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Three things to do now to get ready for GA4
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With both Apple and Google taking bold steps to heighten consumer privacy, individuals will have even more control over their identity and information online. Apple first gave users the option to allow apps to track their behaviour back in 2021, and with GA4’s release, Google is taking the first steps towards removing support for third-party cookies. It’s time to get your property ready before the GA4 switchover, scheduled for July 2023.
What to do now:
1. Get to know your guests
First-party data has always been valuable, but never more so than now. Without the ability to track users across the web, you’ll need to be able to rely on your own data even more. Use the next few months to audit your user journeys and make any improvements needed so you’re ready for next year’s switch. Use every customer touchpoint to collect data; consider hosting competitions, using website tracking tools, or sending out surveys to collect more information about your audience.
2. Understand the benefits of first-party data
Despite the initial panic, the benefits of using first-party data over third-party are huge:
- First-party data is information you collect about your customers - whether they’re website users or followers on Instagram. This data is much more accurate because you know who it is about and where it came from.
- Since third-party data is sold and sometimes resold repeatedly, brands and marketers have no access to the source and often have little idea about where the data is actually from.
- First-party data isn’t just more accurate; it’s also much more efficient at driving consumers to take action. According to a study by Boston Consulting Group, marketers that use first-party data see a boost in marketing efficiency, with almost double the revenue from a single ad or placement.
First-party data actually has the potential to improve your ROAS. Since you’re targeting people who have already engaged with you, they’re much more likely to re-engage and complete the booking process.
3. Set up GA4
We’re yet to learn the full scope of the full GA4 release, but we do know that even if you don’t intend to utilise GA4 until 2023 it needs to be set up now. It’s clear that GA4 will focus on predictive analytics. AI signals will try and fill in the gaps for any grey areas of data on the platform. This should help digital marketers make more informed decisions.
According to Phocuswire (2022) the benefits of setting up your GA4 now are:
- You’ll be gathering historical data so you can look at useful YOY data for comparison.
- You will be feeding data into machine-learning models that will make future analysis more powerful.
HOT TIP - If your property relies on any key analytics for reporting purposes, we recommend also exporting the full data set now as a CSV file. That way you have a backup should any fields or metrics be removed with the GA4 release.
A cookieless future?
The initial third-party panic has come and gone, and in its wake, there’s new hope for digital marketers. We now have the potential to update the way we work and improve results with the help of machine learning. The value of first-party data will be even more evident as the months go on, and the added levels of privacy could even give users the confidence to browse the web more freely. It’s time to get ready for a more data-informed future.