Brands who can gather all their customer data in one place and extract meaningful insights will be able to develop personalised, engaging customer experiences.

April 2016

The founder of Google Analytics, Paul Muret, believes brands face a greater challenge than ever to understand the full context of the consumer journey. However, it is vital they do so if they are to develop superlative products, services and customer experiences.

Marketers need to be able stitch together all of a user’s interactions on the path to purchase rather than only measuring one online session or actions on a single device. But it is harder to assemble a complete view of consumer behaviour and this behaviour is only intensifying with the mass adoption of mobile.

However, the marketer’s Holy Grail of being able to collate relevant data and plug it into a system that enables detailed audience profiling and targeting, together with the essential capability to measure the effect on brand awareness and offline sales, can now be realised.

To help deliver a full customer view, Google has launched a new suite called Google Analytics 360. The suite is a set of integrated data and marketing analytics products that can aid marketers in understanding consumer behaviour. Marketers can still use individual products and Google remains committed to an open and agnostic platform philosophy but GA 360 will be a great partner in assisting innovation.

Muret, now Vice President, Display, Video & Analytics, said at Ad Week Europe 2016: “I think paying attention and spending the energy, time and resource to understand what is your engagement with users across these large journeys - really understanding the intent and context in each of these moments - is incredibly important. Effectively you are trying to get closer to your customers.”

Mark Creighton, Chief Operating Officer at Dentsu Aegis UK, added: “Google has always been a hugely powerful insight tool role for consumer behaviour, and its role in helping clients understand consumer behaviour is one of its most powerful assets.”

Brands have already developed clever initiatives based on search and data. For instance, Hilton integrated data that allowed it to predict airport closures, and then used programmatic to serve relevant ads for local hotels to audiences of stranded travellers. GA 360 offers the chance to further improve products, services and marketing. As Creighton stressed, to build a “sustainable relationship” between customers and brands, “smart decisions” need to be made about creating meaningful, relevant experiences.