Google has announced it will replace its current analytics measurement standard – Universal Analytics (UA) – with Google Analytics 4 (GA4) in July 2023. The biggest takeaway for brands using UA is if you haven’t yet begun to transition to GA4, the time is now.
Google Analytics 4 is the new analytics framework from Google Analytics that allows advertisers to better respond to increasingly privacy-centric practices across the app and web ecosystem. The alignment that Google will sunset UA with the timeframe that Chrome will deprecate third-party cookies underscores how critical it is for advertisers to make data durability preparedness a central strategic priority.
What does this mean for your brand?
A year+ sounds like a long time, but success in transitioning to GA4 will be determined by how you use that time. For any advertiser using UA, especially those who use it as a critical signal for media performance, this announcement means effort is needed now to transition from investigation to full adoption of GA4. For GA360 customers, the added bonus of three extra months before the migration is not so much of an incremental gain – especially when you consider that GA4 should be implemented by July 1, 2022 to have year-over-year data to compare against.
Not all brands have the resources or expertise to navigate GA4, which has a very different feature set and methodology than UA. There are still important questions around exactly how certain functions in UA will work in GA4, particularly around reporting and attribution frameworks, which are slowly migrating as part of Google’s product roadmap. New features like predicted churn, lifetime value (LTV) and cross-device attribution can be game-changers that add tremendous value. But brands will need to invest more time learning the platform before they can glean the insights required to inform performance.
Per Jonathan D’Souza Rauto, a member of Kepler’s Marketing Systems Strategy team, “Brands need to pivot from experimentation to action. GA4 is quite different from UA, and we’re helping clients implement reporting and attribution frameworks that will allow them to successfully manage the coming transition while maintaining historical data.”
For more on how Kepler can support advertisers in this migration, contact us at email@example.com