How Citeline automated campaign naming conventions in Eloqua (and improved results)

November 9, 2023 Steve McConnell
Editor's Note: Steve McConnell is a Marketing Automation Consultant at Sojourn Solutions with seven years of Eloqua experience. He has 10 years of Marketing experience specializing in Marketing Operations, Sales Enablement, CRM Integration, and System and Data Management. Steve is a certified Oracle Eloqua B2B Implementation Specialist, and loves training and empowering Eloqua users to do new and exciting things, ie, "... likes making Eloqua do backflips." 

Citeline is a pharmaceutical, biomedical and medtech information service company. Within the Citeline organization, there are multiple brands and hundreds of products, spanning from business intelligence platforms to curated editorial and news alerts via several publishing brands. Part of Norstella, a FTSE 250 organization, Citeline’s marketing and product teams send thousands of automated emails, internal and external marketing campaigns, and run lead management processes across several brands. Their technology stack includes multiple instances of Salesforce CRM and multiple Marketing Automation Platforms (Oracle Eloqua and Salesforce Marketing Cloud), which Citeline was trying to streamline down to a more manageable technology landscape.

The Reporting Challenge 

“We needed a way for all of our brands to speak the same language when it comes to reporting,” says Kevin Sowden, Eloqua Product Owner on the Citeline team. “We obviously want to allow freedom and flexibility when it comes to how each brand measures success. At the same time, ensuring that campaigns are named the same so that they can easily be compared and contrasted when it comes to our reporting capabilities."

Sowden explains that this was actually critical before as they were using both Eloqua and SFMC for email.

"Sojourn [Solutions] helped us to streamline that stack by moving all of our SFMC functionality into Eloqua," he shares, "and were also able to migrate much of our reporting from Tableau to native Eloqua reports. This again massively reduced the overall complexity of our landscape."

However, Sowden states, "it’s still really important for us to be able to take campaign data and blend it together with other data in our reporting systems.”

 “The solution we landed on was abiding by a campaign naming convention, which we were enforcing using a spreadsheet before we migrated,” he continues. “This worked great when it was used correctly, but it was liable to human error, and difficult to enforce." Why? Sowden says, "We had no way of having the system ensure that people used the names in the correct ways. We also had real challenges with communicating with the Sales team about campaign results, as the campaign names were just a string of characters rather than a meaningful friendly name which the sales team can understand.” 

It might sound like a simple problem, but had deep ramifications within the business. “If a campaign is not named correctly it’s a real problem should we need to blend our Eloqua and Salesforce data together,” Sowden explains.

“Our reports and dashboards rely on the naming convention to show the correct information – if a campaign is named incorrectly it could be attributed to the wrong brand, or drop out of the reporting altogether. It affects our ability to plan and measure results and just made things much more complex overall."

The Solution

“It was an interesting requirement,” says Steve McConnell, Marketing Automation Consultant at Sojourn Solutions. "It’s not just enforcing the naming convention and producing a string of characters – you’ve also got the challenge that Sales doesn't actually know how to interpret that information (and would rather have a friendly name)."

So, McConnell shares, "We actually wanted something where we could have two different campaign names for the same campaign; with no external spreadsheets to work with; and fully automated and 100% reliable so that if people forget about the naming convention, there’s a way for it be enforced by the system.” 

The solution they ended up implementing revolves around using Eloqua campaign fields. McConnell says, "When a campaign is created in Eloqua, it’s really easy to put drop-down controlled mandatory picklist fields on it, which the marketer has to fill out before the campaign can be activated." That takes care of the issue of marketers forgetting the process or not using the correct values."

"Everything in Eloqua is made mandatory and picklist-controlled so that there’s no way you can get your email to send without going through these quick steps first,” McConnell explains.

“We also maintained the ability for marketers to add a friendly name by simply using the initial Eloqua campaign name as the friendly name. So when they’re setting up their campaign, they don’t have to think about the naming convention at all – just put in your friendly name and fill out the campaign fields.” 

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“After the campaign is created, Citeline’s Eloqua/SFDC integration kicks in, takes those field values the user selected on the campaign, and turns that into a string," says McConnell. That gives the naming convention which is then sent into Salesforce. "We then have a simple automation running to take that string and pull it back into Eloqua, replacing the campaign name," McConnell shares. "We also retain the original friendly name that the Campaign was created with. That’s then used as the Salesforce campaign name, so the Sales team see a nice friendly name instead of a complicated string.” 

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The Impact 

“The team loves it," Sowden says when asked about the reception from the marketing team. “We’re lucky to have some really digital-savvy and experienced Eloqua users in our team who are very tech-oriented. But the best feedback we’ve had has been from some of our less technical users who were never that happy with the original spreadsheet solution,” he explains."

“Hearing from those team members that this is saving them time and effort is obviously great on its own, but it also represents a real efficiency savings which contributes to better ROI from marketing overall."

Having to use spreadsheets and even calculators on occasion to get the correct name was a pain before - "and this has completely removed that step from the marketer’s processes,” says Sowden.

“We’re also seeing much better use of our Sales Enablement tools and processes such as Eloqua Profiler – having a friendly name on the Salesforce side, instead of a complex string of characters, is helping our sales development representatives dig deeper into where our Leads came from which is setting them up for better success rates on their calls,” Sowden continues.

And finally, "We’re able to measure the results of that in terms of conversion rates more reliably due to the process being automated."

"The removal of any human error from the process and the fact that it’s automated in Eloqua helps us build trust in our reporting data which we use to make key strategic decisions," states Sowden.

"We were basically able to build everything we wanted into this process without having to compromise, even with requirements that felt contradictory like wanting different names for the same campaign in two different systems. It’s worked great so far and laid the foundations for us to deepen our attribution and results measurement in the future,” Sowden concludes.


FYI... Interested in learning more about the above solution? Register for our virtual Eloqua User Group meeting on Thursday, November 16, for Steve McConnell's live presentation! 

Check out our Marketing Automation Consulting Services for more use cases and examples of automations that could help your business. Or, contact us to discover how your organization can get the most out of your Eloqua platform.

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