Migrating analytics systems can be a serious endeavor for an agency’s clients. Marketers will switch to Adobe Analytics (and Launch) or Google Analytics 360 (and Tag Manager) for reasons including cost savings, tooling capabilities, staff expertise and compatibility with marketing tech. These large-scale changes inevitably impact agencies as tag management systems, URL parameters schemas, system integrations and conversion tracking will likely all change.
We at Empirical Path have led several of these migrations, typically taking clients from Adobe Analytics to Google Analytics (but also, vice versa). Below are several first-hand recommendations from our experience that have helped our agency partners influence and benefit from the transition without the need to pause campaigns:
- Consider Your Integrations: Google Analytics, for instance, offers seamless integrations within its stack of tools, including AdWords, Optimize, Data Studio, Search Console, and, for Analytics 360 accounts, BigQuery and DoubleClick. Adobe offers similar integrations within its Marketing Cloud suite. While not impossible to cross-fertilize between some marketing platforms, try to check the box on as many feature sets and capabilities as desired and think through the cost-benefit of foregoing others. Conduct due diligence to understand what platforms can and can’t be easily integrated.
- Document, Document, Document: While hasty documentation can be fatal, spending extra time to get it right early delivers additional benefits in the long run. Work backward to document all of the conversions that you are tracking across your various paid mediums and catalog how they are implemented (on-page or via tag-manager). Don’t forget to log the conversion ID, labels, accountIDs, etc. that are tied to each conversion and how they are triggered, if through a tag manager.
- Don’t Forget Campaign Parameters: Unfortunately, switching analytics tools will require an updated URL parameter schema for campaign tracking. A critical step in campaign measurement that most agencies know too well, Google uses UTM parameters, whereas a system like Adobe has its own nomenclature. Albeit a pain to update, get your destination links updated, so there isn’t a gap in campaign performance reporting.
- Store Historical Data: Your ad platforms will likely continue to hold ad performance, but what about the clickstream site-side data? If you aren’t already piping and storing historical data in a BI tool, be cognizant of potentially not being able to access data any longer. Typically, if you transition from Adobe to Google, you’ll only be able to access data from the system for a few weeks before your logins stop working. Clients might store some historical data, but will you get access to the system/database that stores this data (and be able to connect it to your reports)? If you want to be able to cleanly benchmark against past performance and report before-and-after the system cut-over, then store campaign level data, including all your KPIs.
Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have a client considering a web analytics migration. As Google Marketing Platform Partners, Empirical Path consultants have the experience and commitment to quality needed for a trouble-free transition.