Google Analytics 360: Why Travelocity Jumped on Board
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Google Analytics 360: Why Travelocity Jumped on Board

It’s one of the hottest buzzwords in the marketing world – Big Data.

Big Data is quite simply the enormous wealth of facts and figures available to businesses today – and it’s all thanks to technology.

Today’s consumers turn to the Internet more and more to buy products and services. Forrester found that over 75% of American adults buy products or services online. Younger demographics, including Gen Y and Gen Xers spend more than any other generation. All of this online buying behaviors and spending patterns are able to be closely tracked. The challenge is finding an organized system to sort through the numbers and data so that patterns can be identified and marketing can improve.

One company that was particularly challenged by the endless analysis of Big Data was Travelocity.

Travelocity’s Struggle to Practice Agile Marketing

Travelocity is one of the largest travel websites in the world. On their website, customers can book flights, hotels, and other vacation packages at a discounted rate.

This isn’t a new service. Other websites, such as Expedia.com compete heavily with Travelocity. There are also niche websites that create further competition for the travel giant. One example is Hotels.com – a website that got me to spend 19% more than I was anticipating because of a simple switch in how they displayed their pricing.

Because the industry is so fiercely competitive, Travelocity knows they needed to be agile in their marketing efforts. There is no time to play a guessing game. Instead, the website must react quickly to consumer trends and demands.

To do this, they needed fast analysis of all of the data they have pouring in daily.

Most websites use Google Analytics to get this kind of data. If yours doesn’t, let’s have a talk because you’re missing out on a huge opportunity. For Travelocity, the basic data available in a free Google Analytics account wasn’t enough. The website needed more so they upgraded to Google Analytics Premium, which is now Google Analytics 360.

What Is Google Analytics 360?

Google Analytics 360 is the enterprise version of Google Analytics, AdWords, Google Display Network and more. This suite of products rolled into one solution lets businesses organize data easier. Perhaps more important, it lets the entire team work with the data.

For Travelocity, the upgrade was a smart decision. By employing the help of Google’s team, they were able to shorten decision making times and convert more customers within weeks. Here’s how.

Smart Start

Before upgrading to Google Analytics Premium, all decisions had to go through a specialized team. But with the upgrade came broader company access. This meant that more people could see what the specialized team was seeing to move faster in marketing updates.

When Travelocity first decided to upgrade to Google Analytics 360, the company knew it needed to train their employees. Without proper training, the team wouldn’t be able to maximize its potential, making it a poor investment.

To get their team off to a smart start, they used the support team from Google.

“Google has a team of first-class support people on call that have worked with us to personalize our implementation and training,” said Satnam Singh, VP Analytics & Site Optimization at Travelocity.

As the training unfolded, the setup and ease of use of the new tool became apparent. This set the stage for helping decrease decision making times and simplify marketing decisions going forward – both of which are essential for increasing conversions in a highly competitive industry.

Each person and each team was able to set up their own set of KPIs (key performance indicators) to track. This made it easier for the right people to get the right data in a timely fashion.

Agile Marketing

Travelers use an average of 10.2 online resources to make their purchase decision, according to a Google and Shopper Sciences study of the travel industry in July 2011. Travelers are visiting brand websites directly, using search engines and of course, using websites such as Travelocity.

To capture the consumers at the right stage in the decision making process, Travelocity knew they needed to be able to make faster decisions.

With each department being trained and having access, they were better equipped to make quick decisions about their marketing. But this didn’t mean the analysis team was eliminated. The team stayed in tact and was able to focus on the pressing issues that required specialized insight.

One example stood out to me in cited in a case study by Google and Travelocity. The team was able to perform an almost instantaneous fix to improve their site speed by using the site speed report. By pin pointing exactly where the website load times were slow, the team was able to identify potential conversion pitfalls and eliminate them fast.

Future Marketing Decisions Simplified

Not all data can provide instant results. Having benchmark data to track and monitor conversion sticky points is fundamental.

In the study, Travelocity said it planned to continue to use Google Analytics Premium to create custom variables and monitor data over time. By gathering these metrics, the company set itself up to be better prepared to make marketing decisions. Tweaks could be tested to determine the success or failure of a specific marketing campaign because the data had already been gathered earlier.  

Can Google Analytics 360 Help Your Business?

Google Analytics 360 is a suite of products. It’s even more robust than that Travelocity initially put into motion, so imagine how much it can do for businesses now.

Still, it isn’t for everyone. If your industry doesn’t have a lot of competition, or if you don’t have several teams making decisions about marketing related activities, you can probably continue to get by with the basic Google Analytics account. This product is best suited for companies in highly competitive industries and/or with over 100 employees. The price will vary depending on your organization. Contact a Google sales representative to get a quote.

If you’re not sure whether Google Analytics 360 is right for you, let’s talk. Contact our Marketing Samurai team to set up your free business consultation.

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