Google Analytics Premium versus Adobe Analytics (Omniture) Part 3 – Segmentation

This is my third article about Google Analytics Premium and Adobe Analytics (Omniture Site Catalyst) comparison. Please find my other articles below. In this article I want to talk about segmentation analysis. I am sure you heard it already, it is being called  by analytics experts all the time. crowd Most of the consumer businesses have different variety of customers: Women, men, young, old, rich, middle class, world traveler, TV lover, mobile phone user, CEO, analyst, Indian, muslim, urban residents and etc..These are example of some demographic segmentation that classical marketers always use when they develop new products or improve performance of their  existing products. Online marketing world created a need for new type of segmentation , I call it immediate segmentation which forces immediate personalizaton and targeting. Your product are: your mobile apps and your website. You have sub-products such as features, offers and content on your digital products. Some of the sub products are created at a particular instant and need to find the target segmentation at that instant. There is no time for a marketer to develop communication plan to meet that sub-product with its target market, it has to be automatic. For example 15% hotel discount for NYC only for 24 hours because you did not sell enough is a kind of immediate sub-product. Yes you might put banners on your site, you can email everybody but that’s really not  marketing, it is more of a mass communication. That’s where you actually need to design your digital channels to reflect this kind of marketing if you really want to target to your customers. The easiest way to do this is to use segmentation analysis. As I said above online marketing created immediate segments such as:

  • People who searched for NYC hotels for next week and did not buy
  • People who suddenly started to look at smart phone telephone news on your content site
  • People who came from Google, came until purchase page but did not complete sales

As an analytics expert our first job is to discover these immediate valuable segments. There is no certain segmentation here like women, christian, urban resident, these segmentation are hidden and you are the one who needs to discover them by looking at data. In order to do that Adobe Analytics (Omniture ) gives you great tools with Site Catalyst and Discover (new name:Ad Hoc Analysis) Discover is a tool to fall in love if you are a data junkie. Segmentation capabilities here are so detailed and fast. For example I can create a segments like:

  • People who came to my homepage, spent 30 seconds and moved to smart phone page
  • People who looked at business content in June-2013
  • People who came to my homepage from Google, continued to my account page, added “clothing” type of products to her cart, went to checkout but did not complete

Sequential and time based segmentation is really new and advanced. It makes me so powerful as an analyst. For more information go and read Brian Au’s great blog posts about the subject. When it comes to Google Analytics Premium, segmentation analysis capabilities are very limited.First of all you can’t segment your funnels which is so limiting.. I never look at my shopping funnels without segmentation because they are extremely different depending on the segment. You can’t apply one segment onto another, with an unlimited breakdowns.You can’t create sequential and time based segmentation which carries your view to another level. You might say all these things are very  advanced for you since you don’t even do basic analysis. This is an excuse I keep hearing all the time. I never employed that kind of thinking, and  all I can say: “Be hurry, train is going to leave soon and somebody else might get on it while you are loitering in the entrance of the trance station.” peace sibel akcekaya

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4 thoughts on “Google Analytics Premium versus Adobe Analytics (Omniture) Part 3 – Segmentation

  1. hi, Sibel, thanks a lot – I’m enjoying this series.

    On this one, I think there are a couple of extra notes:
    1) You can run sequential segments in GA. They are a bit limited, but they do exist & they’re pretty useful.
    2) You can segment funnels using ‘goal flow’ if I remember correctly. Still, you’re right, it’s both annoying & puzzling that they’ve never pushed segmentation into the main funnel report.
    3) The example segments you illustrated could all be produced in GA too.

    Thanks again – looking forward to the next post.


  2. Hi Dan
    Thanks for your comment. Indeed GA also added sequential segmentation, I just found out with your comment. Fast and real time segmentation infrastructure is a very challenging work, I am sure GA will develop itself on this path quickly. Then Adobe will be forced to improve itself more not to miss customers to GA:) Competition is good..

    There is one question I have: As you know free Google Analytics segmentation will give you sampling data only, what about premium? Does it also give you sampling when you apply segmentation?

    sibel akcekaya

  3. Sibel and Dan,

    Segmentation is only as good as the underlying data. GA segmentation is very powerful if you have good data, and the crux of issues with GA are not deficiencies in the tool, but deficiences of implementation because organizations don’t invest in strategy and implementation of GA at the same level they do for SiteCatalyst. GA Premium changes this because it includes the strategy and implementation and, since it requires an investment, management has a vested interest in making sure the data is good.

    Segmentation in the old “Funnel Vizualization” report hasn’t ever and won’t ever come to GA because of how that report is computed. It’s literally the same report that existed in Urchin Hosted back in 2004 and 2005. It is very old, broken, and should never be used IMO. ONLY use the Goal Flows report, and also setup a rich framework of Goals where you have Goals that show many different parts of your conversion process – those are all segmentable.

    Lastly, with GA Premium yes, you can get unsampled data with segments. It’s awesome. You also have Bigquery integration which provides complete, raw, unsampled, hit-by-hit data access that you can integrate with your DW or other systems.

    When I’ve worked in GA Premium vs. SiteCat implementations, what we can do with GAP for multiples lower TCO blows anything SiteCat implementations have out of the water. The key is you have to really know GA to get it setup well – just like SiteCat needs to be setup by people that really know how it works.


  4. Hi Caleb,
    Thanks for your comment and insight. Definitely, tools should be set up by people who knows the tool very well, preferably by the consultant who has anumber years of experience. I have seen many bad cases where tool was left with no hope. Sometimes tool was not implemented correctly, other times it was implemented correctly but tool’s sophisticated features were not used. And of course tool can be implemented perfectly but if there is nobody to use it to get insights out, then it is still a big failure.

    When I talk about segmentation I am mainly talking about Omniture Discover which is now called Adobe Ad Hoc Analysis. Site Catalyst segmentation is very limited. Advanced segmentation is a very hard infrastructure and that’s why Discover is a separate desktop tool and Discover data is actually not Site Catalyst data. Site Catalyst data is processed again to create Discover data to make segmentation faster and easier. When I compare Discover with Google Analytics segmentation , there are many significant differences. But it is very normal, we can’t expect Adobe Analytics and Google Analytics be equal, GA Premium has just began but Omniture has been paid enterprise tool for years. I am very excited about upcoming new great features that will be delivered by these 2 companies due to hot competition between them:)

    sibel akcekaya

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