Google Analytics 360 Suite: What You Need to Know

In a marketing world that’s buzzing with phrases like “marketing stack integration”, it’s no big surprise that Google is in the early stages of releasing a new suite of enterprise-level products that together, form a more comprehensive platform.

Google Analytics 360 aims to help marketers get a holistic view of their online marketing efforts via fewer standalone tools.

But the question is: Will Google Analytics 360 truly make online marketing a more seamless experience, or will users still be missing the key information they need to make more informed marketing decisions–that previously has been supplied by third party solutions?

The verdict is still out on whether or not this new suite of products will be an instance of “jack of all trades, but a master of none.” In the meantime, let’s look at what’s new, the details of the DMP, and how Kissmetrics compares to Google Analytics 360.

What’s New

Within the Google Analytics 360 suite, there are six products (four new, two re-branded) aimed at connecting a marketer’s daily work. The new products are still in limited beta testing, and introductions to current Premium customers is just rolling out now::

Google Analytics 360: Formerly known as Google Analytics Premium–the paid, enterprise level tool for large companies.

Google Optimize 360: This product in the suite allows marketers to A/B test experiences without having to write any code. From here, marketers can pinpoint which site/ad variation is most successful for different audience segments.

Google Audience Center 360: The data management platform that ties in with Google DoubleClick and Adwords (as well as other third-party providers and demand-side ad platforms) to help marketers connect with customers on different channels and devices.

Google Tag Manager 360: Home to tag management of APIs and site code for streamlined workflows and more efficient decision-making.

Google Data Studio 360: Tool for quickly and easily sharing real-time marketing data visualizations across company departments.

Google Attribution 360: Cross-channel attribution tool that tracks all marketing spend information (online and offline) to determine overall marketing performance by channel.

Limited screenshots of the suite have been released, but this image from Business Insider helps us get a better feel for what the dashboard will look like for users:

google-analytics-360

The intent of the products in the suite is to help enterprise marketers connect the data across platforms, including mobile, PPC, and offline marketing channels, to name a few.

Why this?

Google commissioned a study by Forrester Research to discover what pain points marketers were truly struggling with today. According to the study’s findings, marketers reported that their success depended largely on their ability to integrate analytics with other advertising and marketing technologies.

The study also found that found that the most successful marketers tied their marketing data directly to business goals.

Details of the New Data Management Platform (DMP)

One of the big questions so far is: How’s it different? While Oracle and Adobe are already offering cloud-based DMPs, Google Analytics 360 enters the market as a DMP add-on for more data quality control–meaning users will likely use it in addition to an existing, more robust DMP–not as a standalone.

One of the unique details of Google Analytics 360 is that while it of course integrates with Google resources like AdWords and DoubleClick, it also integrates with other standalone tools like Optimizely that allow marketers to test sales funnel workflows, page layouts, offers, and more. Optimize 360 extends these testing capabilities to PPC advertising, too.

The open system helps marketers ensure they’re not duplicating remarketing efforts by allowing imports of both first-party and third-party data. The suite also touts its focus on user privacy, and the fact that users can be tracked safely without putting their personal data at risk.

What Google Analytics 360 Means for SMB

Currently, SMBs are not being targeted as Google Analytics 360 customers at this point in time. That being said, the free tools offered in Google Analytics 5 will still be available for SMB users–but it appears that Google’s hope is to build up more premium, paid GA users via the new suite’s increased functionality.

For those enterprise-level marketers who are interested in the suite’s products, there will be an opportunity to purchase products a la carte, but specific details on price point have not yet been released. The good news is that since the platform is open, users won’t be forced into using only Google-based products–and that means more PPC advertising options.

Early Testing

Early testing of Google Analytics 360 has been opened to a few select customers, such as L’Oreal Canada, Progressive, and Google-owned Nest. A few case studies with these companies showed positive results, but it’s still unclear how the initial enterprise users will view the product once it is fully released.

Kissmetrics vs. Google Analytics 360

If you’re wondering how Kissmetrics is different from Google Analytics 360 (as opposed to the free version of Google Analytics), here’s what you need to know:

  • 360 seems to be targeted for the enterprise, going head-to-head against companies like Omniture and Adobe Analytics. Kissmetrics, in contrast, is targeted towards small and medium-sized companies.
  • Cost is likely to keep comparison shoppers in different swim lanes.

Kissmetrics is a people-based analytics platform, tying all visits back to a person across whatever devices they use.

Our tools let you see how specific users found you, help identify who your power users are, and allow you to study cohorts of different people. Google Analytics 360, however, still takes a more session-based analytics approach–so despite the new focus on mobile, user data on multiple devices can become cloudy and confusing at times.

It also appears that Google Analytics 360 is still lacking an effective conversion optimization resource beyond testing. Kissmetrics helps marketers optimize their marketing with tools like Engage, which allows marketers to target the right people and nudge them towards conversion.

Google Analytics 360: Is it the Right Stack Integration?

Will the Google Analytics 360 Suite be worth the investment for all enterprise-level companies?

It’s hard to say at this point. However, the open system and early case studies do show some promise. As marketing integration becomes even more of a top-priority for harried marketers across multiple departments, this new suite may rolling out at just the right moment.

About the Author: Kaleigh Moore is a social media consultant and copywriter who helps SaaS companies craft intelligent content with a charming human element. Visit her website or follow her on Twitter.

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