Millions of businesses, large and small, rely on Google Analytics to understand customer preferences and create better experiences for them. With more commerce moving online and businesses under increased pressure to make every marketing dollar count, insights from digital analytics tools are even more critical.
But with major shifts in consumer behavior and privacy-driven changes to longtime industry standards, current approaches to analytics aren’t keeping pace. In a survey from Forrester Consulting, marketers said that improving their use of analytics is a top priority, and that existing solutions make it difficult to get a complete view of the customer and derive insights from their data.
To help you get better ROI from your marketing for the long term, Google is creating a new, more intelligent Google Analytics that builds on the foundation of the App + Web property that they introduced in beta last year. It has machine learning at its core to automatically surface helpful insights and gives you a complete understanding of your customers across devices and platforms. It’s privacy-centric by design, so you can rely on Analytics even as industry changes like restrictions on cookies and identifiers create gaps in your data. The new Google Analytics will give you the essential insights you need to be ready for what’s next.
Smarter insights to improve your marketing decisions and get better ROI
By applying Google’s advanced machine learning models, the new Analytics can automatically alert you to significant trends in your data – like products seeing rising demand because of new customer needs. It even helps you anticipate future actions your customers may take. For example, it calculates churn probability so you can more efficiently invest in retaining customers at a time when marketing budgets are under pressure. Google is continuing to add new predictive metrics, like the potential revenue you could earn from a particular group of customers. This allows you to create audiences to reach higher-value customers and run analyses to better understand why some customers are likely to spend more than others, so you can take action to improve your results.
With new integrations across Google’s marketing products, it’s easy to use what you learn to improve the ROI of your marketing. A deeper integration with Google Ads, for example, lets you create audiences that can reach your customers with more relevant, helpful experiences, wherever they choose to engage with your business.
The new approach also makes it possible to address longtime advertiser requests. Because the new Analytics can measure app and web interactions together, it can include conversions from YouTube engaged views that occur in-app and on the web in reports. Seeing conversions from YouTube video views alongside conversions from Google and non-Google paid channels, and organic channels like Google Search, social, and email, helps you understand the combined impact of all your marketing efforts.
Businesses taking part in the beta are already seeing benefits. Vistaprint, responding to rapid changes in their business at the start of the pandemic, was able to quickly measure and understand the customer response to their new line of protective masks. And Jeff Kacmarek, Vice President of Domino’s Pizza of Canada, found that “linking the new Google Analytics to Google Ads enables us to optimize around the actions that matter most to our customers, regardless of how they interact with our brand.”
A more complete understanding of how customers interact with your business
The new Analytics gives you customer-centric measurement, instead of measurement fragmented by device or by platform. It uses multiple identity spaces, including marketer-provided User IDs and unique Google signals from users opted into ads personalization, to give you a more complete view of how your customers interact with your business. For example, you can see if customers first discover your business from an ad on the web, then later install your app and make purchases there.
You’ll also get a better understanding of your customers across their entire lifecycle, from acquisition to conversion and retention. This is critical when people’s needs are rapidly changing and you have to make real-time decisions in order to win – and keep – new customers. Based on your feedback, we simplified and re-organized reporting so you can intuitively find marketing insights based on the part of the customer journey you’re interested in. For example, you can see what channels are driving new customers in the user acquisition report, then use the engagement and retention reports to understand the actions these customers take, and whether they stick around, after converting.
Built for the long term
Now is the time to invest in your digital marketing basics, like smarter analytics, so you can be ready for what comes next. This will also help you respond to rising consumer expectations, regulatory developments, and changing technology standards for user privacy. With a new approach to data controls, you can better manage how you collect, retain and use your Analytics data. More granular controls for ads personalization let you choose when to use your data to optimize your ads and when to limit your data use to measurement. And of course, Google continues to offer users control over sharing their activity with Google Analytics.
Because the technology landscape continues to evolve, the new Analytics is designed to adapt to a future with or without cookies or identifiers. It uses a flexible approach to measurement, and in the future, will include modeling to fill in the gaps where the data may be incomplete. This means that you can rely on Google Analytics to help you measure your marketing results and meet customer needs now as you navigate the recovery and as you face uncertainty in the future.
The future of Google Analytics
The new Google Analytics is now the default experience for new properties and is where we’re investing in future improvements. Google knows there are capabilities many marketers need before fully replacing their existing Analytics setup, so they are encouraging you to create a new Google Analytics 4 property (previously called an App + Web property) alongside your existing properties. This will allow you to start gathering data and benefit from the latest innovations as they become available while keeping your current implementation intact. If you’re an enterprise marketer, Google Analytics is currently in beta with an Analytics 360 version that will offer SLAs and advanced integrations with tools like BigQuery and will have more to share soon.
The article was originally posted here.