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  • Writer's pictureTony Rambaut

The GA4 deadline: Exploring alternatives to Google Analytics

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 discontinue on 1 July 2023, forcing users to switch to Google Analytics 4 (GA4). Existing UA tracking will stop processing new hits, meaning that marketers will no longer be able to track data on customers through the old system.

Implications for marketers

The potential fall-out for marketers is obvious. Particularly for those who heavily rely on marketing attribution to optimize their returns and drive revenue growth.

Google UA itself had major limitations with sampled data, no integration with offline channels, and blunt attribution methods. Unsurprising to many, 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.

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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