Marketers have many definitions of what "omnichannel" advertising means, but vendors hope the release of Google Analytics 360 will enable brands to get a better grasp of how to best apply it.
Pivotal Research Analyst Brian Wieser released a research note Wednesday that clearly describes how Google Analytics 360 Suite -- which the company announced Tuesday -- will increase competition for those in the space, but will pose no immediate threat to competitors' business.
"Google will inevitably position itself as better able to integrate marketing technology tools with media placements (both through Google AdWords and DoubleClick products) vs. its software-centric competitors," Wieser wrote.
The combination of the integrated data and marketing analytics products clearly intends to position Google to compete with public companies such as Adobe, Oracle, Saleforce.com and NeuStar, as well as privately held companies like IgnitionOne. Executives at IgnitionOne welcome the news with open arms, because some have been struggling to explain to clients the benefits of what the industry calls "omnichannel" marketing.
In fact, Christopher Hansen, IgnitionOne chief product officer, points to helping marketers understand the benefits of using an integrated "marketing stack," where the platform triggers search and programmatic display media campaigns and from a dashboad can manage the data from all their campaigns.
"We do things like serving ads in milliseconds, but processes seem to move glacially," Hansen said. "If Google can help to change behavior it helps us."
Marketers are not conditioned to think about true integration and the buzz word "omnichannel" continues to live as a pie-in-the-sky figment in the imagination of marketers who cannot quite grasp the concept, Hanson said. Now it has finally become a term that marketers think they need to understand a bit better, he said, but it will likely take months, if not years to become more comfortable with the approach.
Andrea McFarling, marketing director at Adlucent, said brands previously relied only on search and intent data to guide ad programs, but tools like Google 360 gives brands the ability to reach consumers based on actual preference and behavior, down to the individual customer.
"Using CRM data for ad targeting can become challenging, as the data often lives in disparate sources across the organization, making it difficult to access and use," McFarling said. "Google's new DMP could be a potential solution to that challenge, giving companies easier access to their data. Search marketers, for example, could now use existing CRM data in conjunction with tools like Google Customer Match, resulting in more personalized ad programs, a more holistic view of the entire customer journey and the ability to better understand the impact of investments across all channels.
Consumers will see the bigger benefit in a world full of fewer, but more targeted ads, McFarling said.