"360 view of the customer", "omnichannel", "marketing stack integration"... These among others are the trending buzzwords within the marketing industry.
For some, these might be just empty signifiers but in effect they're more like byproducts of a more profound transformation that is happening at level of implementation and availability of tools.
The launch of Google's new Analytics 360 Suite is a prominent example of this line of development. This is clearly a mark of Google's increased interest in large and enterprise class customers looking for more advanced solutions that can handle the complexity of multiple channels and devices. We can also conclude that - with the release of 360 Suite - Google's position in marketing space is more and more defined in terms of extracting value from data, not just distributing ads.
Google Analytics 360 Suite - what's new?
Google Analytics 360 Suite is a group of six different products. These products are:
- Google Analytics 360
- Google Tag Manager 360
- Google Attribution 360
- Google Data Studio 360 (beta)
- Google Optimize 360 (beta)
- Google Audience Center 360 (beta)
Some of these products are totally new while others are mostly rebrandings of existing Google products under the umbrella brand Google Analytics 360 Suite.
Google Analytics 360
Google Analytics 360 is the rebranding of Google Analytics Premium. To quote Google press release, Analytics 360 "will serve as the measurement centerpiece by analyzing customer data from all touch-points and integrating with our ad products to drive marketing effectiveness."
Compared to free version, the Premium offers ability to analyze more data without sampling, raw data access with BigQuery integration, service level agreement and dedicated customer support.
Likely, there will be no immediate effect on features compared to current Google Analytics Premium offering. Later - in addition to new features - we should probably see even tighter integration with Analytics 360 and other 360 Suite products (most importantly Optimize 360, Audience Center 360, and Tag Manager 360).
Google Tag Manager 360
Google Tag Manager will be natural part of the 360 Suite but it will likely offer the same capabilities as current Tag Manager.
For those not currently using Google Tag Manager (or other similar tool), the idea with tag management is to simplify and streamline the deployment of different scripts on a website. These scripts most often serve various data collection needs for marketers and analysts.
Google Attribution 360
In 2014 Google acquired Adometry, a firm that had been specializing in measuring how much each touchpoint actually influenced a person to take action.
The technology of Adometry is now being tightly integrated into Google Analytics 360 Suite and according to Google, it has been "rebuilt from the ground up".
Google Data Studio 360 (beta)
Google Data Studio 360 is a new data analysis and visualization product that you can use to produce real-time reports and dashboards. You can integrate data across other 360 Suite products and integrate your own data sources as well.
Google Optimize 360 (beta)
Currently Google Analytics offers a feature called Experiments that you can use to test different versions of a page.
As a totally new tool, Google Optimize 360 will be a big improvement compared to Experiments. Without actually seeing this new product, we believe that with Optimize 360 you should be able to define segments in Analytics 360 and then target, personalize and test with these segments using Optimize 360.
When we think the possibilities that proper Analytics integration would have for the art and science of testing and personalization, this could be truly a game changer for the industry.
Google Audience Center 360 (beta)
Audience Center 360 is Google's first DMP (Data Management Platform). While Optimize 360 could be a game changer from the tactical point-of-view, Audience Center 360 might well do the same from more broad audience targeting and possibly even customer journey point-of-view.
Audience Center 360 is a DMP that brings together your data from Analytics, Search advertising, Display advertising, Social media and CRM. It is naturally integrated with other Suite products and it is open to 3rd party data too. Conveniently enough, you'll get automatic access to Google's data through native integration with AdWords and DoubleClick.
Google as a Data Platform
Release of Google's new Analytics 360 Suite might not have huge effect right away, no least because most of Google Analytics users do not have the Premium contract but are using the free version instead.
Still, I believe we can see two larger trends that go hand-in-hand with broader developement of Google's product line and marketing technology industry in general:
More focus on enterprise-level customers.
Traditionally Google has offered lots of its products for free. Their main revenue source AdWords is for basically any-sized organization with zero frontload costs. Similarly, Google acquired Web Analytics company Urchin in 2005, then rebranded it as Google Analytics and offered it as a free product for anyone to use.
Now, because of massively increased need, capacity - and thus, business value - of data analysis within companies, the limitations of free are becoming perhaps more evident.
There is ever-increasing number of data-driven companies willing to spend money on improved ability to extract value from data. They're skipping the free if it has any limitations whatsoever. Relatively small price tag for unlimited data is not an issue compared to business value expected.
More focus on data.
As far as marketers are concerned, Google is not about just Search or Display anymore.
Companies are spending money on multiple channels so they need ability to integrate data from various sources to create single view of the customer. From this viewpoint, knowing how one specific channel or campaign performs is not nearly as valuable as knowing how these channels or campaigns perform together and being able to use customer data across channels.
Updates of Google Analytics (mainly Universal Analytics and User ID tracking) combined with new 360 Suite integrations and Google's DMP are signs that Google is moving from Advertising Platform towards more holistic Data Platform.
Serving ads is not enough because the problem with marketing is not so much related to delivering messages. It is for who, when, and perhaps even what message.
What will change?
For most Google Analytics users there will be no changes since they're using the free version of Google Analytics.
Google Analytics Premium customers will see their products renamed in the coming months. They will also be informed when they're eligble to join beta versions of new products.
For those thinking about upgrading their Analytics and Marketing technology it is too early to say for sure. Google has said they'll offer each of 360 products individually but we do not have any information about details or pricing.
At this point we only know that combined Google Analytics Suite 360 has a lot more value compared to what was previously known as Google Analytics Premium. This should make Google viable alternative for products such as Adobe's Marketing Cloud. And of course, with a price tag involved, there will be increased need to continuosly improve the products within 360 Suite.
Wondering if your company would benefit from 360 Suite offering? KliKKi is the leading digital marketing company in the Nordic region. We are also authorized reseller of Google Analytics Premium and glad to help you in questions related to Google Analytics 360 Suite. Please contact us for more details.