Learn How to Reap the Benefits of the New Google Analytics 360 and Salesforce Integration to Improve your Marketing Funnel
While you know the value that Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools bring to your company’s digital content marketing and sales efforts, you probably face the same, ongoing challenge most marketing professionals run up against – bridging the gap between your marketing funnel and customer conversion activities to ensure the most effective use your marketing resources.
This is often a concern I hear when discussing the value of marketing with our clients. Until now, digital content marketers have largely lacked a comprehensive view of their customers’ conversion paths that allow sales teams to take quick actions to move the sales process forward to close business.
Most tools available have focused on a just a portion of the marketing funnel, rather than a complete overview. The exciting news is that a new, collaborative effort between Google and Salesforce changes all of this, providing immediate benefits to you.
Google Analytics 360 and Salesforce Integration
In November 2017, Google and Salesforce announced that Google Analytics 360 and Salesforce planned to collaborate to integrate their CRM tools. In many ways, this is a natural merger that brings together some of the most widely used digital content marketing tools.
Google Analytics 360 is a suite of seven different tools that help users see detailed customer and marketing data in a single place. The platform also makes accessing, deciphering, and sharing information extremely easy.
Salesforce is the most popular CRM platform, a cloud-based solution that more than 150,000 companies rely upon. The platform provides insights to potential customers, current customers, customer conversion path results, and more.
The two products are both industry leaders in their given areas, and many companies use both products. Moreover, marketers have long sought a way to integrate data from the two solutions.
The first stage of the collaboration process was completed in January. You can now import data from Salesforce’s Sales Cloud (including opportunities, leads, etc.) directly into Analytics 360. In the future, there will also be options to integrate product-specific data, predictive data, and lifetime value data. This first stage, however, is a significant step toward bridging the gap among “sales, marketing, and advertising data.”
Google and Salesforce Both Benefit
While this integration makes sense, Google and Salesforce are hardly collaborating for purely charitable reasons. Both companies will substantially benefit by working together.
For Google, the integration provides a way to remain the leading online advertising platform. This is important to Google because Facebook and other social platforms have launched their own ad networks that are cross-platform and have highly detailed information on users. Google needed to find a way to improve its own advertising network — which, by the way, is expected to account for more than $32 billion in revenue during 2018. Salesforce, with its detailed views into marketing funnels, has the exact information Google was looking for to bolster its advertising features.
Likewise, for Salesforce, the merger further establishes Salesforce as the leading CRM platform. Analytics 360’s data provides a more complete view of the marketing funnel, often providing more data where Salesforce’s information leaves off. This improves the products offerings and operational efficiencies beyond what many other CRMs can do.
Bridging the Gap to Benefit Sales and Marketing
While the collaboration is good for Google and Salesforce, it also provides a true win-win-win because your business will also benefit. Sales and marketing departments have been requesting the integration for some time, and you will now see the capabilities that have been so desperately needed. While many benefits that you will see have been mentioned already, they deserve to be specifically highlighted:
- Time Savings from the ability to import marketing data directly into your Salesforce
- A complete view of the Marketing Funnel in Salesforce, not just portions as in other CRM tools
- Data-Driven Actions throughout the full sales cycle
With this in mind, new considerations regarding your digital content marketing and CRM tools become more evident. Everything from what platforms you choose to how your campaigns are reviewed are impacted. Let’s take a quick look:
Selecting Platforms Requires Considering Compatibilities
First, the integration between Analytics 360 and Salesforce means you can no longer consider only features when selecting your solutions. Even when workarounds and third-party solutions can bring two platforms together, it’s still important to consider what other platforms officially integrate with your existing solutions. Official collaborations, like with Analytics 360 and Salesforce, allow you to bring together your tools in less time and with less effort because they aren’t dependent on third-party updates or in-house patches/fixes needed when the platforms themselves receive updates.
Integration Connects Sales and Marketing Departments
Second, the integration of these tools better connects you with your sales team. With a complete view of the marketing funnel, you can better work with your sales counterparts to identify where your potential customers are coming from and where they’re ending up.
For example, the prospect or customer who clicks an ad and then quickly bounces off the landing page will now show up in your CRM data. In the past, there was a question on the exact action of how a user who reads a blog post, then responds to a call to action becomes a lifelong customer. Since Salesforce is a complete CRM tool, even offline activities, like cold calls, are tracked.
Some of the items that you and your sales team can better monitor and act upon include:
- Where potential leads actually come from
- Where potential leads leave the marketing funnel
- What conversion rates are for different customer conversion paths
- What marketing costs are for different campaigns
- What the lifetime values are for your customers
To fully capitalize on the opportunities these benefits offer, you should find ways to connect with your sales team and learn from each other how you each are using both the Analytics 360 and Salesforce platforms. This is a great opportunity for you to now better answer the age-old question from sales, “What has marketing done for me lately?”
Strategy Increases Campaign Effectiveness
- Ultimately, all of this leads to better planned, more effective campaigns. As you and your sales team are better able to analyze the complete marketing funnel, you can:
- Identify (and invest in) the most effective campaigns
- Address points where leads frequently drop off
- Take immediate action when leads reach critical points in the marketing funnel
- Reduce the number of lost opportunities
How You Can Take Advantage of the Google Analytics 360 and Salesforce Integration
As the next stages of the Analytics 360 and Salesforce integration rollout, these platforms will only become more powerful. To make sure your business is taking full advantage of their capabilities, work with your sales team to analyze the data and opportunities these platforms present. Your data will show you where there are opportunities to better align your marketing funnel and sales conversion activities.
If you’re looking at your marketing funnel and sales conversion activities and need to find ways to more closely align them, MESH can help you. Right now, the integration with Analytics 360 and Salesforce is brand new, and even experts are wrapping their heads around what it means, especially as more functionality is released over time.