There have been some pretty big changes in the world of marketing in the past 20 years, some of the big ones that come to mind are the introduction of PPC in 2002, the launch of Remarketing in AdWords in 2010, the end of SEO (at least how we knew it to that point) in 2013, and the release of GA360 in 2016. All of these events changed the way marketers market on a day to day basis.
Last month another was added to this list. Google’s announcement that Google Analytics as we know it will sunset and will cease collecting data in July 2023 (GA) and October 2023 (GA360). And it’s the biggest of the big ones, not only will this change how marketers do things, it changes how marketers think about doing things, because GA4 is a whole new way to think about analytics and measurement.
At first (and in some cases still) this has led to a lot of negative talk in articles and social media, crying about what GA4 can’t do, anger at Google, in some cases almost tantrum-like reactions. This isn’t surprising really when you stop and ask yourself, how much of this is based on GA4 itself, and how much is based on most people’s reaction to change? People hate change. As Dostoevsky said “Taking a new step, uttering a new word, is what people fear most.” And GA4 isn’t a little change, it’s a HUGE change.
If you take fear of change out of the equation (or at least recognize it may be coloring your view) when you look at GA4 there is a lot to be excited about. Built with how the Internet has grown and how people actually research and buy things today, GA4 gives you the ability to do some pretty amazing things. Plus it will also help with some of the other issues facing marketers today like third party cookie deprecation and ever increasing privacy regulation.
(We’re not saying transition is going to be easy, it’s going to be a lot of work and it’s going to take some time. If you haven’t already started the process you need to make this a priority. If you have questions, reach out, we’ve been helping clients transition to GA4 for almost a year.)
Here’s a quick look at some of the cool and exciting things you can do with GA4:
For even more info, including some background, UA360 vs GA4 feature comparisons and other insights, check out the full 30 minute version of this video.