Adobe (Omniture) SiteCatalyst vs. Google Analytics – Round 1: Unexpected Cost Savings

From our experience with Fortune 500 companies, Omniture SiteCatalyst (now Adobe SiteCatalyst) has always been king. In many regards, the king has been dethroned. SiteCatalyst, along with the entire Adobe Online Marketing Suite, has capabilities that Google Analytics does not provide. However, those capabilities (which we have found are rarely used) come with a price. Not just the price of the software, which is usually where cost comparison comes into play when discussing the two web analytics market leaders. But, the price of initial and ongoing maintenance and implementation.

Can you believe that our clients are finding savings in excess 40% in ongoing web analytics maintenance costs when they switch from SiteCatalyst to Google Analytics? These are not costs paid to the analytics provider for use of the system (as those decrease to $0 with Google, a big savings but a known and obvious one), these are internal IT and development costs. This is a huge savings.

Why the big savings? For a robust implementation of a large site, SiteCatalyst is 80% custom analytics code, Google Analytics is 20% custom analytics code. There is less work overall with fewer errors, shorter QA times and less manual configuration. When you combine this savings with the savings of using a free product, the results are truly great.

The downside? Still looking for that answer. SiteCatalyst’s pathing ability is always a feature that clients think they will miss. In reality, they never do miss it. For our clients, web analytics software is simply a data capture mechanism. The magic and insights occur outside of the web analytics tool, when data from all sources is combined to tell a story about conversions, marketing strategy and ROI that is, quite frankly, unavailable in SiteCatalyst.

For very large, highly complex e-commerce sites, making a switch to save a few bucks may not be the best path if you are actively exploiting the entire Adobe Online Marketing suite. Choosing a web analytics provider should always be based upon business requirements to ensure a proper fit.

Leave a Reply