Google Analytics and CRM data discrepancy issues - things you should never do
If you run ads, do SEO, social media marketing, or produce youtube videos, you probably want to know how each of those channels drives your revenue. In the perfect world, you should gather ROI data and optimize your activities on a very granular level. But doing it right is not as easy as it looks.
The majority of companies that streamline their marketing data have to deal with a common problem - the attribution of deals/transactions and revenue to specific traffic sources. We, at Improvado, have extensive experience in this field. That’s why we’ve analyzed the issue and compiled a guide that highlights the main stumbling blocks for companies. Let’s take a closer look.
Identifying the challenge
The main challenge behind understanding your marketing data lies in the successful integration of the CRM system. For its part, the connection of Google Analytics with CRM systems depends on various factors. One of the main pitfalls during the implementation of your solution is to utilize UTM tags(usually utm_source, utm_mediaum, and utm_campaign) properly. You don’t have to overuse them, because if your marketing reporting depends only on these three variables in CRM, you are missing a huge portion of information.
Here’s a list of three main issues caused by the UTM tags-based attribution model.
You gather insights only from paid channels
If you can only see revenue that is generated from paid channels, you are missing valuable insights from other marketing sources that are driving your business.
Since the UTM tags from other various sources are not being recognized, you cannot identify which sales were caused by social media engagement, SEO rankings, or direct traffic sources at the lead level.
Most businesses are heavily investing in at least one of these channels, but wouldn't it be nice to know how much of your unpaid marketing efforts are converting business?
So, if you’re planning to connect Google Analytics with a CRM system, don’t concentrate on paid channels only. Avoid using UTM tags to get a comprehensive picture of all your marketing channels.
Fragmented user path
Another common issue we see when using attribution-based UTM tags for Google Analytics is that you overlook the full path that your users take. Our clients are shocked to find out that many of the leads they thought came from paid advertisements were originally brought in by SEO efforts.
However, it shouldn’t be that much of a surprise. It’s very common for customers to arrive at your corporate website through an organic search and read information about your products. From this point, they will conduct additional research and may click on a paid advertisement – sometimes retargeting – and then make a purchase or sign up for a demonstration.
With greater visibility into the origins of your prospects, you can focus on keywords that bring viewers to your web pages and eliminate those that are not beneficial. Additionally, the more prospects are brought to your website with organic search, the more budget you save on paid advertising.
You’re missing insights on account level path - wrong leads attribution
The third common mistake that we find is that you cannot see the account level path for B2B companies. The B2B space is unique because there are generally several individuals or departments involved in the decision-making process.
Each one of these individuals interacts with your brand and website, and every one of these actions is important. However, the UTM-based attribution model deprives you of the opportunity to track user behavior patterns.
With the right approach, the account level path is split into two main stages: discovery and consideration.
The discovery stage ends when someone from the company books a demo with or finalizes a series of interactions. This immediately triggers the consideration stage, which is a separate section of the sales funnel.
This distinction is very important because you do not want people to influence the attribution model results after they have already booked a demo - which is the initial goal of your active marketing campaigns. This may lead to data discrepancies and wipe out a large part of your marketing efforts.
The right way to push data to CRM
We’re clear with the challenges that UTM tags may bring to your system. But the question remains, how to set up everything properly?
Your CRM system and web analytics software should be kept separately from Google Analytics because neither one of those platforms is designed to give you an end-to-end match. Typically, these are made for different purposes and do not align with your specific business needs.
Think about it this way: developers design popular analytics platforms for many different businesses to use them. That means the only way to get a customized solution is to combine this data in a separate database to create an end-to-end solution for your business needs.
The best way to connect Google Analytics with your CRM solution is to use ClientID.
ClientID is a unique identifier assigned to every single user on a website. When you match your customers to a ClientID, you can see the entire user journey that led them to become your paying clients.
When you pull data using this identifier, you can gather valuable insights about the traffic sources that led them to your website, even if there is no UTM tag.
How to do it yourself
You can access ClientID through Google Analytics API as ga:clientID. In some cases, you’d rather use UserID which is a completely different identifier in Google Analytics. It’s better to use UserID if your audience tends to log in to your website. You can find more differences between these two identifiers here. To implement the user ID you have to define a unique and non-personally identifiable string ID to represent each signed-in user. However, this ID is usually provided by the identification system. With these identifiers, you can track users’ movement on your website and store these parameters for further analysis.
How Improvado can help
If you’re not a tech-savvy person or simply don’t have the time to dive into the depths of Google Analytics mechanisms, we can do it for you. We can connect Google Analytics and CRM of your choice. Plus, we can streamline all data to a business intelligence tool to visualize all insights gathered during the analysis. The only adjustment that you need is to transport the ClientID data to your CRM system if it has not already been done. This identifier is a crucial element of connecting the two different data sources so that you can generate accurate reporting.
We know that every business is different, so we offer a wide range of solutions for companies and provide full-cycle support for our customers. With our tools and data transform framework, your team members can adjust attributions according to your business needs without spending on software engineering services.