Industry Shift from Marketing to Product Analytics

The digital analytics industry is shifting its focus from marketing to product.

March 29, 2023
Image of Adam Greco
Adam Greco
Product Evangelist, Amplitude
Industry Shift

About two years ago, I decided to join Amplitude as a product evangelist. As I noted in this blog post when I began, one of my main reasons for doing this was the industry shift from marketing analytics to product analytics. I had been a superfan of Adobe Analytics for almost two decades, and my move from Adobe Analytics to Amplitude had little to do with the Adobe Analytics product. I always have and always will believe it is a fantastic analytics product. My move was more related to losing faith in the marketing analytics category and believing that product analytics would become the next iteration of digital analytics.

I based my thinking on the fact that marketing analytics was becoming increasingly difficult in a world of third-party cookie deletion, advertising fraud, and intense privacy regulations. The marketplace indicated it didn’t want brands to market to them via invasive digital advertisements. I had spent much of my professional life helping marketers use analytics to optimize digital advertising spend, improve landing pages, and personalize websites. But I saw that many people I respected were shifting from marketing to product roles because they understood that the digital product experience had become more important than improving advertising. I also realized I was using my deep expertise in Adobe Analytics to try and do “product analytics” in a platform that wasn’t built for that use case.

I foresaw a day when marketing and product teams would need to collaborate to analyze the entire customer experience. At the same time, mobile apps and websites were getting more sophisticated and felt more like digital products in a browser than the static websites of the past. I knew it would take a lot of work for legacy marketing analytics providers to adapt to the new product mindset that companies like Amplitude had successfully addressed over the preceding decade.

I also predicted there would ultimately be a convergence of digital analytics products since it didn’t make sense for marketing and product teams to use different platforms to analyze one customer’s experience. This need for a unified analytics product is why I worked with Amplitude to add marketing analytics features to its award-winning product analytics platform as soon as I joined. At the time, marketing analytics vendors like Google and Adobe Analytics weren’t focused on the needs of product teams. But I knew marketers would soon need one unified marketing and product analytics platform.

Since then, Google Analytics has begun sunsetting its GA Universal product to move to an event-based model. While this alone doesn’t make GA4 a product analytics tool, it is clear that the event-based model that companies like Amplitude pioneered over a decade ago is the future. Last week, Adobe announced it is also moving into the product analytics market. This move and Adobe’s proposed Figma acquisition further validate that Amplitude’s vision is correct. In many respects, both Google and Adobe are playing catch-up in an industry that has recognized that product analytics is on the ascent while marketing analytics is on the decline. Sales and marketing-led growth strategies are being displaced or complemented by product-led growth (PLG). And for a good reason: PLG has compounding effects and is more scalable.

Time will tell if Adobe’s product analytics announcement will bring new product analytics functionality or if it is merely a rebranding of its current Customer Journey Analytics (CJA) offering. Regardless, recent shifts by Google and Adobe make it clear that Amplitude’s vision of a unified marketing and product analytics platform is the future of the analytics industry. Whether Adobe and Google can convince the product world that they can instantly shift their focus from marketing to product after being marketing analytics leaders for decades will be interesting to watch.

Amplitude is a small organization with an unchanged mission: to help organizations build better products. Amplitude has decades-long relationships with product teams and knows the product persona better than any organization I have seen. There will always be a need for marketing and marketing analytics, but over time, it will become a subset of the overall product experience rather than a separate discipline. Amplitude is proud that our vision and platform are pushing the entire digital analytics marketplace into the future.

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About the Author
Image of Adam Greco
Adam Greco
Product Evangelist, Amplitude
Adam Greco is one of the leading voices in the digital analytics industry. Over the past 20 years, Adam has advised hundreds of organizations on analytics best practices and has authored over 300 blogs and one book related to analytics. Adam is a frequent speaker at analytics conferences and has served on the board of the Digital Analytics Association.