Imagine, after careful consideration your organization decides that Adobe Analytics is the right system for you. Because you need to start tracking data, your in-house development team implements the out-of-the-box (OOTB) analytics integration. Your system is now up and running with Adobe Experience Manager (AEM), giving you the ability to personalize marketing campaigns and track visitor behavior.
When it comes time to start tracking performance there’s a problem. Your reporting isn’t showing the relevant data needed to showcase ROI and marketing performance. You’re only tracking page view data and your manager is upset because right now you have a much more expensive Google Analytics.
How could this have been avoided?
Make sure that the analytics integration strategy is part of the early implementation phases both for analytics and Adobe Experience Manager. Whether you’re integrating Adobe Analytics to AEM or another CMS, strategy needs to be part of the early conversations; your analytics system will evolve over time, but it needs to have a solid foundation determined from the beginning.
It’s estimated that in the next 3 years, analytics investments are expected to rise 73% (Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business August 2014 CMO Survey) Neglecting your analytics strategy and lacking the understanding of how it can accelerate your business provides your competition the upper hand. Bringing it into the conversation too late could mean costly adjustments to your page components and more development time.
If you’re lucky enough to use Adobe Experience Manager and Adobe Analytics, you have the ability to see a 360° view of your customers. Following the OOTB integration limits the type of data you can collect. Your organizational needs are unique, what you’re tracking needs to be unique as well. To get the most out of both your CMS and analytics systems, you have to start with a solid foundation. KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) and metrics change over time, having a more customized integration provides your organization with the ability to adapt to future needs.
Whether or not you have already implemented Adobe Analytics or looking to optimize your integration with Adobe Experience Manager, there are some adjustments you can make to take a step in the right direction today:
1. Define Analytics Requirements– the first step in building your foundation is to define KPIs, data passing workflows, event tracking structure, specific data usage (1st, 2nd, or 3rd party) and permission structures. Follow two rules for defining KPIs:
- Rather than ask “Can we track this?”, ask “Should we track this?”
- After developing your long list of metrics, narrow down to the critical few, roughly 3-5 metrics that relate to net income.
2. Tracking and Solution Design– document all parameters involved in the analytics implementation process including a list of variables, URL naming structure, and component needs. This includes sProps, eVars, events, online campaigns, traffic sources, channels, and any SAINT Classifications.
3. Scalable Implementation– make sure you are tying all your data together (CRM, Tag Management, CMS, Marketing Automation, etc.), discuss and document how you will connect both offline and online data, account for any future changes to the system, and decipher what future support looks like for your organization.
When integrated properly and collecting the appropriate data, analytics can be used to develop high-value, actionable reporting aimed at answering key business questions. If you’re ignoring data at any stage, you’re wasting portions of your budget. Take the next steps in leveraging your information assets to effectively gain a competitive edge in your market.