Google has integrated Google Analytics with its Audio Ads program, allowing its radio ad buyers to track the impact of their broadcast spots on site traffic. The enhancement was one of several new features added by the Analytics product team. Others included industry benchmarks and data sharing controls to let marketers analyze traffic patterns in the broader context of their vertical category.
"If you're doing radio ads you can now see where the ads are running, the time of day, and number of audio ad [air plays] overlaid with your analytics data," said Brett Crosby, group manager for Google Analytics.
Crosby acknowledged the feature will be most useful when a marketer's goals with a broadcast ad include garnering Web site traffic, and of limited use for advertisers concerned with foot traffic or phone calls. However he suggested online tools such as product configurators could offer a measurement proxy for ad effectiveness.
The new benchmarking and data sharing offerings allow Google Analytics users to understand user behavior on their sites in the larger context of their industry segment. For instance, Crosby said a travel site whose traffic spikes over the weekend could use the feature to determine whether the phenomenon applied to a whole business category or just to its own business.
Crosby also suggested that comparing a site's traffic with unrelated verticals might help identify partnership opportunities. "You might see that your industry's traffic dips seasonally and another industry's traffic increases," he said.
The data-sharing feature allows Analytics users to control where a site's data is used in other Google services and features, including industry benchmarking. Site owners can decide whether to participate in data sharing for industry benchmarking only, for other Google services, or to opt out completely.
By allowing their data for use across other services, Google says Analytics users will not only contribute to the knowledge base of benchmarking users, but will also benefit from direct integration with other products. For instance, Crosby said the company has plans to link Google Analytics to its AdWords Conversion Optimizer, which automatically modifies an advertiser's CPC bids to match a campaign's cost per acquisition goals. Participating in data sharing is the only way to link the two services, he said.
Both the benchmarking and data sharing enhancements were commonly requested by Google Analytics users.
Microsoft also unveiled some enhancements to its adCenter Analytics beta (formerly called Project Gatineau) this week. The platform has added "in-depth" visitor tracking, tree map and campaign reporting features, and has also waived a $5 signup fee for the tools.
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Until March 2012, Zach Rodgers was managing editor of ClickZ's award-winning coverage of news and trends in digital marketing. He reported on the rise of web companies, data markets, ad technologies, and government Internet policy, among other subjects.