May 12 2014 | by ROBIN PAINTER
As digital marketing grows ever stronger, so does the need to collect data to measure and optimise performance of all digital activity.
That digital activity is across multiple platforms, devices and screen sizes, and businesses are adapting their marketing efforts to ensure their message is being communicated effectively across the board.
In fact, around 20% of all media spend is on integrated multi-screen campaigns, which is expected to grow to 50% by 2016.
But, how do we track the user journey from screen to screen and device to device, attributing a conversion to a particular campaign to justify the marketing spend? With Universal Analytics, this is now possible.
When you look at Universal Analytics (UA) for the first time, you’ll think that not a lot has changed - the interface is pretty much the same as before. However, Universal Analytics brings with it some key changes and improvements to the way we track users.
UA’s User ID feature allows businesses to track users across multiple devices. This feature includes some really insightful reports to help understand which devices and behaviors generate greater value.
For example, the device overlap report will help you identify what devices a visitor used to access your content, and the device paths report will show the last five devices that were used in the lead up to a conversion, as demonstrated below.
However, in order for the User ID feature to work throughout Universal Analytics, a user needs to authenticate with your website through a sign-in facility, so that you can pass the User ID into Universal Analytics.
Unless you require your users to sign-in, you will not be able to fully appreciate the benefit of cross device measurement and some of the other features outlined in this blog post.
UA uses the Measurement Protocol to allow you to send data to UA from any system or device. For the first time, this will allow you to track offline activity by gathering data from various electronic devices.
For example, if you are a retailer with high street stores, you could pass information into UA from your footfall measurement devices. Or, you could send data from call center systems, point of sale systems, etc.
In Universal Analytics you can send information from your customer database (CRM) to give you additional context in your reports.
For example, by associating age demographics to User IDs, you can see how different age groups access different types of content, and which acquisition sources are best at engaging with different groups of users.
Other positive changes introduced by Universal Analytics include:
Eventually, Universal Analytics will replace classic Google Analytics, which we’ve all become accustomed to over the years. However, this isn’t going to happen any time soon, and we have at least 2 years to move across to Universal Analytics.
The Universal Analytics timeline is broken down into 4 phases:
At AlphaQuad, we recommend the following migration process to our clients:
We will be in touch with all existing clients to let you know when your sites will migrate to Universal Analytics, but in the meantime if you have any questions then please just get in touch and, as always, we’ll be happy to help.
For anybody else who needs help moving to Universal Analytics, then just give us a call on 01789 491 610 and our team of experts are on hand to support you.
Universal Analytics: What you need to do next...