Report from GACP Summit 2013

As a Google Analytics Certified Partner (GACP), Hanson has the privilege of sending a team member to the GACP Summit every fall at Google headquarters. This year and last it’s been my pleasure to represent the agency there. Google’s theme this year is “Access. Empower. Act.” and they are striving to release new features and processes to help customers meet these goals in their workflows.

Google announced 14 new features to its analytics products, a few of which have already released. I’ll be writing more about these new features in a future post, but for now I want to focus on the one that’s likely to impact our clients the most.

What is it? Demographic information is coming soon to Google Analytics!

This will work much the same way that Google calculates target audiences when you are running display media and video ads across the Adwords network. While the data will not be calculated 100% of the time (for example, it will exclude non-javascript users and users with cookies turned off), this is a huge breakthrough in understanding key details about your site visitors, such as age, gender, and interests (based on prior searches).

Why is this so helpful? Many businesses know who their offline and target audiences look like, but this new feature will allow them to compare those numbers to what is actually occurring online, in order to better focus their offerings on attracting more users within the target audiences.

This new feature also will open up to the industry a whole new line of reporting. The ability to couple products viewed or purchased along with geographic and demographic information has the potential to lead to further audience-segmented dynamic content.

Given the many other announcements happening here at Google over the past few days, it’s clearer than ever that the analytics industry is changing at a rapid pace. These advancements are making it easier to gain insights into marketing to potential and current customers, and they have great potential to increase return on investment and the customer lifetime value across the board.