Intelligent SME.tech Issue 23 - Page 29

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// FEATURE //

OOGLE ANALYTICS 4

G

( GA4 ) has been released in response to rapid changes in the tech industry and the tightening of laws around data protection ( spurred on by the EU ’ s GDPR regulations ) with the intention of bringing digital web and app analytics together . With Universal Analytics ( UA ) sunsetting on July 1 , 2023 , many businesses have been left wondering how early to make the switch and what changes will come with this new analytics system .
Although the end of third-party cookies has been delayed by Google until 2024 , advertisers should not stop preparing for the world of advertising without them . They form a crucial part of our ability to successfully target and remarket to our users and we need to take this additional time given by Google to fully prepare for the post-cookie era . Despite the delay undoubtedly giving the industry more time to prepare , the deprecation of third-party cookies is still very much on the horizon and it ’ s more important now than ever before to prepare your infrastructure for a privacy-first world .
The one thing that has become evident is that marketers need to move away from any reliance on third-party cookies and expand strategies built on first-party data instead . With GA4 providing several new features to assist in this , such as cookieless measurement , built-in predictive audiences and event-based trackers , there are substantial reasons to move on from UA ( as well as it also being inevitable ) but the questions remain as to how and when to make this transition .
Start making the transition now , with access to third-party cookies
Third-party cookies are still around for the time being and it ’ s worth making the switch while you still have access to them . If you make the change while cookies are still present , you can make a head start in using and gaining insights from first-party data and making comparisons – for example , by running UA and GA4 at the same time .
For several years , the marketing industry has been reliant on third-party data , as it ’ s been

GA4 COMES WITH A COMPLETELY NEW DATA MODEL , MEANING A COMPLETELY NEW STRATEGY IS REQUIRED FOR COLLECTING DATA .
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