Analytics audiences can be published to Optimize 360 without a GA360 licence: Here’s why this is huge news

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Daniel Jones

Conversion Optimisation Manager


Optimize 360

Universal Analytics is Google’s free Google Analytics platform which, prior to the launch of Google Analytics 4, was the default analytics platform for new accounts since it first launched in 2012.

Google Analytics’ Audiences feature allows marketers to target website visitors in their search and display ads more efficiently by creating remarketing audiences which can be targeted in search and display in Google Ads through Remarketing Lists for Search Ads and Remarketing on the Google Display Network.

Standard Google Analytics allows up to 20 custom audiences to be created using first-party audience data. Analytics 360, Google’s premium enterprise analytics platform, allows up to 2,000.

The power of audiences

Using your first-party analytics audience data to tailor your advertising is extremely powerful; it helps you to reach the right audience with the right message at the right time, which makes your digital campaigns more efficient.

Paid advertising is not the only area where audience data can create a better user experience. First-party audience data can be used to deliver personalised experiences for users on your website.

First-party data is becoming increasingly more important as new cookie regulations and industry changes such as Apple’s ITP come into play, which means it is harder to track users across the internet, something which many third-party data providers rely on.

Google Analytics audiences can be published to Optimize 360 without an Analytics 360 license

It is widely believed that marketers need an Analytics 360 license to publish their audiences to Optimize 360, the enterprise version of Google’s optimisation tool, Optimize. However, Google recently confirmed that standard Google Analytics audiences can be published to Optimize 360.

This is in stark contrast to the free Optimize tool, where only top-level variables such as device type or browser can be targeted.

Being able to publish your Google Analytics audiences to Optimize 360, means you can personalise your website using first-party audience data to create unique experiences on your website. As users’ behaviour is then tracked into Google Analytics, browsing behaviour can then inform future experiences they receive, meaning experiences can dynamically change based on browsing behaviour. This enables you to deliver the right experience, at the right time, without the additional overhead of the Analytics 360 license.

Who does this feature benefit and why?

This audience feature will benefit two categories of digital marketers in particular: UX/ CRO managers, and PPC and programmatic advertisers.

The benefit of this feature is that businesses can now personalise their website using first-party data to increase their conversion rate, driving more online revenue. For example, if you wanted to target a specific cohort of website visitors which you know are interested in premium brands, you can run an experiment highlighting premium brands more prominently on the site to discover if promoting the right brands to the right cohort increases the likelihood to purchase. Once a successful outcome has been reached, you can instantly deploy the winning variant by creating a personalisation.

This approach has two additional benefits: the first being that, because the audience is continuously updated, the new personalisation is automatically applied to new visitors and so the gain in conversions is retained over time. The second benefit is a result of running this activity directly within Google Optimize: as there is no development queue or technical debt considerations for implementation of this experience, which means you can be extremely quick to market with your personalisation and gain the rewards as a business faster.

For paid media advertisers, this feature makes it easier for advertisers to customise their landing page and website experiences, based on the ad campaign. While Optimize does have a native Google Ads integration, often large accounts aren’t set up in a way that is conducive to using this feature. Using Audiences eliminates the need for modifications to your Google Ads account structures, reducing the manual work to get set up and running.

Other reasons to upgrade to Optimize 360

Being able to push your analytics audiences to Optimize 360 isn’t the only benefit of having an Optimize 360 licence. Optimize 360 offers enterprise-level scalability as it allows for more experiments, more in-depth targeting options, and more analysis on the fly:

Access 20 custom audiences from Google Analytics

  • Run unlimited experiments simultaneously
  • Run unlimited personalisations simultaneously
  • Monitor up to ten experiment objectives in real-time
  • Run up to 36 combinations in multivariant tests
  • Received service support from Google and your licencing Partner.

You can read more about Optimize 360 and its benefits here.

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