How GA4 is Shaping the Future of Analytics—and Your Business

05.16.2023 Alyson Phillips4 min

Most business leaders understand the value of using analytics to measure ad performance and understand the value you’re getting from your campaigns.

While that’s certainly a benefit, it doesn’t represent the full value offered by analytics. Thanks to deep data insights, improved attribution and analytics powered by artificial intelligence, analytics platforms can now function as centers of value creation themselves, pushing your campaign performance forward higher and raising the floor for your entire digital advertising strategy.

The deadline for switching to Google Analytics 4 may still be six weeks away, but waiting until the last minute could cost your business a lot of value creation over that period of time. As we discussed with Alex Fleshner in a recent webinar, each day your business delays this transition is a day of lost value creation.

Here are some of the highlights from our talk with Alex.

3 Strategic Benefits of Google Analytics 4

While GA4 offers a number of critical improvements and capabilities that will upgrade your company’s analytics experience, Fleshner has grouped the impact of those changes into three key strategic benefits. With GA4, your business will be able to:

  • Collect and enrich first-party data in a privacy-safe way. The ongoing rise of data privacy regulations, and the phasing out of more problematic tracking tools like cookies, is increasing the need for first-party data acquisition channels that prioritize user privacy. GA4 accomplishes this even as it enables a more unified, holistic user journey across multiple data sources—regardless of the scale of your ad strategy.
  • Derive powerful business insights. Google’s AI technology, along with other enhanced capabilities built into the GA4 platform, enable improved reporting and customization for your ad campaigns, improving your short- and long-term ad performance.
  • Take action based on data-driven insights. Through direct integrations with Google media platforms, GA4 makes it easy for your business to turn insights into action, improving audience engagement across digital channels while optimizing your media spend and improving overall campaign ROI.

A Better Approach to Measuring Ad Performance

Advertising and marketing success is dependent on high-quality measurement. GA4 delivers an infrastructure for measurement that accounts for user privacy and user consent standards, supporting an approach to analytics that is built for the future.

The three pillars of this measurement approach include the following:

  • Consented data collection. GA4’s platform is adapted to current privacy demands and can be flexible to how these requirements evolve over time, both in terms of regulatory changes and user privacy expectations. Quality data collection can be achieved while giving users more control over how data is collected and used.
  • First-party data sources. By creating better first-party data acquisition channels, GA4 helps local businesses better understand user behavior across a customer journey. Better insights will give you information to tailor that journey to the customers’ preferences and needs.
  • Modeled behavioral data. When first-party data gaps exist, data modeling can be used to fill in gaps caused by cookie loss and other measurement restrictions, supporting more comprehensive information about the customer journey. By connecting and modeling all of this data, Fleshner suggests that businesses can double the revenue generated from their campaigns.

Achieving Better Business Outcomes Through Predictive Intelligence

Google’s AI capabilities don’t only generate insights based on past campaign performance. They can also look ahead to help your business predict new growth opportunities and future user behavior before it happens.

Predictive analysis gives your business a head start in building campaigns that aim to take advantage of these opportunities—or, conversely, these insights can help you avoid potential challenges that may be cropping up on the horizon. Three key predictive powers GA4 offers are the following:

  • Purchase probability. Your business can predict which users are most likely to make an in-app or ecommerce purchase in the next seven days. By identifying this audience, you can segment and target them with ads aimed at driving that conversion.
  • Churn probability. Identify which users are most likely to churn based on their disengagement with your website and/or app. Again, you can target them with campaigns aimed at reconnecting them with your brand.
  • Revenue prediction. By forecasting the total revenue driven by conversions over an upcoming four-week window, you can manage your ad spend accordingly and adjust your campaigns as necessary.

The Future of Analytics Has Arrived

The value of GA4 is enough on its own to motivate a switch over to this analytics platform. But businesses have a much more urgent reason to transition away from Universal Analytics and into Google Analytics 4: starting July 1, UA will stop processing new data, making this platform effectively obsolete.

Fortunately, Google has made it easy to switch over to GA4 and begin taking advantage of its powerful new capabilities. A small business marketing consultant can help you navigate this transition while taking full advantage of the new analytics features that can elevate campaign performance and improve ROI for your digital advertising strategy.

Ready to get more value from your local advertising? Contact us today to get started.

Click here to watch the full webinar with Alex Fleshner.

About the Author

Alyson Phillips

Alyson is the Director of Marketing at Cox Media’s corporate offices in Atlanta. With a background in journalism and over a decade of experience in brand marketing, she has a passion for connecting brands to their customers through powerful storytelling. In her role, she’s responsible for amplifying the Cox Media brand in the communities we serve nationwide – whether through advertising, thought leadership, or the customer experience. When she’s not working, she’s chasing around her twin toddlers and spending as much time outdoors as possible.

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