Marketing Decisions Blog

Eloqua Training – The Top Five Things to Get Right

After facilitating another Eloqua 101 two day training course last week I feel compelled to share my thoughts on what has to be done well to make this type of training effective.

Marketing Decisions - Eloqua Training
I have conducted quite a few Eloqua training courses over the years but who is to say that I have got the formula right? Well a few weeks ago I attended a two day software training course as a student and I paid almost $2000 for the privilege. In hindsight, I am surprised by the level of anxiety I had and this was because the agenda was not detailed, I did not know the other attendees and I did not know what would be expected of me. What if I was slower than everyone else?

By any measure, keeping a software training group engaged and continuing to effectively absorb training material over a continuous two day period is a tough call. It turns to the skill of the instructor to keep the class engaged. So here are my top tips for you to make sure you get lined up before you engage any Eloqua or Oracle Marketing Cloud Training.

1. Instructor Experience and Motivation
This is so important. Vet your instructor in advance. How many courses like this have they conducted? How well do they know Eloqua – just enough to get by with training the basics? Did they get the “short straw” and found themselves taking this class? You need an instructor who has deep subject knowledge because Eloqua trainees, no matter how new they are to the product, have a habit of asking the most difficult questions and nothing shakes trainee faith in their instructor more than when they discover that the instructor cannot answer any of their questions – are they scripted to only follow the course? So let’s say you have found an instructor with deep subject knowledge. There are some brilliant application specialists out there but they seem to have lost the ability to communicate with other humans. Your instructor needs to be truly motivated to be standing in front of you training. You want an instructor who enjoys training. You need an instructor who is also a very experienced marketer so that they can put application learning into context.

2. Business Context
So why are you planning Eloqua training? It had better be more than a need to know how to use the email editor better for example. Big picture people. Marketing Automation software like Eloqua or for that matter any of the components of the Oracle Marketing Cloud are just tools to make your contribution as a modern marketer more effective. When planning training, deciding on a trainer and participating in the training, keep thinking big picture. What are your business and marketing goals and how can this software help you to achieve these goals? From there drill to the areas that you want to focus more on in the training course. Once you get into the training session, a good instructor will constantly put the detail into context for you and bring to life many areas through example. Your ideal instructor will have been personally involved with hundreds of Eloqua campaigns across different industries, B2B and B2C.

3. Detailed Agenda
Find a training supplier who will work with you to customise the training agenda. There is so much to Eloqua and so many different areas to focus upon. Two days might sound a lot of time in which to train a group on Eloqua but believe me you could easily spend this time on just a few components of Eloqua. Start with the big picture, then identify what you most need to cover in the training. Get your supplier to send you a detailed agenda for you to agree upon and get this circulated to all trainees before they come to the course.

4. Course Notes
There is nothing worse as a trainee than feeling that you have to write down everything because of a lack of training notes. Oh and it is just not good enough for the trainer to not provide printed notes and then say that they will email you the course presentation. You need to be able to follow the course with written notes and add your own notes in the appropriate areas. Insist upon this. It is just as frustrating when the course notes you are given bear no resemblance to what is being presented and discussed.

5. Hands On
When it comes to software training you have to get yourself into the application, trying things for yourself, putting what you learn into practice and getting lost and confused along the way. This is the best way to learn – by doing it yourself. Check the agenda and make sure that there is ample opportunity to put your learning into practice. But be careful, there needs to be a balance here. It can be an easy path for a trainer to skim over a few slides then leave you for an hour to fumble through things yourself – and we have all been there before with that type of training. Eloqua training should be as much about taking time out with an experienced trainer of Eloqua to up-skill you in the application, as it is stepping back and planning your path to more effective modern digital marketing.

At Marketing Decisions we have been working with Eloqua since 2007 and we have managed hundreds of Eloqua marketing campaigns for clients across B2B and B2C. Our training instructor is our most experienced certified Eloqua consultant and a highly engaged, strategic senior digital marketer. Every client that we have trained, whether that be for Eloqua 101 or our advanced Eloqua training course, has found the investment worthwhile and it is an investment that we strongly urge all Eloqua users to make.

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