Making GA Data Usable in Eloqua

May 20, 2019

Welcome to part four of my guide to integrating Google Analytics with Eloqua. If you have reached this page and want to read the entire solution guide from the first (thoroughly recommended) then you can find it here: https://greg-staunton.com/google-analytics-tracking-on-eloqua-forms.

In this part of the guide I am going to take you through “Storing your Google Analytics data in Eloqua properly”.


If you have followed all of the previous steps your campaigns will:

  • Be fully integrated with Google Analytics
  • Automatically passing Google Analytics UTM parameter values back to Eloqua

We now need to store this information in robust manner so you can use it for other purposes. Currently you will have all the information stored and easily accessible any time you navigate to the form, click settings and then view submission data. Of course you could manually pull together all of the elements you wish to report on but that will take a lot of time and the chances are you will miss something. You’ve got the best marketing technology at your fingertips in the world so let’s put it to work.

There are two ways we can store this information against the contact in Eloqua:

  • Contact Record
  • Custom Object

Contact Record

It would be very easy to create the different UTM parameters as contact fields against the contact record in Eloqua and on first pass this might seem like a good idea. We can easily report on them, we can also pull in other data such as lead rating (Explicit, Implicit and Combined). However this has some serious drawbacks:

  • Respondents will respond to more than one campaign over time
  • Appending and maintaining other data becomes more impossible

Imagine this scenario. A contact hits your campaign landing page in January, the lead gets passed to sales, they sell something. You can tie this information back to the contact record very easily. But what if the contact then submits another campaign form a month later but doesn’t buy anything. If you were to report on the contact records in Eloqua then you could artificially attribute revenue to the second campaign, not the first. Then none of your numbers add up and your report is useless.

Custom Objects

I’m the kind of guy who calls a spade a spade, Data Cards, Custom Data Objects, CDOs, etc are all the same thing – a Custom Object. I will be referring to them as such throughout the rest of the guide.

Just so we are all on a level understanding a custom object holds a load of information – any information – in a different place to the contact record but it is attached to the contact record. This is why you can have loads of custom objects, all unique tied to that same contact.

I always describe custom objects at a base level to clients like this:

“Imagine you are hosting a client dinner and you need to ask your clients about any special dietary requirements and what it is they wish to order from a menu. Would you really want this information stored against the contact record?”

The answer is No. You may wish to email the client back though and include some of there choices as a confirmation in an email, this is one example of what a custom object is used for.

Now we are all up to speed I will continue with this use case.

First of all you are going to need to create a custom object in Eloqua. Go to Audience > Custom Objects > New Custom Object. Then give your custom object a name:

Now you need to add in the different fields for the UTM parameters and you will also need to add in Email Address, this is vital so we can tie the Google Analytics custom object to the contact in Eloqua:

You now need to take two steps. First of all you need to set the email address field in the custom object to the email address field (this makes the tie) and then you need to leave the other fields to (none).

* This is very important, I will explain why in a bit.

You have now created you Google Analytics custom object. The reason that we left the other two fields set to (none), specifically the Unique Code Field is because we want to let contacts have more than one Google Analytics custom object set to them because they may engage through more than one campaign or even through multiple channels on one campaign.

Finally we need to set the form to set all UTM parameter values to the Google Analytics custom object through the campaign form. You need to add the step to Update Custom Object – With Form Values, select the Google Analytics Data custom object and then leave Select Key Field blank. This will create a unique number for each custom object ensuring that they are never overwritten.

So… There you have it. I hope you have found this guide useful. Please don’t hesitate to ask any questions or leave your comments.

Finally if you found this guide useful please share it on twitter using the link below.

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