Google Analytics 360: What it Means For B2B Marketers

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Two weeks ago Google surprised the marketing world by announcing the limited beta release of Google Analytics 360, an enterprise marketing suite that melds the company’s existing Analytics Premium and Adometry services with four brand-new tools.

“The fact that Google is now making a commitment to marketing as a function is a very big deal,” said IDC Research Manager Gerry Murray. “Google made its brand on the advertising side of the house, and now they’re finally coming to marketing and saying we can do a lot more than just analytics.”

The suite is designed to help marketers understand both online and offline customer habits. It’s made up of six products, including the former GA Premium and Adometry, rebranded as Attribution 360. Rounding out the suite is Audience Center 360, a data management platform that integrates with Google and DoubleClick; Optimize 360, which is designed to create multiple variations of a website for different audiences; Data Studio 360, a data visualization product that can integrate data across all the products within the suite; and Tag Manager 360, which provides data collection and APIs to increase data accuracy.

“It is a game changer in my view,” said Christine Nurnberger, CMO of Bottomline Technologies, a provider of payments and invoice automation software. “On the surface, Google Optimize 360, for example, looks like it just offers regular A/B and multivariate testing, but it goes far, far deeper. It allows marketers to create experiences around content at a much more granular level, and then track the ROI through the online buy cycle. Though it is geared to enterprise that’s on the B2C side, the ability to get my arms around the customer journey and customer personas based on much more robust analytics is very cool.”

The new suite will enable marketers to import their own first-party data, add third-party data and leverage Google data to develop audience segments for campaign targeting. The upshot, according to Google, is that marketers will have the ability to deliver much more useful experiences, tailored specifically to each customer. “In B2B today, we use tools like Marketo to understand what people are looking at in terms of our content, and how they’re responding and interacting with our content in our campaign,” Nurnberger said. “But what we don’t understand is what they’re doing on the rest of the Internet, and what they’re researching and how they’re approaching their buy cycle outside of what we might be providing to them. This is going to give us that capability. I’m interested in pricing, which rumor has it, is going to be expensive.”

With this launch, Google also seems to be challenging several big players in the enterprise data cloud space, including, Adobe, Oracle and Salesforce. “It’s a bit of a crisis for some of their key competitors,” said IDC’s Murray.

However, in a research note, Pivotal Research Analyst Brian Wieser said that while Google 360 Analytics will increase competition, it poses no immediate threat to more-established marketing cloud providers.

“Most importantly for the broader marketing technology space, success from Google does not necessarily harm incumbents,” he said. “Instead, we think expanded efforts from Google will probably help to grow the broader sector, which has substantial upside given the untapped potential associated with bringing more technology to marketing functions.”

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