Which Piece of Flair Best Describes You? - Modern Marketing Experience

So, I know it's been said already, but MME 2015 was awesome!! I met more of the outstanding individuals that are my fellow Eloquans and walked away with tons of new ideas. That being said, every year there is always one piece of flair that I identify with the most, usually something that sums up my current marketing attitude and/or projects. This year's piece of flair that represents me is ...  What about you? What piece of flair from this year's Modern Marketing Experience best describes you?


Lasting Impressions from Eloqua Experience 2012

For Eloqua enthusiasts, this time of year can be particularly difficult. Adjusting to life post-conference can be a struggle—particularly when coming off of a marketing automation high from Eloqua Experience... This recent article recaps several attendees key takeaways, disappointing aspects and funny anecdotes from the recent user conference.  http://www.thestrategicguy.com/lasting-impressions-from-eloqua-experience-2012/ autumn.coleman michelle.burrows#incontact.com angelasmith619 mattjac What were some of your key takeaway from the recent event?
Oh, the now infamous flash mob. I'm glad that we could help joepayne check one item off the bucket list!
So, contrary to past EE's I actually didn't spend any time in the vendor area which I usually like a lot. Speaking to new potential partners is always an exciting thing for me. Personally I really enjoyed all of the events, specifically the Advocates reception, the Welcome reception and the post Markie party. That said, the absolute best part for me was meeting and hanging out with my new topliners friends especially jennifer.gonzalez, krista.seidemann, Kristin Connell, fsakr, Sterling Bailey-Oracle!!! The worst part for me was missing my buddy heatherfoeh 
Right backatcha, dude! All y'all east coast peeps know how to partay. :)
Till the breaka breaka dawwwn

Inspired by a Markie?

EE12 is over, the Markie winners have been awarded and now you're back in the swing of things trying to process all of the great ideas you heard, saw and learned while attending sessions, talking to other Topliners, and learning about the amazing Markie Finalists & Winners.  So which Markie finalist or Winner inspired you and got you excited to take the idea home and implement with your Modern Marketing team?
My team  was inspired by all of the Markie finalists and winners! It is so great to see how others are having success with Eloqua. For me, the Best International Campaign category inspired me for 2013. I work for a large global company and we have localized forms/landing pages and emails for some countries but we have yet to undertake a single campaign that we then localize to the extent of this category's finalists. 
The Markie awards really did inspire me. Having just used Eloqua for 6 months and being the only person within our small company trained now to master level and with access you can imagine everything is fairly daunting, EE13 has really helped me to prioritise what is important and how to balance such a huge workload. For every can that our success coaching opened there seems to be an unending amount of worms to deal with. But thanks EE13 for helping me to work out which are the juicy ones to pick out first.  I would be incredibly keen to work towards a Markie award either within the US or EE14 if for nothing else but to focus me upon the enormously daunting task that lies ahead. Any help that previous winners or users could give would be extremely helpful..resources, tips, where and when does one start planning an entry? Thanks
Kevin, I recommend looking at the case studies for the previous finalists and winners.  I can tell you that data, data, data, and data matter.  Performance metrics and revenue will most certainly get you noticed.  It's great if you can baseline and then demonstrate how "XYZ" lead to % improvement and $ generated.  I'd also suggest reaching out to a success coach.  I've found that they can help you identify best practices, tools, etc that lead to success.  Oh, and including a video with your submission always helps .
This entire list of winners offers a collection of great ideas for organizations like mine that are deciding where to place our bets on Consumer Engagement.  
I have created a See It article that goes a bit deeper to the Rautaruukki campaign that was created by ID BBN.Success Case: Masters Of The Rooftops

Can you help capture the essence of the Topliners Community

Should I make this a question for points?Fellow Topliners -  I tried to capture the essence of the Topliners community.  You can tell I am not a writer.  However, I thought it would be to fun to see what the group can add, edit and weave new parts into the story.  I attached the word doc in addition to below.   Anyway, I kinda ran out of steam at the end so feel free to add, edit and re-post========================================================== I really enjoy the Eloqua culture and community and topliners have created their own version of life:Topliners expound upon the benefits of becoming a member.  Topliners always encourage personal, spiritual and professional growth via open and honest communication,fellowship with other believers and by trying to help each other improve one day at a time andto live up to our ‘best practices’ ideal each and every dayEloqueens and Elokings meet up every year to celebrate achievements and awards.  Of course, when Eloqueens and Elokings get together to celebrate success, company’s want more, budgets are adjusted and we end up with Elokids AKA New Users.As time goes by, all Elokids want to attend Eloqua University when they grow up.  Like real life, some Noobs have no problem with tuition while others have to work hard to attend.  Incredibly, almost all students work full time while attending Eloqua University.After graduating from the prestigious ‘Best in the Industry’ Marketing Automation Eloqua University, they will forever be known as an Eloqueen or Eloking.  Of course, some graduates will immediately go on to become Eloqua Masters.The graduates who re-enter the ‘real world’ have many opportunities in front of them:Some Topliners will follow their heart and go to work at an Eloqua Non ProfitSome Topliners will become active in their community or political party by joining one (or more) of the Eloqua State groupsOther Topliners will jump into leadership roles by running a Topliner group or online community.Other Topliners will be lured by power and influence by going to Vienna, VA to work for the CompanyOther Topliners will become a member of the elite fraternity, the Eloqua Insiders; a powerful group that works tirelessly to help others and to make things happen. Some say you have to be a member to recognize other members.Like death and taxes, Wall Street will throw money at the best Revenue Performance Managers to run Fortune 500 companies and Hedge Funds.Yet, another special group of Topliners is lured by the freedom and challenge of life on the open road.  These brave souls (like modern day missionaries) will take the Eloqua system and message along with their formidable skills to the farthest corners of the earth. They carry on the good fight, often using special tools like SOWs, Change Orders, Scope Creep, De-scoping and functional requirements to drive them through the long days on the road.  They are often referred to as Special Forces operators, referring to their unique ability to bill endless hours, often without regard to the budgets.
This is a good piece Eric, Thank you.I will let heatherfoeh decide if this can be open for question.
I love this, Eric!! I'm so glad that you've found Topliners and Eloqua to be so helpful to you! It makes me very warm and fuzzy. :-) I did go ahead and change this to a Question so you can mark answers as Helpful and give others extra points.

Eloqua Salaries & Experience

We recently posted a job for someone to join our Eloqua team. Thanks to our strong company reputation, culture and location, we've received some fantastic applicants, and hopefully will fill the position shortly. In going through this exercise, we've come across a worrying trend, and was would love to hear from others if you've encountered this too, and what we, as a community can do about it. I've spoken to colleagues in other companies too, as well as recruiters, and it seems to be a widespread issue. There is clearly a shortage of folks out there who know Eloqua well, and even those who do, finding people who have a good blend of both the business AND technical side is even harder (in my opinion, an important requirement). What seems to have happened, is anyone with 2 or more years Eloqua experience, now think they're an expert, and are demanding exorbitant compensation. With no offense to Eloqua University and the fantastic team, I think that has contributed to the issue slightly too - people think that because they've sat through a few classes, they are now even more valuable. To enhance the problem, I find that many HR, Hiring Managers and Recruiters don't understand the market and software well enough either, to weed out the undesirables. All this has led to not only difficulty in hiring, but also confusion in the market, making it hard for the people who need to, unable to tell folks apart. Anyone with 'Eloqua' on their resume are treated equally. Have you encountered this? What can be done to clear things up? 
Hi Eytan, At Bluewolf, we've come accross similar issues. I have also spoken to many of our clients who are trying to hire - we get the same feedback. We are now looking to put together some technical questions & case studies to really gauge people's skill level. 
Thanks Jennifer.  I have my own Eloqua 'stump' questions that I ask (love to see the reaction on people's faces!), but I'd like to weed people out even before they get to me.  If Bluewolf do put that together, and want to share with the community.....I'm sure many of us would appreciate it! 
Hey Eytan, Jennifer; It is really difficult to hire. Great demand, but little supply of top notch power users who have the blended skill. As per Jennifer's note, we do the same today - ask questions to truly get the blend out of the potential hire. I am interested though in the case study. Case study as in, give the user a scenario to play out using Eloqua? Thanks.
Would be good to hear from Jennifer regarding the case study, as I imagine that's giving a scenario and asking the interviewee to come up with a resolution.  What I did on a recent interview, was describe a complex business problem we had recently encountered, and our proposed solution in Eloqua, and keep a close eye on the interviewee to see if they follow, and see if they had any sensible input and the like. I'd like to change that up, now that I've read this. Maybe next time I'll just describe the problem, and see what THEY come up with.
You could always ask what super hero they would be and why. :) But on a little more serious note - I like the idea of the case study scenerio - what about an online, branching assessment of sorts? You'd have to use an app - I've taken surveys via SurveyMonkey with a flow that would match to a solid "identify the posers" type assessment. HR could even be the gatekeeper - the data don't lie. :)
This is a very interesting post to me. We actually have the same problem with Sharepoint Developers/IT skills in general, as well as most medical professions. When you have specific highly-skilled profiles in mind, it is not easy to find the right fit, that's for sure. It takes us months to fill positions and it impacts the teams that run under-staffed for extended periods of time. The law of supply and demand prevails until the market levels off with enough people in the particular field.  20 year ago, Web Designers were hot commodities, paid hefty salaries, because there were very few to know how to do it. Employers were willing to pay the price to get ahead of the competition. Things have evolved, and now they are paid basically half or a third of what they used to. I think that the market will eventually level off  for this field too, until something else comes along.  To me, there are 2 different problems here. #1 - not enough highly-skilled professionals to do what you are looking for (and therefore, you will have no other choice but pay a premium to get them) and #2 - expectation management and flexibility. If I needed to hire a specific profile, I  of course look at the current knowledge and evaluate how it matches my needs. Then, I look at soft skills, how fast, eager, and passionate candidates are to learn, and their ability to pick things up on their own. In some cases, training and molding someone with great ability and potential may become more valuable.  Bottom line, what is the true potential in the long run. The thing is, it takes time to accumulate a good combination of knowledge and experience. The marketing automation field is still fairly new. There are no school out there teaching this. Most of the time, skills have to be learned on the job. Thank goodness for Topliners and EU! I really don't know how I could have done it without both! In any case, all is relative. What is "exorbitant compensation" to you? Define it. I bet it would be different for everyone. Location, standard of living, current background etc all play a part. I agree, some of the young generations are so used to get whatever they want, it is sickening... but that's an entirely new conversation lol  I totally agree with you that pre-selection is a needed process and I would love to see a case-study on this too. HR is great, but they don't always weed out the crowd the way I would because they don't always know the skills required all that well. Sometimes, we want 5 people in one, for the same price, a mature and experience professional, who is 25 yo. It takes more than a job description to help HR get the right candidates in. I think it is very important to educate HR on the business, the processes, requirements, heck even the culture and everything else you can think of, in order for them to get a better understanding of who you are looking for, whether you have an internal HR that recruits for you or go to an external agency.  Now, I'd love to see your questions! I am so excited to see all that is going on in the field and how fast things are moving. I couldn't have picked a more challenging and fun career and I am so glad there is this online community to fall back on daily when I need it 
It took me 10 months to fill my open Eloqua position and I ended up going with an internal candidate who decided to change divisions in our company. The lack of proper skill sets in candidates was frustrating. I felt like people thought that if they could spell Eloqua it meant they could put it on their resume. I even had one person who called himself a "Super User" on his resume and I come to find out they never actually used the tool, they just had a log in with what their company called "super user" rights. I always dive into the technical aspects at the phone screen stage to weed out bad candidates. I found that the recruiter I was working with could only take it so far because a lot of candidates know the buzz words to say to pass the screening. I decided to phone screen candidates myself before committing to bringing them in for an interview. I think at the end of day what you truly need is someone with the right mindset to understand the balance between business strategy and how to program those needs in Eloqua. Sometimes you do have to hire for potential but I would rather hire someone who admits they have a lot to learn than someone who is pretending to be someone they are not.
I think the Eloqua community should do a salary benchmark survey report which can be segmented by country. Just so we can all assess and discern. 
There should be a Eloqua Master list that is made available to HR people. At least they'll know it's reliable because Eloqua published it. 
You're right, today there aren't enough people who possess a strong grasp of Eloqua and marketing automation/marketing operations in general. Add on business experience/marketing programs and the number gets even smaller. But demand for the skill is high, and what I find often is that: a) A marketing automation solution is purchased, with no internal expert in-houseb) A single marketing automation expert is in-house and leavesc) The marketing automation expert was not a marketing automation expert at all (they stepped in from another role and became overwhelmed) Either way, you're left in a tight spot, because you have to run your marketing programs and help the top line. And bad hiring decisions often ensue, especially in very competitive markets. An assessment of some sort would be great, especially if you don't have the internal knowledge to really judge someone's skill set.
moz.com does an industry survey: 2014 Industry Survey - Moza list apart used to do a nice survey too: Findings from the Survey, 2011 · An A List Apart Article Would be great to see the same for marketing automation
The issue here is a simple problem of supply and demand. Demand is huge because companies are adopting marketing automation at an accelerated clip; supply is very limited because it takes a dedicated year or two to become an expert in these tools. I know as I was a Lead on the Eloqua Professional Services team, and ran their Product Support group for a number of years. I interviewed hundreds of candidates, hired over 20 and oversaw their learning curve. It takes 3 months for someone to learn their way around, 6-12 months to attain a good level of comfort and effectiveness, and about 1.5 - 2 years to become an expert. In terms of testing proficiency - if they have experience, ask them how they would deploy and report on a campaign. Then ask them how they would store purchased products in Eloqua, or ensure automated webinar follow-ups. Their answers to both will give you their basic skillset, and their advanced. If no experience, put them in front of Eloqua, give them 20-30 minutes to read through Eloqua's manual for creating a segment and then deploying an email and have them actually send a test email to you. This was a VERY effective test for us to gauge how quickly someone can learn - our best hires were those who excelled at this test. Overall, I would say that if you have an urgent need for expertise, get outside help from a consultancy - make sure they have a real Eloqua expert on staff that will be working with you (ask them questions above), especially if you have non-trivial problems to solve. For a medium to long-term solution, promote from within or hire externally someone without experience. You'll get a bargain and if you treat them right they'll stay for a while. If you're looking for someone to just execute campaigns and be a low-level Marketing Specialist, look for strong technical acumen. Hire someone that has coded before (web development, computer science, or at least strong IT scripting) and that has a good can-do attitude. If you need someone that you want to become your ninja, look for a self-starter with a strong technical background (like before), but include people skills, and appreciation for business. Happy to discuss in more detail with anyone interested.
Recruiters show how seriously they take their career when they have zero background knowledge of Eloqua and cannot pronounce it. For the individual, the certifications make a user far, far away from being a true administrator or power user, but that doesn't stop them from entering the pool of candidates. I get calls from recruiters all the time and the demands are silly in price and expectation to relocate to somewhere mundane like Boise, Idaho or such for a contract job is comical. Unfortunately for the company in need, they are going to have to hire a paper-fit individual that a recruiter can't sort out and then suffer the consequences of a destroyed database and excessive learning on the job.
Hi Jason, Yes. It is a scenario that needs solutioning. We look for problem solving & skill.  Say, for example, You have a nurture campaign people can drop out of during any point. How do you make sure that a contact flows out of the campaign?  (with more detail, of course )

An interesting read: One Campaign You Must Not Ignore

Hello all, Eloqua is very lucky to have best practice consultants. Many of you may have had the opportunity to converse or work with Jennifer Horton. I was on the Marketing Insights blog and found this 'oldie but a goodie' that I thought I would share with you all. Last year Jen wrote a short piece on the critical marketing touch points that marketers should always address. This question comes up all the time and one that I talk to often. Hopefully this piece stirs conversation and maybe you can share what you are doing to gain traction with your contacts.  ONE CAMPAIGN YOU MUST NOT IGNORE Best,  Jason