Hey there, Brandi Starr here!
I do a lot of the SmartStart implementations for Oracle Eloqua here at Tegrita, and one of the questions that I get asked all the time by new Eloqua users is, “how do we properly prepare for our Eloqua implementation?”
And if you were getting ready to implement Eloqua or if you were considering Eloqua and you're asking that question, that tells me that your mind is in the right place. When implementing a marketing automation platform, there is a lot more to it than dotting the ‘I’s, crossing the ‘T’s, checking the boxes in terms of all the things that you need to do to make sure that the system actually works; that's just one piece of it. The marketing automation platform is the center of your marketing technology stack, and so there's definitely things that you should be doing to prepare. So, I will give you three examples.
1. Get crystal clear on your strategy and I cannot say this enough. What happens for a lot of people is they will purchase technology, whether it's Eloqua or something else, and then when they don't achieve their business objectives, they’ll blame the technology. However, technology without a clearly defined strategy is set up to fail from the beginning. So, you really want to get crystal clear in terms of what business purpose that technology is meant to achieve. So what job is that technology supposed to do, what are the KPI’s that you're going to leverage, or to look at to determine whether things have been effective. So, you really have to have a strategy that is set up to properly use the technology and with marketing automation being at the center of your marketing technology stack, that is the first place to start.
2. You’ve got to create swim lanes within your team. Whether you are a two or three-person marketing team, to a fifty- or hundred-person marketing team, so often I go into implementations and no one on the team really knows what their role is. They don't know if they're going to be a System Administrator, they don't know if their primary role is going to be building assets in Eloqua, handling the data. Quite often, when implementing a marketing automation platform, especially if you are coming from a smaller email platform, it creates new roles and responsibilities that you really have to think about. So, your team should talk about: what is everyone doing today, are there things that they would like to be doing, how will they use the technology to support the strategy, and who should own what components of that. That way, as you go into your implementation, everyone knows exactly where they should be involved, what meetings they should attend, what task they should own, and that way you can move things forward quickly and stay on time.
3. And then finally, it is to identify what actually needs to be moved over from your old system. So, there is going to be a target go live date. That is your line in the sand in terms of when you will stop executing things through your old system and start executing them through Oracle Eloqua. For many people, this is the contract termination date. If you have control over it, I recommend at least a three week overlap between the two systems, so that it gives you time to make sure that you have things migrated over that you need; and so really what you'll have to say is, at that line in the sand, anything that needs to be created or launched after a particular date goes into the new system; everything that is going to end before that particular date doesn't get moved over. For some companies, that is a large effort to understand what needs to be migrated over, what can be retired, what needs to be archived or saved and so you really want to go in having thought about these things.
A great example of this is I'm working with a client now; they have over a hundred forms that will need to be moved from their old system into Eloqua. These are forms that are going to be valid and need to be in production after their launch date. And so as a result of that, we have adjusted their implementation timeline, and we’re doing their training way earlier than we normally would to get their team trained, so that they can divide conquer, and everyone can work on getting things moved over. However, if you're a company that has said: you know what, everything that's there is going to stay there; there's not much we need to move over, that training happens at the end.
So understanding how much actually needs to be migrated and then, again, thinking about those swim lanes, who's going to move it over; it allows you to go into that implementation with a clear strategy, a clear understanding of who is to do what, and a list, ideally, of what needs to be migrated and how it's going to be used.
So that's my advice on how you prepare for your Oracle Eloqua implementation. Talk to you soon!
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