Except for the obnoxious TV pitchman, finding the right analytics platform is a lot like buying a car. There are so many options, and they all seem shiny and cool. But underneath the surface, there are some bells and whistles that help determine the best fit for you.
So many analytics choices
Google Analytics, Google Analytics 360, Kissmetrics, Moz Pro, Adobe Analytics, and countless others make claims to be the best, the easiest, the newest, etc. But the reality is that the wheels on these platforms aren’t one-size-fits-all. Some are sporty and others are more practical.
Just like you wouldn’t drive off the lot with a Corvette when shopping for a family car, or run out and purchase a Honda Civic if you’re in the market for a vehicle to take you off-road, you wouldn’t choose a marketing analytics platform based on its sticker price or market appeal. The best platform out there is the one that best fits your business.
Analytics directly impact your bottom line, so finding a platform that aligns with your company’s unique needs and goals is crucial. Here are four steps to help you find the smoothest, most reliable ride to measure and optimize your online efforts.
- Analyze your needs. To know where you want to go, you need to first know where you are. Make a list of all the channels you are currently using for marketing, and then create a list of features you want and need (e.g., event tracking, real-time data updates, geolocation). List those features in order of importance to you, realizing you may need to compromise on a few points before you find the right fit.
- Evaluate the vendor. Is the platform’s creator well-established or would you take a risk with someone new? What sort of technical support do they offer their users? For example, a reputable vendor will include a variety of training documents and/or videos. You also want to make sure the platform offers room for your company to grow, such as compatibility with other products, availability of add-ons, or upgrade options.
- Take it for a spin. Take advantage of hands-on demos offered by the platform you’re considering before committing to a purchase. This way you can see how it handles your brand during a basic “test drive.” Look for ease of use, platform capabilities, quality of data, and customization.
- Compare prices. Prices range from free to $150,000 per year — depending on which platform you choose — so it’s important to set a realistic budget for what you want to invest so you don’t get sticker shock. Keep in mind that training is typically an additional cost.