Google Analytics Premium
For years we have been told Quality Score is everything to do with relevancy, a model designed to help the little guy achieve the same exposure as those with the most substantial budgets. Then, there was Android and Chrome, both open platforms designed to give developers as much freedom as needed to provide rich user experiences for the masses. Has Google decided one or two of its products should help out the bottom line a bit?
Yes, Google has released a premium version of Google Analytics in a move that will see it compete with the likes of Omniture, Coremetrics and Webtrends. But what will be different, and how will Google persuade anyone to part with the eye watering reported $150,000 a year? Let's examine the key facts Google believes will help it find its footing.
Data: Google promises you no longer have to suffer sampled data reports and what's more, it will be accurate and instant - or within at least 4 hours of it actually happening. That is a big leap from the sometimes questionable data found within Google Analytics (GA), but not the showstopper. No, this is where Google is allowing you to own the data which goes some way to alleviating the fear mongers and conspiracy theorists amongst us.
Support: Support for existing products is mixed at best, with Google reserving the best service for those that invest heavily in its platforms. Competitors already have vast support teams and networks in place, well versed in the art of after sales service. GA on the other hand is designed for simplicity with users expected to find their own feet. Trying to get any help from a GA expert actually employed by Google is nigh on impossible so this will present a major challenge. No doubt Google has the financial clout to train an army in double quick time, but the processes and know how already in place with the likes of Omniture take years to get right.
Attribution: In a marketplace where a new channel pops up almost daily, it is getting increasingly important to attribute a sale or a lead appropriately. Having a clear understanding of this throughout the marketing mix can even define your budget. Premium goes some way to addressing this with predefined models. However how successfully the tool will handle real attribution, and if at all de-duplication, outside of its existing products, remains to be seen.
Service Level Agreements (SLAs): All your collection, processing, reporting and ownership needs are covered and if by any chance there is a slip up, you will be compensated. This is a pretty confident step from Google, and who would bet against it. What will be interesting is to see how data sets match up for those that take the plunge, whether comparing the free version or a paid competitor.
So will Google make this a success and is it really forgetting about the little guys? The challenge will lie in convincing those already using a competitor that they can have it better with Google, or with taking existing advanced users of the free tool, to the next level. With the sales team at Google ever expanding, I'm sure we will see this added to the list of YouTube, Mobile, Google Display Network (GDN) cross-sells before long. This change in tactic may even bring about more advanced features in the free version as premium features mature and become hand-me-downs. We may even start to see more readily available GA experts, all of which could actually end up benefitting the little guys.