Google has officially announced a new version of Google Analytics, called "Google Analytics 4" from today. The system is based on the App + Web Property that Google introduced in July 2019; this, of course, joins the new branding that the company recently unveiled.
This is definitely a significant upgrade since Google launched Universal Analytics.
To review the system from different and special angles, I interviewed Yaniv Mazor, CMO & Growth Advisor, who mainly provides services to startups and sits in cool London.
Ido: Yaniv, thank you very much for staying with us and talking about Google Analytics 4. How do you feel about the system so far?
Yaniv: For me, it's still Early Days; there's no doubt the system is imposing in terms of UI and user experience, but it's not there yet in terms of features. Google has not yet migrated all the components, companies and organizations will have a hard time making a complete and perfect switch to the system; there is no doubt that it is not yet named in terms of the content of the components that were in the previous version. It feels like marketing executives and general executives need to work with 2 versions in parallel today.
Ido: What are the innovations?
I get much better insights in the context of social, awareness, and other analytics integrations that every marketing manager needs in 2020
Ido: Say, as one who is a Growth Hacker, how does this affect you? Does the system contribute to you from your point of view?
Yaniv: Very simple. A lot of things today can be personalized; the digital age is based on personalization, so it really helps. You can see that there is the ability to create a personalized ad. Growth people will have the ability to scale-up in a clearer, faster way; decision-making will be done on a data basis. In general - it seems that Google Analytics 4 was designed and tailored to the future dimensions of the "new" profession called Growth Hacker.
Another upgrade and innovation that the fourth version brings to the world are that Google Analytics was session-based until today. In contrast, today, the system goes to the place user-based, which indicates user preferences, cross-platform components have improved, which can help "utilize" marketing processes well more.
In general - it seems that Google Analytics 4 was designed and tailored to the future dimensions of the "new" profession called Growth Hacker.
Ido: Are you going to pass this on to your customers? Will you start migrating to the customers for whom you manage the marketing processes?
Yaniv: Listen, basically yes and no. It pays to be an Early Adapter, and the mindset is a test for me as an external CMO for companies. Yes, I started doing deployment to my clients to learn and understand what it's like. I already recognize that I have better insights. To my great joy, my clients trust me and know me, they know that being first in line can create some glitches, but we are exposed to a great many features that others do not have, they respect that.
By and large, Growth is a process and a profession of learning, so many CEOs, VPs I work with respect that and even love these attempts that I make for them and me.
I can already say that probably agencies or consultants who do e-commerce will not switch to Google Analytics 4 because many features are limited; for example, IP filters are missing, data import is missing, and more. The list is still long, but again - there are also quite a few benefits.
Tools that have interfaced to date with the third version are not going to get hurt at 4. If you are interested in doing Big Data, GA4 does a better job than the previous version. It does not need the very expensive 360 version; the fourth version brings and will definitely bring very nice added value to its users.