For years Google Analytics has been utilized by marketers to better understand campaign performance and help with data driven decisions for marketing attribution/resource allocation.
With more regulations around privacy being finalized in various geographical areas, and the rise of the “death of cookies” reports, concerns about analytics platforms (such as Google Analytics) and the future of digital marketing analytics have become hot topic discussions.
- Will platforms such as Google Analytics continue to provide value in digital marketing decision making?
- Is there a need to find replacement tools?
- What steps should be taken to mitigate risk of losing important data?
To navigate these concerns, we have been guiding businesses to begin efforts towards setting up Google Analytics 4 (GA4).
But you may ask, why GA4 – and specifically why is GA4 valuable to marketers?
Firstly, GA4 is built with the privacy regulations in mind, the following features & functionality should be explored with IT/Security and Analytics teams to ensure that data collection meets marketing needs & privacy regulations:
- Data Retention Period
- User Data Deletion
- Consent Mode (beta)
- Avoid Collecting Personally Identifiable Information (PII)
- IP Anonymization
Secondly, GA4 is geared towards marketers.
1) GA4’s User Interface Layout with Customer Life Cycle in Mind
For marketers looking to identify the right time to serve content, it is critical to understand where customers/users are in the Customer Life Cycle and what their behavior is within a particular stage.
With GA4’s reports categorized to reflect the Customer Life Cycle: Acquisition, Engagement, Monetization and Retention, marketers can easily complete ad hoc marketing analysis and gathering information or visualizations for marketing performance story telling.
2) Analytics Intelligence Uncovering Marketing Trends & Anomalies
Marketers can leverage the Analytics Intelligence capabilities, which utilizes machine learning and statistical techniques, to identify trends, anomalies, and important user types. With the option to configure Custom Insights, marketers can utilize their targets (campaigns, quarterly, etc.) to create the logic for the Custom Insights, which in turn will uncover progress towards said targets. Allowing marketers to stay on top of the progress and performance of marketing initiatives while minimizing the time spent on mundane tasks around gathering and analyzing marketing data (GA4 will do it for you!).
Analytics Intelligence includes two types of insights:
- Automated insights: Analytics Intelligence detects unusual changes or emerging trends in your data and notifies you automatically, on the Insights dashboard
- Custom insights: You create conditions that detect changes in your data that are important to you – such as campaign traffic benchmarks. When the conditions are triggered, you see the insights on the Insights dashboard, and you can optionally receive email alerts.
3) Emergence of New Engagement Metrics
GA4 shifted away from utilizing Bounce Rate as a default metric to indicate engagement, which after being a staple metric for many years might be a shock. But for marketers, the introduction of GA4’s new Engagement Metrics is a cause for celebration.
GA4’s Engagement Metrics, listed below, shift the way engagement is assessed by Google, to now focus on which marketing initiatives drive traffic to the site or app that result in successful interactions rather than which ones do not (Bounce Rate).
This shift is critical, now marketers have default metrics that will quickly provide insight into performance of campaigns in progress, but also into which marketing channels are driving results in more favorable conversions (attribution analysis capabilities at your finger tips!).
All of this can now be completed within in minutes rather than creating deep dive analyses.
Engagement Metrics in GA4:
- Engaged Sessions
- Average Engagement Time
- Engaged Sessions per User
- Engagement Rate
- User Engagement
- Active Users
4) Holistic Campaign Attribution
Gone are the days where campaign attribution analysis of your digital platforms (Website & App) had to be either assessed separately or take hours of manpower to blend the data between the two platforms. With GA4’s Data Hierarchy, that views all interactions on websites and apps as events, marketing analytics is rolled up to the business level, not at the platform level, allowing quicker and more intelligent marketing reporting to drive data driven decision making.
Learn more about GA4’s Data Hierarchy by visiting The Flexibility of GA4’s Data Model blog.
5) Propensity & Churn
Yvette Elliott says in Improve Conversions for Marketing Campaigns with GA4
“Predictive marketing analytics is the need of the hour for businesses today. It’s what will give marketers a competitive advantage. Predictive analytics provides crucial data that can then be used for planning, strategizing, and deploying an effective marketing campaign for the company. Seeing the importance of Predictive Analytics, Google Analytics 4 has stepped in and has stepped up. GA4 has revamped data collection, analysis and processing. One of the key changes in GA4 is the predictive metrics that give deeper insights into customer behavior and their potential purchase habits, such as their likelihood to buy a certain product.”
Currently, GA4 has 3 predictive metrics for planning a well thought-out and effective marketing campaign:
- Purchase Probability: the tendency of a user who has been active in the past 28 days to convert in the next 7 days
- Churn Probability: the possibility that a user who has been active for the past 7 days will not be active in the next 7 days
- Revenue Prediction: the estimate of revenue generated from a user who has been active in the past 28 days
What’s Next – How to Begin your Efforts Towards Setting Up Google Analytics 4
If you haven’t already, the first step would be to configure a GA4 Property. Steps on how to do this can be found in our How to Set Up a Google Analytics 4 Property blog.
But setting up a GA4 Property is only the beginning, to ensure that businesses are set up for success in GA4, ClickInsight has created a GA4 Roadmap to Success – 5 Phases Process.
To learn more about our GA4 Roadmap to Success – 5 Phase Process, or to chat with one of our Digital Analytics Consultant team members, drop a message in the comments below or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.