After facilitating another two-day 101 Eloqua training course last week I feel compelled to share my thoughts on what has to be done well to make this type of training engaging and effective.
By any measure, keeping a software training group engaged and continuing to effectively absorb material is a tough call. It turns to the skill of the instructor to keep the class engaged. I have run a number of successful Eloqua training workshops in the past and thought I’d share some of my top tips for making sure you get the most out of any Oracle Marketing Cloud or Eloqua 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, no matter how experienced, trainees have a habit of asking the most difficult questions. Nothing shakes trainee faith in their instructor more than when they discover that they cannot answer any questions.
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. 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
Why are you training?
So why are you planning Eloqua training? I really hope it’s more than a need to know how to use the email editor better! 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, keep thinking big picture, we have outlined some tips to consider before starting your training.
Define your business and Marketing goals
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 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. If you have business example at your ready, you will definitely get more out of the trainer and the training session.
3. Detailed Agenda and Outcomes
A few weeks ago, I attended a two-day software training course. A detailed agenda was not provided, and I am surprised at the amount of anxiety I had going into the course. 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?
What level of training do you need?
A good trainer will determine the level of training required for your experience level and the features you have purchased. Leaving out what’s irrelevant and stressing what’s important! At Marketing Decisions we offer 3 levels of Eloqua training. Eloqua 101 is essential for anyone who will be using Eloqua. We also offer intermediate and advanced courses for those clients who aim to be more self-sufficient using Eloqua.
Customise the agenda
Find a training supplier who will work with you to customise the agenda and specific outcomes related to your business. There is so much to Eloqua and so many different areas to focus on. Two days might sound like a lot of time to train a group on Eloqua but believe me, you could easily spend this time on just a few components of Eloqua.
What outcomes do you want?
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. Get this circulated to all trainees before they come to the course. You should then work with your trainer to determine the specific outcome you want from the session. Ensure your outcomes are met as it will be a major factor in determining the success of the session.
4. Course Notes
Make sure you are provided with detailed 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. It leaves you feeling frustrated and unable to keep up. It is also unacceptable for a trainer to not provide printed notes and then say that they will email you later. Make sure you give your trainer a comprehensive list of who will be attending the event so enough materials are provided.
Well executed course notes are very detailed, show logical order, and have sections for practical application of the course material. You absorb the most amount of information and can be fully engaged when you can follow the instructor with provided detailed course notes and can add your own notations. Insist upon this, as it is in your best interest! It is just as frustrating when the course notes you are given bear no resemblance to what is being presented.
5. Hands On
Practical application of your training
When it comes to software training you have to be hands on with the application. It is just as important 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. Eloqua training should be about taking time out with an experienced trainer to up-skill you in the application. As well as stepping back and planning your path to more effective modern digital marketing.
Oracle Marketing Cloud and Eloqua Training with Marketing Decisions
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, has found the investment worthwhile and it is an investment that we strongly urge all Eloqua users to make.
The key to an engaging training session is to ensure all participants know exactly what to expect, and what is expected of them. This is the same for the trainer. If all parties have agreed on the agenda and the outcomes, even with slight derailments, you should be in for a successful training session.
Learn more about some of the offerings we have for Oracle Marketing Cloud and Eloqua Training.