Tribune Publishing’s marketing automation migration story: 3 perspectives on success

By Chuck Leddy

Tribune Publishing owns and operates 9 flagship newspapers, including the Chicago Tribune, the New York Daily News, and the Baltimore Sun. The Tribune Publishing business model generates revenues both from subscriptions (online and print readership) and advertising revenues. But the company recently faced a number of challenges related to lead and revenue generation from its advertising partners/prospects. Specifically, the company wasn’t optimally deploying its existing marketing automation platform (MAP) to generate leads.

“We were using Marketo as an e-blast machine,” said Sarah Munley, Tribune’s Senior Manager of Demand Generation, “and also using external lists [for email] that weren’t integrated with our MS Dynamics CRM.” Munley described how Tribune Publishing made a change, successfully migrating its MAP from Marketo to Oracle Eloqua and achieving some amazing results. In a recent Oracle webinar, Munley described the MAP migration project from Tribune’s perspective, while Senior Marketing Automation Consultant Karin Pindle described Sojourn Solution’s contribution as an implementation partner and Oracle Product Marketing Manager Michael Henning detailed how Oracle’s Eloqua MAP added value post-migration. Let’s explore Tribune’s MAP migration from each of these 3 unique perspectives.

1: Tribune Publishing: Identifying challenges and solutions

Munley and Tribune faced numerous challenges with how it was using its MAP. The company had 9 different business units with resulting silos in the ways it offered ad space to its many ad partners. In addition, Tribune was using Marketo to blast emails to all of its ad customers and prospects, but “had no MAP integration with our CRM,” said Munley. Equally problematic, Tribune “had no way to measure demand generation,” Munley noted, so the media company couldn’t improve a process that it couldn’t even measure.

Faced with these pressing concerns, Munley and the team at Tribune sat down and mapped out the future state that Tribune hoped to achieve. “We wanted a way for our Sales reps to view contact and account engagement within our CRM,” said Munley, offering “a centralized and aligned way to nurture contacts rather than just sending out email blasts via Marketo.” Tribune also wanted the capability “to view performance across the entire organization,” helping drive tactical improvement as well as Sales-Marketing alignment across the organization.

Tribune turned to Sojourn Solutions for help in implementing solutions and migrating from Marketo to Eloqua. The results? “We were able to do more with less, and get better results with Eloqua,” said Munley. “We integrated our Eloqua MAP with our CRM, which worked really well for our email, landing pages, and website” and also helped Tribune drive stronger Sales and Marketing alignment.

Tribune’s top 3 post-migration results were, according to Munley:

  • a 22% increase in Qualified Leads sent to Sales;
  • an 80% jump in website engagement; and
  • tripling (3X) the total number of LeadGen Campaigns.

2: Sojourn Solutions: Bringing experience and a mature migration process

Sojourn’s Karin Pindle offered “kudos to Tribune for its hard work and achieving stellar results.” The media company’s Marketo to Eloqua migration and implementation got done quickly and smoothly, taking just a few months and achieved strong results. Pindle stressed the importance of “a tighter integration with Eloqua and Tribune’s MS Dynamics CRM.” That MAP and CRM integration enabled better alignment between Marketing and Sales, driving ROI and making it easier to launch more campaigns. Post-migration, said Pindle, “whenever Marketing sends an email to a contact, each and every Sales rep who works with that contact or account gets sent the same Marketing email.”

Sojourn also helped Tribune implement lead scoring to prioritize leads for Sales. In addition, Sojourn built a Contact Washing Machine (CWM) for Tribune “to automatically clean data once in Eloqua coming from various sources,” said Pindle, which helped improve data hygiene, data management, customer segmentation and lead scoring. The implementation went so smoothly, noted Pindle, “because we’ve helped so many other clients migrate to Eloqua over the last fifteen years.”

Pindle briefly described Sojourn’s 4-step approach to MAP migrations: (1) plan and organize; (2) setup; (3) test; and (4) go live. With Sojourn’s experience and mature process, Tribune didn’t have to start from scratch or reinvent the wheel: “we know, for example, that APIs are important for MAP migration,” said Pindle, “and we save 75% on time and cost by using APIs.”

3: Eloqua’s perspective: “We help marketing teams succeed”

Oracle’s Michael Henning detailed some of the product features and benefits that Eloqua offers would-be MAP users like Tribune. “We enable advanced targeting and segmentation,” he explained, “including automatic, dynamic updating of segments.” Another benefit is adaptive campaign management: “Eloqua creates responsive emails, landing pages and progressive forms. You can also personalize [engagement] with dynamic content and optimize email send times,” he explained.

In addition, Eloqua is a great tool for lead scoring, noted Henning. “We offer users a simple interface for sophisticated lead scoring models.” Importantly for Tribune, Oracle also offers flexible data management to support segmentation and lead scoring. “We enable fast and flexible integration with a customer’s CRM,” he said, so that Eloqua users can access and leverage customer data across Sales, Marketing and beyond.

As the Tribune success story illustrates, Eloqua drives Sales and Marketing alignment: “both Sales and Marketing gain full insight into nurturing activities in real-time,” said Henning, meaning opportunities can be moved upon quickly and in coordination. Eloqua even offers Sales reps “usable and updated email templates to nurture and close deals,” concluded Henning.

To summarize this MAP migration success story, Tribune Publishing identified its gaps, made a change and was able to achieve impressive, ROI-boosting results with the help of partners Sojourn Solutions and Oracle Eloqua. The results speak for themselves: the media company improved customer segmentation and personalization through a tighter integration between Eloqua and its CRM system, forged a stronger alignment between marketing and sales activities via enablement of Eloqua Sales Tools, and fueled increased lead conversions and ROI with the right people, processes, and technologies in place.

If you’d like to learn more about how to improve marketing ROI for your organization, or talk about a marketing automation platform migration, reach out to us!

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