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If you had to describe marketing analytics to your senior managers, would you describe its purpose as measuring website performance or device performance with respect to campaigns?

Back when analytics was just web analytics, you’d probably lean towards website performance.

But today you may need a deeper explanation. After all, what's management really concerned about?

Odds are they want a larger discussion about what is being measured to connect to customers…and what to do about it.

Effective Tools

Many analytics tools, such as WebTrends Stream and Adobe Analytics, are incorporating external data into their reports.

This trend has encouraged marketers to consider the customer experience beyond a webpage and persuaded many of them to look at how Internet of Things capable devices can be included in measurement.

Developing that experience within Google Analytics requires Measurement Protocol, a HTTP call to the Google Analytics server that incorporates digital devices metrics into the analytics reports.

Creating a measurement protocol call requires a developer’s input.

Hit Me Up

To make such input easier, Google announced a new developer tool called Measurement Protocol Hit Builder.

Hit Builder allows developers to construct a measurement protocol and validate its functionality.

Measurement protocol hit builder

To begin, users go to a browser page where they sign in under the Google account in which the analytic profile or profiles reside.

Once logged in, the user can add four basic parameters – protocol release version (which is usually 1 at this point), hit type, tracking ID and client ID. These parameters are outlined in the CMSWire post What if You Blend IoT Data With Google Analytics.

Types and Parameters

The convenient thing about using the Hit builder is that it can fill in the default details of the tracking id and the client id associated with the Google account in which the user is logged in.

This leaves the user to select the hit type desired. There are eight types available.

In addition, users can specify optional parameters, each a match to familiar Google Analytics reporting features such as E-commerce, Enhance E-Commerce and Event Tracking.

Each time a hit is submitted, the screen returns a confirmation with a payload query that can be used as an API.

The trial hits are sent to a dedicated Measurement Protocol validation server, so there is no impact to analytic profiles or their reports.

One aside about Hit Builder: The tool creates parameter results in a similar manner to the URL tags of a Google paid search tag builder.

Hit Builder creates one protocol result at a time. So managers seeking to create multiple protocols should establish a way to save and maintain protocols.

Results can be shared with collages as a link or as a text to be pasted in a file or email.

Features like Measurement Protocol confirm Google Analytics is no longer just for websites or apps. In fact the same can be said for Adobe Analytics and WebTrends Streams, as well as many other analytics platforms.

Brace for Change

The shift in functionality is arriving just as the IoT capability and marketing automation are challenging marketing resources to measure a coherent customer experience.

Despite marketers’ acknowledgement of the value of data, only 27 percent of respondents said they receive data in real time, Forrester found.

In a study on real time data analytics (registration required), Forrester noted, “aggregating multiple data streams into a holistic view is a challenge.”

If a web analytics solution is already a standard part of an organization’s operation, a marketer should check and determine what kinds of data can be included.

Doing so can start the discussion for consolidated measurement in support of a comprehensive customer experience.

Title image by Crew.