Beat the Google Analytics to GA4 deadline – there is an alternative

Google’s Universal Analytics (UA) is the most widely used traffic analysis tool in the world — but if you’re reading this article, you probably already know that.

Earlier this year, Google announced that UA will sunset in July 2023, forcing users to switch to Google Analytics 4 (GA4). So, from July 1st, existing UA tracking will stop processing new hits, meaning that you as a marketer will no longer be able to track data on your customers through the old system.

Fall-out for marketers

The potential fall-out from this is obvious for marketers focused on Marketing attribution efforts in order to maximise marketing returns and revenue growth by analysing and pinpointing the most successful marketing channels and campaigns.

Google UA itself had major limitations with sampled data, no integration with offline channels, and blunt attribution methods. Also, somewhat mysteriously, Google-owned media was favoured over other channels in reporting.

The demise of Google UA and the introduction of its G4 replacement should be regarded as a major opportunity and a negligible threat, despite the fact that Google, as you might expect, strongly encourages all users to switch to GA4 before the deadline.

Marketing attribution made worse

GA4 has only made Google’s marketing attribution worse, with deep frustration being expressed by many users trying to set it up, continuing use of data sampling, an historic data disconnect in July 2024, and black box attribution rules.

The fact is, GA4 lacks the functionality to make use of first-party data and does not have the complete range of media and sales channels as standard.

What’s the alternative?

The reality is that, if you ignore the hype around GA4, there are other options that marketers need to be aware of. Indeed, low-cost alternatives are available with full 100% browsing data being collected, through open-source technology, GDPR compliant first-party data and excellent browser dashboards.

At UniFida our customer journey-based marketing attribution is fully integrated with an open-source alternative to GA4. Within our platform we integrate offline channels, such as direct mail and call centres, as well as email service providers and CRM platforms, like Salesforce or HubSpot.

Example individual media customer journeys

The result? A fully transparent (every score, for every step, in every customer journey is available) marketing attribution solution that can also split results by different customer segments, including new and existing. It reports at a very high level, Return on Marketing Investment (ROMI) by channel by month, and at a micro level performance by individual campaign or UTM.

GA4 is not the only game in town. If you want to ensure total clarity around your marketing attribution, contact us today before time runs out.

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UniFida is the trading name of Marketing Planning Services Ltd, a London based technology and data science company set up in 2014. Our overall aim is to help organisations build more customer value at less marketing cost.

Our technology focus has been to develop UniFida. Data science business comes both from existing users of UniFida, and from clients looking to us to solve their more complex data related marketing questions.

Marketing is changing at an explosive speed. Our ambition is to help our clients stay empowered and ahead in this challenging environment.