By Brian Hansford, account director and marketing automation practice lead for Heinz Marketing

We are continually testing new technology tools that our clients can consider with their marketing automation and CRM platforms. I recently tested the NetProspex Data Enrichment Cloud Connector for Eloqua 10 with impressive results and I can confidently recommend this as a standard tool for Eloqua normalization efforts.

B2B Databases Need Clean Data – NetProspex Can Help Append Data
Data health is one of the biggest obstacles to a high-performing B2B marketing automation implementation. NetProspex developed the Data Enrichment Cloud Connector to help Eloqua administrators with this challenge. The DECC is ideal for organizations with a large percentage of incomplete records or those who have never performed any kind of normalization. NetProspex approaches data enrichment in four steps, starting with normalizing data such as checking for misspelled names or the use of ALL CAPS and inconsistent use of job titles. From there data enrichment populates data on job functions and contact details, and finally industry segmentation and sizing.

I found the Data Enrichment Cloud Connector a powerful tool to dramatically reduce incomplete fields with appended data in Eloqua. NetProspex offers the DECC as a subscription service based on credits. Credits determine the number of contact records that can be appended.

Once the DECC is configured, administrators can run the Connector against designated segments in Eloqua. Administrators can configure how to append the records with updated NetProspex data and whether to work against older or new contact records in Eloqua. The easy configuration, wickedly fast performance and accuracy are all incredibly valuable for Eloqua 10 users.

Depending on the size of the database, running the DECC against unique Eloqua segments may be a good strategy as opposed to the entire database at once. When incorporated into an overall normalization strategy, Eloqua administrators should test email deliverability against a segment that was appended against one that was not.

Getting Started

To get started users will need to sign up for the NetProspex Data Enrichment Cloud Connector. Once the account is established, users can buy credits for the amount of contacts to run the DECC service.

The User Guide is excellent and provides detailed and easy to follow steps for configuring the DECC. I was able to walk through the set up and operation of the DECC with only a few minor details that seemed missing. Many users, including me, rarely read user guides in detail. However in this case I did follow the details and I was very pleased with the details and progression.
Configuration

The DECC provides an intuitive interface to configure the input fields from NetProspex and the corresponding Eloqua values. (See Diagram 1) Once the input values are created, the data overwrite rules can be set based on the record. This is important because some field values in Eloqua may already be normalized against a standard and I find this flexibility important.

Eloqua administrators can run the DECC against the entire database, or any portion using segments. In Eloqua’s Program Builder, segments can simply be sent to a Cloud Connector. (See Diagram 2) After the data is appended, a test email can be sequenced to determine performance.

The DECC is configured from the Setup menu and Cloud Connectors. All of these steps are very well documented in the User Guide. (Note: The Data Enrichment Connector does not need an email to score a match in order to complete an append. However, email is a required field for Eloqua. )



Operation

After configuration in Eloqua and the NetProspex portal, the DECC starts working when the campaign is activated from Eloqua’s Program Builder. The DECC must also be activated from the NetProspex portal. I was very impressed with the incredibly fast performance of the DECC against our database. We did not experience any lag or latency and the results were reported almost instantly. The reporting function showed details on all the appended records.

When we ran the operation in Eloqua, we used Bulk Mode and not Priority Mode when running the program in Eloqua. This is one item that wasn’t included in the User Guide at the time of our test.

Performance and Accuracy
I sampled our Eloqua segment with incomplete contact records before and after running the Data Enrichment Connector and 100% of the records in our segment were appended. Because NetProspex is a trusted partner, I am confident in the accuracy of the data they provide for the append service.

Thumbs Up
NetProspex has some fantastic opportunities to support the Eloqua community with the Data Enrichment Cloud Connector. Eloqua adminstrators should engage in rigorous data cleansing and normalization efforts in 2013. The NetProspex Data Enrichment Cloud Connector is one of the best tools and services to add to the arsenal.

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