Data: To store or not to store?

Data: To store or not to store?

Get ready – changes to Oracle Eloqua are coming! With Oracle’s the Eloqua 479 release (due out March 15-27, 2016), it has been announced that they will be changing their retention policy. If you have a larger, older database, you have likely seen performance issues around segmentation, lead scoring, compilation of email send batch sizes and even in the exporting of data through the Bulk API. Oracle’s new policy will limit the volume retained to a rolling 25-month view to relieve performance issues across those areas and even reporting in Insight.

This might sound scary – “losing data” – if you have a need to retain data for compliance and regulatory reasons. Oracle has services available to help you or you can work (on your own or with a partner) to create API-based routines to extract this data and store it outside of Eloqua on an on-going basis.

What can you do to prepare?

If you don’t face a regulatory or compliance-based need to store data, I would encourage you to be realistic about the value that data holds for you (26-months or older) before diving off into custom development and data storage options.

Factors to Consider

Inactivity: In a world where relevance and recency rule the day (from a deliverability perspective as well as effectiveness), the best rule of thumb is to be constantly reviewing your “inactive” database and working to either make them active or make them disappear.  At TPG, we have put together a number of resources on the value of breaking up with your inactives,  the key reason is being that they are dragging you down in terms of performance, ROI and, at the end of the day, revenue.   More often than not, if someone has activity data that has a 9-to-12-month gap since their latest activity, today they are in the bucket of “dragging you down.”  Start by evaluating how many inactive people you have and then consider removing them; they are definitely not in the list of people whose 25-month+ activity data you should be keeping.

Storable Behavior: When you configure lead scoring you pick time frames that are the reference points for the increase (or decrease) of a score.  In the hundreds of models I have built for clients (and myself as a Marketer), I have not built a single model that looks at data over 180 days old.  If I’m not scoring the behavior then what am I doing with the data?

Marketable Behavior: I’ll repeat myself here but relevance and recency matter –they are why your subscribers engage with you and why your messages resonate.  If we all agree on this, then why would you send a mail based upon a behavior over two years old? If the contact/lead has performed something more recently than that old behavior, shouldn’t we take that as the more current indicator of their needs and interests? The answer here is yes.

Data storage is cheap and custom development costs may have a cost associated with the project; however, at the end of the day, the custom costs definitely outweigh the ROI in storing data you aren’t scoring on, marketing based upon it or marketing that may be associated with long “dead” contacts.  It is worth the investment and your goals will benefit from it.

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About Lauren Kincke
Lauren is the Oracle Practice Manager for the Pedowitz Group. She is an Eloqua Partner Certified Consultant, Certified Administrator, and has nearly a decade of wide ranging sales and marketing technology experience.

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  • Posted by Lauren Kincke
  • On 02/24/2016
Tags: Eloqua, Oracle, revenue marketing, TPG Solutions, revenue marketer, Eloqua Retention Policy Best Practices

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