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Google Analytics 360 Suite: your cheat sheet

Summary:
◦ What is it?
◦ Overview of the key solutions and features
◦ Why use the Google Analytics 360 suite
◦ Could be improved
◦ Future features

What is it?

Google Analytics 360 is a stack of digital marketing solutions that was launched by Google in March 2016.

It aims to provide marketing and digital teams with a comprehensive solution allowing them to manage their data more efficiently, and thus to make better decisions in terms of marketing activation. The suite currently includes seven complementary tools, with functions ranging from data collection to audience measurement, DMPDMPA DMP (Data Management Platform) is a platform that centralises and aggregates all the data related to a brand's campaigns and customers. Learn more activation, data visualisationdata visualisationData visualisation, or "dataviz", is a discipline that consists in finding the best way to graphically represent large sets of data, in order to communicate information. The discipline is not new of course, but the innovations of the past decade have entirely disrupted it, and have developed it in two main aspects: the representation of data that is more and more voluminous and complex, and the creation of innovative ways to picture it.Learn more, A/B testA/B testAn A/B test is a scientific method which, applied to marketing, consists in displaying to different users several variants of a same web page; these variants are called versions. The aim of the test is to compare the performance of the different versions following a set of predefined KPIs.Learn moreing and media mix optimisation.

Overview of the key solutions and features

Analytics 360 
This is the flagship tool of the suite. It is dedicated to web analytics (audience analysis, measurement of users’ browsing paths and interactions with the website until conversion). With its ergonomics, its easy implementation and the existence of a free version, this tool is the world leader in the market of web analytics. Google Analytics (GA) is the free and mainstream version of Analytics 360, formerly known as Google Analytics Premium (GAP), which is designed for companies.

Key perks
◦ Analysis of audiences, browsing paths and the conversion funnel
◦ Ecommerce trackingtrackingTracking refers to the tools and methodologies that measure the activity and behaviour of visitors on a website (or a mobile app), including their journey, the source of their visit, or exposure to ads... Learn more
◦ Audience creation
◦ Access to raw data through BigQuery
◦ Tailored tracking thanks to the custom dimensiondimensionDimensions are attributes of data: they qualify it. Learn mores and metricsmetricsMetrics are quantitative measurements that assess campaign performance: CPA, CPM, bounce rates, or the number of visits are examples of metrics.   Learn more


 

Tag Manager 360 
This is Google’s tag management system (TMSTMSA Tag Management System (TMS) is a tool that is designed to help manage the lifecycle of marketing tags: it encapsulates all tags of a digital asset within a unique tag container, and allows to edit these tags without having to modify the source code. Learn more). By providing built-in tag templates for all tools in the DoubleClick and Google Analytics suites, as well as for the main marketing tools in the market, it has become established as the reference solution for most advertisers and publishers. While its free version (Google Tag Manager) is already very powerful, the 360 version also includes workspaces to improve collaboration.

Key perks
◦ Tag templates for common tools
◦ Collaborative workspaces
◦ Audience creation 
◦ Intuitive and user-friendly


 

Data Studio 360
This is Google’s free data visualisation tool. Very easy to use, it allows you to set up a dashboard in just a few hours. Data Studio includes pre-built data connectors with the products of the Google ecosystem (Google Analytics, AdWordsAdWordsAdwords is Google's SEA service, linked to the web search engine and to its extensions (its partners and Google Display Network). The tool enables to buy sponsored links that are displayed among the search results, or on advertising spaces available through Google's partner network. Learn more, DoubleClick Campaign Manager (DCM), YouTube, BigQuery...), so that building multi-source dashboards becomes a child’s play. Finally, the collaborative dimension of this solution is invaluable and its easy sharing features are a major advantage.

Key perks
◦ Easy data import
◦ Easy dashboard sharing
◦ The collaborative dimension of the solution (as for all other Drive products) is a true competitive advantage


 

Optimize 360
This is Google’s A/B testing and content customisation tool. Intuitive and easy to use, it allows you to publish an experiment on your website in just twenty minutes once the tool has been set up. Its integration with Google Analytics enables you to target web analytics audiences in Optimize. As for the reporting feature, it is directly built on Google Analytics, allowing you to make advanced analyses of the results.

Key perks
◦ A/B tests
◦ Multivariate tests (MVTMVTMultivariate testing (MVT) is a scientific methodology which, applied to marketing, consists in displaying to different users several versions of a web page, where multiple elements of this page vary (different texts, images, call-to-action, titles...).Learn more)
◦ Content personalisation
◦ GA360 audiences available for test targeting


 

Audience Center 360
This is Google’s DMP. Relying on existing media, analytics and CRMCRMCRM (Customer Relationship Management) refers to the methods, services and tools implemented to maintain and improve the quality of a brand's relationship with its customers.Learn more data – and thus sparing you from having to “retag” your entire website –, it creates audience segments on the go and pushes them into Google’s activation and/or media buying tools (DoubleClick, Google Optimize...).

Key perks
◦ Numerous input sources
◦ Intuitive interface for the creation of audience segments
◦ Easy to connect to DoubleClick’s media activation tools
◦ No need for retagging

 

AttributionAttributionDigital attribution refers to a set of methods that aim at reconstructing the digital journey of a client that led to conversion. The aim of this process is to measure the efficiency of each channel that was used during a marketing campaign. Learn more 360
This is Google’s attribution tool. Thanks to the native integration of data from Google Analytics and DoubleClick, it provides a comprehensive view of the user journey, including if it is multichannelmultichannelMultichannel marketing refers to the use of several distribution and promotional channels: website, physical stores, mobile apps... Learn more and/or cross-devicecross-deviceCross-device behaviours refer to browsing habits where users navigate the Internet freely from one device to another (smartphone, computer, tablet...). Learn more. This allows marketing teams to evaluate the influence of each marketing channel on conversion by relying on advanced algorithmalgorithmAn algorithm is a mathematical process that aims at solving a problem or at providing a result, by using a finite number of operations; it can be translated into a computer program thanks to a programming language.Learn mores and different models, including a data-driven one.

Key perks 
◦ A tool oriented towards action and decision-making
◦ First results available within a few minutes
◦ Easy data import and easy export of the results towards activation tools
◦ Cross-device reconciliation 
◦ Mix modeling
◦ TV Attribution (measures TV-generated conversion)


 

Surveys 360
This is Google’s form management tool. A recent addition to the 360 Suite, it allows you to roll out forms in order to collect qualitative information on the users of a website, or among a wider audience through the advertising network Google Display Network (GDNGDNGoogle Display Network (GDN) is Google’s partner publishers network: they host on their spaces the ads of Google’s client advertisers (especially via Adwords). Learn more). Finally, as for most of the other tools in this suite, it is also possible to target audiences imported from Google Analytics 360.

Key perks
◦ On-site and off-site targeting
◦ Use of GA360 segments for targeting


Why use the Google Analytics 360 suite?

Firstly, the interconnection of its solutions is a real advantage, as it makes it possible to share audiences from one tool to another in order to facilitate targeting. Google thus allows brands to manage the entirety of their digital marketing through one single suite of tools that are interconnected and, above all, easy to set up. Not to mention their growing integration with media tools such as Adwords, YouTube and DoubleClick!

Secondly, most of these tools also come in a free version that is already very powerful. This is how the suite succeeded in appealing to a large number of companies, which contributed to the adoption of these solutions.

Finally, the Google suite offers a significant competitive advantage: in addition to the reactive support service available for 360 customers, there is also a large community of users that is very active on blogs and discussion groups (for example: www.en.advertisercommunity.com)

 

Could be improved

For the time being, most 360 products are only available in beta. It has thus taken Google more time than other publishers to launch certain features of its suite (personalisation, DMP). However, it should be noted that these delays are justified by the power of the tools in question as well as their interconnection, which make Google Analytics 360 a full-stack and completely integrated marketing suite.

In addition, there is also a significant barrier to entry (a problem that is shared with other major marketing technology stacks), namely the price. Indeed, while the 360 solutions, with their pricing strategy based mostly on a fixed license fee, may seem very cheap for major brands, they remain quite unaffordable for companies lacking the necessary scale. Therefore, the latter have to make do with the free version of these tools.

Finally, it is not yet possible to use data from the different 360 tools in tools outside the Google ecosystem.

 

Future features

  • Beta release of the last products
  • Gradual integration with Google’s media technologies and tools (Adwords, DoubleClick)
  • Possibility to import, export and activate data from sources outside of Google’s ecosystem
  • As one of Google’s preferred partners and certified reseller of the Google Analytics 360 suite, fifty-five can give you pre-release access to the new features of the beta suite
  • See the recent announcements made at the annual conference Google Marketing Next

 

With its 360 Suite, Google is finally offering a full-stack marketing solution to allow companies in all industries to manage their digital marketing more efficiently.

Want to find out more? Discover our offer and our references.

Translated from the original French by Marion Beaujard.

Want to learn more? Get in touch!

08-08-2017

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Publication

Lan Anh Vu Hong

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Mats Carduner, Adobe Stock & Unsplash

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