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Customer Engagement

Changing the Game in Personalization with Marketing Cloud and Google Analytics 360

Last month at Salesforce Connections, Salesforce announced that Marketing Cloud is delivering new integrations with Google Analytics 360. As part of the integrations, a new Marketing Cloud analytics dashboard with consumer insights from Analytics 360 is now available. Additionally, Marketing Cloud engagement data is now available within Analytics 360 for improved attribution and website optimization. Launching in pilot this quarter, for the first time, audiences created within Analytics 360 can be published to Marketing Cloud for cross-channel journeys.

Open Colleges, Australia’s leader in online education, has helped more than 800,000 students take the next step in their careers. Lawrence Daffurn, Head of Lifecycle Marketing at Open Colleges and his team are among Salesforce’s first customers to tap into the power of the Marketing Cloud and Google Analytics 360 integration. Lawrence recently joined us for a discussion on the benefits of the integration for Open Colleges.

How is Open Colleges using Salesforce Marketing Cloud?

A few years ago, Open Colleges was tasked with looking for a new technology solution to advance our student engagement strategy. To meet the demands of today’s students, we needed to move towards marketing automation and personalized communications, which was when I implemented Salesforce Marketing Cloud.

Initially, we started as a team of one developing email campaigns. As email marketing’s importance increased within the business, the team grew, as well. We are now a team of three that regularly turns to Marketing Cloud to improve how we communicate with our prospective and current students. We’re now able to automate and personalize email communications at scale and ease, offering relevant course content to prospective students and motivating them once they enroll through automated marketing journeys.

For example, one of the first journeys we created with Salesforce Marketing Cloud was a simple “welcome series” that welcomed new students to Open Colleges, and encouraged them to enroll in our courses. We found that when we developed marketing journeys featuring personalized course recommendations that students were more likely to engage with emails from Open Colleges. In fact, we saw a 42 percent increase in enrollment conversion from students who received the personalized welcome content compared to those who didn’t.

We have also been turning to Marketing Cloud’s Social Studio product to power social media engagement and digital advertising. With Social Studio, we easily plan ahead by scheduling social posts and can quickly respond to students across any social media channel all in one place. Using Marketing Cloud Advertising Studio, we’re able to send automated daily exclusion lists of our enrolled students to exclude them from digital advertising across some of the most popular platforms. Previously this task was done manually.

How do you use Google Analytics 360?

To understand the impact that our email communications efforts have on our students, we use the Google Analytics 360 dashboard. There, we can uncover how many visitors are coming to our website from email, transactions generated from email, time spent on certain landing pages, email bounce-back rates and time spent on the site when redirected from email.

We often use insights from Analytics 360 to come up with marketing campaign content ideas for the month ahead. For example, we may look at what prospective students are browsing on the website course pages to help us understand what series of emails to send in order to reactivate prospective students that haven’t engaged in our content in a while.

We also use insights from Analytics 360 when we need to boost engagement with prospects and current students. We can activate campaigns that we know drive a certain metric that we’re looking to increase. For example, I can look at the last few months and see which campaigns drove the most revenue based on what KPI we want to give a nudge. From there, we may replicate that campaign or expand on it.

How has the integration of Marketing Cloud with Google Analytics 360 improved marketing for Open Colleges?

Prior to the integration, connecting insights from Marketing Cloud and Google Analytics 360 required us to manually build dashboards to see everything in one place, and to understand how email engagement impacted site visits and vice versa. The manual process was incredibly time-consuming, requiring a lot of back-and-forth with various teams. It would take us four to six weeks and lots of meetings involving analysts before we could get any sort of visibility into consumers behaviors.

Now, with the newly launched integration between Marketing Cloud and Analytics 360, we have a single dashboard for each consumer journey that we develop and deploy. We’re also able to analyze how consumers interact with Open Colleges throughout the entire lifecycle–including what content has been clicked on and resulted in conversion.

How do you see Google Analytics 360 and Marketing Cloud coming together to uncover consumer insights and improve student engagement moving forward?

From a dashboard perspective, we would love to point to how the Marketing Cloud and Analytics 360 dashboard is helping drive business efficiencies and productivity among the team. We believe these new insights from the dashboard will empower the team to showcase results in tangible ways that weren’t possible before.

We’ve never been able to understand the complete consumer journey. With this partnership, we have access to information about our consumers all in one place. We can develop truly personalized marketing campaigns, and understand how one marketing channel is impacting another in order to drive an action.

For more about the Salesforce Marketing Cloud and Google Analytics 360 integration, please read the following Newsroom post. And for more information on the Salesforce and Google strategic partnership, visit


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