With Marketo being such a robust marketing automation platform, and Google Analytics being the beast that it is, you might expect them to offer some type of out-of-the-box, click-this-button-and-you’re-done type integration.
Unfortunately, this is not the case. And there’s good reason for it.
Marketo and Google Analytics do not speak the same data language. The core unit of information in Marketo is the person record. Marketo is all about de-anonymising your transactional data so you can know exactly who clicked on that email, visited that web page, etc.
Google Analytics is, by design, the opposite of this. Its core unit of information is the website session, and its entire dataset is completely anonymised.
Therefore, there is no out-of-the-box integration to speak of. If you just leave everything as it is, you will be presented with a heap of issues – right out of the gate.
Here are the top 4 reasons why we think you need to integrate Google Analytics and Marketo ASAP:
1. Google Analytics will not automatically categorise Marketo email clicks as email traffic.
By default, your Marketo clicks will be seen by GA as either direct or referral traffic to your website. Not email – which is what they are ? This will make it very hard for your business to see the impact of your email marketing strategy reflected in your GA reporting.
2. Google Analytics’ page visit reports will become inaccurate
By default, GA will think each page visit coming from Marketo is landing on a completely unique URL. This is because GA will mistake the Marketo URL token as being part of the URL – and the token is unique for each Marketo person record. Therefore, 100 people clicking on your homepage link on your email will look to GA as 100 unique pages receiving one click each. This will then throw off any GA metric that’s pageview-based, such as bounce rate, time on page, exit rate, etc.
3. Google Analytics will lose data when a user goes from your core site into a Marketo Landing Page and back
Your Marketo landing pages sit on a different subdomain than your core site (a subdomain that is defined by your Landing Page CNAME as part of your initial Marketo instance setup – in our ANZ website, for example, it’s pages.bluprintx.com.au, as opposed to www.bluprintx.com.au).
GA is, by default, set up to look at just one subdomain. Therefore, whenever it sees traffic going from one to the other (core site to Marketo LPs or vice-versa), it will end the existing user session on subdomain #1, create a new one on #2, drop all pre-existing UTMs, and categorise the new session as a referral coming from subdomain #1.
In short – it will lose a whole lot of data and throw off a bunch of metrics in the process.
4. UTMs can be captured in Marketo and are extremely useful
Google Analytics lives off UTMs. While you are probably using them already, you need some work done in Marketo to capture them there too, as it does not happen automatically. These will help you by giving you visibility over precise attribution touchpoints for specific leads coming into your system. You will be able to see de-anonymised source, medium & campaign acquisition information – and learn exactly which leads in your database were obtained by which digital marketing efforts.
This list is simply offered as an example. There are more reasons where those came from.
And the most worrying thing is, if you have not set up your Google Analytics views properly, these issues will cause a gap in your reporting until they are fixed. There is no way to retrospectively fix bad data in Google Analytics, which is why you should be fixing this problem as soon as possible.
Years from now, when you look back at your website visits for this period, you will still have to adjust for these discrepancies. There is no way to retrospectively fix bad data in Google Analytics, which is why you should be fixing this problem as soon as possible.
Linking these two platforms can be complex from a technical perspective – but it is possible. This is where BluprintX can help. Our solution is all about bringing the Marketo and Google Analytics datasets closer together, so you can enjoy seamless reporting across both platforms.
And even though the above are the most common Google Analytics-to-Marketo problems that we solve for our clients, that is not all there is to it… these two platforms can be integrated in many other, more advanced ways.
If you have a specific requirement for getting Google Analytics data into Marketo or vice versa – do not hesitate to get in touch with us. We will be happy to chat about it.
Google Analytics and Marketo both hold invaluable information – they should not be in two separate “data islands” with no connection to each other. We can help you bridge that gap.