New version: Google’s Analytics 4 will also help in a future without cookie tracking

At the center of the new Google Analytics variant is machine learning, while the tool is intended to ensure a better ROI in accordance with privacy requirements.

Millions of companies use Google’s tracking tool Analytics. Many marketers are eager to optimize their use of analytics – and now Google is bringing them a new version. Google App + Web Property updates were already in the beta version last year and the new Analytics version has now been rolled out based on this. It primarily focuses on machine learning mechanisms in order to be able to quickly display information to understand developments and customer behavior. According to Google, it is “naturally data protection-oriented” so that users can rely on analytics even “if changes in the industry such as restrictions on cookies and identifiers” should lead to less data for them.

Smart insights for a better ROI

The new version of Google Analytics enables automatic notifications about various trends in your data. While changing customer needs can be analyzed in this way, future usage patterns of these customers could also be predicted. For example, determining the likelihood of customer churn helps focus on customer retention.

The Churn Probability in Google Analytics
The Churn Probability in Google Analytics (click on the picture to get a larger view), © Google

Google is also always using new predictive metrics. For example, the potential sales that can be generated with a group of users. With such insights, users can better analyze their audiences and find out who is spending more and possibly why. In particular, Google wants to help marketers optimize their ROI. Through a stronger integration of Google Ads, target groups can be created to which more relevant content can be displayed based on the information from Analytics. This approach is also intended to enable options that have long been requested by advertisers. By combining web and app interactions, conversions from YouTube video views can be viewed alongside conversions from paid and organic channels – such as search, e-mail or social media. This helps to view the marketing measures holistically.

The YouTube Engaged Views Conversions in Analytics
The YouTube Engaged Views Conversions in Analytics (click on the picture to get a larger view), © Google

The first successes with this combination of data were already evident at companies that had tested the Web + App Property Updates in the beta version. Jeff Kacmarek, Vice President of Domino’s Pizza of Canada said:

Linking the new Google Analytics to Google Ads enables us to optimize around the actions that matter most to our customers, regardless of how they interact with our brand.

A better understanding of customer interaction is possible

Google states that the new version of Analytics is customer-centric. This means that different identifiers are used. For example, user IDs that are provided by the marketer, or specific Google signals for the Web + App Properties that users can activate. For example, the analysts can see whether a user discovers a company through an ad on the Internet, later installs its app and makes a purchase there.

Analytics should also help to better understand the customer lifecycle. From acquisition to conversions to retention. Based on user feedback, Google has reorganized and simplified the reports. Marketers should now find the insights on every customer journey that interests them more intuitively. In the acquisition report, you can first check which channels bring customers to the company. The reports on engagement and user loyalty can then be used to see which interactions are still being made by the users – and whether they remain as customers.

The new reports on Google Analytics, (click on the picture to get a larger view), © Google

More control of data in uncertain times

The new Analytics version from Google relies particularly on data control that marketers should have. This should be made possible to collect, save and use user data in Analytics more easily. Very granular controls let marketers decide when to use the data to optimize ads or limit data usage. At Google, web users have the option of using a browser add-on to prohibit the storage of their data on website activities for Google Analytics.

It is even more important that Google is preparing its analytics tool for a future in which third-party cookies and other identifiers may no longer be used by marketers, if at all. In the future, analytics should contain modeling that can fill in any data gaps. In this way, Google Analytics should help marketers to assess their activities and measure user interactions even in uncertain times in the face of ever-changing privacy requirements.

Since Google is aware that many marketers cannot change their setup overnight, the company suggests creating a new Analytics 4 Property (previously Web + App Property) parallel to the existing properties. In this way, the current implementations in Analytics remain intact, while marketers can benefit from the features and data processing options of the new version. In a YouTube video, users get an introduction to starting with the Google Analytics 4 Property:

A beta version of the Analytics 360 version for enterprise marketers has also been used. Google will publish more news about this shortly.

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