Get lead scoring data right in Google Analytics with Google Tag Manager

Ruth Burr Reedy, VP of strategy at UpBuild, on the benefits of setting up lead scoring in Google Analytics and the steps to get there.

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Ruth Burr Reedy, VP Strategy at UpBuild
Ruth Burr Reedy, VP strategy at UpBuild speaking at MarTech Conference 2019 in Boston.

“These are the wrong kind of leads.”

Sound familiar? If you’re a lead generation marketer, it’s an unwritten right of passage to get that complaint from your sales team.

Perhaps you are generating more leads, but they’re coming from higher funnel campaigns, and sales isn’t seeing them convert like quickly enough. “Top of funnel marketing means you’ll get top of funnel leads,” said Ruth Burr Reedy, VP of strategy at digital marketing agency UpBuild, during a talk at our Martech Conference in Boston last month. Those higher funnel leads will, by their very nature, need more touches to convert to sales. “If the sales team is not expecting them, they’ll be unprepared to deal with them,” said Burr Reedy.

Expectation-setting is critical when marketing teams run higher funnel lead gen campaigns. To help marketers get a claear sense of how their campaigns are performing, the touches involved in converting certain leads and other insights, Burr Reedy laid out a framework for setting up lead scoring for attribution in Google Analytics. This can provide a better picture than what you get in your CRM. “Attribution in CRM can be really confusing and not snapshot of reality,” she said.

How to get started

First, talk to the sales team about how they qualify leads. “If you press them,” said Burr Reedy, “they’ll tell you they look at one or two dimensions — often title, company revenue or company size.” Then agree on the thresholds for those dimensions that qualify a lead as hot, warm or cold. Be sure you’re capturing these criteria in your forms.

Establish with sales the criteria for each lead type.

Once you know the fields you’ll be tracking, using your browser developer tools, get the field ID for each. Then, in GTM create a custom JavaScript variable for the ID with getElementById or getElementByName.

Test your custom variables in the GTM console and in preview mode to be sure they’re returning the data you want. (If you want to track fields from a dropdown list on your forms, Burr Reedy recommends Simo Ahava’s blog post for tips.) Of course, be very sure you’re not collecting personally identifiable information (PII).

Next, in GTM, create Triggers for each lead type — hot, warm, cold — and then Event Tags for each one.

Configure Triggers in Google Tag Manager for hot, warm, cold leads.

Establish and document naming conventions for capturing your lead criteria. Burr Reedy suggests putting lead type criteria right in your Event Labels in GTM for clearer reporting and continuity.

Document your naming conventions.

How to use the lead scoring data in Google Analytics

Once you have this set up, you’ll be able to get a much better picture of how these leads perform from within Google Analytics.

See customer pathing to understand how long the leads take to convert. Share this information with sales to help set expectations as well as get a better understanding of where you should focus your efforts by seeing which referral sources drive a disproportionate share of hot/warm leads that convert. You can also use this information to find on-page optimization opportunities. Look at landing page reporting in Analytics to see which pages drive hot/warm leads and which pages only drive cold leads.

Capture lead scoring data in Google Analytics to better inform your marketing efforts and communication with sales.

To make this work consistently, said Burr Reedy, “You need to have a good system for managing all of your IDs. When a form is changed, be sure there is a process for notifying and capturing those changes. Be consistent with naming conventions.” This requires tight orchestration between any internal and external teams involved in any piece of the process.

Once it’s up and running, marketing will have a much more accessible and real-time view into the lead performance to inform their campaigns, site content and communication with sales.

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Google introduces App + Web for unified reporting in Google Analytics

The new capabilities let marketers look at customer data in more complete and flexible ways.

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The customer journey has become increasingly complex over time, with users often switching back and forth between desktop and mobile and various channels before buying. It is thus fairly challenging for marketers to gain an accurate and complete view of their customers’ paths to purchase.

Two great tastes. Google has historically had two separate tools for web and app analytics: Google Analytics and Google Analytics for Firebase, for mobile apps. Now the company is combining their capabilities in a new property that seeks to provide a more unified view of customer data: App + Web for Google Analytics.

Director of Product Management for Google Analytics, Jesse Savage, said that he hopes the new offering will help marketers and brands improve the customer experience by giving them “a single, consistent set of metrics for more integrated reporting and a more comprehensive view of the customer journey” (on Google properties). Starting today, App + Web will begin rolling out to all Google Analytics and Analytics 360 users for free.

Flexible reporting. Out of the box, it will offer a set of common events or actions that marketers can measure (e.g., clicks, video views, downloads, opens, etc.). But Savage said the tool is very flexible and can be customized according to the needs and specific requirements of the marketer.

Google points out the types of questions publishers and brands can now more easily answer with App + Web, including:

  • How many total users do we have regardless of the platform?
  • Where are the majority of conversions happening (web or app)?
  • Which marketing or advertising channel is most effect at driving new user acquisition?

Analysis module offers new ways to look at the data. A new Analysis module also enables users to look at customer data in various and flexible ways, outside of standardized reports. These include “Exploration,” which allows drag and drop data visualization, “Funnel” analysis to determine where customers are entering and leaving your properties and “Path Analysis,” which helps marketers better understand the steps along the customer journey and why users did or did not convert.

Google says that if customers are currently using Google Tag Manager or the global site tag, you don’t have to do any re-tagging to take advantage of App + Web analytics. But you’ll need to implement the Firebase SDK for your app if that’s not already the case.

Why we should care. It’s critical for brands and marketers to gain as complete an understanding of their customers’ behavior as possible. Of course, Google isn’t the only platform consumers use in making buying decisions. For marketers entirely focused on their apps, or for those who don’t have an app, the new capabilities won’t be particularly meaningful. But for those focused on both mobile apps and the web, the new App + Web capability offers much greater visibility and insight than Google Analytics and Google Analytics for Firebase each could on their own.

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