4 Benefits the New Google Analytics 4 Brings to Your Marketing Strategy
You’ve probably heard that Google Analytics for digital marketing professionals is undergoing a major change. As of July 1, 2023, Universal Google Analytics will no longer accept data. At that point, companies that want to use a Google product to gauge their site analytics will have one choice: Google Analytics 4.
The new Google Analytics 4 isn’t exactly new: It was introduced two years ago to address issues with user privacy and challenges in addressing complex customer journeys. However, it’s novel for many marketers. That’s why you’ll want to learn how to use Google Analytics for marketing once Universal Analytics goes by the wayside and GA 4 takes over.
Google Analytics 4 vs. Universal Analytics
There’s plenty to look forward to when it comes to Google Analytics 4 implementation. Yes, it will be a learning curve, but you’ll find that one of GA 4’s biggest differentiators — the ability to track events rather than sessions — is highly beneficial. This is especially true in an online-focused world that’s moving closer to a cookie-less landscape.
It’s no secret that the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the EU and California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) in the U.S. illustrate the growing importance of privacy. These and other proposed laws will make it very difficult for companies to collect people’s data. Google knows this, which is why the new Google Analytics 4 and its events-based flexibility mixed with artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) circumvents the need for cookies.
Here’s a general overview of how GA 4 events works:
- First, Google Analytics 4 tracks user events, such as video plays, across myriad devices.
- Then, the collective user event data is parsed through predictive software that evaluates those events and constructs customer journeys.
- Finally, Google Analytics 4 goes much deeper than just reporting raw numbers, percentages and ratios. It can serve in a prognostication position, giving marketers deeper GA insights than they’ve had before.
Really, the advantages of GA 4 run far and wide. Below are just some of the ways that this latest Google analytics management tool is poised to take your marketing to the next level:
1. Google Analytics 4 helps you predict sales.
The ML aspect of Google Analytics 4 is by far one of its best features. Over time, ML will amass your data and learn from it. That way, you can figure out which audiences are most likely to convert based on past trends.
For instance, you might discover that customers who take specific journeys end up buying product “X.” Therefore, if you can shepherd leads through the same journey you can expect to sell a predictable amount of product “X.” As good as it was, Universal Analytics didn’t offer up this type of real-time behavior monitoring capability.
2. Google Analytics 4 delivers 'identity spaces.'
Identity spaces give you the chance to identify consumers using something other than cookies. A consumer opting into your site’s cookies might be given a first-party cookie device ID. Or the consumer might be set up with a user ID that can be tracked across all your channels, such as your website or app.
If someone opts into ad personalization, the consumer can be tracked via any number of browsers or devices. Identity spaces enable you to better see how consumers move through all of your touchpoints.
3. Google Analytics 4 allows you to attribute each touchpoint.
Speaking of touchpoints, Google Analytics 4 offers the ability to visualize how consumers are flowing through your sales pipeline. With Universal Analytics, you might have had to make educated guesses when it came to your marketing attribution model.
The new Google Analytics 4, on the other hand, lets you feel more comfortable knowing exactly how and where to attribute each digital marketing message you send out.
4. Google Analytics 4 serves up codeless event tracking.
No coding background? No problem. Events are tracked as they occur in Google Analytics 4. All you have to do is log in and watch what’s happening as it happens.
You can literally see how many consumers are looking at your latest video blog, for example. Don’t worry about fiddling with back-end code, though. Google has built event tracking into GA 4 so it’s closer to being a bespoke experience.
If you like the idea of being able to predict the browsing habits of your prospective customers and have richer data pools to work from, you’ll be pleased with the new Google Analytics 4. Certainly getting up to speed on this AI-driven program will take some time. Just don’t wait to switch until the last minute. Set up a Google Analytics 4 account to start collecting data immediately. The more data the tool has, the stronger its predictive power — and the stronger your marketing will be.
Justin Wenokur is the senior director of digital strategy at CMG Local Solutions, a company that provides customized digital marketing solutions that solve your unique business needs.
Justin Wenokur is the senior director of digital strategy at CMG Local Solutions. Justin obsesses over the best ways to get his customers to the results they desire using the latest and greatest in the world of digital marketing services. Prior to working at CMG Local Solutions, Justin was the vice president of growth for a large digital agency in Dallas and was responsible for growing his customers’ revenues while also growing agency revenue. During that time he received honors such as AD2’s top 32 under 32 and ANA’s Rising Stars in Marketing award.