My Eloqua implementation approach

I’ve spent the last four years delivering enterprize size Eloqua implementations on behalf of Deloitte and PwC. Working as a much larger team implementing the full Oracle stack or on my own remotely I consistently deliver results for both the firm I am representing and the end client. I am happy (am I making a rod for my back?) to work on site in any location around the world and have a proven track record of international commuting.

My 6 phased Eloqua implementation approach

I have developed this implementation approach from my experience of implementing Eloqua as part of a marketing transformation program.  My Eloqua implementation approach has been tried and tested on migrations from multiple instances of different marketing automation or email platforms.  It is robust enough that it can be tailored for Eloqua implementations within organizations that have varying degrees of technical ability.  Finally it works on any organization size, regardless of the op-model and the way in which Eloqua is to be deployed.

Phase 1. Eloqua implementation preliminaries

Before an Eloqua implementation can take place there are a number of preliminary activities that need to take place.  These activities are used to help with the sale of the project and allow our team to accurately predict which direction this implementation is going to take.  We will be able to determine the team size required for this Eloqua implementation, the number of days required for each role and if at RFP stage what we can sell this project for.  The following activities need to take place:

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RFP
The first stage of any Eloqua implementation is the RFP.  I will attend your RFP calls, help with your deck and stand alongside you as part of your implementation team to sell your Eloqua implementation project.

Project planning
Using the information we have gained about Eloqua implementation priorities and direction we will plan out the project plan using one of my project planning toolkits.

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DILO sessions
We will hold “day in the life of” sessions with the marketing team which will output charts that will display current technical ability, marketing automation maturity and Eloqua platform competence versus future aspirations.

Phase 2. Eloqua technical configuration

There are two stages to the technical configuration of Eloqua.  The first stage is basic Eloqua technical configuration and the second is advanced technical configuration.  Basic Eloqua technical configuration is concerned with standing up the platform so it is functional.  These functions include the ability to send emails, deploy landing pages, track web pages and is highly instrumental in creating the correct technical environment in Eloqua for the remainder of the Eloqua implementation to take place.  Advanced Eloqua technical configuration builds on the basic Eloqua configuration and enhances the platform specifically for the client’s needs.  This part of the Eloqua implementation is used to develop various back end programs that will allow marketers to have more accurate integrations, lead scoring and lead nurture programs.  It also facilitates the integration of various other third party marketing technologies which will be required prior to the training sessions that will take place during on-boarding.

Default Eloqua configuration
The Eloqua implementation will begin by configuring the core Eloqua modules required so that platform can be technically used by marketing.

Eloqua contact database architecture
The Eloqua database will be set up and documented.  This includes all contact, account & campaign fields with associated picklists.  I will also set up the typical Eloqua custom objects we will require for our CRM integration.

3rd party marketing application integration
Using information gathered during the RFP & DILO sessions I will setup and document all additional 3rd party apps we will need for our Eloqua implementation.  If need be I will also deliver slide decks for change boards and represent/support our team with delivering them.

Advanced back end programs
I will design and deliver a number of advanced back end data manipulation programs that we will have promised or have had requested either at RFP stage or during DILO sessions.

Phase 3. Marketing configuration

Intertwined with the Eloqua technical configuration is the marketing configuration.  Marketing configuration is the personalization of the Eloqua platform for the end client.  It builds on the Eloqua basic technical configuration by developing templates with the end client which they will use later.  It also uses the advanced Eloqua technical configuration to develop drive and enhance other Eloqua modules that marketing will be using such as lead scoring and lead nurture campaigns.

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Eloqua marketing templates
I will work with the end client’s internal resources to deliver email, landing page, form and campaign templates that will be required for training and ultimately campaign post Eloqua go live for the marketing team.

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Website form integration
We will identify the different website forms that our client has, categorize them and then either work with their web teams to migrate their website forms so they are processed by Eloqua so data is sent directly to the database, leads to sales and set visitor tracking.

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Eloqua lead scoring
Lead scoring is used to rank prospects using profile fit against engagement. The resulting Eloqua lead score is then used to determine the order of priory for sales follow up. Together we will deliver a workshop with sales and marketing and deliver Eloqua lead scoring for the client.

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Eloqua lead nurturing
Lead nurturing harnesses the power of the Eloqua automation engine so that we can automatically send the right message to the right contact and the right time in the buying cycle.  Together we will educate our client’s marketing department in lead nurturing techniques and then then deliver live lead nurture campaigns from the Hero campaigns part of the Eloqua implementation.

Phase 4. Database & CRM integration

Before on-boarding takes place it is always wiser to integrate the various different CRM platforms or external data sources.  The benefits of doing this before on-boarding is that training will only need to take place and the second marketers get let loose on Eloqua their campaigns will be pushing leads into the CRM platform, their Eloqua data will be perfect (as perfect as their other systems!) and sales will know what to do with leads that are coming in.

3rd Party data source / Eloqua integration
Our end client may have data that resides on other servers which require import/export to Eloqua via an SFTP server.  Together with your consultants and analysts will work with the client’s IT teams to get this all set up painlessly and quickly.

Salesforce (SFDC) / Eloqua integration
Eloqua and SFDC in my opinion seem to have been crafted to work together.  Due to the robust nature of the Eloqua / SFDC integration options we will have great flexibility in the way we deliver this part of the Eloqua implementation.  We will take the client through every stage of the integration process seamlessly leaving them with the knowledge they need to be self sufficient moving forward.

Oracle Sales Cloud (OSC) / Eloqua integration
OSC and Eloqua are notoriously tricky to get integrated properly.  OSC has a number of modules missing that you find in SFDC but working with me, we can deliver just as good an integration as with SFDC.  We will work with the client’s OSC team to guide them through the customization process we will use to develop all the same capabilities as the SFDC integration.

Phase 5. Eloqua on-boarding

With the Eloqua platform more or less fully stood up, on-boarding can take place.  Typically on-boarding is Eloqua training for the entire team that is going to use the platform and “hero campaigns”.  Eloqua training is bespoke to each end client.  The choices they have made along the journey to this point will mean that their platform is unique to them.  They will have personalized templates for emails and landing pages, they may have unique approval processes for the development and activation of marketing campaigns.  The list is endless.  Training will be delivered using their own templates, with playbooks that are specific to them.  Once training is complete several of the marketing team will be identified as marketing heroes.  These heroes will develop lead nurture campaigns that will use as many parts of the platform as possible.  This training is designed to push the training into the real world and get marketers to use the different Eloqua skills they have learned to design, deploy and deliver fully automated multi-step Eloqua campaigns.

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Eloqua training
Either working with one of your consultants or delivering training myself, we will deliver a training package to the client’s marketing team.  The training will be tailored to suit the individual needs of the client and be based on the way we have stood Eloqua up during the implementation.  Full Eloqua training typically consists of about ten module and take about a week.

Eloqua hero campaigns
We will work with the client to deliver a number of Eloqua hero campaigns.  Typically two per region is a good number I have found.  During a phased implementation I can take the lead on the first wave and then your consultants can deliver the remainder with me in the background as a reference.

Phase 6. Eloqua support

At every step of the way the client needs to know they have the appropriate level support.  It is vital that the velvet glove / iron fist approach is adhered to.  In the beginning, all the time in the world will be given at the drop of a hat to either designated Eloqua super users or standard Eloqua marketing users.  The key is knowing how to turn the tap off and how to do it so the client doesn’t feel like you are just cutting them off when an implementation milestone gets signed off and yet still develops to become self-serving.

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Eloqua support
Throughout the entire implementation I will provide Eloqua and marketing automaton theory support.  I will support in an educating manner (not just do it for them) both the clients Eloqua technical team and their marketing team on any problems they have along the way and answer any Eloqua related questions they might have.

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© , Greg Staunton.