5 Ways Eloqua Succeeded in Engaging Customers and Mobilizing Advocates at Eloqua Experience

Eloqua’s Customer Engagement Strategy at Eloqua Experience

Five years after leaving Eloqua, I attended their annual event to engage brand advocates, Eloqua Experience, as a sponsoring partner. My whole team was excited to show off our first AppCloud Integration with Eloqua. Of course, it also felt great to be there with so many of my old colleagues and customers that I have served, some of which I am serving again, like DemandBase and Brainshark.

To say that Eloqua has grown up is an understatement. With 1400 confident marketing executives and practitioners from some of the most respected companies in the world, 30 sponsoring partners and dozens of tracks and keynotes this year, Eloqua Experience is one of the most impressive customer engagement strategies of the year. And it’s not just educational, but entertaining! Spontaneous flash mobs, CEO Joe Payne’s multiple costume changes, and a spirited awards ceremony that gives the Oscars a run for their money made it exciting and inspirational.

We were completely overwhelmed by the talent in the audience. Brand advocacy touches all aspects of marketing and this was evident from the conversations. First of all, there are a lot more Eloqua users focused on customer marketing than we had assumed. These folks were keen to automate their reference, referral and brand advocate strategies. Pure demand generation professionals were keen to use more customer stories and data in their campaigns as well. It was obvious that Advocate Marketing and customer engagement are on the rise in this community.

What really stood out is the Customer Culture at Eloqua. This is a company that genuinely loves its customers, and appreciates its advocates. And that love goes both ways. I cannot count how many times I heard “Eloqua made my career” from customers. Every time I heard it, it reinforced my commitment to our goal at Influitive (as it was at Eloqua) to enhance the skill, knowledge and reputation for the marketer.

Heather Foeh, Eloqua’s Director of Customer CultureBehind this intense focus stands Heather Foeh, Eloqua’s Director of Customer Culture. While the commitment to customer satisfaction is widespread in the company, Heather really leads the charge,demonstrating how critical her role is to any modern marketing organization. Her oft-stated goal isn’t simply to make customers happy – it is to delight them. And that takes a special passion and creativity.

To take a line from the great Mr. Churchill, EE12 was clearly Heather’s ‘finest hour.’ The power of customer community was on display at every turn and Heather used dozens of innovative challenges to maintain high levels customer engagement. I was wowed at how she employed our app to engage customers to participate in a wide array of fun and productive activities. The most amazing aspect of it all – Heather orchestrated it all from afar, having had to unexpectedly cancel her participation at the last minute!

Here are just five cool examples of how Heather mobilized her brand advocates to create a virtual tidal wave of social and onsite activity over the course of Eloqua Experience:

  1. Pins, badges and reserved seating based on advocate participation level to make advocates feel special
  2. Cleverly timed challenges asking for feedback on specific parts of the keynotes and track sessions that spiked audience social activity.
  3. Challenges that drove advocates to rate the quality of the partner showcase and visit booths, delighting exhibit sponsors
  4. Challenged veteran advocates to proactively engage new customers to evangelize the program and drive organic growth.
  5. (* Our Fav!) executed a well-timed, customer flash mob dance, orchestrated via top-secret challenges from Eloqua’s AdvocateHub days in advance of the event.

Eloqua Experience Flash Mob

It has become accepted principle in B2B marketing that a perfectly implemented instance of marketing automation is useless without compelling marketing content. Buyers need to be engaged as much as educated.

Eloqua Experience made it abundantly clear that the same rule applies for advocate marketing. The key to mobilizing hundreds of customers to act on your behalf is not necessarily in what you ask them to do, but how you do it. Advocates need to be entertained with clever, fun, and inspiring challenges. That takes a certain style and creativity. Fortunately for the Eloqua and its growing legion of fans, there’s a truly talented individual at the helm. Heather, we were sorry to miss you at this event, but salute your efforts and commitment to the customer experience!

5 Responses to 5 Ways Eloqua Succeeded in Engaging Customers and Mobilizing Advocates at Eloqua Experience

  1. Alex Baker says:

    Hey Mark how about having live advocate commentary a la twitter feeds? or having advocates post real-time questions?

  2. […] as proven by the marketing professionals who are making it happen each and every day, including Oracle Eloqua’s Heather Foeh, DocuSign’s Meagen Eisenberg, Ektron’s Fred Bals, Act-On Software’s Jeff Linton, […]

  3. […] sure to ask them about the Eloqua advocate program as well and how you can join Eloqua […]

  4. […] Sometimes, an advocate’s status may allow them to participate in a unique initiative as part of or outside of the advocate marketing program. In other words, it gives them special access to something, such as a new feature or version of your product before it’s released to the general public, the opportunity to buy tickets to your next event before anyone else or special reserved seating at your user conference. […]

  5. […] Heather Foeh, for helping me realize that effective community management is a function of relentless and creative peer recognition. […]

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