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Case Study: Analytics + Global Manufacturer

Untangling tracking complexity to help this manufacturer understand audience behavior across subdomains

manufacturing company

Challenge

A global B2B manufacturer wanted to better engage their end-client by introducing educational content on their product-focused website. They reached out to us to track how users engaged with that content throughout their website.

To help our client collect the insight they needed, we set out to tackle two obstacles:
  • Tracking Activity Across Domains. The Marketo landing pages where users downloaded the new content was on a subdomain. (e.g. info.mysite.com)
  • Tracking Activity Across Google Analytics Properties. A separate GA property (independent from the core website) tracked subdomain traffic. So, every time a person clicked on a CTA, their current web session ended and a new one began in the other property.
manufacturing plant

Solution

To track clicks on the various calls to action across the website, we turned to Google Tag Manager. We needed to be able to calculate each asset’s relative CTR and conversion rate based on its location on the website. This way our client could know – based on site analytics and not just opinion! – if they were providing their audience with the most compelling content.

We worked with the client’s web development team to set up Google Tag Manager to track events within the main Google Analytics property. Simultaneously, we updated Marketo with the main Google Analytics tracker. Before, coding referenced the root domain. Now, first-party cookies could pass across the subdomains!

analytics displayed on laptop

Results

These changes empowered our client to better understand their customer. Armed with clear and comprehensive data, they can make smarter business decisions.

  • More accurate site session data. When cookies cannot pass between all web properties a single company owns, visitor data in Google Analytics is inflated. GA might count one person several times, depending on how they navigate the site. This code change ensured that a person’s session remained intact.
  • More clarity into where site traffic is coming from. Before, everyone coming from organic search results or other channels was grouped together. In GA, this looked as though any and all leads were a result of “referral” traffic – from the client’s own website! Now, the client can see the originating channel for all leads and make better-informed decisions on where to focus spend.
  • Better insight on top performing promotions. Complex data calculations simplified the story. Now, the client can quickly see which promotions compel the most clicks when people read about a product or solution.

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