The clock is ticking for GA4 migration: are marketers ready for a fresh start?

Published: May 29, 2023

min read

With the deadline for the migration to GA4 from Universal Analytics 3 around the corner, marketers are keenly working on the preparation process for the shift, which otherwise will make it impossible for them to access their incoming analytics data.

To facilitate the process and its aftermath, Google is providing support to its users in various ways. And, to take it a step further and reiterate the importance of migration, Google has recently released documentation on how its own media team managed its upgrade to Google Analytics 4.

Here are a few insights from Google’s Media Lab GA4 migration process:

Over the last two years, Google's media team has planned and executed this transition. While creating consistency was their primary goal, they also had several other objectives for our Google Analytics 4 upgrade. They are responsiveness, privacy, and actionability at scale.

To accomplish those goals, they needed to move away from regional and product area fragmentation, which arises as a result of when marketers focused on different geographies and products report and analyze data in many different ways.

Thus, to achieve these, they collaborated with the Marketing Technology team, which is in charge of not only carrying out Google Analytics but also managing its use post-upgrade.

And, according to the company, the migration to GA4 bought them several benefits, like the ones below:

  • By developing a set of standards and tools, they were able to collect more accurate, privacy-conscious data.
  • They were able to measure and optimise a significant portion of their ad investment for the first time.
  • They were able to structure the data in a manner that is appropriate for their global operations.
  • They used the integrations with Google Ads, Display & Video 360, and Campaign Manager 360 to track and optimise their media spend.

What should be the key considerations for marketers while migrating to GA4?

With the incorporation of advanced machine learning technologies and the inclusion of various new reports, GA4 is waiting with robust capabilities to help marketers in many ways.

Be it the capability of bringing more comprehensive data than Universal Analytics, providing more insights into what people are doing on users’ websites, or having advanced features to monitor more beyond web traffic, we double down on GA4.

However, a successful migration to GA4 cannot happen overnight and necessitates careful planning, testing, and ongoing monitoring. And Google’s Media Lab GA4 migration process emphasizes the same.

And, here are the few considerations we believe marketers must keep in mind while migrating to GA4.

  • With GA4 having significant changes compared to Universal Analytics, it is important for marketers to familiarize themselves with the new data model, terminology, and user interface. This way, they could easily comprehend the implications of the GA4 migration for their tracking and reporting processes.
  • Marketers must review their existing event tracking implementation to ensure it aligns with GA4's new event model, as GA4 is more focused on event-based tracking than page views. In some cases, marketers may have to update their website or app tracking code, as well as revise event naming and parameters.
  • As GA4 is offering many new reporting and analysis features, it is high time for marketers to play around with them to gain deeper insights so as to make the most of the new features in the future.
  • The key change in GA4 is the way data is collected. Thus, marketers should not miss the opportunity to assess their existing data sharing and third-party platform integrations. Because the data schema in GA4 is different, integrations may need to be adjusted. Besides, it is also critical to review data sharing settings to ensure that data is shared securely while aligning with privacy constraints.
  • Before migrating completely to GA4, marketers should also carefully evaluate the implementation to ensure data accuracy, prevent data loss, and maintain reporting consistency.

Overall, the transition to the GA4 framework can possibly take the game to the next level for marketers. But careful migration is the need of the hour. Simple mistakes and omissions can cost huge for businesses.

Thus, have a concrete plan and a strong MarTech team in place so as to execute the migration process successfully. Furthermore, keeping up with Google updates and resources is critical in order to stay informed about best practises and new GA4 features.


Sarah Johnson

Sarah is an analytical marketing expert with a passion for data-driven insights. She has a keen eye for detail and a talent for turning complex information into actionable strategies. In her free time, she enjoys yoga, travel, and trying out new recipes in the kitchen.


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