Showing posts with label Business Insights. Show all posts

Richer Insights For B2B Marketing With Google Analytics

Tuesday, January 07, 2014 | 10:14 AM

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The following is a guest post from Google Analytics Certified Partner Feras Alhlou, Partner & Principal Consultant at E-Nor Inc.
Marketers and sales professionals want to know who’s visiting their site, what content the target audience is consuming and what converts site visitors to paying customers. 
In a B2B environment -- where long sales cycles and multiple stakeholders affect sales decision -- “knowing who’s coming to your site” takes on another dimension. 
Say you’re in charge of marketing an eLearning system, and your target market includes telecom, hi-tech/software companies and universities. Your sales cycle could span several months, and there are multiple personas/stakeholders who will evaluate your company and your product. 
Some key personas include:
  • Trainers, professors and teachers evaluating user experience and ease of uploading curricula and content 
  • Management/administrators evaluating your company, pricing, client testimonials, case studies, etc.
  • IT assessing technical aspects of products, maintainability, your technical support processes, etc. 
As a marketer, your job is to ensure your site addresses the needs of each stakeholder, while realizing that the interests/questions each group of stakeholders are likely to be different. It’s critical that the message and content (that you invested so much in creating) “sticks” with the unique personas in each market segment. 
Easier said than done; measuring and optimizing all the above isn’t for the faint of heart.
But don’t fret. Integrating Google Analytics with Account-Based Marketing and Firmographic data has come to the rescue. 
B2B Measurement Framework
Let’s walk through a typical scenario and highlight key performance indicators (KPIs). The measurement framework our eLearning marketing manager has in mind includes (and yes, they follow GA’s ABC!):
Acquisition
    1. What percent of my traffic comes from industries I target
      1. Telecom
      2. Hi-tech/software companies
      3. .edu’s
    2. Percentage increase or decrease in traffic from industries I’m not targeting 
    3. Traffic volume and frequency from organizations our sales team targets offline
Behavior
    1. Landing page stickiness by industry and organization
    2. What content is very popular
    3. What content is most shared
    4. All the above segmented by the three targeted industries
Conversion
    1. Number of whitepaper downloads by industry and company
    2. Number of demo requests
    3. Sales follow-up call requests 
    4. All the above segmented by the three targeted industries
If your site visitors aren’t providing you with company and industry data, it’s not possible to report on this data in Google Analytics. Hello Insightera, a marketing personalization platform, enables your to enrich customer’s onsite journey with firmographic data in a seamless integrated fashion (note, another product in the Google Analytics app gallery offering similar functionality is Demandbase).
Rich Firmographic Data in Google Analytics
Insightera’s firmographic data is organized by 1) deriving information from site visitors by identifying their ISP 2) determining that organization’s information, including location, industry (and soon company size and company revenue will also be available). 
With easy-to-navigate firmographic readily available, analytics data takes on a new dimension; advertising dollars can be better targeted, and you have the ability to customize a visitor’s experience in several new ways.
Here’s a few examples of the rich and super cool data you have access to with Insightera, nicely integrated in the Google Analytics Reports (in Custom Variables):
1- Traffic Distribution by Industry  
Within the GA interface you have a nice presentation your traffic by industry. Telecom seems to be strong (24.1% of traffic) in the report below, while Education could use some love from your marketing team. 

2- Engagement By Industry
You can also report on your KPIs by industry (e.g. see how “Education” is the number 2 industry in the report below)

3- Traffic & Engagement By Organization
This report below shows the platform’s ability to take data segmentation a step further, and highlights specific organizations within the industry visiting the website (e.g. Yale University)

With firmographic data integrated into Google Analytics, it is possible to optimize paid campaigns such as Google AdWords, LinkedIn, banner ads, etc., and pinpoint how many companies from a specified list visited your site, which industries and what size companies visited the site. It provides the opportunity to then target paid campaigns to those visitors and channels, or increase efforts to reach untapped segments of a targeted audience. 
Technical Considerations 
Not a whole lot of considerations. Insightera makes it easy to plug and play. In your ‘Admin’ interface, select your Custom Variables slots for the ‘Industry’ and ‘Organization’ -- and let the rich data flow. Double check that the selected custom variable slots are empty and that you’re not already using them for something else in your Google Analytics implementation. 

Content Personalization
Equipped with this new data, you can automate and personalize remarketing efforts and create targeted ads based on any given criteria. In the example above, the education-specific whitepaper can be presented to your higher-ed visitors, while hi-tech/software related content can be presented to your hi-tech/software visitors. 
Insightera’s recommendation engine filters visitors by location and industry, content preferences and CRM data and digital behavior patterns. This process then predicts which content or channel works best for each visitor.
Increase the Value of Universal Analytics with more User Centricity 
If you’re an early adopter of Universal Analytics or planning to migrate to Universal Analytics, Insightera will soon have you covered. The same method described above can be applied and firmographic data can be integrated into Custom Dimensions. 

With some additional customization, and if you are (and you should be) user-centric, you can take up your implementation a notch up and report on visitors, not just visits, across web, mobile and other devices. Examples include where you have premium/gated content behind registration, user logins or when users self-identify. In these examples, a user-id is associated with each authenticated visitor and stored in a Custom Dimension. Measuring user behavior across multiple sessions and across multiple devices will then be available and you’ll be able to stitch data from different data sources including Insightera as well CRM systems such integrating GA with SalesForce.

Conclusion
As advertising and remarketing efforts reach new levels of focus, site owners have the most relevant information to meet their needs thanks to account-based marketing. Combining the power of Google Analytics with the new scope of firmographic data allows a new level of Performance Analytics. This set of tools offers deeper analytic insights into who your potential customers are, what they do, where they come from and what they consume.
Posted by Feras Alhlou, Principal Consultant, E-Nor, a Google Analytics Authorized Premium Reseller

Introducing the Google Databoard: A new way to explore research

Wednesday, July 10, 2013 | 10:41 AM

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The following was originally posted to the Inside AdWords blog.

It’s important for businesses to stay up to date about the most recent research and insights related to their industry. Unfortunately -- with so many new studies and with data being updated so often -- it can difficult to keep up. To make life a bit easier, we created the Databoard for Research Insights, which allows people to explore and interact with some of Google’s recent research in a unique and immersive way. 



The Databoard is our response to three big challenges facing the vast majority of research released today. 

1. Ease of consumption: The databoard introduces a new way of sharing data, with all of the information presented in a simple and beautiful way. Users can explore an entire study or jump straight to the topics or datapoints that they care about. The Databoard is also optimized for all devices so you can comfortably explore the research on your computer, tablet, or smartphone. 

2.  Shareability: Most people, when they find a compelling piece of data, want to share it! Whether its with a colleague, client, or a community on a blog or social network, compelling insights and data are meant to be shared. The databoard is designed for shareability, allowing users to share individual charts and insights or collections of data with anyone through email or social networks. 

3. A cohesive story: Most research studies set out to answer a specific question, like how people use their smartphones in store, or how a specific type of consumer shops. This means that businesses need to look across multiple pieces of research to craft a comprehensive business or marketing strategy. To address this need, the Databoard allows users to curate a customized infographic out of the charts or data points you find important across multiple Google research studies. Creating an infographic is quick and easy, and you can share the finished product with your friends or colleagues. 

The databoard is currently home to four research studies including The New Multi-screen World, Mobile In-store shopper research, Mobile search moments, and more. New studies will be added frequently so be sure to check back often. To get started exploring the Databoard and creating your own infographic visit google.com/think/databoard

Posted by Adam Grunewald, Mobile Marketing Manager

Introducing “The Customer Journey to Online Purchase" — interactive insights on multi-channel marketing

Thursday, April 25, 2013 | 9:01 AM

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Savvy marketers understand that you don’t always seal the deal with a single message, image, or advertisement. A user may see a display ad, click on a link from a friend, or do a search before buying something from your website — and all of these interactions can play a role in the final sale. It’s important to understand the entire customer journey so you can measure all of the elements that contribute to your campaigns, attribute the right value to them, and adjust your marketing budgets where appropriate.

That’s the philosophy behind Google Analytics tools like Multi-Channel Funnels and Attribution Modeling. Tens of thousands of our largest advertisers are gaining valuable insights from Multi-Channel Funnels every month, and we’ve collected these insights using aggregate statistics to develop a benchmarking tool — The Customer Journey to Online Purchase. This interactive tool lets you explore typical online buying behavior and see how different marketing interactions affect business success.


The tool draws on Ecommerce and Multi-Channel Funnels data from over 36,000 Google Analytics clients that authorized sharing, including millions of purchases across 11 industries in 7 countries. Purchase paths in this tool are each based on interactions with a single ecommerce advertiser.

You’ll find benchmark data for:
  • how different marketing channels (such as display, search, email, and your own website) help move users towards purchases. For example, some marketing channels play an “assist” role during the earlier stages of the marketing funnel, whereas some play a “last interaction” role just before a sale.
  • how long it takes for customers to make a purchase online (from the first time they interact with your marketing to the moment they actually buy something), and how the length of this journey affects average order values.

Channel Roles in the Customer Journey
The data shows that every industry is different — the path to purchase for hotel rooms in Japan is not necessarily the same as the path as for an online supermarket in Canada.

A few findings stand out, in particular:
  • As you might expect, customers typically click on display ads early in their purchase journeys, but in some industries, such as US travel and auto, display clicks tend to occur closer to the purchase decision.
  • Across industries and countries, paid search has a fairly even assist-to-last interaction ratio, implying that this channel can act both in the earlier and later stages of the customer journey.

Advanced tip:
  • Once you’ve explored the benchmarks, look deeper into your own marketing data with the Multi-Channel Funnel reports, and consider defining your channels and campaigns to separate out categories that are specific to your business needs.

Purchase values and the length of the journey
We also see interesting patterns emerge when examining the length of the customer journey. While the majority of purchases take place within a single day or a single step (i.e., a single interaction with one marketing channel), longer paths tend to correlate with higher average order values. 

For example,
  • in US Tech, online purchases that take more than 28 days are worth about 3.5 times more than purchases that occur immediately. And while 61% of tech purchases take place on that first day, only 53% of revenue comes from single-day purchases.
  • in Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG), on the other hand, most purchases (82%) are quick, likely because these are smaller and simpler purchases that don’t require much research.
  • in Edu / Gov, 41% of revenue comes from multi-day purchases, but 60% of revenue comes from multi-step purchases — suggesting that even when customers make decisions in a relatively short time period, they often have multiple marketing interactions before purchasing.

Advanced tip:
  • In Multi-Channel Funnels or the Attribution Modeling Tool, you can adjust the lookback window to reflect the typical length of the purchase path in your industry. For example, if your business tends to have shorter paths, you can zoom in on paths that take 5 days or less:

Putting the benchmarks to work
For marketers, it’s always a crucial challenge to design campaigns that deliver the right message at the right moment in a customer’s journey to purchase. We hope these benchmarks will provide useful insights about the journey and help you put your business into context. In particular, take a look at the final infographic, the “Benchmarks Dashboard,” to get a quick overview of your industry. Then, when you view your own data in the Multi-Channel Funnels reports in Google Analytics, you’ll gain a better understanding of where different channels impact your conversions and what your typical path looks like, so you can adjust your budgeting and marketing programs accordingly.

Try The Customer Journey to Online Purchase today on Google’s new Think Insights website.

Happy analyzing!

Are you a Datavore? Insights on the use of online customer data in decision-making

Wednesday, February 20, 2013 | 11:19 AM

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The following is a guest post contributed by Hasan Bakhshi and Juan Mateos-Garcia who work at Nesta, an independent charity based in London. Nesta’s mission is to help people and organizations bring great ideas to life by providing investments and grants, and mobilizing research, networks and skills.

We surveyed 500 of the UK's companies that were actively online and promoting their products. We asked about the collection, analysis and use of online customer data in their decision-making, and the impact this has on their bottom line. Our research suggests that a startlingly high number of businesses in the UK's Internet Economy would benefit from reading Michael Loban's post on data resolutions for 2013. Here, we revisit some of his insights backed up by our data to illustrate how big the online data gap is for many UK companies, and what they must do to bridge it.

Insight 1: 'Address your data phobia'. 
We identified a cohort of companies in our sample with apparently no fear of data. We call them 'datavores'. When making decisions about how to grow their sales, they rely on data and analysis over experience and intuition. They collect data comprehensively, analyze it thoroughly and use it to make decisions. But they are in the minority: only 18% of the companies we surveyed compared with 43% who make decisions on the basis of experience and intuition. These ‘gut-driven’ companies would stand to reap significant commercial benefits from their online data if they could get over their data phobia. We find that datavores are four times more likely to report substantial benefits from their online customer data.

Insight 2: Get on with social network marketing. 
Only 40% of businesses in our sample report that online data is important for designing and evaluating their social media strategy. Lacking the right data to make decisions, perhaps we shouldn’t therefore be surprised to learn that more than half of the businesses we surveyed were hesitant to dip their toes in social network marketing, despite the fact that nearly 1/2 of the UK population* uses social media actively. (* cited from UK Office for Communications)

Insight 3: Tools are great, but great analysts are awesome. 
Our survey suggests that fully harnessing the potential of online data requires up-skilling the workforce. Over three-quarters of businesses who have trained their staff to improve their data capabilities in the past two years report significant benefits from online data (compared with only 20% of those who haven’t provided training). Another of our findings leads us to add a coda to Michael’s resolution, however - while it is true that great analysts are awesome, it appears that great analysts who are empowered to act on the basis of their insights are even better. Datavores are much more likely to delegate decision-making than other firms. The implication is that making most of your data is not always painless. It may require re-organizing the business, changing its culture and rethinking the role of managers. 'No pain, no gain', as they say about most New Year's Resolutions.

Insight 4: ACTION!
This brings us neatly to perhaps our most important finding: in order to benefit from online data UK businesses need to put their data to work. They need to use it to improve their website to be sure, but they also need to feed it into decision-making process in other parts of their business – such as in product development and business strategy. In fact, the ‘use of data to make decisions’ turns out to be the main factor discriminating between the datavores and the other companies we surveyed. And that, controlling for other relevant business characteristics, ‘using data’ is what really makes a difference on the impact of data on performance. To put it in stark terms, if you don’t use your data, you may as well not have collected and analyzed it.

We present the findings above (and many more) in greater detail in our Rise of the Datavores report. This is the first milestone in our program of research and action looking at the potential of online data for innovation and growth.

In the coming months, we will be matching our survey responses to financial data to measure in quantitative terms the connection between data-driven decision-making and sales growth, profitability and productivity. To get a really robust handle on the direction of causality in this relationship we are looking to run a controlled experiment to measure the impact of an Online Analytics intervention on a randomly selected group of UK businesses. In related research we plan to quantify the extent of business demand for data-savvy talent and assess the adequacy of the UK's education system in supplying it.

Last, but not least, we will be looking through practical work to identify datavores in the public and third sectors, and work to encourage the transfer of good data practices across different parts of the UK’s economy and society.

In all these areas we will be looking for data experts to work with, to probe whether we are asking the right questions, to refine and help implement our research plans. Drop us a line if you want to hear more!

hasan.bakhshi@nesta.org.uk
juan.mateos-garcia@nesta.org.uk

Posted by Hasan Bakhshi and Juan Mateos-Garcia at Nesta

10 Google Analytics Resolutions for 2013

Friday, January 11, 2013 | 10:33 AM

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The following is a guest post from Michael Loban, CMO of InfoTrust a Google Analytics Certified Partner and Google Analytics Premium Reseller based in Cincinnati, OH.

New Year’s is the ideal time for making resolutions (that we keep until the second week of January). To avoid this cliché, I decided to actually wait until the second week of January to put together my resolutions/ideas/tactics for taking Google Analytics in 2013 to the next level.
1. Address your data phobia. Maybe it is a little bit extreme to say that a lot of digital marketers have an extreme fear of web analytics data, but it is safe to assume that data is what often causes migraines. Staring at pie charts, graphs and percentages until you know what you are looking for is the wrong way to start. The remedy for data phobia is simple – ignore the data you do not need to make a marketing decision. And always remember to align your Google Analytics configuration with your business goals.
2. Assign a monetary value to your goals even if you do not sell anything on your website. Each submitted form, played video, downloaded PDF is worth something. Otherwise, why did you put it on a site? It is not enough to say that you need to decrease your bounce rate by 5%. Equate the decrease in your bounce rate by 5% to the amount of money that you can make when those visitors submit completed “contact us” forms or other micro conversions. For example, work with the email marketing team to determine the value of each new email subscriber. If you get more people to join your email list then you will be able to sell more products via email marketing.

3. Not all marketing strategies are created equal. In order to turn a prospect into a customer you might have to engage in remarketing, email marketing and social media marketing. Use attribution modeling inside Google Analytics to examine how each marketing tactic contributes to a sale/conversion. Here is a blog post from the Google Analytics team on how to get started with attribution modeling. In 2012, Attribution Modeling was only available for Google Analytics Premium customers; in 2013 it will be available across all Google Analytics.

4. For some reason, social media measurement is something companies are still unsure about. It is difficult and complex, but you have to start somewhere. Why not start with Google Analytics Social Reports? This will help you track visitors that social media channels brought to your website, measure the value of those channels by tracking conversions and examine how your content is being shared across social networks. It feels good to say that last month, 10 people from Facebook who came to your website became your customers. Learn more about Social Reports
5. Tools are great, but great analysts are awesome. The true value of analytics is fully unlocked when you get to work on your data and turn it into something actionable. Make sure that you have a team (even if it is a team of 1) that knows how to analyze data to help you reach your marketing goals. 
6. If you begin to analyze your data, and realize that you do not have enough context to make a decision, get more data. Now, you can do a cost data import and Google Analytics will display how non-Google paid search campaigns perform and compare to your other marketing campaigns. Here is a how-to article from Google Analytics on Measuring Performance of Paid Campaigns.  
7. While we are on the subject of trying new things, Remarketing is something that I have promised myself to do more of. Remarketing is now available right inside Google Analytics. Here is a PDF document and a Webinar about Remarketing with Google Analytics. 

8. Mobile optimization is the most exciting digital opportunity for marketers in the coming year, according to new Econsultancy report. Since this is the case, mobile analytics will become more important than ever. Segmenting and understanding your mobile visitors will help you create a winning mobile experience that will lead to conversions and sales. In October, Google Analytics announced a public beta launch for mobile app analytics.

9. Begin measuring your analytics ROI. Time that you spend on collecting, reporting and analyzing data is not free – there is an opportunity cost. In order to prove the value of analytics inside your organization, begin measuring your Return on Analytics. When you accurately collect data, and properly analyze it, you are able to make accurate marketing decisions. Measure the impact of your analytics.

10. ACTION! This is a common phrase on any movie set. This should become a common phrase for everyone who uses Google Analytics. Turn your data into actionable marketing reports and smart dashboards that will help with the analysis. When you see true data analysis, you will want to scream ACTION! This means that the data and data analysis are so clear and crisp that you know exactly what needs to be done to reach your marketing objectives. Don’t settle for anything less. DATA, ANALYSIS, ACTION!
Happy New Year!

Insights for 2013: Understanding Your Customers & The Full Value of Digital

Wednesday, January 09, 2013 | 10:16 AM

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We’re just a week into 2013, and we’re undeniably living in the new multi-screen age. Our day-to-day interactions with technology—and our expectations—have increased dramatically. We’re no longer content to wait until later to buy shoes or schedule travel or find a hot spot to eat. Technology lets us act now, and we expect reliable results. In fact, we’ve become so dependent on being connected all the time that 43% of U.S. adults would be willing to give up beer for a month if it meant they could keep accessing the Internet on their smartphones, and 36% said they’d be willing to give up chocolate.*

What does this mean for you? Many businesses have fallen behind consumer behavior—in a world where people look first to mobile devices and real-time streams, the digital journey has grown more complex, and it’s become more challenging to gain a clear picture of these interactions. As a marketer or analyst, your success depends on adapting to this new reality. We’re working to provide tools that let you connect the dots, so you can regain visibility into your customers’ preferences and behaviors and take advantage of the full value of digital.

Holistic Measurement: Capture the full customer experience
Your customers are active all the time and everywhere, so you should be as well. To truly win moments that matter across all screens and situations, you must acknowledge, and measure, all relevant touch-points. For example, are you running related marketing efforts across email, display, and search ads? Do you see customers performing some tasks more frequently on smartphones while other tasks are more common on laptop? Rather than evaluating these programs and behaviors separately, your measurement strategy should focus on connecting the dots between these consumer moments. Consider your overall business goals and then measure the role that each touch-point plays in achieving those goals, keeping in mind the complementary effects of multiple channels and devices.

Active measurement: Plan ahead and optimize throughout
Harnessing the power of location, intent and social connections is possible today, and smart marketers are always on, always optimized—using customer signals to create winning experiences for their brand. Active measurement is about quickly acting on the insights you uncover as you go, but more importantly, it’s about good measurement planning. This proactive piece is often overlooked, even by the savviest marketers and analysts. To effectively measure, you must define expectations about how your customer will interact with your brand before you look at the numbers. Then, question any surprising results. Is it normal or strange for your business to have a 3% conversion rate? Is it good or bad if event tracking shows that 3,000 people view a video on your homepage in a single day? Are your TV spots driving viewers to your website in Real-Time, or do you see more traffic at other times? Are you bringing together data sources and devices holistically? Active measurement means examining real human behavior and influences instead of reporting the same old data on clicks or bounce-rates.

Media-Agnostic Measurement: Give credit where it’s due
As technology usage has expanded, patterns of research and influence have become more diverse (with many consumers consulting 10 or more sources before a purchase)*—but also more identifiable. In the new digital age, it’s no longer realistic or smart to judge campaigns solely by the final interaction using a last-click model, or to think only about single-device or single-session interactions. Customers move fluidly across channels and devices. To truly understand the value of your digital investments, you have to overhaul your conversion goals to capture all the large and small behaviors that lead to business success. Once you have visibility into the customer journey, you can begin assigning credit with attribution models to determine your best channel and investment mix. Next, optimize your programs and run controlled experiments to see how you could improve your results even further. It’s an active, ongoing process.

So, make a New Year’s resolution to take a more proactive approach: consider and give credit to all the interactions in the customer journey, and act on your measurement insights. Throughout 2013 we’ll be sharing practical advice to help you dive in and join your customers in the always-on world. Good luck!



Extract Insights Across Datasets with SumAll

Tuesday, December 18, 2012 | 10:30 AM

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Businesses collect and rely on data that exists in silos across the web - from site analytics to inventory numbers, social media to sales data, there’s more important data available today than most are able to aggregate and analyze themselves.

SumAll is a connected data platform that enables business operators from companies of all sizes to visualize their mission-critical data through one centralized location.  Users of SumAll can extract insights across datasets by combining and analyzing the metrics that matter most to them.  “Put simply, our vision is to democratize information by making it beautiful, affordable and accessible to all.  In doing so, the visibility and insights that SumAll brings enables business operators to turn data into dollars,” says Catherine Gluckstein, President of SumAll.


One of SumAll’s customers was having a very difficult time making sense of his eCommerce, Google Analytics and social media data.  He knew there was a story to be told about how each was influencing the other, but being a small business owner, he lacked the resources to dive too far into them himself.  He decided to give SumAll a try and within a few minutes and even fewer clicks, was able to integrate all of his key data and view it in one uniform dashboard without having to work with his developers.

For the first time, he was able to see what was happening across his business and understand the relationship between his social media posts, web traffic and transactions.  This made him more comfortable continuing to invest his limited resources in social media because, for the first time, he could see that it was working.

SumAll integrates with all major components of the eCommerce ecosystem including payment processors, social platforms, shopping carts, online marketplaces and, of course, Google Analytics.  “It only took us about 6 weeks to complete our integration with Google Analytics, from concept to go live,” according to Catherine.  “After our customer completes the authentication and authorization process, we ingest their data into SumAll and normalize it to make it available to all SumAll applications across web, mobile and email.”

SumAll is free to try and is incredibly intuitive and straightforward to set-up.  Sign-Up today to break down the silos around your data and empower your business’ data-driven decisions today.


Posted by John Milinovich

John is a Developer Program Manager working to build the ecosystem around the Google Analytics APIs. In his spare time he likes to explore San Francisco and cheer loudly during UCLA games.

Looking Ahead at Next Generation Measurement

Monday, May 14, 2012 | 1:36 PM

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Marketers today have no shortage of data. In fact, there are more than 40 million online touch points measured every minute by Google Analytics. Technology advancements are helping marketers understand their customers more across channels and devices, and better analysis tools are finally making that massive amount of data accessible and actionable. This is fueling what we see as next generation measurement. Today I spoke at the Federated Media Conversational Marketing Summit about the most important trends that every CMO needs to know. Here's what I told them: 

Next generation brand measurement

In many ways, brand measurement thus far has been an article of faith - but it doesn’t have to be. I think that soon you’ll be able to optimize for brand like you do for performance today with concrete results, in real time. This will help brand marketers make smarter decisions while a campaign is still in flight, rather than serving as a static report card given after the fact. To do all of this, we need to bridge the online and offline gap with brand equivalency metrics that translate GRP and TRP into online reach and audience targeting.

Recently we announced our Brand Activate Initiative as a first step, which gives metrics like Active GRP to assess online brand impact using reach and frequency, in the same way marketers are all already measuring GRP for TV. Active GRP is being built into the ad serving tools that our publishers and marketers already use, with the goal of making these metrics immediately actionable. This digital brand equivalency metric for GRP is the first in a series of exciting steps we’re going to see to improve measurement for brand marketers. 

Next generation attribution

Over the last few years, we’ve made great leaps in the art of single channel measurement - identifying the right metrics in isolation for channels like TV, display, search and mobile. It’s time now to bring the channels together and figure out how they impact each other. In other words, we have to move from silo to portfolio.

At Google Analytics, we’re finding that on average, customers interact with a brand 4.3 times over a two day period before they finally make a purchase. We’re also seeing channels like mobile grow tremendously. For instance, mobile is now 8% of all conversions that we’re seeing in Google Analytics, and mobile conversions have grown by about 180% in just the last year. So you can’t afford not to know what paths customers are taking before they ultimately buy from you.


But in a recent study, more than 40% of marketers said that their main struggle with attribution is choosing the right model to even get started. We hear these struggles every day, and provide tools like Multi-Channel Funnels and Attribution Modeling to help marketers get started. Though there isn’t a one size fits all model, what we’ll begin to see in the industry is empirically-derived attribution models customized by industry and marketing objectives, which marketers can use as a base for experimentation. 

It’s an exciting time in measurement, where data and marketing are finally getting married. I’m genuinely excited about what’s in front of us, and I hope you are too!

Posted by Amy Chang, Global Head of Product, Google Analytics

Webinar: Marketing Attribution: Insights from Google Analytics and Econsultancy

Friday, April 20, 2012 | 4:20 PM

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Please join us next Thursday for a webinar on marketing attribution featuring Bill Kee, our Product Manager for Attribution, and Stefan Tornquist, VP for Research at Econsultancy.

Stefan will talk about insights from the recent Attribution whitepaper by Econsultancy and Google Analytics, and Bill will discuss Google’s approach to attribution and some of the tools we offer, including Search Funnels in AdWords and Multi-Channel Funnels in Google Analytics. Plus, he’ll demo the Attribution Modeling Tool in Google Analytics Premium.





We'll also provide a few tips for how to get started with attribution. This webinar will be the first in a series on attribution -- so please stay tuned for future installments!

Date: Thursday, April 26
Time: 10:00am PT / 1:00pm ET
Click here to register

We hope you’ll be able to join the live webinar, but for those who can’t make it, we’ll be sharing a recording after the event.

Better results, (still) early adoption: Marketing attribution in a complex digital landscape

Tuesday, April 03, 2012 | 9:27 AM

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Today, we’re sharing some research on marketing attribution that we conducted in partnership with Econsultancy, a leading digital market research firm. The insights -- Marketing Attribution: Valuing the Customer Journey -- provide a snapshot of how marketers and agencies are conducting attribution, the impact it has, and the barriers holding them back.

If you’re not familiar with digital attribution, it’s about distributing credit to all of the elements of your digital marketing program, so you can gauge the impact of customer marketing interactions on your sales results and make more accurate investment decisions. Here are a few snippets from the report that we found interesting:

It’s still a new craft, but early results show positive impact
Although digital attribution is still relatively new -- 83% of practitioners we surveyed have been using it for less than 2 years -- it clearly has a positive impact on businesses that employ it. 72% agree that it leads to better budget allocations, 63% gained a better understanding of how digital channels work together, and 58% had clearer insights into their audience: 

Attribution leads to improved ROI, better budgeting



Last click attribution dominates; agencies are leading the way in experimentation
Most digital marketers run multiple campaigns, each with different strategies and objectives. For instance, display campaigns that are designed to generate awareness will have a different impact on sales than paid search campaigns designed to bring in buyers. Yet most marketers today still use attribution models that do not account for these differences in strategy. Although only 14% of respondents consider “last click” attribution to be “very effective,” it remains common; most likely because marketers haven't yet found or mastered the right attribution tools. Digital marketing agencies have done more with sophisticated attribution methods and technologies:



Robust attribution leads to confident digital decisions
For organizations that use attribution, it often leads to greater confidence in marketing choices: if you know the impact of your programs, it’s easier to budget for them. As one online retailer commented, “Attribution was the missing piece to our campaign analysis. Now we don’t run a campaign without learning something about how our marketing affects the buying cycle, and then testing to see whether it applies in the long run.”

Performing marketing attribution with Google
Here at Google we spend our time building intuitive tools to make measurement easier, so that you can really use your data to make smarter decisions. That’s why we provide several important tools for marketing attribution, including Search Funnels in AdWords and Multi-Channel Funnels in Google Analytics. And check out our Attribution Modeling tool in Google Analytics Premium, which includes five standard attribution models plus a custom model builder, so you can create and customize attribution models in minutes, and see data instantly. Learn more in our Attribution Playbook.

Join us for an Attribution Hangout
If you’re available this Friday, April 6, at 9:00am PDT, please join Bill Kee, Product Manager for Attribution, and Justin Cutroni, Analytics Advocate, for a Google+ Hangout. Bill will talk about the research and give a demo of the Attribution tool in Google Analytics Premium, as well as discussing Multi-Channel Funnels and AdWords Search Funnels, two complementary features.

To watch the Hangout on Air, tune into Justin’s Google+ Page on Friday. If you have a question that you would like us to discuss, please enter it in this this form -- and we’ll invite five of you to join the Hangout live to ask your questions.

We look forward to seeing you at the Hangout on Friday!

Sara Jablon Moked, Product Marketing Manager, Conversion and Attribution

Selling More Shoes with Multi-Channel Funnels

Wednesday, February 15, 2012 | 8:00 AM

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Shoes of Prey, an online retailer that sells custom-made shoes globally, have made significant improvements in their online conversion rates thanks to insights gleaned from their Multi-Channel Funnels reports. Through taking action based on these insights they were able to increase their conversion rate by 40%, increase same-day purchases by 20%, and better understand how to manage their social media strategy.

Head on to the APAC Conversion Room blog to learn how Shoes of Prey achieved these results and more.
Part 1: Thanks to the Top Conversions Paths report, Shoes of Prey were able to understand the sequence of channel interactions that led to conversions, and take action to reduce the number of interactions before a purchase is made.

Part 2: The Time Lag report helped them realise how long it typically took visitors to make a purchase from the time they first visited the site. Using this insight, Shoes of Prey were able to put into place marketing initiatives to help reduce the time to purchase.

Part 3: The Assisted Conversions report aided Shoes of Prey in understanding how influential their various marketing channels were either earlier in the sales funnel or as a direct response mechanism. They now have a better understanding of what role social media plays in influencing sales and can now manage their campaigns better.

3 last-minute Analytics tips for the holiday season

Tuesday, December 06, 2011 | 5:53 PM

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If you're a marketing professional, you've probably spent months preparing your holiday campaigns. But have you focused so much on great creative that you've neglected your measurement plan? Don’t despair: there’s still time to make the most of your holiday marketing and measurement. Here’s some food for thought to help you make sure your Analytics is adding value this season and setting you up for success next year.

1. Stuffing your stockings: all the best treats for your marketing funnel

Online shoppers are increasingly taking a considered, comparative approach to making purchases. Consumers are now consulting an average of 10.7 sources when making a buying decision - double the rate of 2010. That means that all steps of the marketing funnel are more important than ever. So make sure to take all the steps to conversion into account when measuring your campaigns this season.

With Multi-Channel Funnels reports in the new version of Google Analytics, you can see not just the last click prior to conversion, but also how earlier interactions influenced the purchase decision. For instance, your customer may have clicked on an organic search link immediately prior to purchasing, but in the weeks before to the purchase, he clicked on a display ad, followed links from a post on a social network, and later visited your site directly. With Multi-Channel Funnels, you can see these earlier assists and take this influence into account when optimizing campaigns throughout the holiday season. You’ll also have a rich set of data to plan next year’s campaigns, as you can plan around those channels that drive awareness and consideration earlier in the purchase process.




2. Jingle bells, mobile’s ringing

It’s hard to overstate the enormity of the mobile opportunity this holiday season as consumers turn to smartphones and tablets for both product research and purchases. Mobile searches have grown dramatically in the last two years, and it’s predicted that 44% of searches for last-minute gifts and store locator terms will be from mobile devices.

Providing a great mobile experience is now expected, or you will lose customers. With mobile reporting in Google Analytics, you can see how users are able (or not able) to make purchase decisions. You can segment visitors based on criteria like device types and operating systems. For instance, you can compare if there are different conversion rate for iOS and Android, and make adjustments accordingly. Google offers resources to help you make your site mobile-ready, so you can take action if you find roadblocks. Finally, when measuring your marketing channels, make sure to take mobile ads into account. You can get deeper insights by segmenting out mobile advertising using the recently updated AdWords reports in Google Analytics.




3. Follow Santa’s sleigh in real time

You may have time-sensitive marketing events planned this quarter - whether it’s a daily deal marketing program, viral content that suddenly takes off, or even press coverage. Data that arrives days or even hours later is too late to make decisions during the fast-paced holiday season. With Real-Time reporting in Google Analytics, you can see the impact of these events within seconds. This can be particularly useful for social media efforts. If you post a tweet linking to your site, for example, you can see the immediate visits resulting from the post, and engage in the conversation with your customers. You can also use Real-Time to monitor the immediate impact of email offers and other campaigns that offer customers deals to purchase quickly.




So, grab those reindeer reins and have a great holiday season with Google Analytics. Best wishes for very merry marketing measurement!

Back-to-Basics: Non-Brand Keywords

Wednesday, October 13, 2010 | 9:51 AM

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The majority of search referrals to the Google Store come from brand related searches -- searches that include brand references like “google store”, “android t-shirt”, or “youtube jacket”. But, as I dug into the data, I was surprised to find that googlestore.com gets many non-brand related search referrals as well.

Take a look at the non-brand searches that send traffic to your own site -- I think you’ll find the data interesting. By isolating non-brand keywords, you take brand recognition out of the equation and focus on the products that people look for -- and click over to find on your site.

Here’s a quick way to see your non-brand keyword traffic. Under Traffic Sources, go to the Keywords report. Then, in the Filter Keyword box at the bottom of the table, select Excluding, and type in your brand name.






If you have multiple brands, type them all in separated by the | sign. Here’s how this looks for googlestore.com:

google|android|youtube|content

You’ll notice that I also excluded the word “content”. This is because the report includes “content targeting” and I don’t want to include content targeting referrals.

Click Go to see the filtered keywords. If there’s anything else you’ve missed, just add it to your exclude list and click Go again. Here are the results for the Google Store.















That’s all there is to it. Try it on your own data and leave us a comment letting us know what you find!

Back To Basics: Part 3 - The Power of Exclusion

Wednesday, October 06, 2010 | 10:29 AM

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In Part 2, we saw that a store owner gained an unexpected lift in search traffic to his website after running a promotion on a referring site. The questions we left until this week to answer are these: How many extra searches resulted from the promotion? And, what keywords did people search on?

To answer these questions, we need to compare what usually happens versus what actually happened after the promotion. A good way to do this is to use the Compare to Past feature on the date range selector. If we compare the previous week with the promotion week, we can see how much of a lift there was after the promotion.










Notice that we use the exact same days, Monday through Sunday, so that the days of the week line up. Here is the resulting graph. The green line is the search traffic leading up to the promotion (what he would ordinarily expect without a promotion); the blue line is the search traffic during and after the promotion.








From the report below, you can see the specific increase for each keyword.

























The promotion resulted in a 209.68% increase in searches on the first keyword and an increase of 1,242.86% in searches on the second keyword. That’s good to know. It looks like one day promotions are the way to go for this business.

This is good example of how to use Compare to Past. You might also want to check out this tip on how to line up your date ranges when using Compare to Past.

Back To Basics: The Power of Exclusion (Part 2)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010 | 10:18 AM

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Last week, we saw how a website owner removed traffic from his latest promotion to study the effects of that promotion on his data. The blue line represents all visits over a 2-week period. The spike in the middle is due to a 50%-off referral-based promotion.


The yellow line is where it gets interesting. This line represents all traffic except traffic from the promotional site. Since the yellow line excludes the promotional referrals, why does it show a spike in traffic?










To find out, the store owner de-selected the All Visits segment so that only the Exclude Promo Site segment was active.






















Then, he looked at each of the reports in the Traffic Sources section -- the Direct Traffic report , Referring Sites report, and Search Engines report-- to find out where the non-promo traffic spike was coming from. Here’s the graph he saw when he looked at the Search Engines report.












It turns out the extra traffic was coming from search. Happily, the referral site promotion had been even more successful than expected. Because not only was there a big spike in traffic due to the referral, there was also a spike from search. As a result of the increased exposure, more people were searching for his store.

With that mystery solved, we’re ready for the next step. How can we find out how many extra searches resulted from the promotion? And, exactly which keywords were people searching on? We’ll take a look in Part 3, next week.

Back-To-Basics: The Power of Exclusion

Wednesday, September 22, 2010 | 9:49 AM

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I have a friend who owns a store in my neighborhood. He decided to run a 50%-off special on a site that specializes in one-day promotions to its members. His goal was to get wider exposure for his store and gain some new customers. If you look at the graph, you can see that the day that the promotion ran, traffic to his site spiked. Traffic then dropped off to normal the next day, but this was expected given the nature of this particular campaign.












The store owner was happy to see the spike in traffic, but he wanted to learn more. So he did something clever and created an advanced segment. But instead of creating an advanced segment for traffic from just the promotional site, he did the exact opposite. He created a segment that excluded all the promotional traffic.

Why? It’s a great example of what I call the power of exclusion. More about that in a minute, but first let’s look at how you would create a segment that excludes traffic from a specific site.

First, click the Advanced Segments drop down and click “Create a new advanced segment”.





















From the menu on the left, drag Source into the working area. Select the condition “Does not contain”. Enter the name of the site from which you want to exclude traffic, for example “example.com”. Then name and save the segment.











To apply the segment, click the Advanced Segments drop down again and select your newly created segment. (You’ll see it under Custom Segments.) In this case, I named this segment “exclude promo site”.














Take a look at the graph below and you’ll see why this was a smart idea. The blue line is all traffic. The orange line is all traffic except traffic from the promotional site. Notice something interesting? That’s right. The orange line also shows a spike, even though it doesn’t include any referrals from the promo site.










This is the power of exclusion: If you want to find out how effective something is -- whether it’s a traffic source, a promo, or a campaign -- try excluding its influence from your data. You might be surprised at what you find.

So, why is there a traffic spike in the “exclude promo site” segment? Tune in next week and find out. In the meantime, watch this short video tutorial to re-acquaint yourself with advanced segments.

Introducing Weighted Sort

Tuesday, August 24, 2010 | 2:34 PM

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Have you ever sorted a report by bounce rate and seen nothing but entries with a 100% bounce rate? Have you then noticed that these entries only have 1 visit? Not only is this useless and frustrating, but it obscures the real data points that you care about behind pages of garbage.

Well fret no more! We are pleased to announce a new sorting algorithm called weighted sort. Now when you sort on a computed metric, you can weight that sort by the number of data points, bringing you the most interesting and actionable rows first. For instance, in our example weighted sort will weight the computed value bounce rate by the number of visits. Let's take a look at some screen shots that will make this effect more obvious.

Using The Wrong Tracking Code Can Cost You $500k a Year

Tuesday, July 13, 2010 | 10:15 AM

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This is a guest post from Tom Critchlow who is an excel ninja, data geek, analytics nerd and head of search for Distilled, a London & Seattle based search agency. Tom provides a cautionary tale on the importance of keeping your site up to date.