Data Cleanliness Looks Hard, But It Doesn’t Have to Be

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As a CX specialist,  I’m asked almost daily about inputting data. Where’s the best source? What’s the best way to coax an unwilling sales rep to spare precious moments inputting valuable information? Which device? 

However, the most important question is always missing.  How long will it last?
The shelf life of a contact or company’s data is not often considered until well past its expiry date.  The general rule of thumb in CRM systems is that data degrades at a rate of roughly 2-3% per month.  This means your carefully gathered, expensively acquired data is only about 65-75% accurate in the space of one year. Combine that with an ever increasing number of  studies confirming people are switching jobs with more frequency than ever before, and you have a perfect storm for out-of-date information. If that doesn’t seem scary enough, consider this: The Big Nasty Surprise in Every ERP to CRM Integration.
Fortunately, in recent years, we have new technology to combat data decay. These innovations recognize of the power of social media, in data sources like LinkedIn.  Still, how can you harness that power? Sales reps can be skeptical of new technology that doesn’t deliver the promised results.
In the five years I’ve spent considering this problem, I’ve watched countless plug-ins scrape data from the LinkedIns of the world and add it easily to your CRM system.  But there we were again, only looking at the inputs.  What about the upkeep?! Finally at long last, in comes Colabo, with a real solution to the question never asked but always felt.  Founded by a trio of data junkies, this tool creates a live feed between social data sources and your CRM system, continuously enriching and updating your data.  Your CRM system stays fresh and  your sales reps can finally start prospecting in the cloud.
Best of all, now there’s an answer to ‘How long will it last?’

A Simple Guide to Oracle Content Marketing Part 1: Planning

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Welcome to our new series- A Simple Guide to Oracle Content Marketing!

Oracle Content Marketing, known as OCM here at SFCG and formerly known as Compendium (Oracle purchased Compendium in 2012), is a platform that makes it easy to plan, produce, publish, promote and prove your content marketing while matching the right content with digital body language from your audience. As a content marketer, every ounce of your energy is focused on producing the most powerful content and we know that evaluating a content marketing tool can be time consuming. Follow along with this blog series and you will be a savvy content marketer using OCM in no time! So sit back and relax as we uncover OCM using the 5 P's of content marketing. 

First and foremost, what are the 5 P's? 

OCM helps marketers more easily organize the 5 P's of content marketing: Plan, Produce, Publish, Promote and Prove. Just like a cycle and checklist of developing content, savvy content marketers use the 5 P's as a way to develop viral content marketing. Who doesn't want to go viral like Charlie Bit My Finger?

Now let's look at some of the ways OCM can help you with your content development.


With OCM, you can easily plan your content using the Topic and Idea planning tool. Develop all of your topics and subtopics using the interactive planning grid by easily clicking the + sign to add new ideas correlated to your SEO strategy and/or your digital marketing strategies. These ideas can then be simply assigned to content writers who are in need of inspiration for a new story, allowing you to ensure no one on your team ever has to face writers block or ‘not knowing what to write’.

Oracle Content Marketing Planning


As content marketing evolves, and more and more content is produced every day it's more important than ever that content marketers develop strategies to engage their designated customers (personas) to really drive engagement. Particularly in B2B content marketing, you know your "net" of prospects is specific, so focusing on content to specific personas creates a better opportunity to convert. OCM allows you to assign content to a specific persona in order for you, the content marketer, to prove how successful your content is performing to your target persona. 

Engagement Stages 

Engagement stages are similar to personas where you as a content marketer and writer can assign your content to an engagement stage in your acquisition funnel. If you are providing content to retain your persona (or customer), the engagement stage helps organize your writing but also in later stages, analyze your content to see if the stage is being effectively marketed to. In OCM, click on Planning > Personas and then click the gear icon to edit or add information about the engagement stage. 

Oracle Content Marketing Engagement Stages

The Administrative Things

Marketers love the exciting features like organizing their planning and developing personas to match their content but OCM should also get a round of applause for their security and user functionality. Within OCM, each of your users can have over 25 different security standards-from Editor, Administrator to Trusted Author and more. For a team of content writers, this provides an excellent opportunity to keep a writer focused on his/her content while the Editor can see the "newsroom" of content throughout the different writer's assignments (all digitally).  

Oracle Content Marketing User Rights and Role Screenshot

OCM also has a great feature called Workflows. Workflows are designed to provide content writers with editing and approval steps to automatically process new content to editors and reviewers. With its easy ability to be assigned to content, your content will be polished by your assigned editors within specific dates and times and will send notifications instantly to allow editors easy access to edit. Simply click on Planning > Workflow and add a new workflow. You even get to name your different stages and assign specific colors to designate the stage the content is written for. 

OCM also has the ability to add different languages for you to organize your content, categories for better organization of your content and for better SEO (more on SEO in our later posts!) and additional best practices to help your content writers follow your procedures for best practices. 

Stay tuned for more in the series as we explore the 5 P's of content marketing with OCM! If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out.

On April 7th join me as we go more in depth on OCM and strategize on our content marketing on our upcoming webinar

Happy Planning! 


Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Oracle Content Marketing* (*but were afraid to ask)

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It is somewhat surprising that Oracle bought Compendium (now renamed Oracle Content Marketing, or OCM for short) in late 2013 and yet it is still the best kept secret in the Oracle Marketing Cloud. The capabilities of Responsys and Eloqua are much easier to see and so it might be possible to overlook (and therefore under appreciate) the massive power of OCM and grasp why it is a fantastic addition to any digital marketers arsenal of tools. 

Instead of listing out the features and benefits (yawn) of OCM in some kind of book report, let's go through the problems it solves. 

Problem #1 – How Do I Make Sure My Company is Producing Really Interesting and Relevant Content to People that will Actually Buy from Me?

The number of times I've written whole pieces that I thought were fascinating, only to realize that they were appealing to a giant audience of one (me) is huge. The larger the company and more varied its markets, the more this problem grows. It is hard to plan on what content to write about when you think of the multiple buyers, partners, influencers and so on that might engage with your content. Can you step out of your own skin and see the world through the eyes of your audience(s)?  When you layer on that all those people will need content for each stage of the buying process, you get a nice fat matrix that will overwhelm even the sturdiest blogger, copy writer and consultant. 

Problem #2 – How Do I Coordinate the Production of all this Content Without Hiring an Army of People?

Tracking who is creating what, when and with what editorial guidelines quickly becomes a full time job if you do it correctly.  The alternative is to do it sporadically, haphazardly or outsource content to distant contractors who yield general and vague content that does not resonate with your audience (thus defeating the purpose!). It is difficult to ensure that the right people work on the right content and produce it on time and with a high degree of quality. Did they use key words that improve SEO? It is even more difficult to track the editorial process as drafts fly all over the place before the final is accepted. 

Problem #3 – Did Everything Get Published to The Right Place at the Right Time?

Even a small company has several places to publish content – just having a web site, blog, you tube channel and LinkedIn profile is enough to create chaos and public embarrassment if articles are not published consistently and in a timely and/or scheduled manner. Who is staying up late doing all this publishing? And what happens when you find a typo?  Who is going to correct it and track down every place that content was published?  And what about content I'd like to expire and take down?  After all, no one wants to read about Christmas in February or the back to school sale at Thanksgiving. 

Problem #4 – Am I Doing Everything to Promote my New Content?

Imagine you've written the big article that demonstrates your experience and buyers should come flocking to you, realizing what a genius you are because of your brilliant articles. There is only one problem: Your content marketing team forgot to promote it on the company LinkedIn Page, Twitter feed or Facebook. No one emailed your devoted followers.  (You do have devoted followers, right?) Then you think: 'shouldn't this just happen automatically?'

Problem #5 – Can't I Prove to My Boss That All This Content Marketing is Worth It?

Budget season will be here soon enough; are you really ready to defend the content marketing programs?  Come to think of it, are you sure this is a good use of your time?  How do you know who is reading your content and is it leading to productive action?  Are the right people reading it?  No, are they reading it or are they skimming it?  And is that who you thought would read it or is the wrong audience reading it?  What should you do about that?  Next time you plan more content, what should you do differently?

The bottom line is that these problems are the problems of every content marketer, big and small. To tackle the problem, most of us assume that just one more spreadsheet, Google share doc or policy will cure us of all these ills. Maybe. For a little while. But like all problems of organization and collaboration, the Cloud is here.  Oracle Content Marketing is here. And it solves all of these problems with grace and style. 

OCM takes the 5 'P's of content marketing (Plan, Produce, Publish, Promote & Prove) and streamlines the whole process into a simple, intuitive system that guides your content creators step by step through the best practices of content marketing, which results in better content, delivered to all platforms in a more timely and efficient way, with complete trackability of metrics that will empower you to show your boss exactly how effective your content is. OCM is the cure for your content marketing struggles!

As we at SFCG have rolled out OCM for clients, this is the typical mindset at the beginning of a new digital marketing project:

"Hmm . . . yeah, I'm glad I got that Content Marketing thing, I am sure it is nice, but gosh darnit, I want to send emails with Eloqua RIGHT NOW.  Let's do that first. We'll send awesome emails. People will click through and register on our landing pages and forms. Then we'll publish all the leads. Then . . . I'll be a hero!"

So we set up Eloqua and get everything rolling. That typically leads to the next mindset:

"Hmm . . . we just emailed all our prospects and customers. This is GREAT! Now . . . um . . . how do I get more people? All these lists I buy are stale and old. Google Ad Words traffic is expensive and I've already maxed that budget. Hey, what was that content thing again?"

So then we set up OCM and get a well disciplined content program going. Then we get this:

"Why didn't you tell me about this OCM thing sooner!  We could have been working on content this whole time. Then we could have put Eloqua in place as the repository to hold the giant pool of people coming to our site!"

Then we sigh.

Don't feel bad – I did this to myself too. Maybe you'll be a better marketing executive than me and learn from my example.

– David

David is the CEO of SFCG. SFCG is a CX (Customer Experience) solution company. The firm implements Oracle Content Marketing, Eloqua and Oracle Sales Cloud.