Source: Google blog
The first thing to get out of the way is the distinction between the standard and enterprise products. The 360 moniker only applies to the Premium/Enterprise level products. All that lovely functionality you’re used to in Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager will remain unchanged, apart from the logos:
So for those businesses who currently use either or both of these free tools, nothing much has changed from a web analytics perspective. However for enterprise-level organisations using or looking to use Google Analytics Premium (GAP), a Data Management Platform (DMP), an on-site testing tool or advanced attribution tools, the landscape has shifted.
A Full Google Tech Stack
Essentially, in rolling out the Google Analytics 360 Suite, Google has built a full, feature rich tech stack to rival the likes of Adobe and Oracle. This means that enterprise-level clients can monitor, manage and leverage the data they own and buy, across marketing and channels and on-site. Without regurgitating too much of what’s been comprehensively outlined elsewhere and using our experience of having played with some of these tools whilst in beta, here’s a brief run through of what’s new with the 360 suite:
- Google Tag Manager 360 – remains the absolute foundation of insight generation. The tool allows you to easily and effectively add and manage the tags required to understand what’s happening on your site. No real changes here although this version of GTM will have enterprise level features and service level agreements (SLAs) built in. As a standalone tag management tool GTM can go shoulder to shoulder with the Tealiums of this world. As part of a stack, we think this is a real jewel in the crown versus Adobe or IBM’s offerings.
- Google Analytics 360 – Formerly our beloved Google Analytics Premium, this is the central product to monitor marketing performance and consumer interactions wherever they might be. No changes to this product have yet been announced but we have insight into what’s on the horizon and it will be critical in helping to understand the modern consumer. The integrations and particularly the addition of Data Studio 360 adds another giant tick to the GAP feature set.
- Attribution 360, formerly Adometry – has been re-platformed à la Google and should enable more partner led and self-service options in the near future. This keeps its core functionality as a front runner in the attribution space. Critically, whilst the GA 360 tool is primarily focussed on providing insight into the online user journey (but will retain its attribution functionality), Attribution 360 goes beyond the world of digital with a particular strength in understanding the impact of TV. This is where the true impact of TV on the digital journey can be understood, whilst there’s functionality to run media mix modelling on your user’s journeys.
- Google Optimize 360 – currently in beta, this is Google’s website optimisation and personalisation tool (A/B & MVT). If you’ve dabbled with Google’s site optimisation tools in the past you’d be forgiven for dismissing this one. But don’t, this represents a huge leap up from ‘Content Experiments’. This is a tool that can use GTM data layer variables; and to target audiences built in GA 360 and judged using goals from GA 360 too. Google has finally adopted the WYSIWYG interface that makes concepting and visualising new versions very straightforward. Google is now firmly in the conversion rate optimisation race and it’s easy to see how it will soon rival the likes of Adobe Target, Optimizely and Oracle’s Maxymiser, the ease of implementation and integration with advance segmentation might just tip the balance in favour of Optimize 360.
- Google Audience Center 360 – is Google’s first foray into the world of the DMP. We’ve long used Google Analytics Premium as a “DMP light”. The ability to import data sources such as CRMs into GAP, combined with advanced segmentation and the integration with DoubleClick gives us many of the benefits of a DMP. By launching a DMP, Google is expanding the capabilities in three clear ways;
- Ease of use. The Audience Center interface is of course designed specifically for creating and managing audiences, it’s straightforward, well-structured and doesn’t require any coding or complex regex’s etc.It brings complex data and cookie technology to the masses.
- Reach. The big change with Google Audience Center 360 is that you’re no longer limited to just using that targeting on Google’s advertising stack (AdWords and DoubleClick Bid Manager). Now you can target data-driven audiences on third-party display exchanges or website optimisation platforms.
- Data richness. Where previously you could take your first-party data, your website data and some third-party data (e.g. weather data), Google Audience Center will allow you get audience data from a host of new third-party sources.
In a nutshell, “people-based marketing” using Google Products just got a lot more people-based and far more scalable. It’s very early days for this product and Google have their sights set on the Adobes (Audience Manager) and Oracles (BlueKai) with this one. So watch this space for more innovation to come.
- Google Data Studio 360 – the final new release, also in beta. We’re perhaps most excited about this. It’s unbelievably intuitive, scalable and powerful way in which to share the data being generated. This tool is built on of Google Docs and Google Cloud (Big Query) functionality and brings with it all the ease around sharing, copying and managing massive data and reports that brings this product is Google’s first enterprise level reporting tool. With the ability to create reports based on GA data or third-party data. We’ve seen datasets with billions of entries turned into easy to use and very beautiful reports in seconds. The scalability and shareability is equally impressive. This tool finally makes it possible for Google products to be the centre of the measurement and insight for the whole organisation. Tableau-killer? Perhaps, if you’re a heavy user of Google’s products.
Integration is Power
Google Analytics 360 is no longer an analytics tool with some peripheral extra functionality. It’s a connected set of products that integrate with one another where possible to take enterprise marketers from implementation to execution as seamlessly as possible. As to be expected, this tech stack natively integrates with AdWords, DoubleClick Campaign and Bid Manager and BigQuery.
One thing that isn’t changing is Google’s approach to the usability of their tools. Google remains focussed on liberating data across the whole of the organisation and allowing the users of its products to create truly data-centric approaches.
If you are committed to understanding customer needs and behaviour; and delivering experiences best served to help those customers have even greater potential to succeed. If your organisation is currently leveraging website and CRM data for audience targeting on Search and Display, the possibility to expand the data used to build audiences and the streams with which you can activate them have been increased. If your organisation is looking to understand their online path to conversion, the ability to gain insight into what offline activity impacts the online journey is now accessible. If your organisation is doing simple A/B testing using data collected in optimisation tools, the ability to deliver more personalised, better experiences to your known users on your website is easier.
Perhaps above all, and on the most practical level, what this new enterprise suite offers is an easier, more efficient way to use data to succeed. The single stack should mean fewer set-up costs, less time corroborating data from one platform to another and, crucially, an easier way to generate and benefit from data.
We’re hugely experienced with the Google stack here at Periscopix so if there’s any questions we can help with or you’re interested in finding out more about a product, just get in touch.