As we covered in the first part of this series
, understanding the foundational knowledge around Google’s Universal Analytics (UA) sunset and transition to GA4 is paramount to set your brand up for success. And while there is a plethora of foundational information available directly from Google or trusted industry experts—including GA4 to UA comparisons, tips on implementation, and best practices for features—brands may still wonder what this change means strategically for their organization and how it factors into the larger business strategy. What are the ripple effects to prepare for, and how to guarantee that you can take advantage of the new benefits available?
When it comes to executing a seamless transition, leveraging a seasoned partner can help put your brand steps ahead.
Your strategy starts with your team
As the GA4 measurement model is more flexible and advanced than UA, your team will require greater technical expertise to seamlessly implement it across devices and channels. Train or hire team members with data mining skills to leverage BigQuery and unlock deeper analysis and insights.
As the time ticks closer to this summer’s UA sunset, now is the time to review your team's makeup and identify critical gaps or areas that may need supplementing before the switch. In GA4, data is integrated across channels and products with deeper attribution features. Therefore, ensure that you have analysts with a deep understanding of your unique customer experience and the entire ecosystem of touchpoints.
Keeping teams in sync
Another key area to review and revise before making the switch to GA4 is your processes and relationships with internal stakeholders. Many internal members rely on this data for insights and insight-driven optimization. Now is the time to break down any silos between teams, promoting open communication lines between them. For example, teams that own web and mobile app reporting should sync data collection across channels to maximize the benefits of cross-device tracking and unified reporting.
Additionally, product integrations enable scenarios like leveraging GA4 conversion data by audience in paid search/display ads. This means that teams responsible for collecting and activating on this data should be in sync with each other as well.
Reviewing your data collection approach
Whether your consumers are located all around the globe or strictly in the U.S., you’ll want to get familiar with GA4’s data collection model and how the added features can help you comply with increasing regulations around data privacy and consent. And it’s not just regulations in place that you need to follow—check in with your consumers to gauge their feelings on what they are comfortable sharing. Consumers are increasingly aware and concerned about data privacy and crave transparency from the brands they engage with. Use this time to strengthen—and possibly rethink—your data privacy.
You’ll also want to ensure data and legal teams are well-versed in how the added features fit in with your privacy requirements and policies. For example, you may want to review the settings for use of Google Signals, Ads Personalization, and Consent mode (implemented via Google Tag Manager) in addition to the behind-the-scenes privacy upgrades around IP anonymization, stricter data retention, and settings around granularity of data collected and where data can be collected and processed (GDPR).
Lean into partners to ease the transition
It may feel like we’re experiencing a point-in-time shift to GA4. While that’s true, we’ll undoubtedly experience more changes as Google evolves its suite of products over time. Be sure your business is ready to adapt as those changes arrive, with people and processes dedicated to maintaining your GA4 implementation and product integrations on an ongoing basis. Relying on a strategic partner with expertise in measurement strategy and planning, tracking implementation, and reporting deliverables can enable a seamless transition—leading to a greater understanding of your consumer and measurable gains across your business.