Industry: Marketing agency for boutique hotels
Size: 40+ employees
Markets: North America
Product: Supermetrics for BigQuery
GCommerce is a full-service digital marketing agency and Google Premier Partner for boutique hotels & resorts. Based in Park City, Utah, and with strong roots in the hospitality industry, GCommerce provides their clients with end-to-end marketing services that range from crafting holistic marketing strategies and conversion-centric websites, right through to paid acquisition campaigns and social media management.
With many of their clients being independent boutique hotels with limited marketing bandwidth, a big focus area for GCommerce is equipping their clients with the technology and reporting systems to gather all their data and truly understand how their marketing is performing. Many of the clients are relatively new to real-time marketing reporting, so GCommerce had to prove the value of marketing data.
Will Ferris, GCommerce’s CTO, knows how challenging this can be. Having joined the company over 13 years ago as a Search Marketing Specialist, Will is now CTO where he leads a small bootstrapped team in pursuit of data-focused projects including data architecture, ETL, data ingestion, visualization, and product deployment. “I’m very aware of the challenges involved when it comes to collecting and analyzing data. All our clients are different so we can’t take a cookie-cutter approach; we need the data to tell us what we should be doing for each client,” Will says.
Turning data into growth
Will and the GCommerce team have been Supermetrics customers well before taking the Supermetrics for BigQuery pipeline into use. Whilst they had been using Supermetrics to build client reports and dashboards in Google Data Studio, they were lacking a repository where they could store all their historical data. Will flagged this as a strategic priority for GCommerce and after a careful assessment, selected Supermetrics as their data pipeline between all their marketing platforms and Google BigQuery.
Will says that, “As CTO and having previously done a lot of ops, we know there’s a big opportunity to develop products that heavily involve data. While our reporting suite was adequate, we didn’t have a data repository and we needed to move forward. I knew this was going to hold us back in terms of comparative analytics, and so we needed better data intelligence, which led us to Google BigQuery. From there we looked for a partner to help us pull our marketing data into BigQuery, and we found Supermetrics.”
GCommerce + BigQuery + Supermetrics
For Will and the GCommerce team, they have two main use cases for Supermetrics for BigQuery. The first is to improve client operations and better ROI. And the second is about providing incremental value, which GCommerce can use to innovate and develop new products in the future.
1. Better client results
Since implementing Supermetrics for BigQuery, GCommerce’s client teams have all their customers’ data in one central repository. This provides them with better insight to make better decisions. And secondly, the time taken to surface that data has reduced significantly, saving Will’s team both time and effort. “We have a chance to do ad-hoc reporting. Customer has a question? We can pull up the numbers immediately”, Will says.
Will says that, “Now with Supermetrics, a business analyst can sit down with a client, discuss strategic topics such as key markets and customer segments, and surface data to reinforce a strategy or equally debunk it. We want to be more data-forward in how we act and pin our decisions based on data and eliminate waste. In terms of how we do that with a client, the data needs to be surfaced, which is now done with Supermetrics for BigQuery.”
“Right now we’re able to query data based on our strategy, instantly see the results, and create a narrative around it. You can surface data immediately rather than having to wait. With our previous solution it could have taken a day or two, but now it can be there in less than an hour. In addition, it’s a lot less effort for our team,” Will adds.
2. Incremental value: better client services & new products
By combining Supermetrics with Google BigQuery, Will and his team are building a data repository that adds incremental value over time, enabling GCommerce to innovate and build new products in the future.
“We’ve used Supermetrics with Google Data Studio for a long time now, but one thing we never had was a central repository. Now we have access to our full, historical data and looking back to a certain point in time is no longer a laborious process, but rather we can move and pivot that much faster,” Will says.
In addition, Will explains how Supermetrics is bringing incremental value to GCommerce, and enabling them to provide a better service to clients as well as launch new products to market by stating that, “The data Supermetrics helps us collect enables us to find better marketing insights, which in turn improves our business and client operations, leading to increased ROI. This brings incremental value to us as an organization, enabling two things. Firstly, better client services. And secondly, as a launchpad for developing new products we can provide to our customers. Right now, data is in its infancy and we want to be very forward-looking. Supermetrics is helping ensure we’re up to speed in how we collect, analyze, and extract intelligence from our data.”
When it came to selecting a data pipeline technology to connect GCommere’s marketing platforms with Google BigQuery, Will identified four key factors in their decision:
- A strong sense of trust
- A broad and deep set of connectors
- ETL efficiency
“We have a strong history with Supermetrics and the Google Data Studio connector has been great! We went through our own QA process to ensure we found the right data pipeline technology and Supermetrics did everything we needed and hoped for. It was accurate, efficient, and as a Google Premier Partner having the integration with BigQuery was key. Supermetrics pulls data from all the sources we need and the depth is there, so kudos to the product team!”, Will added.
Since taking Google BigQuery and Supermetrics into use, Will has finally achieved the goal of having a marketing data warehouse. On an operational level this has led to time and cost savings, whilst on a business level it’s led to improved services and results for their clients. Will says that, “We now produce all of our new reports using the data stored in Google BigQuery. We have massive efficiency and we have reduced our reporting labor by 50%. We have been able to derive insights never before seen in our industry. We have also been able to produce more real-time reports for our clients. We can give our customers real-time recommendations on how to make the most of their marketing.”
As for next steps, Will and the GCommerce team have grand plans when it comes to leveraging data as a way to gain competitive advantages in future, stating that “After launching our new data reporting product, we have started to understand our client needs much better. The reports we have produced have given us insight on how to succeed in the competitive hospitality space and we are making strides to move forward to comparative analytics. Our growth is tied to our data products and Supermetrics is part of our key growth plans.”
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