Why use Google Analytics when you have a Marketing Automation platform with inbuilt analytics capability?

What’s the difference and why you should consider using both?

Marketers are increasingly asking ‘Why should I use web analytics when I have [Marketo/HubSpot/Pardot/IBM Marketing Cloud]…? Don’t these do the same thing?’
The answer to the first question is yes, you should consider using both.

The answer to the second question is no, they are not the same thing.

Google Analytics is a tool used to analyse the effects of campaign activity, as well as the broader (non-campaign) traffic to your website.

Marketing automation is an excellent tool to use when you have the potential to engage with individual prospective or actual customers and you know who they are. These tools are all about identifying people who are prospective customers and then nurturing them until they purchase and to encourage them to continue to purchase.

Google Analytics is used to optimise and improve the performance of your digital marketing and to analyse the behaviour of all visitors to your website. The data that is used in Google Analytics is aggregated and is in most cases anonymous.

Increasingly tools such as Marketo, HubSpot and others are integrating tagging into how they collect data about people interact with the website. This data is used to help identify and group users of the website into meaningful clusters that can be used to assess engagement and the likelihood that the person will convert into a customer.

Web analytics tools such as Google Analytics collect a much richer set of data from the website and can be used to build a deeper picture about what people do on your website, how your marketing campaigns are performing and where there may be barriers to conversion on your website. Download our whitepaper Marketing Analytics – Your Guide to Campaign Tracking Success for more on that.

The lines between these two types of tools are blurring. The table below will help you identify the strengths of each of these tools and understand how to best use both.

Google Analytics  Marketing Automation
Campaign Tracking Identifies overall campaign performance e.g. conversions from AdWords. Identifies which individual customers have responded to which campaigns.
Identifies areas of improvement from campaigns e.g. bounce rate by landing page. Automatically send personalised follow up email messages to campaign respondents.
Tracks the behaviour of users responding to marketing campaigns on the website. Records which prospects have responded to campaigns.
Conversion Funnel Tracks the progress through the purchase path and identifies barriers Identifies which prospects are in a given part of the purchase funnel.
Tracks where users drop out of the checkout process. Automates the generation and sending of emails to recover abandoned shopping carts.
 Data Collection Data is typically collected from all users and all interactions and then analysed Data is collected from specific actions such as downloading a white paper and then recorded for individual users.
Uses a single JavaScript code applied across all pages to collect data. Uses specific JavaScript code to capture key user interactions. Code generally must be customised for each action to be recorded.
Best Used For Conducting a wide range of analyses to understand user and marketing behaviour to optimise overall website and campaign performance. Understanding where a given individual is within a defined purchasing funnel and to target offers to them based on their preferences.


In summary, Google Analytics is a broader and more powerful tool to analyse what is going on with your campaigns and website. The learnings that are generated during the process of analysis are then applied using tools such as marketing automation.