What Google Analytics can’t tell you? Introduction to User Journey Analytics

Nowadays, the marketing world cannot exist without the exact information about the user interactions with the business. In such a highly competitive environment, the marketing manager can no longer analyze Google Analytics traffic source report or user behavior report alone and drive real results from marketing efforts.

Meaningful insights come from data from different marketing sources. Let’s take a look at how the world of marketing and analytics is evolving, and where are we now:

  1. Web Analytics: learning about users browsing your site.
  2. Multi-channel Analytics: learning about users browsing your site and engage with your business on the other platforms (social, mobile, etc.).
  3. Omni-channel Analytics: learning about exact user engagement points with the business across devices and channels.
  4. User Journey Analytics (Intelligence): learning about real people across channels, devices, and their context-specific interaction with your business. Taking precise marketing actions based on the complete user paths to conversion.

The high-level view of your traffic is not enough. To hit the marketing KPI’s, business owners, marketers and digital analysts must dive deep into understanding the 360 degree customer view starting from the exact interaction with the content on the website to the engagements on multiple devices and channels or advertising platforms. Traffic data is important because in every single business online you need to have a general overview of your user environment. Therefore, meaningful and data-driven decision come from much deeper insights regarding users interactions with the business.

Why traditional analytics approach often fail?

Traditional analytics struggles to answer the specific question regarding user journeys. Why? Simply because the number of customer touchpoints with the business online has exceeded our expectations. It’s not viable for normal analytics packages to go to level of atomic interactions; they’re good for reporting aggregated data and that’s about it.

Nowadays we gather data from the website, point of sales, social media platforms, call centers etc. Such a massive volume of data needs a new way to present insights, especially when it comes to revealing the true user journeys. The high-level analytical approach also has its place in obtaining the overall picture of the traffic and cannot be neglected.

Here are some key reasons why every marketing manager should combine traditional analytics with more sophisticated User Journey Analytics.

Data from different sources needs a new way of visualization to show the relation between user touchpoints.

Using old school tables or charts will not reveal the complete user journey. Even the Behavior Flow report will not fulfil this promise. Why? Because you need to understand the customer interactions not only with the website but also what the user did in between sessions on different marketing mediums. The timespan between two consecutive interactions is also important and is rather neglected in standard analytics reports. At Datomni, we focus on the exact user flows between various touchpoints. We believe that user flow is the fastest way to reveal patterns in user behavior. The Graph view is able to present the relation between channels and campaigns. Remember, these graphs show the actions of particular people, and session is just one type of activity we cover.

The great challenge of data integration and unification

You cannot start the user journey analysis without the unified database about your users’ actions, not only regarding the website but also other marketing channels. The core requirement here is that you need to be able to connect data sources so that the complete journey is revealed. Without that, we are stuck in the world of web analytics with some disjoint and siloed insights regarding particular channels.

Currently, if you want to understand the user journey, you have to open the reporting suites of all marketing channels you use, plus Google Analytics reports and then try to understand how traffic behaved inside one channel and how it moved in between the channels. But yet, even if you do this, you still don’t have one central, unified profile of a given person, you only have aggregated metrics. This does allow for some optimization, but the second you decide to actually design an engaging and personalized omnichannel strategy, your tools will fall flat.

Advanced User Journey Analytics tool provides a solution to this problem. At Datomni, we focus the great deal of our attention to cover various possibles data integration between the website and marketing channels. For example, currently we’re able to connect to Google Ads, Facebook Ads, Mailchimp, Livechat, and others.

Data mismatch and conversion attribution “nightmare”

The real struggle nowadays is a great data mismatch in conversion reporting between tools. We all know the pain of data discrepancies between Google Analytics, Facebook or another marketing mediums. The second thing is the conversion attribution. For businesses that consume marketing budgets on various channels the precise information regarding the least and the most converting ads is essential. Conversion is a competitive resource and every marketing platform wants to claim their rights to it. Therefore, the only objective source of conversion information is not an advertising platform, but an objective analytics platform, just like Datomni Dataflow. Our attribution is better than both Facebook and Google’s attribution because it is based on the unified user profiles and we are not benefited for reporting conversions in any particular channel. The attribution problem can be solved when the marketing manager bases their analysis on the unified databases.

Traditional analytics covers the topic of acquisition and behavior on the website but what about retention and LTV?

This is the superior point when it comes to Customer journey Analytics. Back in the old time marketing world was “happy” with the acquisition data from different sources and some metrics regarding the customer behavior on the site. Now to drive results we need to extend the measurement and provide the high-quality metrics on user retention. Customer Journey Analytics reveals the complete story about the user after he left the website. Having such data, the marketing manager can spot the actions and channels that works best in increasing customer lifetime value and drive the user back to the business.

Wrapping up: customer journey analytics as a new tool in your arsenal

In this article, we’ve described the market motivation of our tool, Datomni Dataflow. Sign up for a free demo to see our technology in action and get access to a free trial.