Since Google’s updated web analytics platform GA4 offers comprehensive data insights for marketers, the majority of sales for most companies still take place in the offline world and these data channels should not be ignored, writes Michael Center (pictured), CEO of the digital marketing specialist , Delacon and Igor Protsenko, partners at the data consultancy SingleView.
Google’s introduction of GA4 is perhaps the biggest change in web analytics in the last decade, and digital marketers are justifiably excited about the possibilities it offers with its event-based tracking.
Universal Analytics focused on page views and the way users switched from page to page. This is how digital marketing worked 10 years ago. Now, with an increase in single page websites that are very interactive, page views and switching between pages have become largely irrelevant from a marketing perspective. Websites and digital marketing have evolved and now the tool that tracks that commitment has evolved accordingly.
With Google Analytics 4, you can customize data measurement better than ever before. You can build an analytics platform that gathers the exact data you want, but still only looks at online behavior. However, for a complete picture, you cannot ignore offline data.
What kind of offline data do you need?
GA4 collects an amazing amount of data, but it’s still only part of the picture. Many digital marketers still think of their role in isolation – collecting leads through the website is the ultimate goal, and don’t worry about these other channels.
For many businesses, most sales take place offline. All of your marketing takes place digitally, but all sales take place in the real world or over the phone. If you can’t connect these two worlds, you can’t really understand which marketing campaigns are generating the highest sales. Telephone calls are incredibly important; 43 percent of all online search-related conversions happen over the phone, and the majority of businesses still view phone calls as their most valuable source of high-quality leads.
At first glance, it might seem like your online channels are bringing in lots of leads. However, another channel may not generate as many leads, but these leads are generally of higher quality and generate higher revenue. This is where you should spend your marketing budget. Without connecting the offline and online networks and seeing all this data in one place, marketers are hindered from making reliable decisions when it comes to optimizing the marketing budget.
Bring your online and offline data together
GA4’s customizability provides the ability to actually do things your way. Universal Analytics was very website centric. GA4 brings the web and apps together on a uniform platform. By merging this granular online data with call tracking data, you as a marketer can work on a more customer-centric view. Combine this with your sales data, all of which are tied to the online and offline customer journey, and you have a powerful tool to get the last penny out of your marketing budget.
In a world focused on digitization, marketers sometimes forget the power of offline mode
While many digital marketers are aware of the importance of offline channels, they are doing nothing about it; They say it’s too hard. Much of this behavior comes from organizations that are isolated. Different teams manage the online and offline marketing, the sales process or take care of the CRM; Offline and online data teams sit separately. In an ideal world, each of these sides can benefit from working together.
One of the problems of marketing in the offline world is that you don’t know which lead is better. Call tracking data can fix this by tracking the online behavior of offline leads. Knowing how the lead came to you and what they were looking for before they picked up the phone can help you prioritize everything in your sales process, targeting the leads who were looking for the high quality products and a higher lead-to – Sales conversion rate.
Online teams also benefit. By linking sales pitches to the online marketing that drove them, you get a more accurate cost-per-acquisition calculation for your paid media. Knowing which keywords have generated the highest sales can use all of the data to optimize your marketing, not just online conversions.
Any of the isolated pages, technological and organizational, could benefit from this shared data, but you need to make sure that there is no important data on the table.