Whether it’s through an Eloqua user group, an agency, your own team, or a network of expert friends, everyone is looking for best practices to harness data and turn digital marketing into a lead-driving machine.
How do you manage the marketing leads from your website? Should you build landing pages for gated resources in your web content management system or marketing automation software platform? More broadly, which platforms are best for which marketing solutions?
There are thousands and thousands of marketing apps. Name a marketing tactic, and there are countless ways to execute, manage and measure it. How many times have you, as a marketer, reached out to friends, acquaintances, or even a friend of a friend of a friend to figure out what would work for you?
Groups like the Oracle Eloqua user group that met recently (before proper social distancing precautions and coronavirus concerns limited in-person meetups) at the Burlington offices of Progress Software can help.
More than 30 people from 18 companies participated in discussions, heard advice from an expert panel led by Marne Reed, chief evangelist for PFL Tech, and learned how Eloqua and Sitefinity work together, getting the most out of Progress.com for marketing and sales.
Eloqua and Sitefinity are at the core of how marketing operations and digital marketing work at Progress, said Jennifer Ortiz, vice president of global marketing at Progress.
“Anyone can get leads in the door, but how do you close them?” Ortiz said as the discussion began, quite succinctly summarizing the underlying theme of the three-hour monthly, Boston-area meet-up.
To get business through the funnel—and from digital marketing to marketing operations to sales operations—the Progress team uses an integrated tech stack that includes Sitefinity, Eloqua and Salesforce. And Tableau serves as the business intelligence epicenter.
Kate Pendarvis, director of digital marketing, and Carmen Gardiner, director of marketing operations, shared an insightful case study-like presentation about the Progress integration story, and fielded questions from the user group. They talked about the CMS vs. MAS dilemma that some companies, especially smaller ones, face when it comes to landing pages. They dissected the pros and cons of the different approaches.
On the one hand, Eloqua has progressive profiling, and great statistics for landing pages, making it so marketing ops doesn’t have to go to the web team for analytics, Gardiner said.
On the other hand, a CMS like Sitefinity provides great value for hosting forms because teams can make changes one time and deploy them via templates. Sitefinity also has a user-friendly backend, making for easier maintenance for pages, strong QA, the ability to have advanced forms, and has tight integration with Google Ads, Pendarvis said.
And when someone has to create an account for a free trial through Sitefinity, the data integrates nicely into Eloqua, she said.
Some other great aspects of integrating Eloqua with an enterprise-level web content management system include:
GDPR and CCPA compliance is also easier by combining Eloqua with Sitefinity for opt-in cookies and communications, integrations with privacy management software like OneTrust, and geo-locating.
The purpose of the panel discussion was to talk through and understand which platforms are being used for different marketing solutions. The panel included: Ortiz; Arpine Babloyan, director of acquisition marketing for Verndale; Alice Chen, solutions engineer for Oracle; and Karin Pindle, senior marketing consultant of Sojourn Solutions.
Babloyan spoke about multi-channel marketing journey from emails, to banner ads, to SEM, to direct mail, to telemarketing, to chatbots—and every other channel under the sun.
Ortiz said marketers need to identify pain points for customers, and figure out which lever to pull and when.
“Determine where in the funnel things stall, and what tactics you should use to move them along,” she said.
Ortiz also said it’s not always about tracking the clicks and filling out forms, sometimes the personal touchpoint is what closes the deal.
“As much as we're in a digital world, people are also craving interaction,” she said. “Lately, we’re finding webinars and conversations really push them through—at that point they’re ready for that conversation or Q & A through a webinar.”
Pindle said teams need to assess their marketing stacks and take a hard look at what works.
“There’s only 8,000 or so tools that we can choose from. What makes sense to keep, where are there redundancies? Do you have the right people running Drift, for instance?” she asked.
Chen said in today’s fragmented marketplace, it’s important to consider which persona to target on which channel and help them reach for their big ideas with practical solutions.
Everyone knows they need data, they need to clean their data in a good washing machine, and they need to enrich their data. Everything that comes in from your website, emails, webinars, and events—no matter what channel or method—needs to be in good shape for you to use it.
But it’s not just washing it, it’s how you interpret the data, and what you decide to do.
“Don't be afraid of reports. Let it tell the story for you, it helps a lot. And frame it in a way that you're learning from it,” Ortiz said.
It’s not just the first touch and the last touch, it’s every little (or big!) touch in between. What is the story your data is telling you about the multi-touch journey?
Always ask the following:
Babloyan said don’t be afraid to experiment, but also don’t be distracted by new and shiny objects.
And everyone on the panel agreed that marketers need to be honest with themselves about what they’ve tried and haven’t tried. What’s more, they need to keep track of their efforts.
“Start simple, keep it organized. Keep a document of all the things you’ve tried and what you learned from them. Just because it didn’t work two years ago, doesn’t mean it won’t work now,” Pindle said.
To find a virtual Oracle Eloqua user group near you look for information on Oracle’s community website.
To contact any of the folks mentioned in this article reach out via LinkedIn.
Dave Pierce was the employer brand manager for Progress.
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