New trends and technologies as well as constant further developments of the existing one ensure that digital marketing will continue to be one of the world’s fastest-growing economic sectors in the future and progress with gigantic development steps. Current forecasts suggest that the global web analytics market will see average annual growth (CAGR) of 21% by 2026 .
A key driver in this context is the increasing focus of digital measures on performance as well as the pursuit of comparability, transparency and, as far as possible, holistic statements: regarding the economic efficiency of the funds deployed and the effectiveness of implemented measures and campaigns of a company.
The right data – in the right quality, at the right time, in the right place – as well as the motivation to use data and thus information in the best possible way for the expansion of your own business success, drives tech, data and digitally thinking companies in the market more than ever , This forces the laggards in the field of analytics to act.
Which aspects in our Estimation 2019 are particularly interesting, we explain in this article.
1. Holistic solutions – away with the data silos
Forced by companies with transnational business models, new (web) analytics possibilities mean that the providers of products and services can reach their target groups and personas in a more granular and targeted manner. Holistic and user-centric strategies enable companies to consistently deliver better campaigns, create a better customer experience, and ultimately realize higher completion rates.
Digital marketing and technology have always gone hand in hand. The best possible solutions provide deep integration of previously silo-powered systems. This allows companies to exploit and use marketing-relevant findings as quickly as possible. Speed, ie the minimization of the time window between analysis and the derivation and implementation of data-driven measures, will subsequently become a decisive success factor.
A good example of this is the cooperation between Google and Salesforce . This is characterized by the fact that it combines sales, marketing and advertising data and generates far-reaching knowledge about the users behind it.
In addition to website-related data, almost all touch points are evaluated – including offline data. Data such as e-mail or call center information was previously analyzed separately. Today, systems are using the new full-stack solutions in a data pool with other data together. As a result, valuable information can be used profitably for decision-making processes – for offer design and placement.
Full-stack solutions will become a digital competitive advantage for the companies that can afford these investments, because they have the potential to make data-driven decisions in the short term and translate them into concrete marketing measures.
2. Data-driven corporate culture and alignment of own organization to the new requirements
The new possibilities are faced with limitations. Practice shows that many companies raise more questions than answers when it comes to really exploiting the potential. This is especially true in the field of web analytics . On the one hand, innovations stand for change. On the other hand, many companies have to rethink massively in learned processes and procedures.
For example, the reporting provided by the online marketing or web analytics departments for that organization illustrates this issue. Reports and dashboards that generate the used analytics tools are similar in many companies today to a simple series of channels. Often they reflect the internal organization or the responsibilities there.
Rather than targeting the long-term value of a user or group of users and placing it at the center of digital marketing activities, many companies are prioritizing and budgeting through successive transactions. They arrange this without consideration of interactions the classical digital channels SEO , SEA, Display , Social etc. too. Many organizations are not yet able to leverage the power of Analytics to achieve user-centric marketing goals.
Opportunity: More than ever, ambitious web analysts and online marketers can act as “change agents” and bring about changes in the company. You can advise and play a defining role in the company. It is important that these change agents have a substantive claim on their own data. And that they ensure that the data complexity is taken out for other involved business units. The declared aim is to attract other business sectors in the best possible way as stakeholders for the big picture. They should communicate the really important KPIs and continuously provide for the necessary changes in the form of a data-driven corporate culture .
3. Generate added value through skillful data visualizations
A relevant trend in times of exponentially increasing amounts of data is the consolidation of information. Increasingly, companies are trying to bring together different data sources in order to generate new insights. Initially, the driver behind this development may have been the desire to no longer view data from various Excel, PDF or PowerPoint files. Meanwhile, many companies have come to the realization that they need to link data together. Otherwise, they do not make the jump away from an isolated channel assessment to a user-centered evaluation across the various touch points of a customer journey .
Native (free) or (partially chargeable) community connectors, especially for the Google Data Studio, help marketers combine various data sources into one report. Comparatively new features such as the Blend feature help users combine data from multiple sources into a new source via a primary key. In 2019, demand and demand will increase here.
4. More efficient budget allocation through attribution
However, in our experience, many users still rarely use it. Many still rate channels via the last-click model – that is, purely for financial statements. They ignore supportive channels.
In practice, this is clearly too short: how many degrees would it really have, if not another channel or an interaction with an ad had previously generated contact with the user? Can I dispense with a channel or reduce the budgets for it, just because it did not achieve any degrees at first sight? Just because companies are increasingly concerned with such issues and want to allocate the increasing online budgets more efficient, Attribution will be one of the trend topics of the year 2019.
Data aggregation and democratization pave the way. Announcements like Google Attribution or new tools (such as Google’s Search Ads 360 and Display & Video 360 marketing platform) are not helping to drive out channels on a click-only basis. More than ever, visual contacts in the display network have to be controlled intelligently and automatically, thus optimizing the budget.
5. Artificial intelligence facilitates the work of many campaign specialists and web analytics
More data from different channels, additional key figures, more individual target groups, different attribution models – the flood of information is becoming an increasingly challenging task for campaign optimization.
Campaign managers, however, are increasingly receiving better algorithmic help and artificial intelligence bid optimization and automation– not least within the web analytics tools. Smart Goals were a first, but rarely used, start in practice. Smart insights, automatic information on current developments, forecasts and anomalies are among the newer achievements with great potential.
It is already possible to enter acute questions directly into the web analysis (eg “Breakdown change in, Page views’ by default channel grouping”) and to receive answers via Natural Language Processing directly in the tool.
6. SMEs and B2B become more active
The medium-sized companies – especially B2B companies in mechanical engineering and the automotive industry – are now becoming aware that web analytics offers enormous advantages.
The interlinking between web analysis and CRM systems opens up new possibilities – for example for lead scoring, optimized targeting or market coverage analyzes. But until these possibilities can be operationally used, it is still a long way for many medium-sized companies.
Although web analysis tools are usually available there, they are only rudimentarily furnished. In addition, there is often a lack of resources for data evaluation and use. However , more and more medium-sized companies are currently investing their budgets and time in web analysis, Decisions make them more data-based or at least prepare them with the support of web analysis.
In addition, product and sometimes even top management are increasingly interested in the wealth of information provided by a well-prepared web analysis. Last but not least, decision makers regularly want to be up-to-date with dashboards and reporting on current developments.
This development will continue in 2019. However, it would be desirable for even more companies to recognize the importance and potential of an integrated CRM and web analytics process, building expertise and investing in resources.
7. New Positions, Competencies and Know-How – The Competition for Digital Talent
The demand for well-trained digital employees has long exceeded the available supply. A look at the common job search engines such as Indeed shows.
For example, the need for profiles that combine technical know-how with online marketing skills and the understanding of digital business models with key figures is growing, especially in web analysis.
For example, the “Trakker” ensures that companies can measure business-relevant information and key figures. At the same time he provides programming services (such as the Google Tag Manager), without pursuing a (classic) development career.
The prospect of acting at the interface between business requirements and technology, working in a highly workable environment and creating the necessary prerequisites from a business perspective, will become an important task for employees and companies in online marketing in the long term.
8. Data quality: garbage in, garbage out
Whether attribution or artificial intelligence – every data-driven or data-inspired decision requires as complete and “clean” data as possible . In practice, however, we often experience a lot of catching up to do. No or at least no uniform campaign tagging, missing filters or inadequate “standard” implementation of web analytics cause dubious data quality in many companies.
This not only has a negative impact on the analysis results. In the case of repeated “false” data, this causes distrust and rejection of the web analysis among all those involved, In the case of web analysis as “single source of truth”, a cross-system and cross-silo provision of data in a uniform data view and stringent definitions, etc., it throws companies back if the actual cost per lead can not be clearly determined.
The same applies in the case that this value is repeatedly questioned. Inadequate data quality also hampers the work of the campaign managers. Algorithms that learn on the basis of this data and “make decisions” to work only partially effective if the data base is corrupted.
Due to the multiple implications and the risk of making wrong decisions at different hierarchical levels, one of the most important web analytics topics for 2019 should be continuous data quality optimization for companies and agencies.
Significant impact on data quality, and thus the analysis results, has privacy. Many organizations or their legal departments and policies prevent evaluations such as cross-device tracking. And not just since the entry into force of the General Data Protection Regulation (DSGVO).
Although we are only gradually beginning to notice the consequences of the GDPR on the market, the ePrivacy Directive already floats a real sword of Damocles over the web analysis. The timing and content of the ePVO are still not finalized. But in the current version even capturing anonymised and pseudonymised information requires opt-in.
The experience of many companies that have already switched to explicit web-based advertising approval under the GDPR identifies a sharp decline in measurable data. And this leads the web analysis and the targeted (re-) targeting in the absence of too small a population to absurdity. As a result, tool providers would have to look for other tracking approaches.
10. There is not one trend – summary and outlook
As in all other online marketing disciplines, there is not a prevalent trend that should make online marketers even more successful in 2019. Especially in the web analysis is about a continuous learning, questioning and improving . Companies that have internalized this, will be able to draw fun and, ultimately, an economic benefit from the mix of these different trends.