digital analytics

Leveraging Google Analytics to Crush the Competition

Written by Dylan Langei

After viewing countless videos with Google's Evangelist, Justin Cutroni, I feel a more captivating opening line would be, "Hi and welcome, my name is Justin Cutroni, and I'll be your instructor throughout this course. In my role as a Digital Analytics Evangelist at Google I try to help people understand how to leverage the Google Analytics platform to optimize their data collection, processing, configuration, and reporting to whoop the competition's ass." Then obviously proceed to show the awesome gif below featuring two cats on a treadmill and pose the question, "Would you rather your business be the light colored cat who has successfully mastered and integrated Google Analytics? Or the darker colored cat that has not integrated any form of digital analytics?"

An analogy like this would certainly catch my attention. Of course I'd want my business to be the light colored cat! The light colored cat looks like they've been training with Usain Bolt while the darker cat looks like, well, anyone that has ever competed against Usain Bolt. To remind you...

In all seriousness, the Google Analytics Platform Principles training highlights the many benefits of Google Analytics to a business' data collection, processing, configuration, and reporting techniques. These platform fundamentals allow for adequate interpretation of the data you're provided on the platform to make informed decisions to strengthen your competitive position. Through transforming and aggregating data, Google Analytics provides filters, goals, and grouping. Filters exclude, include or can change data, while goals track certain conversions to meet business objectives, and grouping aggregates data together to analyze channels and content related groups. These methods, along with report sampling, reduce latency while maintaining high accuracy for timely answers to business operations. By saving time and money, businesses are more effective and better suited to meet their strategic business objectives. However, according to Avinash Kaushik, Author of Digital Marketing Evangelist - Google, 90% of the failures in web analytics is because businesses do not have DUMB objectives. DUMB objectives are doable, understandable, manageable, and beneficial. Therefore, it is not just enough to integrate Google Analytics and think, OK great we're going to meet all of our strategic business objectives! Kaushik gives many good tactics to break down desirable outcomes so they may be dissected into actionable steps towards your business objectives. For example, if a company wants to improve marketing effectiveness, they must 1. identify broken things in m, 2. figure out how to do n, and 3. experiment with p type of campaigns. Once a company has deciphered the actionable steps to reach their desired outcome, they may leverage Google Analytics to provide data that will assist them in fulfilling their strategic business objectives. Now that, is what you call getting a leg up on the competition.

Sorry Nike, Just Google It.

Written by Dylan Langei

So what is all this hype around digital analytics, and more specifically Google Analytics? To be honest, you could Google it. But, since you're already here, I suggest reading on. Digital analytics are a fundamental component of marketing. With nearly everything moving online, the "digital" part of "marketing" is becoming implied. The term "digital marketing" may almost become obsolete, not because the digital part will become unimportant, but everything having to do with marketing will become digital. Through this digitization, many purchases are occurring online, therefore allowing consumers activity and behavior to be tracked. Nowadays, businesses don't have to assign an employee to stand at the door manually reporting customer traffic.

As stated in Forrester's Report, web analytics provide data handling, metrics, reporting, usability, integration, service, predictive analytics, and real-time data. The Big Six, if you will - Adobe, IBM, Webtrends, AT Internet, Google, SAS Institute - possess various strengths and weaknesses in the web analytics market. These vendors are sought out by numerous enterprises based on these strengths and weaknesses, and integrated accordingly. So why Google Analytics? Why become certified? Well, Google has immense brand recognition (Google is a verb for heavens sake), it is a marketable credential, and it will probably be the only chance I'll have at placing "Google" anywhere on my resume (not trying to downplay my potential, but come on, I'm a realist and Googles hiring rate is 0.2% - and yes I did Google that). Even though my chances of employment at Google are only slightly better than winning the lottery, I can become Google Analytic certified to increase the attractiveness of my resume. Why is this an attractive component of a resume you may ask? According to E-Nor, 51% of Fortune 500 companies use Google Analytics. Obama's campaign team even leveraged Google Analytics for the 2012 re-election campaign in order to engage supporters, reach and influence persuadable voters, and activate supporters to vote. This alone proves that Google Analytics is a very powerful and highly accredited tool. Therefore, becoming competent in a digital analytic platform like Google Analytics will provide me with a competitive edge over other job applicants. I will be able to understand web traffic, customer behavior, online campaigns, best customer location, what users are searching, what people click on the most, and various other components provided by Google Analytics. With this understanding, I then will be able to act on these insights by comparing different marketing approaches and move forward with the one that performs the best. Fusing business objectives and strategies with a comprehensive understanding of analytics is an invaluable trait in this digitize era of ours, in which I hope to possess after the Google Analytics certification.