When I started working for FINANZCHECK.de, one of Germany's most famous loan comparison websites, marketing related data was split and isolated in different silos - a very common situation in start-ups. We used Google Analytics, ran an AdWords bid management system, had our website logs and our back-end data (like conversions and contribution margins) but were not able to integrate them to leverage their full potential.
At that time we decided to go with the leading open-source analytics platform Piwik. The main reasons were that we wanted to be in control of our data (accessing data from individual visits is not possible in Google Analytics unless you decide to pay a fortune for Google Analytics 360) and to be able to extend the analytics platform of our choice to whatever we want to do with the data.
We quickly started to develop Piwik AOM - a Piwik plugin that allows to import data like campaign names, ad impressions, costs etc. from advertising platforms such as Google AdWords, Microsoft Bing, Criteo and Facebook Ads into Piwik and combine that data with individual visits.
We use this combined data for ad-hoc analysis in the Piwik UI and use the plugin's API to export that data to our data warehouse, where we further combine it with conversion data like contribution margins to optimize SEA bids.
As we have all the raw data available within Piwik, it is easy to perform customer journey analysis or evaluate different conversion attribution models (first/last interaction, linear, time decay, position based etc.).
I'm currently building up on the approach of the Piwik AOM plugin at STYLELOUNGE, a price comparison platform for fashion, where we'll go one step further by automating SEA bidding with our own technology.
I will talk about FINANZCHECK.de's online marketing tool chain in more detail on November 9th at eMetrics Summit 2016 in Berlin.
When you already use Piwik or are looking for an alternative to Google Analytics that enables you to do more with your data, taking a look at Piwik AOM is definitly worth it!
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