for a range of Oracle assets.
  2. Make time to understand the configuration of your own instance of Eloqua. What is it integrated with? How does data flow in and out of Eloqua? 
  3. Make the time to take some of the online classes through the Get Started area of the Eloqua Help Centre.
  4. Now I’m a little bias, but I’d also suggest you join the Eloqua User Group that I host each month as part of my role with Marketing Cube, an Oracle Partner here in Australia.

†NOTE: Your Eloqua, Responsys etc login is NOT your Oracle ID.

*NOTE: Definition of obstinate: Stubbornly refusing to change one’s opinion or chosen course of action, despite attempts to persuade one to do so.