The Social In Content Gardens: Refining The Definition
Agile Interview With Scott Wilder

Content Marketing Case Study: Eloqua $2.5m Sales Boost With Grande Guides

Eloqua Grande Guides Last year I wrote a case study about Eloqua’s social media infographic and ebook. Joe Chernov, Eloqua’s Director of Content Marketing was kind enough to give me some of the results from the content marketing campaign. That was back in August of 2010, it’s been a few months and so I Facebook messaged Joe to ask what additional numbers he had on the campaign. Joe suggested I look at the ROI of another campaign he and the Eloqua marketing team have been running, and also described how the new campaign evolved from the first.

The goals for the original Eloqua infographic and ebook campaign were twofold: “(1) to get people to notice Eloqua that hadn't previously noticed the company (hopefully those people would be marketers or those who influenced marketers), and (2) signal to those in our industry that this was a "new" Eloqua (in terms of our approach to marketing).”

And as I related in my first post, the initial campaign did a great job of creating wider awareness for Eloqua. However, one of Joe’s colleagues approached Joe and the marketing team and suggested, “All this stuff you are doing is cool and all, but we sell marketing automation software, how about you sprinkle some of your pixie dust on our industry.”

Inspired, Joe with the support of his peers in marketing developed Eloqua’s new ebook series, the Eloqua Grande Guides (, “which promise subject matter expertise in the time it takes to drink a cup of coffee.” Joe told me about the concept behind the guides, “to combine some of the "visual communications" that made people dig the infographics / playbooks with subject matter that related to what we sell. So we created these stylized e-books, each is essentially a small piece of a larger whitepaper on the industry, but we splinter off one topic at a time (because ... well because who in their right mind reads full-on whitepapers anymore?).”

Three of the four Grande guides relate directly to Eloqua’s buyer’s interests, (Grande Guide to Sales Enablement, Grande Guide to Lead Scoring, Grande Guide to Deliverability & Privacy). However, the fourth guide is written for top marketers, and aims to create awareness amongst these decision makers, as well as generate leads. It’s the The Grande Guide to the Social CMO.

The guides were distributed via email, where Eloqua could easily track leads, and through social where Eloqua tracks awareness. As Joe explains Eloqua gains greater value from direct targeting, “the higher value is to push them out directly to segments of our email database. Take the GG to the Social CMO: That ONLY went to people with VP titles (or higher).”

The Results

In the last two quarters in 2011 and 2010, Eloqua has developed $2.5m of revenue from at least one of the 4 guides. In that one of the guides was downloaded by a customer prior to making a sale, while the guides have influenced another $3.7m in revenue that’s currently in play.

In addition the guides help Eloqua achieve two sets of goals. (1) Collect more profile data on recipients, (2) accelerate them on the path to closing. Eloqua also collects additional data on about 10,000 prospects using the four guides. Using a system called "progressive profiling" to collect data on prospects a little at a time because if you ask for too much at once, people disengage.

Final Thoughts On The Case Study

Content for the campaign was developed based on roles, and there’s a effort to tie content development into the sales funnel, where lead scoring is influenced by whether prospects read campaign pieces. And lastly Joe and his team were kind enough to share marketing results, illustrating the benefits of following a good iterative content marketing plan.