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Controlling Access to your Eloqua Contacts: Six Key Considerations When Implementing a Contact Level Security (CLS) Solution

Controlling Access to your Eloqua Contacts: Six Key Considerations when Implementing a Contact Level Security (CLS) Solution

If your organization has multiple Brands, Business Units, or Regions using Eloqua, it may be advantageous to implement a Contact Level Security (CLS) solution. Contact Level Security controls which of your Eloqua Users can view, modify, and market to Contacts within Eloqua.

Without a CLS solution in place, large organizations with multiple marketing teams must rely on users to properly Segment Contacts. But what happens when the new Marketing Manager forgets to add “COUNTRY is exactly US” to the Campaign Segment and your email is deployed globally? Or even worse… what if one Business Unit decides to market to another Business Units customers without their knowledge? I know firsthand that cross-communication by Business Units can result in over-communication leading to increased opt-outs and disruption to the Sales cycle. In a previous role, one of my Campaigns generated a Lead that converted into a large Opportunity. During a latter Opportunity stage, another team decided to cross-sell my Customers without my knowledge. Learning of the other product offering caused the Prospect to question which of the technology purchases was most important at that time. This significantly delayed the sales cycle for both products and the Customer prioritized the second (significantly less expensive) product to purchase. Situations like these can be avoided by implementing Contact Level Security.

Here are six key considerations to help you determine if CLS is right for you:

  1. Why is it important to limit access to Contact records? There are multiple ways that Contact Level Security can be configured, so understanding why a solution is required is key. For example, are you concerned about marketers marketing to Contacts in other Countries without knowing the email laws of that Country? Or do you wish to manage the number of touches a group of Contacts receives by limiting who can market to them? The “why” serves as the foundation for the solution.
  2. How are the different teams organized? Access to Eloqua Contacts is controlled by Custom Security Groups aligned to the teams that support different Business Units, Departments, or Regions. The organization of Marketing teams is not always clear-cut, so it is essential to outline your marketing teams with your different audiences. Some key questions to ask yourself are: Do you have a Centralized or Decentralized Marketing team? Are Campaigns executed internally or are Consultants or Agencies involved? Is a particular Contact accessible to multiple teams?
  3. Who within your organization should have access to all Contacts? Your Eloqua System Administrators should have access to all Contacts but some organizations require other users to have access to view and market to the entire database. For example, if you have a Corporate Marketing team as well as a Business Unit or Regional teams, the Corporate team will most likely have to market to all Contacts. If groups (or individuals) require access to all Contacts, this must be accounted for in your CLS solution.
  4. How is data being added into the system (i.e. forms, upload, CRM integration, manual entry)? The data entry points are often an overlooked portion of the CLS solution. When new Contacts are added into Eloqua, the Contact records must contain the appropriate values so that the CLS labels can be properly assigned. For example, if Forms are being used and the fields required to assign the CLS labels are not on the Form, you must use Form processing steps to set those values.
  5. Which of your Eloqua field(s) identify the team(s) that should have access to a Contact? CLS is based on data stored in one or more fields. These fields can exist on the Contact table, Account table, or in a Custom Object. Using a “Region” field is the most common approach to separating Contacts. If the value in the “Country” field is US or CA the “North America” CLS label is assigned. “Business Unit” is another common use case that can be more complex to configure because some organizations have a field for “Business Unit” and a single value is selected for that field, while others have a Yes/No field for each Business Unit if a Contact can be shared by multiple Units. Depending on how your data enters Eloqua (integration vs. import), populating these fields with Yes/No can be a manual process to maintain. Using fields that identify the Business Unit a Contact belongs to (e.g., products owned) may be a more efficient way of configuring CLS.
  6. If a Contact does not meet any of the defined criteria, should they be visible to all users? If a Contact does not meet any of the defined criteria to have a CLS label assigned, that Contact will be visible to and marketable by all Eloqua users. For some organizations, this is acceptable but for others, no assignment means no one should be able to see or market to the Contact. Deciding how to manage Contacts without any labels is one of the most important decisions to be made and is often overlooked.

A CLS process that meets your business needs must be well thought through and designed so that the management of Contacts is seamless to your users. There are other decisions that need to be made to help you design a CLS solution, however the six I have outlined are the first steps you must take.

Considering CLS or already have CLS implemented? Did you know that Oracle Marketing Cloud has recently launched the Label Assignment Workflow Canvas to offer additional configuration options and speed up the process of assigning Security permissions? Now is a great time to re-evaluate your CLS process. I am Tegrita’s Contact Level Security SME, so let’s discuss how you can better manage your Eloqua Contacts or improve your current CLS process. Contact me today to set-up a meeting.

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Brandi Starr

Chief Operating Officer | Managing Consultant at Tegrita
Brandi Starr is a true Modern Marketing Maven; she believes marketing magic happens at the intersection of strategy, creativity, and technology. As Chief Operating Officer at Tegrita Brandi helps companies of varying sizes to attract, convert, close, and retain customers using technology. Brandi is the Co-Author of CMO to CRO, The Revenue Takeover by The Next Generation Executive and the host of the Revenue Rehab podcast.