It’s official: Google’s closing the curtains on its Universal Analytics (U.A.) tool. For many businesses, Google’s U.A. has been superb especially as it came at no cost at all from their marketing budgets – or at least that is what it said on the price tag. But as the sun sets on Google U.A. and pushes you to GA4 as they move to a privacy-first approach having encountered some EU privacy challenges, should you stay or go to a Google Analytics alternative?
Now’s the time to really think about the actual price you’re paying for the long term, especially as 68% of businesses would like advanced analytics/insights built into their CDP platform. There’s only one thing you need to be Google-ing: “Google Analytics Alternative”.
In 2005, Google acquired Urchin, a web statistics platform, and was reintroduced as Google Analytics the next year. After many years of changes, it evolved into Universal Analytics in 2012. Fast-forward to October 2020, Google brought out Google Analytics 4 (GA4), as they aim to move to a cookie-less future in a multi-device world, and future-proof analytics with AI-powered insights.
Although their new features sound exciting, it comes at a price.
“Free Analytics” sounds very tempting, especially amongst CMOs – but we all know that nothing is ever really free. After all, data alone cannot help you improve your marketing.
Whether you’re an enterprise-level, SMB, or small-sized business, every single piece of technology in your MarTech stack delivers a clear value and function, at a cost. And for many sized businesses, Google Analytics U.A. is usually the only platform in your marketing technology stack that’s free. It’s been a pretty good deal, especially with tightened marketing budgets these days.
Data and insights are the most valuable currency in your organization – but how valuable is your analytics if you can’t action them right away? You’ll lose out on ground-breaking customer interactions, valuable CX improvements and, in the end, revenue.
Because of this, you’re having to invest in other MarTech software (that can help you create overlay banners, on-site improvements, and cross-channel marketing) but doesn’t have direct access to your data. You’re investing in tech siloes, and not capitalizing on your opportunities.
By investing in an insight-led customer experience platform like Mapp Cloud, you can take insights from customer intelligence, segment these, and action them across your channels in one place. This means your insights become actionable, enabling onsite marketing personalization and automated cross-channel communications. By centralizing insights and actions at the core of your marketing, you’re able to save time and resources while having better control and a greater ROI from your marketing.
While it’s great to innovate and move with Google, you may want to make a move that makes you feel more in control. Going with the flow of GA4 means having to learn the ropes again – without your historical data. The longer you wait to set up your GA4, the less historical data you’ll have, and the tracking and dashboards you’ve previously created may need to be remade.
A move is inevitable, but there’s more than one option for businesses. Now’s the time for you to re-evaluate the MarTech you’ve been using for the last 10 years and think about moving to a new platform.
TAKE AWAY: Having to set up and learn GA4 is inevitable. Now’s the time to review your MarTech stack and invest in a CDP for the long-term, that comes with support to get you back on your feet quickly and helps you get ahead with pre-defined dashboards. Here’s a MarTech revaluation guide to help.
Marketing is shifting from third-party to first-party data, as Forrester predicted “insights-driven businesses” will grow 3x faster than their competitors. But if your primary source of insights is still Google Analytics you’re already behind in taking advantage of this trend.
While GA4 aims to move away from cookies, you’re expected to provide rich customer insights as you’re encouraged to leverage first-party and zero-party customer data. It’s good to have access to it, but it only means something when you can visualize and capture insights easily, to react quickly. CDPs like Mapp Cloud enable you to plug in your different data sources, build valuable insights, and create unified customer profiles to get to know your customers better.
TAKE AWAY: Using CDP platforms that integrate several sources of first-party data and zero-party data helps you work with accurate and reliable data, to create a 360-degree view of customers. This powers rich customer insights.
Many businesses are working with external agencies that focus on customer acquisition and often take their insights into account. But how does your business ensure that your internal insight-based decisions are actually based on the same set of data as your agency? It’s important to ensure your internal and external stakeholders are aligned on the same analytics, by taking control internally.
Looking at the basis of your insights is crucial too. Are these insights from a non-incentivized team that’s strong enough to help you drive long-term brand-consumer relationships? Now’s the time to re-evaluate your analytics and what analytics technology is used in your organization, to ensure it actually reflects the needs for reliable 1st party data insights.
It’s important to check whether your agency’s incentive includes providing insights on optimizing your existing customer experience. If that’s not the case, how does your team ensure that campaigns take the entire customer journey (from acquisition to nurturing and retention) into consideration?
TAKE AWAY: Aligning your internal stakeholders and external agencies on the performance of the overall customer journey (from acquisition to retention), means looking at the same sets of data.
With Google certifications and Google practices in many agencies, it’s important to know the tide is shifting. Brands need their expertise, rather than certifications, to help shift their focus from analyzing anonymous visitor behavior to truly understanding their customers. Brands are looking for help to unlock their goldmine: their 1st party customer data. This is a huge opportunity for agencies to differentiate themselves, by helping brands to become more insight-led.
TAKE AWAY: Brands are looking for ways to be more insight-led, rather than platform certified. They’re looking for flexibility, especially as there are Google Analytics alternatives in the market.
As GDPR and more data regulations come out in the future, more marketers see the urge to prioritize data protection. This also reflects in their choice of marketing platform. Your analytics platform is critical to your marketing activities and it’s essential to safeguard your data and insights – they are your most valuable assets that drive an insight-led strategy. Data ownership is essential here. When your data is collected and stored, in the E.U. or countries that are approved by the GDPR, you ensure compliancy for your zero-party and first-party data.
TAKE AWAY: Brands need to safeguard their data and insights. By ensuring your analytics platform counts on data ownership and storage in the E.U or countries approved by GDPR., it helps you power an insight-led marketing strategy in a GDPR-compliant way.
The CMO Survey found that only 1.9% of marketing leaders reported that their companies have the right talent to leverage marketing analytics. Even your business can extract insights systematically, the ability to operationalize insights or link the behavior to individual customers is extremely hard. The cause here is often traditional analytics.
Traditional analytics rely on various data sources being ingested into a single repository, where the data is transformed and aggregated. This allows analysts to produce highly customizable dashboards and reports that answer questions to a very specific business problem. While this sounds good, the challenge with this approach is that there are only a few people in the marketing department who understands these analytics.
By using active analytics with Mapp Cloud, it moves away from analyzing aggregated data and pushes forward an active analytics dataset. It’s always stored in the raw format which allows linking back to each individual customer that has formed part of the KPI or metric.
KEY TAKEAWAY: Using active analytics allows easy data activation and the same dataset to be used for analytics and for customer engagement via email, mobile push, or even onsite personalization.
Our insight-led customer experience platform puts actionable insights at the core of your marketing. Mapp Intelligence allows you to harness the power of first-party data to provide the most accurate prediction of what your customers are going to do next.
If you’re concerned about losing your historical data, now’s the time to evaluate alternative analytics platforms. Book a demo of Mapp Cloud now and see how an insight-led approach can benefit your business.