For the past 48 hours, all marketers have been talking about is the launch of Google’s Analytics 360 Suite, six products designed to help large brands better unify and syndicate marketing and advertising data across all channels. But while the launch presents some major new opportunities for brands, consumers will be the biggest benefactors.
Today’s consumers are undoubtedly digital. They operate in micro-moments, with research for products and services now happening at red lights or while in line waiting for a cup of coffee. They look for the path of least resistance that will help them find exactly what they want at the exact moment they need it.
They also operate across multiple devices and move seamlessly from digital to storefronts, leaving a trail of data as they progress along their path to purchase. Brands are capturing and storing all of this information, but to date, they’ve had difficulties both accessing the data and making sense of it. To better deliver on customer expectations, marketers need a holistic view of the customer journey, but they lack the technology that can deliver this.
Meanwhile, the kind of outreach brands are able to muster — traditional ads — are turning consumers off, and we’re seeing growing adoption of ad blocking technology.
And this is where Google’s 360 Suite comes in.
While companies like Adobe and Oracle already offer marketing and data management solutions, Google’s move into this space presents another opportunity to deliver more humanized advertising.
The 360 Suite promises to give brands faster and easier access to customer, performance, and third-party data across all channels so that they can create an advertising experience that more closely aligns with how consumers actually research and shop, while still maintaining the privacy of the end consumer. Where customers have, until now, seen ads based solely on information like keywords and intent data, they should now start seeing content based on their individual preferences and past behaviors. That shift from keyword-based targeting to customer-level targeting will mean more content that’s tailored to what you like and less content that’s intended for the masses.
It’s important to note that while the launch has created excitement for marketers, privacy is sure to remain top of mind for consumers. Brands should focus on being transparent about how they both collect and use customer data, and ensure they’re providing real value to the customer in exchange, whether that’s promotional offers and discounts or exclusive access to content. Those that fail to do so risk losing not only future sales, but the long-term trust of their customers.
Where we go from here
I’ve seen first hand the impact of customer-centered advertising, and I know Google’s Analytics 360 Suite should be a win-win for brands and consumers. While this solution is initially available to enterprise-level brands, we hope to see all advertisers begin to move in this direction.
Let’s be clear: It’s no silver bullet. Marketers are still on the hook for determining who their highest value customers are and how to best target and acquire each one, and consumers can’t expect the industry to change overnight. But while we still have a lot of work to do, this is a step in the right direction.
Andrea McFarling is Director of Marketing at Adlucent.