A few weeks ago, at the Amplitude Amplify conference, several new marketing analytics features were announced. These marketing features included:
- Ad-Network Integrations – The ability to import advertising campaign impressions, clicks, and costs
- Acquisition Channels – The ability to automatically and retroactively place digital activity (events and conversions) into the acquisition channel that sourced it
- Multi-Touch Attribution – The ability to attribute events and conversions across multiple acquisition campaign codes or channels
While not necessarily marketing analytics features, Amplitude also released two new features that help support marketing reporting. These include:
- Data Tables – The ability to view multiple metrics in a table side by side and break them down by multiple properties
- Metrics – The ability to create re-usable custom metrics that apply formulas to events and numeric properties so you can view conversion metrics within Data Tables
For those who have been reading my blog posts, these announcements shouldn’t have been a surprise. One of the reasons I joined Amplitude was to see if I could help Amplitude be the first platform to offer product and marketing analytics in one product. I have written about why product and marketing teams should increase collaboration. I have debated whether websites should be managed by marketing or product teams since websites are just like products. I recently attempted to explain the subtle differences between marketing and product analytics. I also shared thoughts on where digital analytics should reside within the organization. But most importantly, I have described why I believe that there will be a massive convergence when it comes to digital analytics platforms. In the future, organizations will need to break down the silos between marketing and product and put the customer first.
Why Marketing Analytics?
Amplitude is known for being the leader in product analytics. Our customers leverage our platform to build better digital products for their customers. Amplitude excels at finding digital product issues, using experimentation to test improvements, identifying engagement/retention issues, etc…So why is Amplitude interested in marketing analytics?
While Amplitude will always be hyper-focused on being the best product analytics platform in the market, our customers are telling us that they want to understand better the entire digital experience, which includes the product and marketing experience. We have seen over the years that a high percentage of Amplitude users self-identify as marketers, even though Amplitude hadn’t focused much on the marketing persona. This has forced many Amplitude clients to use multiple digital analytics platforms, which can be problematic and prevent organizations from understanding the entire customer experience. This demand for marketing features was accelerated when Google Analytics suddenly announced that it would sunset its ubiquitous marketing analytics product. Therefore, over the next year, Amplitude will be working with our clients to add the most important marketing analytics features so that any organization that chooses to can leverage Amplitude to address both product and marketing use cases. We believe that there is a synergistic effect that exists when product and marketing features are combined into one platform.
Product + Marketing Use Cases
We believe that product analytics is a strong foundation upon which marketing analytics can be built. By starting with the #1 product analytics platform, Amplitude’s marketing analytics features can empower product and marketing teams to do things that have been previously impossible.
In the few short months that our new marketing analytics features have been in beta to our customer development partners, we have already seen tangible examples of the synergies that a combined solution can provide. Here are a few examples:
- A product team that was tracking product feature usage in an Amplitude property was able to use the new attribution functionality to view which features were contributing most to their north star metric. Even though the new attribution feature was meant for marketers, the product team was able to apply a few different attribution models to see how conversion differed when certain product features were used “first touch,” “last touch,” or used with a custom “30/40/30” attribution model. This helped them understand which features they should push earlier in the process.
- A marketing team had good insights into which marketing acquisition channels were driving traffic, but was struggling to understand which of those acquisition channels were leading to product engagement and adoption. Once they modeled their acquisition channels in the new Amplitude Channel Classifier, they leveraged Amplitude’s best-in-breed retention reporting with a filter for acquisition channels. This allowed them to go beyond the vanity metrics for each acquisition channel and view the downstream success within the actual digital product.
- A product team was using Amplitude to view customer user flows and was curious if the acquisition channel that drove the user had an impact on their flows. The team segmented the user paths report by the acquisition channel and noticed that users they had paid for (paid search and paid social) took different paths than those that came “direct” or from organic sources. The product team met with their marketing counterparts to analyze why the paths were different and learned that users coming from paid sources were looking for more information about the brand before proceeding into the conversion flow. This led to a joint effort by product and marketing to conduct an experiment in which new users coming from paid channels were shown supplemental content about the company, which resulted in reductions in flow drop-off.
- A marketing team had used Google Analytics to view how often visitors came to their website and how much digital ad spend cost per day/week/month. But once users arrived at the site, they had to create a free trial account and then log in to the product. The authenticated free trial product experience was tracked by Amplitude instead of Google Analytics. Marketers wanted to understand how digital advertising spend was impacting logged-in product usage and subsequent conversion, which could take several weeks. At that time, the best the team could do was to export advertising costs and product conversions to a spreadsheet and use date ranges to view conversion. But since there was typically a delay between acquisition and conversion, this data was unreliable. It was also impossible to view conversion by the marketing acquisition channel. To achieve this, the marketing team worked with the product team to add Amplitude to its marketing website using the free Amplitude Google Tag Manager (GTM) template. Within hours, Amplitude was receiving the same data as Google Analytics and then they activated the Amplitude Campaign Reporting feature to import advertising costs from their main advertisers. This allowed both teams to use Amplitude’s Data Tables to compare advertising costs to product conversions in one place without having to combine data in spreadsheets. And since Amplitude was present on both the marketing website and the product experience, it was possible to see advertising costs and product conversions by acquisition channel.
As you can see, there are many examples of how product and marketing can help each other if they are using the same platform for the entire customer experience. We are excited to see what other inventive ways our customers will take advantage of the new marketing analytics features. If your organization is interested in learning more about Amplitude and how it can combine marketing and product analytics, please reach out!