While the Sitecore DMS offers marketers an incredible array of tools and features, the ability to extract meaningful insights into the effectiveness of them can be limited for non-technical people who nonetheless want more detail than the preconfigured reports offer. By integrating with Google Universal Analytics, with its custom dimensions, marketers can access DMS-rich data with the familiar GA interface
Of all the trends we’ve seen in digital marketing in the last several years, it’s been the emergence of true multi-channel digital marketing platforms that has generated the most excitement but also the most trepidation among digital marketers. Formally distinct product categories like web content management systems (CMS), email marketing systems, marketing automation platforms and analytics suites have started to overlap with the emergence of products like the Sitecore Customer Engagement Platform (CEP).
Marrying the trusted and established Sitecore CMS with the nascent but powerful Digital Marketing System (DMS), the Sitecore CEP has emerged as one of the leaders in this new class of multi-channel marketing platform. The ability to do advanced digital marketing activities like automated multi-channel lead nurturing, A|B testing of content and real-time content personalization, among other things, in the same system that also powers your website content represents a leap forward for savvy digital marketers.
But as is often the case when a platform offers such a wide array of functionality, each individual offering within the overall package can vary quite dramatically in its maturity and level of sophistication, especially when compared to its single-function solution peers. Users of the Sitecore CEP have found, in particular, that analytics reporting is not as intuitive as single-function offerings like Google Analytics. All of the data one needs to generate reports exists inside Sitecore but accessing it can require SQL queries or other workarounds that users more familiar with Google-like interfaces may struggle with.
At the same time Sitecore was evolving into a multi-channel marketing platform, Google Analytics was evolving as well, culminating in the release of Google Universal Analytics. Among the innovations in the new release is the ability to create custom dimensions and metrics and to track these (and the pre-existing) dimensions and metrics across platforms rather than just from websites.