It’s been hard to avoid the hype and excitement in the digital analytics and marketing community surrounding Universal Analytics (UA). UA is the next generation of Google Analytics and much has been written about its technical prowess and capabilities. All this hype has served to significantly raise the expectations of marketers and data analysts about the opportunities that UA promises. Cardinal Path has been fortunate to work with some “fashion forward” clients, where we’ve been able to leverage UA to deliver unprecedented customer insights, true marketing line-of-sight, and business value to clients. One such client is Bombardier Recreational Products, a world leader in the design, manufacturing, distribution, and marketing of motorized recreational vehicles, more commonly referred to as BRP. The perfect alignment A decade ago I was senior web architect at BRP — responsible for the technological foundation of their multinational, multi-brand online presence, ecommerce and dealer management system (and leveraging data at every step of the way). When BRP called Cardinal Path seeking an independent, trusted third-party advisor to work with their digital and advertising agencies, I jumped at the opportunity. At Cardinal Path, we have many clients who have retained us to play just such a role, i.e. a “Digital Agency of Record.” In this case, BRP was undertaking a complete website overhaul, on the Adobe CQ5 platform, to coincide with a major advertising campaign across multiple brands. No Risk, No Reward One aspect of our role as Digital Agency of Record (DAoR) was to guide and support BRP in its desire to grow their newly formed Digital Center of Excellence. We began by conducting a digital analytics maturity assessment which gave us clear direction on what areas to focus and invest in. These were:
- Analytics governance: Review the role and responsibilities of all parties involved with digital analytics (e.g. web development, design, marketing strategy and execution, etc.) and explicitly define the governance and reporting relationships within the Center of Excellence;
- KPI definition: Define and align around Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that reflect a single common source of truth, and which fuel everyone’s understanding of the strategy and tactics that contribute toward shared goals and desired online outcomes;
- Empower via the right tools: Analysis of how data was to be used and socialized in the organization revealed the need for a single common window into all data sources (web, mobile, email, social, CRM, sales, etc.), along with training on how to leverage and make use of the data. We therefore selected Tableau Server as the data integration platform of choice to ensure a smooth and steady flow of data; and
- Strong data collection foundation: recognizing the many channels and future plans across their many brands, we settled on an approach to tagging using Google Tag Manager (GTM), to deploy all tags (including Universal Analytics & Pointroll tracking pixels).
- Expand the line of sight: bringing display network, Facebook and Bing cost data directly into Universal Analytics;
- Understand all channels: defining custom channels representing their own, unique marketing mix, and assessing the contribution of each marketing channel — including TV and print;
- Learn and optimize marketing spend with clear business outcomes in mind through pre-defined and data-driven attribution modeling.