10 Reasons Why Google Analytics Premium Won’t Cut It

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10 Reasons Why Google Analytics Premium Won’t Cut It


Google unveiled a week ago their new premium analytics package at a whopping $150,000 per year. After reading through some of the new features and benefits it’s clear that über-geeks like me would love to get our mitts on it and play. However, even though the new platform has a much richer and real-time data set it still contains the same problems highlighted in the 16 Reasons NOT to Use Google Analytics for Inbound Marketing.

Google Analytics PremiumGoogle boasts of simplicity and support.  However, there is nothing simple about Google Analytics and to harvest the best most powerful decision making data from it requires a fulltime developer.  Below are some of the Google Analytics Premium features.

  • 4-hour data freshness
  • Dedicated processing power
  • Service Level Agreement (SLA)
  • Up to 50 custom variables
  • Attribution modeling
  • Higher level of product support that includes training

Most of the prepackaged marketing automation software solutions provide better more succinct decision making data, as opposed to mountains upon mountains of data which doesn’t do a good job of growing a brand’s inbound middle of the funnel. In addition, most marketing automation software doesn’t require a fulltime developer.

Why You Shouldn’t Use Google Analytics Premium for Inbound Marketing    

  1. Insights are indeed deep regarding brand owned web properties (website, microsites, landing pages, etc.). However, aggregating robust disparate data across all channels and platforms (social media, email, etc.) is not likely because very few brands own their own social media profiles and email platforms and therefore will not have full access and privileges to the backend of these websites.   
  2. Because Google Analytics Premium isn’t 100% cross-channel it can’t provide robust insight into the entire customer lifecycle – from first click to last conversion.
  3. It has no lead nurturing triggered by its data and visitor behavior – Lead nurturing has moved to new heights with the roll out of new multi-channel campaigns. Engagement with prospects has moved beyond the boundaries of a website. The capability to send nurturing messages or content based on prospect behaviors across channels (social media, geosocial, mobile, support, billing, CRM, website, etc.) is critical for expanding middle and bottom of the funnel leads and prospects.
  4. Google Analytics Premium doesn’t listen to social media conversation – Knowing whether or not a prospect who’s visited a brand’s website is talking about the brand or a competitor is valuable information to have when defining the customer lifecycle and building multi-channel behavior-triggered lead nurturing.
  5. Tracking how long it takes a prospect to move from first touch to conversion across multiple channels via IP and email address requires a full time developer to build and constantly fine-tune.
  6. It doesn’t clearly define, report or translate the behaviors of your best customers as they move down the funnel across channels to purchase.
  7. Tracking which website elements, when engaged, lead to a sale via IP and email address requires highly-advanced ongoing customized development.
  8. The new Google reporting tool doesn’t intuitively report on which content accelerates leads through your sales and marketing funnel across channels. It’s nearly impossible to create a velocity plan in order to maximize the middle of the funnel.
  9. Gaining a complete clear understanding into what are the most effective channels to effectively drive visitors to convert requires lots of customization and number crunching.
  10. Developing complete insights into what are the most influential steps along the multi-channel conversion path is nearly impossible.

It would have been very easy to avoid creating a top ten list and just settle for one reason – the price. However, it’s important to point out that what CEOs, boards-of-directors and senior management really want to know is how many leads/prospects did cross-channel activities bring in and how many of them converted.

What marketers really want to know is how did a prospects land on a particular online or offline channel, what paths did they take across the channels, which paths converted and what content converted them to sales. That way, they can repeat and refine. Google Analytics and Google Analytics Premium have their version of this, but it’s not complete and overly complicated. For help deploying usable advanced enterprise-level lead generation analytics watch this video.

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So, if GA isn't the right tool per your 10 reasons, then what IS, pray tell? Because all you've done here is cite a fairly significant amount of misinformation/false facts about GA. In fact, almost all of your points are *blatantly false*. Here's the rundown: 
1) True, GA can't measure what your views happen on your Twitter profile or traffic to your syndicated blog posts, but what tool can?  
2) What are you talking about here? GA isn't cross-channel? Did you miss the memo about Multi-Channel Funnels for GA Standard and Premium, and the details about the multi-channel attribution modeling in Premium? 
3) Yes, GA lacks lead nurturing, but lead nurturing isn't really a function of Web Analytics - you need a Marketing Automation platform for that anyway. So, go get that - just don't tell people that they shouldn't use a web analytics tool in the process. 
4) Um, yes, this is true also. But again, what tools DO do this? None that I know of. If you have something useful to write, like tools that do these awesome things GA doesn't, please share. IF not, again, don't tell people they shouldn't use a great tool just because it doesn't do something that nothing else out there does. 
5) Your 5th point is just plain creepy and probably breaks most organization's privacy policies. NO, Google Analytics doesn't do this, and it won't ever. IF yo want to infringe on people's privacy then yes, you'll need a fulltime developer, and a fleet of lawyers too. 
6) I have no idea what you're referring to hear. GA is awesome at segmenting your visitors and finding how the good ones use your site. Maybe you just don't know how to do that with GA? Again, don't tell us that GA shouldn't be used just because you don't know how to use it. 
7) Uhh, see point for #5. Was this just a space filler? 
8) Again, this is more of a "how to use it" issue than one of capability. I think you're also confusing web analytics with marketing automation tools again. 
9) This is just plain NOT true. If you setup GA properly, it's great at this. IF you throw the tags for GA on your site and don't put any thought into planning, implementation, or configuration, you'll get useless data. Again, use your points to tell us something - if there's a tool out there that requires no thinking and no work to give me all the insights in the world, I'd love to know about it. 
10) Not so. Set things up properly. Use content scoring. Use goals properly. Score sessions and content value indices. 
And about price... really? IF you don't want to pay it, use the free Standard Edition - it'll do everything on your "won't do" list that matters anyway, without the price. 
Posted @ Friday, October 07, 2011 3:41 PM by Caleb Whitmore
I'm really glad you left this comment and your passion really shows. I not only appreciate passion, but I honor it. Passion is what drives us to succeed, and you certainly have or will. 
Since this is a Friday night and not going to address every accusation, but I will clarify a few things: 
I'm not a hater of GA. In fact, I've been using it since 2007 and still do today. I purposely italicized certain words to stress that GA is much more gracile as it pertains to the above points when juxtaposed against many marketing automation packages. Even with it's multi-channel function the data is not as meaningful as many marketing automation packages (Notice I used robust and disparate in point 1).  
Just because GA does something doesn't mean it's the best way. I can travel to the next town over to the east by going west and traveling around the world, but I wouldn't. However, if that is all I know than I'll probably stick with it and defend it. 
GA is really good at reporting on generation one web properties. With some customization it does a decent job of reporting on generation two (TOFU) web properties. However, it doesn't do what is required to do full fledged MOFU. For clarification on these see: 
I encourage you to demo software like HubSpot Enterprise, Marketo and Eloqua. Aside from what I mentioned above, these programs do something GA will never do - rather than just report on data they also act on it. It's clear you have never used any of these, because if you have you wouldn't say things like, "GA is great at this." If all you've ever driven is an Acura and you think it's fast you shouldn't assume it can keep up with a Ferrari. 
Many of the data points required to do full fledged MOFU do indeed exist in GA, but requires lots of customization to attain. I'd much rather go buy a Ferrari to drive off of the lot than a Honda car kit witch needs built in order to drive it.  
There's a reason thousands of companies have abandoned GA for marketing automation. Don't you think it might have something to do with the points mentioned above?  
What I don't want you to take away is a belief that I think GA doesn't have copious amounts of meaningful data or that it can't be customized. For most businesses out there GA represents a good solution for their needs. However, from an enterprise perspective, GAs value proposition doesn't compare to some of the software mentioned above, although it is impressive.  
Thanks again for adding to the conversation - it's very much appreciated. Now it's time to go play with my kids :) 
Posted @ Friday, October 07, 2011 6:13 PM by Chad H. Pollitt
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