How Can Marketers Capitalise On The Switch To GA4?

How Can Marketers Capitalise On The Switch To GA4?
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The vast majority of businesses nowadays not only utilise first-party data, data they collect themselves, but find it critical to their progress as a company. 

Businesses need to have the best analytics capability possible to utilise this data in a way that is effective and proactive. 

Google Analytics is the most popular website and app analytics platform today and Google has announced a major change to Google Analytics.

From 1 July, 2023 Universal Analytics (UA), the previous version of analytics that many use for tracking user performance on their website, will stop collecting and processing data. 

So many businesses have begun switching to Google Analytics 4 (GA4) in order to have 12 months of data for analysis.

What is GA4?

GA4 is more of a revolution, rather than an evolution. It will integrate website and app tracking, meaning a clearer picture for marketers about how their content is performing.

GA4 is focused on privacy, making it easier for marketers to maximise data tracking while still complying with data privacy laws.

The new update will also mean enhanced capabilities in machine learning and how pageviews, session times and user interest in marketing content are measured.

So, what does this mean for your business? 

We spoke to Richard Bedford, the General Manager of Technology, Data, and Analytics at full-service digital agency Resolution Digital, about how marketers can effectively make the switch to GA4 without losing out on potential gains from the new service.

Richard Bedford – General Manager of Technology, Data, and Analytics at Resolution Digital

Making the switch 

Over the past few years, there have been changes in privacy and regulation globally that has affected all Marketing Technology vendors.

GA4 is built with privacy in mind from the ground up. “GA4 is fundamentally different to Google’s Universal Analytics”, says Bedford, because it adopted Firebase’s analytics data model, it has a new measurement approach and a new way of capturing data. 

This will allow marketers to gain a better understanding of how people are engaging with their content, rather than just relying on simpler metrics that can be misleading.

“Businesses will not be able to import data from one service to another, meaning it’s so important for clients to begin the GA4 implementation now to begin collecting data before UA stops collecting data,” Bedford said.

“Clients should run them in parallel so there’s no business disruption and GA4 can be implemented properly. A simple implementation might take four weeks, and a more complex one could take maybe two or three months.”

In order to facilitate the switch, Resolution Digital has published The Marketer’s Guide to GA4 to give its clients ideas for business buying. The company has also published an in-house GA4 migration checklist and launched a Google Analytics GA4 training course for the new service.

The benefits of GA4 

GA4 is a simpler implementation, but it enables much more sophisticated functionality, and according to Bedford “we’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg in terms of Google’s GA4 roadmap”.

“To enable app tracking previously, you actually had to have a specialist deploying Google’s Firebase SDK, their software development kit, to enable app and web tracking,” Bedford said. 

“Whereas with GA4, it’s built from the ground up, leveraging a lot of the firebase for analytics data model and feedback from the analytics community.” 

With GA4, long gone are the days of additional programs to integrate the data from web and app. The service now gives marketers the big picture all in one spot.

Another element of GA4 that is different from Universal Analytics is the way that the new service leverages machine learning. 

Bedford further explained that due to the smarter cross-platform and cross-device tracking, marketers can start to predict revenue and do things like data-driven attribution.

This means that marketers can better understand how consumers look at the content you produce and lead towards them becoming your customers. It uses data from your account to determine which keywords, ads and campaigns have the best impact on your marketing and business goals.

How Resolution Digital can help your business 

Resolution Digital’s Annalect is the In-house Analytics, Data, Tech and Measurement Division and Google Analytics partner. 

By following a strategic framework with clients, “We analyse how the switch (from UA to GA4) affects their business by prioritising and making sure that events are set up correctly and tie back to each client’s individual objectives.” Bedford explained. 

“Understanding each client’s goals, and developing a comprehensive measurement plan means that the solution design provides the insights to drive real business impact”. 

“But then we also have teams that can fully implement and test the GA4 deployment if a client doesn’t have in house dev teams, and a team that pulls it all together to help train the client and adopt this new tech. There aren’t many people that have that ability, not just to do the analytics piece, but can also do the front end and also do the back end development and help clients integrate analytics into the bigger picture within their businesses.”

Resolution Digital’s services make it simple for businesses to convert to GA4.

Download Resolution Digital’s free Marketer’s Guide to GA4, which has everything you need to successfully make the switch to GA4.

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