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Eloqua Administration Challenge: Data Normalization and Junk Data Management

Constantin Gutic

Eloqua Administration Challenge: Data Normalization and Junk Data Management

Nowadays, data has become the core of all business activities, getting more and more important than ever before, and continuously aiding decision-makers in understanding the behavioral pattern of their consumer demographics.

With every business generating vast amounts of data, there is plentiful sorting to be done to make sure that decisions are not based on irrelevant or outdated information.

This is especially true when it comes to data generated by marketing automation platforms like Eloqua.

These powerful platforms made data generation a lot easier and accessible, helping in understanding consumer mindsets and adapting to fast-changing markets, where trends come and go in a flash.

However, to be able to make the most out of data in marketing automation operations, platform management has to ensure stellar compliance with industry best-practices, to sort out data. This process can be time-consuming to do manually, sometimes even considered “tedious”. For this reason, among others, Eloqua platform administration can be rather challenging sometimes.

In this article, we cover data management as a pinnacle for immaculate platform administration.

Dive in to find out how junk data can be detrimental, what you can do to set up clear Eloqua governance rules for data, and discover critical areas where you can utilize cleaner, standard, normalized data to maximize the efficiency of your business data-reliant teams.

Why is data important for your business?

Your systems and the degree of accurate analyses are depending on it. Data systems have become more intelligent in the last two decades than ever before. With the inclusion of AI, systems are now significantly more proficient in processing information.

However, even with these advancements, systems are usually reliant on unified data to make decisions and take action. When data fed into these systems are improperly organized or labeled, actions themselves are faulty or of minimal impact.

Making sure that systems have access to clean data paves your marketing and sales teams’ way to success. Here are some examples of how this can be used to impact Eloqua performance:

Targeting / Segmentation

Eloqua has outstandingly remarkable targeting capabilities if leveraged correctly. For example, targeting contacts through “Education” or by “Industry” can be achieved.

Yet, these words have numerous spellings, abbreviations, or formats.

There is an easy workaround for this specific case, though: using the specific “contains” function. However, imagine trying to do this when it comes to 10 or more criteria that have the same problem of multiple formats being possible. Matters become problematic.

To prevent this from happening, you can set-up the process to ensure that fields only contain a specific set of values and no other variation, thus resulting in an easier segmentation process.

Let’s look at this example to better understand the practices:

1. Data Standardization

Variations such as “U.S.”, “us”, “usa”, or “us of a” are set to “United States”.

2. Data Normalization

Variations such as “Canda” or “Cadana” are set to “Canada”.

3. Data Enrichment

If the City is “Quebec”, the Country is automatically set to “Canada”.

Personalization

Today, marketers strive to provide a delightful, unique experience for their customers.

Personalized marketing generates far better results in producing revenue, compared to the generic marketing campaign improperly tailored to the needs of their customers.

To be able to do this properly, a marketer needs access to vast amounts of accurate data that deliver a glimpse of consumers’ minds. However, even with available data, this can be difficult to manage, purely because of the large volume of tailored messages that have to be adapted.

Hence, access to clean and normalized data is essential. Integrating it in marketing automation software takes a substantial load off, increasing Eloqua’s efficiency.

Lead Scoring

Lead scoring is a critical methodology that your marketing and sales team uses to determine the readiness of a lead or potential customer to make a purchase.

Usually, leads are scored based on their interest in your business, their current position in the buying cycle, and many others (we’ll explore that in a separate article). As you can see, this is a complex methodology for every potential customer.

A company that scores its leads properly can significantly increase lead qualification. Fortunately, your marketing automation platform is capable of substantially easing this task for you.

Eloqua bases its lead scoring on specific values that are present on the contact record. However, the problem arises when values are unstandardized, and there are hundreds of them available.

For example, standard fields, such as “education”, “company, “job title” are usually free text, meaning that there are many variables generated with a high degree of variation.

However, by using the contact washing machine app, you can mitigate this and enable contact field cleansing, providing you with clean data used for lead scoring.

Lead Flow

Accordingly, your marketing automation platform can move leads through the sales funnel by scoring them and taking decisions based on the data available to the system. Should a company not want to have certain leads with particular values (e.g. educational level) passed further downstream to other systems (such as CRM), Eloqua facilitates this.

To do this, a decision rule is created that makes sure to eliminate all the prospects that have that condition. However, if the value has a more significant variation of names, it can still pass on to the CRM system. To avoid this from happening, using a picklist can help you standardize the value, preventing any unwanted prospects from being passed down in your systems.

Reporting depends on clean data

Moreover, clean data is not necessary only in the cases mentioned earlier.

Reporting engines are also heavily reliant on clean data to be able to display accurate reports. Meaningful reporting is represented by metadata, linked to opportunities, campaigns, emails, leads, and contacts.

The importance of metadata is that it allows the user to view results from a different perspective. Still, unstandardized data leads to an increase in the level of difficulty when making analyses.

Imagine you have to look up data regarding a particular segment. To get a better overview of said segments, you need to create “sub-segments” to be able to see the data broken down even further. However, instead of having seven rows to view data, you have 50. By inspecting this data, you realize that plentiful information might be old and no longer relevant.

In this case, standardizing your sub-segment values would have given a better, more realistic overview of data. However, despite workarounds existing when working with poorly configured values, this task becomes increasingly complex across more extensive data sets.

Manual work of the data becomes unscalable and proves to be a burden, especially when team members have to access data but don’t have the sorting tools necessary at their disposal.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, data plays a vital role in the organization and decision-making of any company that knows how to leverage it. On top of that, clean data is crucial for the automation of tasks that would be rather time-consuming to do manually. Having standardized approaches when it comes to organizing data increases the efficiency of all other processes that are heavily reliant on data. These approaches can offer a substantial competitive advantage.

To check out our platform administrative expertise in what regards data normalization and restructuring, have a look at our Customer Success Story. In turn, gain a better grasp over the implications of standardized, well-organized data on lead generation processes at an enterprise scale.

Ultimately, correctly setting up and managing your Eloqua marketing automation platform can be challenging at times. Should you find it more rewarding instead to take the load off and contact a trusted Eloqua expert to handle your platform data administration, consider reaching out to our team of consultants.

Benefit from a complimentary demo of our Eloqua services and book a free audit for administrative compliance. We offer you the chance to audit your Security Groups compliance, check for Field Completeness, or ensure your Preference Centre management is up to par with all your business requirements and needs.

Constantin Gutic

Developing automation strategies that will streamline processes and eliminate the human factor out of repetitive tasks, saving time and money.

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