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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, DMPDMPDMPs (Data Management Platforms) are platforms that centralise and aggregate all data related to a brand's campaigns and customers. They can hold all kinds of data - online, offline, media, CRM, first-party, third-party... A DMP allows for the segmentation of audiences and the redistribution of data to other advertising platforms, to which it is connected. It aims at optimising client experience and advertising efficiency. Also note that DMPs generally exclude any media activation data that would make it possible to identify a specific individual (PII).Learn more activation, data visualisationdata visualisationData visualisation, or "dataviz", is a discipline that consists in finding the best way to represent large sets of data graphically in order to communicate information. This discipline, although in no way new, has been completely disrupted by the innovations of the past decade. As a result, it has developed in two main directions: the representation of increasingly voluminous and complex data, and the creation of innovative ways to display it.Learn more, A/B testA/B testAn A/B test is a scientific method which, when applied to marketing, consists in displaying several variants of a same web page to different users. These variants are called versions. The aim of such a test is to compare the performance of the different versions based on 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 dimensions and metricsmetricsMetrics are quantitative measurement indicators that are used to assess campaign performance. The CPC and CPM, bounce rates, and 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 designed to help manage the lifecycle of marketing tags. It can encapsulate multiple individual tags within a unique container tag and makes it possible to edit these tags remotely 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 platform. It is connected to the search engine and its extensions (advertising partners and the Google Display Network). It allows brands to buy sponsored links that are displayed among search results, or on dedicated advertising spaces available across 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 method which, when applied to marketing, consists in displaying several versions of a web page to different users. These versions are generated by combining different variations of the page elements (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 by a brand to maintain and improve the quality of its relationship with its customers, with the aim of winning their loyalty.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 whose purpose is to reconstruct the digital journey that has led a client to conversion. This process aims to assess the efficiency of each of the channels 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, such as a website, physical stores, mobile apps...Learn more and/or cross-devicecross-deviceCross-device behaviour refers to a browsing habit where users navigate the Internet using different types of devices interchangeably (smartphone, computer, tablet...). This can make the tracking process significantly more complex.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 designed to solve a problem or to obtain a result, 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 (GDNGDNThe Google Display Network (GDN) includes both Google-owned websites (like Gmail, YouTube…) and Google’s network of partner publishers. The latter hosts the ads of Google’s client advertisers on their own spaces (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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