A professor recently told me that keeping up with business is just like following your favorite sports team. As a marketing student, it’s important to always keep up to date with the strongest teams and most valuable players. While watching the Seahawks annihilate the 49ers today, I began to think about this analogy more closely.

Let me paint a picture for you. If Apple is the team that we’re rooting for, a customer clicking on an ad for the iPhone from Facebook would be a first and ten. In a perfect world, our beloved Steve Jobs would still be the equivalent of Pete Carroll. If the customer is the ball, it is Apple’s responsibility to figure out the most efficient and effective way to get the ball to the end-zone. The consumer may continue to browse the website, look up reviews, and compare options. Ultimately every interaction that the customer has with the website gets the ball further and further down the field. As soon as the customer takes the leap and buys the iPhone…

TOUCHDOWN!!

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Touchdowns look completely different for a variety of types of websites. For E-Commerce sites such as Apple, this means a sale. For lead generation sites, this may be something as simple as retaining contact information from a new lead. However you break it down, every business’s objective is to get as many touchdowns as possible.

Somewhere in the midst of rapidly growing digital trend and massive increases in consumer touch points we have uncovered the most powerful tool in the game, data. The data retrieved online allows businesses to uncover ways that it interacts with the consumer. Once businesses have started to unpack these details, digital analytics can measure the effectiveness of these interactions. From there, we can take action and improve results in the future. In other words, analytics can assist Apple in improving its plays and getting the customer to the end-zone.

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After taking a look at the analytics industry as a whole, it quickly became clear that there are five major players that are dominating the field. G2 Crowd provides business software reviews and insight based on data provided by real users. The analytics review gives us a chance to perform thorough research before making a commitment. The report from G2 Crowd summarizes surveys from hundreds of individuals that ranked software based on both user rating and market presence. As displayed below, there are several different teams assisting businesses to the end-zone but only five real MVPs.

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The upper right quadrant highlights the five top competitors. These platform leaders are have the strongest market presence while maintaining the highest customer satisfaction ratings. All five of these competitors offer similar packages. So how do we decide? After taking a closer look at reviews and features, here is the breakdown:

  • Adobe Analytics: This platform is generally for larger organizations with mass amounts of data. Customers say it is difficult to implement and takes about five months on average. The good news is that it offers ad hoc analysis and provides accurate data. Overall, Adobe scored 57 in customer satisfaction based on a scale of 100.
  • KISSMetrics: An event tracking and funnel measurement analytics tool. Many users were happy with the ease of use of the platform and it was highly rated in reaching conversion goals. This site is built to maximize your traffic by focusing on specific customer interactions. However, users complained that it is difficult to implement and has poor mobile reporting. It scored 83 in customer satisfaction.
  • Moz Pro: One of the benefits of this software is the SEO focus and ease of use. One of the advantages is that it goes beyond raw data and draws conclusions to build long term opportunities for your business. However, the cost was expensive for smaller and mid-size businesses. Customers noted that there are data limitations and reporting is hard to understand. Overall, it scored 87 in customer satisfaction.
  • Google Analytics Premium: The premium version includes increased data volume limits, expanded reports, and dedicated support. However, it rated low in the quality assurance category. It can be expensive for anything other than enterprise-size organizations. Some consumers also found the platform to be too complex for use to its fullest capability. The premium version scored an average of 71 in customer satisfaction.
  • Google Analytics: The platform with the largest market presence uses Javascript to collect user data. It is highly rated for the ease of use and comprehensiveness and is perfect for small or startup businesses. The dashboards and reporting are simple and concise which makes it easy to navigate. Another big perk: FREE. The disadvantages include a high learning curve and lack of support. This platform scored an average of 97 in customer satisfaction.

And the winner is….

google-analytics-logoIt’s clear that Google Analytics has consistently ranked highest amongst competitors for both business and personal use. Although the overall decision should be personalized based on the size and scale of your business, the free version of GA is the best option in terms of cost, versatility, and customer satisfaction.

Moral of the story: Google Analytics is the ultimate MVP

Now that we have determined GA is the cornerstone of web analytics, it’s time to time to dive in. In addition to a variety of free offerings, Google Analytics also provides an academy for the analytically challenged. These complimentary online tutorials can turn any future marketer into a Google Analytics expert. Since analytics is an essential component to any growing business, I highly recommend taking the GA fundamentals course.

Over the next week, I will be completing the Google Analytics certification program. Be sure to follow my journey for advice and tips of how to maximize your data.

Till we meet again,

Angie, your marketing guru

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