Connect with us

MARKETING

GA4 isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. What would it look like to switch?

Published

on

GA4 isnt all its cracked up to be What would

Google Analytics is the top player when it comes to tracking website visitors. The platform’s value is reflected in its popularity, which is why it’s the market leader boasting an 86% share. But with great value comes great responsibility, and Google Analytics lacks in that department.

Designed to maximize data collection often at the expense of data privacy, Google Analytics and its mother company, Google LLC, have been on the radar of European privacy activists for some time now. Reports of questionable privacy practices by Google have led to legal action based on the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that might result in a complete ban on Google Analytics in Europe.

On top of that, Google recently announced it will end support for Universal Analytics in July of 2023, forcing users to switch to Google Analytics 4 (GA4). So, if the switch must be made, why not seek a new analytics provider? There are great free and paid solutions that allow organizations to balance valuable data collection with privacy and compliance. With a GDPR-compliant analytics solution in place, your data collection becomes as it should be predictable and sustainable.  

The problem with GA4 from a user perspective

Universal Analytics’ successor is very different from what you’re familiar with. Apart from the new user interface, which many find challenging to navigate, there is a laundry list of issues with the feature set in GA4—from no bounce rate metrics to a lack of custom channel groups. Here are some of the limitations in GA4 from a user perspective that you might find frustrating.

Not-so-seamless migration

GA4 introduces a different reporting and measurement technology that is neither well understood nor widely accepted by the marketing community. There is no data or tag migration between the platforms, meaning you’d have to start from scratch. The challenge grows with the organization’s size—you can have hundreds of tags or properties to move.

Limits on custom dimensions

A custom dimension is an attribute you configure in your analytics tool to dive deeper into your data. You can then pivot or segment this data to isolate a specific audience or traffic for deeper analysis. While GA4 allows you to use custom dimensions to segment your reports, there’s a strict limit—you can only use up to 50.

Lack of custom channel grouping

Channel groupings are rule-based groupings of marketing channels and, when customized, allow marketers to check the performance of said channels efficiently. Unlike Universal Analytics, GA4 does not allow you to create custom channel groupings in the new interface, only default channel groupings.

Why Google is giving you a short deadline to make the switch to GA4

It’s startling to consider the deadline Google has left the analytics community when it comes to acting: Universal Analytics will stop processing new hits on July 1, 2023. This could be a way to motivate users to migrate more quickly. Perhaps Google was disappointed with the speed of adoption for GA4 and decided to act decisively for this next version.

Another possibility for the short deadline is that Google wants to cut costs and rid itself of technical debt associated with thousands of websites with legacy solutions installed (many of those users are not active users of the product). Since GA4 is designed to support Google’s advertising network, it guarantees more revenue than the competition.

Whatever the case, users need to prepare to move to GA4—or switch to an alternative. 

The problem with GA4 from a privacy standpoint

Google claims the new platform is designed with privacy at its core, but the privacy concerns are far from over. A lack of clear guidelines on data processing has many questioning the legality of GA4 in Europe. Here are some of the reasons that leave us to believe GA4 won’t last long in Europe.

Recent laws and regulations

Google makes it difficult to collect data in line with data protection regulations such as GDPR. This means that organizations engaged in gathering, storing and processing data about EU citizens have to adjust their policies and introduce serious technological changes to be GDPR-compliant.

One of the ​​key compliance issues with Google Analytics is that it saves user data, including information about EU residents, on U.S.-based cloud servers. As a U.S.-based technology company, Google must comply with U.S. surveillance laws, such as the Cloud Act. This legislation states that Google must disclose certain data when requested, even when that data is located outside of the U.S.

In the judgment known as Schrems II, a European court ruled that sending personal data from the EU to the U.S. via transatlantic transfers is illegal if companies can’t guarantee this data will be safe from U.S. intelligence.

Companies with an international presence must now adapt to a wide range of regulations, often with different requirements and restrictions.

Transparency

A Google guide implies data is transferred to the closest Google Analytics server hub. However, the data may be stored in a geographic location that doesn’t have adequate privacy protection to the EU. This lack of transparency poses a problem for Google and organizations using Google Analytics in the EU.

Newly introduced features in GA4 partially address this concern by allowing the first part of data collection (and anonymization) on European servers. However, data can, and most likely will, be sent to the U.S. The best thing to do is be open when it comes to collecting data from people.

With proper transparency, individuals feel a sense of safety and assurance. In return, organizations get more data because individuals now feel taken care of and have the trust needed to provide data.

Time to re-think how you handle consumers’ data

The advantage of these regulations is users’ increased consciousness about their data. This is where alternatives come in handy. They provide you with privacy features you need to comply with laws and obtain the data you want. So, thinking about making the switch to a Google Analytics alternative? Here’s what you need to know.

Addressing concerns about switching to an alternative analytics solution

A lot of users may be hesitant to make the switch. It makes sense—Google has dominated the marketplace for so long that it might feel like too big of a hassle to switch. For a marketing director or CMO to suggest using a different analytics tool and then for that tool to have even more limitations than the last would not be a good look.

You need to make an informed decision and choose the platform whose feature sets fit the organization’s needs to process user-level data while building trust with visitors. Here are the facts and myths when switching:

I’ll lose historical data.

This is a fact, but not for long. Some alternatives have developed data importers in the wake of Universal Analytics (Google Analytics v3) being deprecated.

It’s expensive and hard to switch.

This is a myth. Alternatives are built with easier user interfaces, use similar measurement methodologies, and often have solutions to help with Google Tag’s migrations.

Alternatives don’t offer demographic data. 

This is true: Google’s first-party data add sex, age group, and interests to profile data, and none of the alternatives can offer such data enrichment.

I miss some reporting capabilities.

This is false. Each alternative has unique reporting capabilities, and some are very flexible, allowing for more transformations and data exports than Universal Analytics.

It is easier to run advertising campaigns with Universal Analytics.

This is true. There is deep integration with Google Analytics and Google Ads/Google Marketing Platform, which gives access to an extensive repertoire of data.

I’ll lose my rank in Google Search.

This is a myth. Alternatives’ customers don’t report a lower rank in Google Search. Make sure your site is fast, mobile-friendly, popular (links) and with complete metadata.

The mindset to take when switching.

Marketers considering switching to a new platform need to take a new analytics mindset. We are experiencing a rapidly rising awareness that data is of value and must be protected. Since the future of marketing requires users’ consent, the vendor you choose must allow you to perform analytics in a privacy-friendly way.

Our intention with Piwik PRO Analytics Suite has always been to give clients powerful analytics capabilities along with key privacy and security features. The user interface and feature sets are similar to Universal Analytics, so marketers feel at home when switching to our platform.

Piwik PRO is geared towards both delivering valuable insights and privacy and compliance. Notably, switching to Piwik PRO excludes the privacy and compliance issues associated with Google Analytics to collect data predictably and sustainably. There’s both a free and paid plan, which allows different organizations to get an analytics service tailored to their needs.  If you’d like to learn more about Google Analytics alternatives or get more information on the Piwik PRO Analytics Suite, visit piwik.pro.

This article was written by Maciej Zawadzinski, CEO, Piwik PRO.


About The Author

GA4 isnt all its cracked up to be What wouldGA4 isnt all its cracked up to be What would

Piwik PRO makes powerful, privacy-compliant analytics software and offers high-touch support, so customers can get the most out of their data. Piwik PRO Analytics Suite provides flexible data collection and reports in addition to consent management, tag management and a customer data platform. Analytics professionals from leading organizations, such as the Government of the Netherlands, Crédit Agricole and Greiner, optimize customer and user journeys with Piwik PRO.

Source link

Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address

MARKETING

Why We Are Always ‘Clicking to Buy’, According to Psychologists

Published

on

Why We Are Always 'Clicking to Buy', According to Psychologists

Amazon pillows.

(more…)

Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address
Continue Reading

MARKETING

A deeper dive into data, personalization and Copilots

Published

on

A deeper dive into data, personalization and Copilots

Salesforce launched a collection of new, generative AI-related products at Connections in Chicago this week. They included new Einstein Copilots for marketers and merchants and Einstein Personalization.

To better understand, not only the potential impact of the new products, but the evolving Salesforce architecture, we sat down with Bobby Jania, CMO, Marketing Cloud.

Dig deeper: Salesforce piles on the Einstein Copilots

Salesforce’s evolving architecture

It’s hard to deny that Salesforce likes coming up with new names for platforms and products (what happened to Customer 360?) and this can sometimes make the observer wonder if something is brand new, or old but with a brand new name. In particular, what exactly is Einstein 1 and how is it related to Salesforce Data Cloud?

“Data Cloud is built on the Einstein 1 platform,” Jania explained. “The Einstein 1 platform is our entire Salesforce platform and that includes products like Sales Cloud, Service Cloud — that it includes the original idea of Salesforce not just being in the cloud, but being multi-tenancy.”

Data Cloud — not an acquisition, of course — was built natively on that platform. It was the first product built on Hyperforce, Salesforce’s new cloud infrastructure architecture. “Since Data Cloud was on what we now call the Einstein 1 platform from Day One, it has always natively connected to, and been able to read anything in Sales Cloud, Service Cloud [and so on]. On top of that, we can now bring in, not only structured but unstructured data.”

That’s a significant progression from the position, several years ago, when Salesforce had stitched together a platform around various acquisitions (ExactTarget, for example) that didn’t necessarily talk to each other.

“At times, what we would do is have a kind of behind-the-scenes flow where data from one product could be moved into another product,” said Jania, “but in many of those cases the data would then be in both, whereas now the data is in Data Cloud. Tableau will run natively off Data Cloud; Commerce Cloud, Service Cloud, Marketing Cloud — they’re all going to the same operational customer profile.” They’re not copying the data from Data Cloud, Jania confirmed.

Another thing to know is tit’s possible for Salesforce customers to import their own datasets into Data Cloud. “We wanted to create a federated data model,” said Jania. “If you’re using Snowflake, for example, we more or less virtually sit on your data lake. The value we add is that we will look at all your data and help you form these operational customer profiles.”

Let’s learn more about Einstein Copilot

“Copilot means that I have an assistant with me in the tool where I need to be working that contextually knows what I am trying to do and helps me at every step of the process,” Jania said.

For marketers, this might begin with a campaign brief developed with Copilot’s assistance, the identification of an audience based on the brief, and then the development of email or other content. “What’s really cool is the idea of Einstein Studio where our customers will create actions [for Copilot] that we hadn’t even thought about.”

Here’s a key insight (back to nomenclature). We reported on Copilot for markets, Copilot for merchants, Copilot for shoppers. It turns out, however, that there is just one Copilot, Einstein Copilot, and these are use cases. “There’s just one Copilot, we just add these for a little clarity; we’re going to talk about marketing use cases, about shoppers’ use cases. These are actions for the marketing use cases we built out of the box; you can build your own.”

It’s surely going to take a little time for marketers to learn to work easily with Copilot. “There’s always time for adoption,” Jania agreed. “What is directly connected with this is, this is my ninth Connections and this one has the most hands-on training that I’ve seen since 2014 — and a lot of that is getting people using Data Cloud, using these tools rather than just being given a demo.”

What’s new about Einstein Personalization

Salesforce Einstein has been around since 2016 and many of the use cases seem to have involved personalization in various forms. What’s new?

“Einstein Personalization is a real-time decision engine and it’s going to choose next-best-action, next-best-offer. What is new is that it’s a service now that runs natively on top of Data Cloud.” A lot of real-time decision engines need their own set of data that might actually be a subset of data. “Einstein Personalization is going to look holistically at a customer and recommend a next-best-action that could be natively surfaced in Service Cloud, Sales Cloud or Marketing Cloud.”

Finally, trust

One feature of the presentations at Connections was the reassurance that, although public LLMs like ChatGPT could be selected for application to customer data, none of that data would be retained by the LLMs. Is this just a matter of written agreements? No, not just that, said Jania.

“In the Einstein Trust Layer, all of the data, when it connects to an LLM, runs through our gateway. If there was a prompt that had personally identifiable information — a credit card number, an email address — at a mimum, all that is stripped out. The LLMs do not store the output; we store the output for auditing back in Salesforce. Any output that comes back through our gateway is logged in our system; it runs through a toxicity model; and only at the end do we put PII data back into the answer. There are real pieces beyond a handshake that this data is safe.”

Source link

Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address
Continue Reading

MARKETING

Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads (And How To Fix It)

Published

on

Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads (And How To Fix It)

Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To

You ask the head of marketing how the team is doing and get a giant thumbs up. 👍

“Our MQLs are up!”

“Website conversion rates are at an all-time high!”

“Email click rates have never been this good!”

But when you ask the head of sales the same question, you get the response that echoes across sales desks worldwide — the leads from marketing suck. 

If you’re in this boat, you’re not alone. The issue of “leads from marketing suck” is a common situation in most organizations. In a HubSpot survey, only 9.1% of salespeople said leads they received from marketing were of very high quality.

Why do sales teams hate marketing-generated leads? And how can marketers help their sales peers fall in love with their leads? 

Let’s dive into the answers to these questions. Then, I’ll give you my secret lead gen kung-fu to ensure your sales team loves their marketing leads. 

Marketers Must Take Ownership

“I’ve hit the lead goal. If sales can’t close them, it’s their problem.”

How many times have you heard one of your marketers say something like this? When your teams are heavily siloed, it’s not hard to see how they get to this mindset — after all, if your marketing metrics look strong, they’ve done their part, right?

Not necessarily. 

The job of a marketer is not to drive traffic or even leads. The job of the marketer is to create messaging and offers that lead to revenue. Marketing is not a 100-meter sprint — it’s a relay race. The marketing team runs the first leg and hands the baton to sales to sprint to the finish.

​​

via GIPHY

To make leads valuable beyond the vanity metric of watching your MQLs tick up, you need to segment and nurture them. Screen the leads to see if they meet the parameters of your ideal customer profile. If yes, nurture them to find out how close their intent is to a sale. Only then should you pass the leads to sales. 

Lead Quality Control is a Bitter Pill that Works

Tighter quality control might reduce your overall MQLs. Still, it will ensure only the relevant leads go to sales, which is a win for your team and your organization.

This shift will require a mindset shift for your marketing team: instead of living and dying by the sheer number of MQLs, you need to create a collaborative culture between sales and marketing. Reinforce that “strong” marketing metrics that result in poor leads going to sales aren’t really strong at all.  

When you foster this culture of collaboration and accountability, it will be easier for the marketing team to receive feedback from sales about lead quality without getting defensive. 

Remember, the sales team is only holding marketing accountable so the entire organization can achieve the right results. It’s not sales vs marketing — it’s sales and marketing working together to get a great result. Nothing more, nothing less. 

We’ve identified the problem and where we need to go. So, how you do you get there?

Fix #1: Focus On High ROI Marketing Activities First

What is more valuable to you:

  • One more blog post for a few more views? 
  • One great review that prospective buyers strongly relate to?

Hopefully, you’ll choose the latter. After all, talking to customers and getting a solid testimonial can help your sales team close leads today.  Current customers talking about their previous issues, the other solutions they tried, why they chose you, and the results you helped them achieve is marketing gold.

On the other hand, even the best blog content will take months to gain enough traction to impact your revenue.

Still, many marketers who say they want to prioritize customer reviews focus all their efforts on blog content and other “top of the funnel” (Awareness, Acquisition, and Activation) efforts. 

The bottom half of the growth marketing funnel (Retention, Reputation, and Revenue) often gets ignored, even though it’s where you’ll find some of the highest ROI activities.

1716755163 123 Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To1716755163 123 Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To

Most marketers know retaining a customer is easier than acquiring a new one. But knowing this and working with sales on retention and account expansion are two different things. 

When you start focusing on retention, upselling, and expansion, your entire organization will feel it, from sales to customer success. These happier customers will increase your average account value and drive awareness through strong word of mouth, giving you one heck of a win/win.

Winning the Retention, Reputation, and Referral game also helps feed your Awareness, Acquisition, and Activation activities:

  • Increasing customer retention means more dollars stay within your organization to help achieve revenue goals and fund lead gen initiatives.
  • A fully functioning referral system lowers your customer acquisition cost (CAC) because these leads are already warm coming in the door.
  • Case studies and reviews are powerful marketing assets for lead gen and nurture activities as they demonstrate how you’ve solved identical issues for other companies.

Remember that the bottom half of your marketing and sales funnel is just as important as the top half. After all, there’s no point pouring leads into a leaky funnel. Instead, you want to build a frictionless, powerful growth engine that brings in the right leads, nurtures them into customers, and then delights those customers to the point that they can’t help but rave about you.

So, build a strong foundation and start from the bottom up. You’ll find a better return on your investment. 

Fix #2: Join Sales Calls to Better Understand Your Target Audience

You can’t market well what you don’t know how to sell.

Your sales team speaks directly to customers, understands their pain points, and knows the language they use to talk about those pains. Your marketing team needs this information to craft the perfect marketing messaging your target audience will identify with.

When marketers join sales calls or speak to existing customers, they get firsthand introductions to these pain points. Often, marketers realize that customers’ pain points and reservations are very different from those they address in their messaging. 

Once you understand your ideal customers’ objections, anxieties, and pressing questions, you can create content and messaging to remove some of these reservations before the sales call. This effort removes a barrier for your sales team, resulting in more SQLs.

Fix #3: Create Collateral That Closes Deals

One-pagers, landing pages, PDFs, decks — sales collateral could be anything that helps increase the chance of closing a deal. Let me share an example from Lean Labs. 

Our webinar page has a CTA form that allows visitors to talk to our team. Instead of a simple “get in touch” form, we created a drop-down segmentation based on the user’s challenge and need. This step helps the reader feel seen, gives them hope that they’ll receive real value from the interaction, and provides unique content to users based on their selection.

1716755163 298 Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To1716755163 298 Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To

So, if they select I need help with crushing it on HubSpot, they’ll get a landing page with HubSpot-specific content (including a video) and a meeting scheduler. 

Speaking directly to your audience’s needs and pain points through these steps dramatically increases the chances of them booking a call. Why? Because instead of trusting that a generic “expert” will be able to help them with their highly specific problem, they can see through our content and our form design that Lean Labs can solve their most pressing pain point. 

Fix #4: Focus On Reviews and Create an Impact Loop

A lot of people think good marketing is expensive. You know what’s even more expensive? Bad marketing

To get the best ROI on your marketing efforts, you need to create a marketing machine that pays for itself. When you create this machine, you need to think about two loops: the growth loop and the impact loop.

1716755163 789 Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To1716755163 789 Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To
  • Growth loop — Awareness ➡ Acquisition ➡ Activation ➡ Revenue ➡ Awareness: This is where most marketers start. 
  • Impact loop — Results ➡ Reviews ➡ Retention ➡ Referrals ➡ Results: This is where great marketers start. 

Most marketers start with their growth loop and then hope that traction feeds into their impact loop. However, the reality is that starting with your impact loop is going to be far more likely to set your marketing engine up for success

Let me share a client story to show you what this looks like in real life.

Client Story: 4X Website Leads In A Single Quarter

We partnered with a health tech startup looking to grow their website leads. One way to grow website leads is to boost organic traffic, of course, but any organic play is going to take time. If you’re playing the SEO game alone, quadrupling conversions can take up to a year or longer.

But we did it in a single quarter. Here’s how.

We realized that the startup’s demos were converting lower than industry standards. A little more digging showed us why: our client was new enough to the market that the average person didn’t trust them enough yet to want to invest in checking out a demo. So, what did we do?

We prioritized the last part of the funnel: reputation.

We ran a 5-star reputation campaign to collect reviews. Once we had the reviews we needed, we showcased them at critical parts of the website and then made sure those same reviews were posted and shown on other third-party review platforms. 

Remember that reputation plays are vital, and they’re one of the plays startups often neglect at best and ignore at worst. What others say about your business is ten times more important than what you say about yourself

By providing customer validation at critical points in the buyer journey, we were able to 4X the website leads in a single quarter!

1716755164 910 Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To1716755164 910 Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To

So, when you talk to customers, always look for opportunities to drive review/referral conversations and use them in marketing collateral throughout the buyer journey. 

Fix #5: Launch Phantom Offers for Higher Quality Leads 

You may be reading this post thinking, okay, my lead magnets and offers might be way off the mark, but how will I get the budget to create a new one that might not even work?

It’s an age-old issue: marketing teams invest way too much time and resources into creating lead magnets that fail to generate quality leads

One way to improve your chances of success, remain nimble, and stay aligned with your audience without breaking the bank is to create phantom offers, i.e., gauge the audience interest in your lead magnet before you create them.

For example, if you want to create a “World Security Report” for Chief Security Officers, don’t do all the research and complete the report as Step One. Instead, tease the offer to your audience before you spend time making it. Put an offer on your site asking visitors to join the waitlist for this report. Then wait and see how that phantom offer converts. 

This is precisely what we did for a report by Allied Universal that ended up generating 80 conversions before its release.

1716755164 348 Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To1716755164 348 Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To

The best thing about a phantom offer is that it’s a win/win scenario: 

  • Best case: You get conversions even before you create your lead magnet.
  • Worst case: You save resources by not creating a lead magnet no one wants.  

Remember, You’re On The Same Team 

We’ve talked a lot about the reasons your marketing leads might suck. However, remember that it’s not all on marketers, either. At the end of the day, marketing and sales professionals are on the same team. They are not in competition with each other. They are allies working together toward a common goal. 

Smaller companies — or anyone under $10M in net new revenue — shouldn’t even separate sales and marketing into different departments. These teams need to be so in sync with one another that your best bet is to align them into a single growth team, one cohesive front with a single goal: profitable customer acquisition.

Interested in learning more about the growth marketing mindset? Check out the Lean Labs Growth Playbook that’s helped 25+ B2B SaaS marketing teams plan, budget, and accelerate growth.


Disruptive Design Raising the Bar of Content Marketing with Graphic

Source link

Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address
Continue Reading

Trending