Believe in Your Data

As marketers, data should be the principal driver for the decisions you make and should be the basis of any initiatives you create. The more data you have, the more you can analyze information to make accurate decisions and predictions. It is one thing to trust your instincts — it is another to believe in data. With accurate tracking, marketers can rely on data to understand user behavior, notice trends, and predict outcomes.

GA Screenshot 1

Once Google Analytics is implemented, the platform provides a large volume of information such as demographics, age, gender, source/medium, channels, eCommerce data, etc. Although there appears to be an excess of data in Google Analytics, once a marketer further analyzes the dimensions/metrics available, they will soon run into restrictions. Therefore, custom dimensions and variables need to be added to further capture and extract available data to use, and to make sense of it.

Don’t limit to data that you can see in the website or front-end source code. Rather, dig deeper into where the data you are wanting to capture is stored. Find the source of the data and pass that into Google Analytics through Google Tag Manager (GTM). GTM allows marketers to easily place scripts and code into websites based on custom triggers, without relying on developers to make these changes.

booking a hotel

For one of our hotel clients, it was vital to capture the lead booking time of a room so their marketing team could make informed decisions on the launch of campaigns and marketing initiatives. For any hotel website, a visitor will have to select an arrival date when booking a room. The power of GTM comes into play here: marketers can capture the lead-time of the arrival date, apply it as a custom dimension, and send it to Google Analytics.

To accomplish this, a little JavaScript knowledge is required. First, you will need to capture today’s date and convert it into a numerical value, and compare that with the numerical value of the arrival date the user has selected. Lastly, you will compare the difference between the two dates with a lookup table where the results are date ranges. These date ranges are then setup as custom dimensions in GTM and Google Analytics. Voila — this implementation will be the basis of all marketing efforts at the hotel as they can now know how far in advance customers are booking their rooms.

GA screenshot hotel

Don’t just accept the data that is given to you. Ask your marketing team: What data do they need?

Contact us for Google Analytics consulting, implementation, and customization services to ensure reporting efforts are measuring the most valuable data to assess marketing, engagement, and goals for the site.


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