If you own a website or manage digital marketing campaigns, website analytics are fundamental to your success. You know you need a good analytics tool, which is probably why you’re reading this in the first place.
Google Analytics 4 and Adobe Analytics are two of the most popular analytics solutions. But it’s not easy to tell which is better—especially if you’re relying on each tool’s own website.
Luckily, I’m here to help. In this post, I’ll help you decide which side to choose in the battle of Adobe Analytics vs Google Analytics. I’ll cover the core similarities and differences between these two digital titans and help you come to an informed decision. ;
Adobe Analytics for Digital Marketing Analytics
Adobe Analytics is the enterprise-grade analytics platform Adobe offers as part of its Adobe Experience Cloud platform.
Don’t think of it as a standalone analytics tool, however. Think of it as one piece of a wider solution that gives you a seriously deep understanding of your customers. It’s analytics, attribution, reports, and predictions all bundled into one.
Unlike Google, Adobe doesn’t offer a free version of its tool. There are three tiers of pricing to choose from: Select, Prime, and Ultimate, but you’ll need to contact the Adobe sales team to find out exactly how much each tier will cost. Expect to pay several thousand dollars a month at a minimum, however.
There are several features that make Adobe one of the most popular enterprise analytics platforms.
Exceptional analytics. Adobe Analytics helps you build a complete picture of your customer journey by integrating analytics from every customer device. That includes wearables and streaming devices, as well as your website and app. You can track user behavior in real-time and accurately attribute each conversion in order to make better marketing decisions.
Precise segmentation. You can use Adobe Analytics to build, manage, and share audience segments in your analytics dashboard. This makes it easier to understand how different parts of your audience behave and track campaigns designed specifically for each segment.
AI-driven insights. Adobe Analytics helps you collect data about the past and use it to make predictions about the future. Use machine-learning algorithms and AI to identify hidden opportunities and predict how future campaigns will play out.
Adobe Experience Cloud integrations. Adobe Analytics natively integrates with every Adobe Experience Cloud program. This means it’s possible to collect and analyze data from dozens of different locations, including Adobe Commerce, Adobe Advertising, Adobe Target, and Adobe Customer Journey Analytics.
Adobe Analytics Benefits
Here are some added benefits of Adobe Analytics for your consideration:
- If you already use Adobe’s other products (Marketo Engage or Commerce, for instance), then you’ll know how easily Adobe Analytics integrates with them.
- The amount of data you can gather with Adobe Analytics is virtually unparalleled in the analytics world. Seriously, you can gather user insights from your website, mobile app, other Adobe properties, third-party platforms, the list goes on.
- Adobe Analytics will retain your data for longer than Google, too. It retains data for 25 months as standard, but you can pay to retain data for up to 10 years.
Google Analytics 4
Google Analytics 4 is the latest analytics offering from Google, replacing Universal Analytics in July 2023. This new version of Google Analytics lets you measure website and app interactions in one place, meaning it’s already doing better in the battle of Google Analytics vs Adobe Analytics than its predecessor.
Even better for those who are comparing Adobe vs Google Analytics in terms of affordability: Google Analytics is free to use.
Google Analytics 4 provides many of the features that most marketers are looking for.
Event-based tracking. GA4 uses event-based tracking, meaning you get detailed and real-time insights into how users interact with your website. You’ll learn how they found your site, how they move about it, and whether they convert. It’s a much more user-centric view of the customer than Adobe.
Privacy-focused. Google has gone to lengths to make GA4 a more privacy-oriented platform. It doesn’t log or store IP addresses, and collects EU data via servers located in the European Union. It also provides a Consent Mode that makes it easy to abide by your users’ preferences.
Machine learning insights. Google Analytics 4 will automatically alert you to trends in your data using its new machine learning capabilities. It can calculate churn probability, for instance, so you spend your retargeting budget as effectively as possible.
Easy reporting. Google provides loads of pre-built reports, making it easy to understand how users behave on your website and app. And if you can’t find a report you like, then it’s easy to build your own.
Benefits of Google Analytics
There’s loads to love about Google Analytics 4. I’m not going to waste your time using this section to compare GA4 with its predecessor, however. I’ve already written about the differences between GA4 vs Universal Analytics and how to migrate from one platform to the other.
Instead, I’ll talk about the positives of the platform in general, so that it doesn’t matter if you’ve had experience with Universal Analytics or not.
- Event-based tracking makes it much easier to analyze users in real time and track conversions.
- You get access to loads of free data enhancement platforms like Google Optimize, Google Ads, and BigQuery.
- Google Analytics 4 is probably the easiest platform to get started with. Yes, it may be a big divergence from UA, but there is so much documentation, video tutorials, and articles from Google and third-party experts that it’s easy to learn about the tool before you commit.
Adobe Analytics vs GA4: Which Is Best for Digital Marketers?
Are you a digital marketer looking to compare Google Analytics 4 vs Adobe Analytics? Then let me help you pick the best platform for you.
Because everyone’s needs are different, I’ll run through several features I deem the most important to digital marketers and show you how the two platforms compare.
If reports are important to you, then I recommend choosing Google Analytics.
Google offers a wealth of capabilities, including building custom reports and dashboards within the tool, Google Exploration—a built-in WYSIWYG tool that lets you drag and drop metrics to quickly create custom reports—and Google Data Studio—a separate data studio that you can connect to your analytics profile to fulfill all your data visualization needs.
Adobe provides Workspace, an in-built reporting tool with WYSIWYG functionality, as well as some custom reports; but it’s a lot easier to quickly build and access reports with GA4.
If privacy is a concern, Google Analytics may be a better bet, too.
You can integrate Google Analytics directly with a consent management tool like CookieYes and create a range of conditions that mean tags only fire after users give their consent. Many of these platforms, including CookieYes, have pre-built templates you can add to Google Analytics.
Unfortunately, Adobe doesn’t provide this level of integration.
Any marketer wanting to take their analytics to the next level should be looking to incorporate predictive analytics into their workflow. If this is you, then Adobe Analytics may be your best bet.
With Adobe you can leverage Adobe Sensei to unearth hidden customer behaviors, detect anomalies in your data, and find out what’s causing them.
Google offers a smaller and more limited set of predictive capabilities, helping users to estimate purchase probability, churn probability, and predicted revenue.
Ease of Use
If you just want to get started with analytics, then Google is your best bet. The platform has a very low barrier to entry and it’s a pretty intuitive tool in general.
Adobe, on the other hand, requires significant groundwork to set up. If you need advanced analytics, then it’s probably worth the effort. If you’re a digital marketer for a small or medium brand, however, it’s not.
Cross-Channel Data Collection
If you want to go beyond website data collection, then Adobe Analytics is your only option. By integrating with other programs in the Adobe Experience Platform, you can build out customer journey analytics to get a consolidated view of customer behavior across every channel.
Finding the Tool that Fits Your Analytics Strategy
Deciding which tool is right for you in the battle of Adobe Analytics vs Google Analytics 4, ultimately boils down to your analytics maturity.
If you possess advanced analytical skills or work for a company that wants advanced analytics capabilities, then Adobe is the obvious choice. It’s a mature platform targeted at enterprise companies and it blows Google Analytics 4 out of the water in many respects. But it’s only worth it if you have the time, money, and expertise to set up and manage the platform.
If you work for a small or medium-sized business, or run your own website portfolio and just need basic daily performance tracking, then you’re probably going to prefer GA4. It’s much easier to set up and it’s more intuitive to use. It can’t do everything Adobe can, but you probably don’t want it to, either.
If in doubt, start using Google Analytics until you feel it limits your ability to run the kind of analytics or reporting you need. Then make the switch to Adobe Analytics.
Adobe Analytics is an enterprise-grade analytics platform. You can use it to build a complete understanding of your customer journey across virtually every touchpoint, including your website, mobile app, third-party websites, smart home devices, connected cars, and more. You can also use the platform to predict future user behavior and build out fully attributed marketing campaigns.
Adobe Analytics offers a full suite of analytics tools, including pre-built reports, data visualizations, audience segmentation, and predictive analytics.
I can’t stress the importance of choosing a good analytics platform. If you’re weighing up Adobe Analytics vs GA4, then the good news is that you’re guaranteed to pick a great tool. Both Adobe Analytics and GA4 will provide you with almost all of the tracking and reporting capabilities you could want.
I recommend Google Analytics 4 to the vast majority of my readers. It’s the easiest tool to use, it’s a great way to track vital website performance metrics, and it’s free. Read my guide on GA4 migration to get started.
But if you work for an enterprise company and want to squeeze every bit of juice from your marketing campaigns and build a complete profile of your customers, then Adobe Analytics will be worth the investment.
Which will you choose, GA4 vs Adobe Analytics? Let me know in the comments!
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