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Google Analytics User Conference: A Synopsis

|Oct 10|magazine14 min read

Provided by Kathryn Galland

Kathryn Galland is Digital Communications Specialist at Loves Data, a digital marketing agency in Sydney specialising in Google Analytics and Google AdWords.

What happens when you take a senior Google analyst, bring him to Australia, blend in local Googlers, throw in a little digital marketing and mix with two Google Certified Partners? You produce Australia’s first Google Analytics User Conference, a fusion of optimisation tidbits and guidance on data measurement with insights into understanding the value of marketing online.

The unofficial theme for September’s conference, presented by local digital marketing companies Loves Data and Internetrix, might have been the need to better understand customer behaviour in order to retain them by analysing quantitative and qualitative measurement.

At Google Analytics conferences this year in San Francisco and Amsterdam, Google hinted at moving its analytics product toward a more ‘Customer Centric Analytics platform.’ Word at Sydney’s conference was no different.

The message was reiterated by the keynote speaker and Google’s own Analytics Advocate Justin Cutroni, who flew from the east coast of the United States to present at the Sydney conference.

“We’ve been so focused on the acquisition of customers in digital analytics, we haven’t really talked a lot about retaining them,” Cutroni explained. “I think over the next few years we’re going to be focused on how do we measure and better understand the retention of our customers.”

The aim of Google Analytics is to tap into visitor behaviour at a more profound level of analysis, bridging the gap between various online and offline marketing channels.

So, what is Google’s plan to help users achieve this feat?

In the future, Google Analytics will likely expand to capture customer visits across multiple devices and allow users to better integrate external marketing and lead data into the product. Thus, providing marketers with a more complete view of customer behaviour.

Presently, that holistic picture is what’s missing from the data sets, according to Cutroni:

“We’re still in a very web-centric world when you use attribution modelling. But that’s not the business world. There are conversions coming from other places. There are different interactions. We don’t have all of that data.”

Yet, more data about visitor behaviour is becoming accessible. Google Analytics’ Multi-Channel Funnels allows users to view visitor interactions across digital media channels leading up to a conversion or purchase.

“I think that’s the wave of the future in terms of understanding the value of your marketing,” Cutroni remarked about the feature.

Whether tracking mobile websites and applications, examining the value of social media campaigns, performing optimisation testing or improving marketing return on investment (ROI)—subjects discussed at the conference—each objective is measurable within Google Analytics.

Presenting on improving marketing return on investment (ROI), Loves Data’s Digital Account Manager Aisling Purcell, explained what measurement means to the businesses she works with.

“In my role, I use analytics every day—and sometimes use a combination of all of these metrics-—to single out the traffic channels and campaigns that are performing for our clients so we can shift marketing budgets accordingly,” Purcell said.

For Cutroni, segmenting data and employing custom variables is key to refining analytics to best suit the needs of a particular business.

“The closer you can align Google Analytics, or any analytics tool, with your business, the better the measurement is going to be and the better your understanding of the behaviour of your website visitors,” Cutroni said.

“Our next challenge is integrating this level of reporting and data-driven decision making into everything we do marketing-wise,” according to Brett Kelly, guest speaker and owner of Kelly+Partners Chartered Accountants.

“New clients are converted offline, so it’s a matter of educating all the staff handling the lead around what goes on behind the scenes to make the phones ring.”

While data analysts can provide insight into the world of online marketing, ultimately, it is marketers and business executives who decide whether to implement data-driven analysis.

The more businesses are switched ‘on-line’ and understand the marketing and business value of analytics tools, the easier it will be for businesses to get in front of the customer.

In terms of understanding the future of digital analytics, Cutroni reckons Australia stands at the forefront of the changes, because Australia is “a place where people understand the value of information.”

Thumbnail image for GAUC_speakers with Presenting Partners Loves Data and Internetrix in front of The Mint.jpeg

GAUC speakers with Presenting Partners Loves Data and Internetrix in front of The Mint

[Photos snapped by Paul Ree]