Create a 360 view of your customers with GA4, BigQuery and Google Tag Manager server-side
As marketers , we all dream of being able to shape the journey of our customers ( user journey ). On which channel did they discover our brand? How do our online store and physical store complement each other in the overall experience? What maximizes customer loyalty to our business?
So many questions that can be difficult to answer at the present time. As many answers as the Google Analytics 4 (GA4), BigQuery and Google Tag Manager server-side (GTM SS) agreement can provide.
In an increasingly competitive world, this technological trio is about to change the game by making a 360 view of your customers more accessible. This is what we will explore together in this article.
A BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY ABOVE ALL ELSE
Did you know that with GA4 it is now possible to connect to BigQuery and Google Ad Manager, without having to subscribe to the paid version of Google Analytics?
After spending years simplifying your online data collection, today Google encourages you to make the most of it. More than just data processing tools, the new integrations offered allow you to connect to BigQuery your App/Web data (GA4) as well as your media and primary data (sales transactions, customer data, product reviews, monetary value of clients).
Yes, we are indeed witnessing the democratization of data unification . It's not nothing! But how does this change represent a business opportunity? The answer is simple: it will now be possible to obtain a 360 portrait of a client at a lower cost . You will now be able to experiment with tools that industry giants have been using for a few years, and thus propel your business even further.
As for GTM SS, it supports your data collection and mitigates the impacts of the cookie apocalypse . In fact, it brings viability to these new technological possibilities, since democratizing advanced analytics is worth nothing without a solid foundation. And this base is GTM SS.
Thanks to GA4, BigQuery and GTM SS, you have the possibility to propel your analytics in order to understand your customers thanks to a true 360 vision .
WHAT IS A 360 VIEW OF ITS CUSTOMERS?
The 360 portrait of a customer is a bit like the sinews of war in marketing. In concrete terms, this consists of the ability to link together all the information relating to the same customer, from his acquisition period ( prospect ) to the end of his business relationship with your company. In other words, we are talking about the ability to unify one's data to tell the whole story of a customer by virtue of a fair measure of events.
Why is this understanding essential?
Because it allows you to better understand your customers, control your touchpoints and more intelligently determine your next actions.
It is therefore worth dwelling a little on a few key elements of the 360 perspective.
UNDERSTAND YOUR CUSTOMERS
Behind every customer ID, there is a person. This person has an age, a gender, a geographical location, interests, aspirations and a life context (social, economic, etc.) which largely define their needs. These obviously influence the nature of the products and services they seek, the frequency of their purchases and their propensity to be loyal to your brand.
Understanding your customers therefore means seeking to understand their personality, their characteristics, as well as the way in which they experience and perceive the relationship they have with your company. At this stage of the process, it is crucial to collect the right data, otherwise the idea that you have of your customers will remain superficial.
MASTER YOUR POINTS OF CONTACT
Along the way, your customer offers various information about himself and his needs. The pages consumed on your site, present their interests to you, the products purchased expose their real needs, the exchanges with your customer service reveal their concerns and so on.
As in a treasure hunt, it is up to you to gather all the information thanks to a connected and integrated data ecosystem. In other words, it is up to you to unify your data .
DETERMINE THE WHAT'S NEXT?
If you know your customers and your touchpoints, you better understand what triggers desired behaviors, such as purchase. You can therefore identify the nature of the message that you need to broadcast, and even the communication channel that you will need to favor in order to reach them.
From then on, you are no longer just in the description. By relying on your deep understanding of your customers to predict their behavior and personalize your approaches accordingly, you are now able to process and use the data collected .
As you will have understood, obtaining a 360 view of your customers is therefore mainly based on three pillars : collect , unify and exploit . This is good, since these are precisely the technological advantages offered by GA4, BigQuery and GTM SS. As the saying goes, life is often well done! 😉
HOW GA4, BIGQUERY AND GTM SS HELP YOU GET A 360 PORTRAIT OF YOUR CUSTOMERS
GA4 AND GTM SS TO COLLECT THE DATA
The combination of GA4 and GTM SS allows you to collect analytical and behavioral data from your customers on the web. They help you to know the actions taken by visitors on your website or on your mobile application as well as to measure the performance of your marketing initiatives. GTM SS ensures the robustness of this data collection by having you rely on implementations that depend on your assets (the servers you pay for). As for GA4, it allows you to centralize this digital data while supporting you in the daily monitoring of the latter.
BIGQUERY, LINKING BEHAVIOR TO OTHER CUSTOMER INFORMATION
Relying on behavioral data is a good start, but it's not enough.
BigQuery gives you the ability to link these to other types of information you have in your internal systems (socio-demographic traits, consumption habits, loyalty propensity, etc.). Thus, it helps you to make the connection between the different data that you have collected through the storage and the unification of the different data sources. Ultimately, this allows you to segment your customer bases and tie all the events in your customer's story together.
FROM BIGQUERY TO GA4 TO ACTIVATE YOUR LEARNINGS
With BigQuery, you'll get valuable insights about your customers that will help you better target your future prospects, strengthen your marketing initiatives, and take your existing customers to the next level of loyalty.
However, to move from idea to action, you need to activate these insights . This is where GA4 once again comes to support you by allowing you to create audiences to use in your media platforms or to personalize your web experience according to the type of clientele targeted.
As you will have understood, GA4, GTM SS and BigQuery have the advantage of placing your actions in a virtuous circle which aims for continuous optimization .
WHAT ARE THE STEPS FOR A SUCCESSFUL IMPLEMENTATION?
Does the list of different benefits make you want? Rest assured, all of this is possible! However, we are not going to lie to you. Implementing such an architecture is a major project.
At a high level, here are the necessary steps:
Unsurprisingly, the first step is to enable GA4 with GTM SS support. In a previous article , we returned to the process of migrating to GA4, which should revolve around three main phases: installation, transition and deployment.
Once your GA4-GTM SS base is activated, you can integrate BigQuery into your reflections. First, BigQuery will help you connect your data sources within a single environment. You will then have to determine which common keys to rely on (client ID, visitor ID, campaign ID, etc.) to establish communication between your different tables. In addition to the technical aspect, this second step requires you to have a global and strategic vision of your data architecture. Your goal is to build a strong connection, which requires a well-crafted strategy .
Finally, once your unification is solidified, you can begin to use your data through analysis and visualization. Whether through statistical analysis, segmentation or predictive analysis, BigQuery will help you gain real insights into your customers' 360 journey.
However, in a company, not all stakeholders have the technical skills to perform such analyses. It is therefore essential to know how to adequately present the data so that the right decisions are made. This is why the visualization aspect ( dashboarding ) should also be part of your medium or long-term projects.
As the saying goes, Rome wasn't built in a day . Include your desire for a 360 vision of your customers in a real business project. This will help you wisely coordinate each of the steps needed to complete it. Moreover, on this point, we can help you !
As marketers, we all dream of shaping the journey of our customers.
What if we stopped thinking about it and took action? With GA4, BigQuery and GTM SS, your understanding of your customer base could expand to the point of making your dreams a reality. With new free integrations and greater technological robustness, unifying your data has never been more realistic and, above all, achievable.
In 2022, acquiring a 360 vision of its customers should come out of utopia and become part of a strategy!