In this joint guest post, Shaunn Anderson (pictured below), strategy director, and Giorgio Liapakis (lead image), technical project executive at The Pistol, says with Google Analytic’s pending death now less than a year away, it’s time to get your head around Google Analytics 4…
In March this year, Google announced that it is sunsetting Universal Analytics (UA) from 1 July, 2023, in favour of its new Google Analytics 4 (GA4) product. With more than a year to go before the expiry date, few marketers are viewing the transition as an urgent priority. But there are important reasons why they should not delay.
Most importantly, executives expect accountability and consistent reporting from marketing leaders, especially as part of end of financial year reporting. Failing to get set up on GA4 before the new 2023 financial year begins – in a few weeks’ time – means marketers may not be able to produce continuous year-over-year comparisons at year-end. UA and GA4 have fundamentally different approaches to reporting that will make comparing one’s data to the other challenging.
Since launching as a free-to-use product in 2012, Universal Analytics has become one of the most widely used web analytics products on the market. It has served marketers well, but a lot has changed in the digital world since it launched.
GA4 is a completely new product built from the ground up to suit the modern day digital environment. There are fundamental differences between the two. Universal Analytics uses the Client ID method, whereas GA4 is built around first party data, or the User ID method. GA4 can be set up to capture data and produce reports consistent with those available through Universal Analytics, but it cannot do so retroactively, without having captured the necessary data over the applicable period.
But if the risk of being caught out at the end of FY23 reporting season is not reason enough, there are other good reasons why marketers should prioritise the switch to GA4.
GA4 has powerful new features, including machine learning, a much richer view of users’ activity and smarter attribution and reporting. It also offers better, easier integration with CRM systems, enabling the tracking of offline leads and conversions and a clearer view of the traffic sources that are having the greatest impacts. Google’s analysis, based on internal Google Search studies, shows that the combination of these features can deliver a five per cent increase in conversions right off the bat.
Another reason is that the transition forces a strategic review of data strategy. This can uncover weaknesses and deficiencies that could otherwise go unnoticed, such as issues with data capture and analysis, or suboptimal workflows. Addressing these issues can dramatically improve efficiencies and outcomes.
At The Pistol, we have long advocated for brands to take ownership of their first party data, and to use data strategically to enrich their customers’ experiences. The demise of third party cookies means this is not only sensible, but necessary in the future. With GA4, all website traffic data can be captured and owned by the brand.
With the end of the current financial year around the corner and the usual reporting and planning obligations this season brings, it is understandable that new data projects are not at the top of marketers’ priority lists. But the transition to GA4 shouldn’t be too onerous. Following an audit of data systems to understand requirements and what the transition looks like, the implementation can be completed in as little as a few days, setting teams up for the year ahead.
As Universal Analytics fades into the sunset, a new dawn begins. With a speedy migration to GA4, there is truth in the old saying that the early bird catches the worm.
Luisa Dalli (lead image) is a senior strategist at Havas Media Group. In this guest post, Dalli says Australia didn’t merely elect the Albanese government but it also shone a bright light on where we are and what we want as a nation… It’s been two months since Australia’s federal election, yet the underling feeling […]
In uncertain times, trusted sources become even more significant in the world of media. Elise Bennett (pictured), head of account management (APAC) at Outbrain, reveals what advertisers need to know about the new trust exchange. Instability breeds uncertainty. From bushfires to the pandemic and war, there’s been plenty of both to go around in recent […]
Independent SEO agency Optimising has further reinforced its commitment to the environment by being part of 1% for the Planet, on the back of it gaining B Corp Certification last year. Optimising continues to walk the walk around environment sustainability by being part of the global movement, which inspires businesses and individuals to support environmental […]
Media and communications staff at all levels are invited to take part in a national online survey examining perceptions and practices around cultural diversity, inclusion, and representation in the industry. The FAIR survey, now in its second year, provides a snapshot of cultural diversity in the communications industry, as well as how practitioners incorporate diverse […]
PubMatic has announced a partnership with AlikeAudience in Australia, Japan, and Indonesia, enabling advertisers to access quality audience data on the supply side. Activating data on the supply side cuts down complexity and delivers more efficiency and value for both media buyers and data owners, through higher match rates and better CPMs. The partnership expands […]
Live streaming service Optus Sport will be showing all major games of the Spanish La Liga Santander and the LaLiga SmartBank, giving football fans an extra reason to become subscribers. The Spanish Football League is considered one of the greatest in the world, containing the likes of European champions Real Madrid, Catalan giants FC Barcelona, […]
In the recently launched campaign for TVNZ+, Dentsu Creative, and Sweetshop’s Damien Shatford, have delivered an entertaining look at the new streaming brand, TVNZ+. TVNZ launched the reimagined streaming brand last week to better reflect its digital offering, repositioning the platform as a streaming destination rather than an OnDemand catch-up service.
Ruffie Rustic Foods have teamed up with Nikki Van Dijk and Surfing Australia to encourage groms to be kind to their bodies and minds through providing nutritious, plant-based meal options. Ruffie Rustic Foods are on a mission to prove that plant-based eating can be easy and convenient, without compromising on flavour. Whether you’re vegetarian, flexitarian, […]
Nestlé Australia today launched Tuck In!, a program supporting emerging First Nations creatives to establish career pathways in commercial content creation. Tuck In! invited First Nations chefs and aspiring content creators to develop recipe and video content celebrating the combination of bush foods and Nestlé products. Nestlé Oceania marketing & communications director Anneliese Douglass said […]
The UK Ministry of Defence confirmed that the British Army’s Twitter and YouTube accounts had been compromised by hackers who used them to promote their non-fungible token (NFT) products. The two accounts have since returned to normal, as the Ministry said via their own Twitter page. “The breach of the army’s Twitter and YouTube accounts […]