Analytics: What You Need to Be Doing in 2023

The digital landscape continues to change, and consumers are demanding more privacy but the same level of personalization with ads. More and more platforms and systems are being created as solutions for very specific needs that marketers have to better target their ideal audience and determine ROI. Because of how dynamic of a digital world we live in, there are direct implications for marketing that can be supported and amplified through sound and intentional analytics practices.

There are three areas of focus that any marketer should look to tackle for analytics in 2023: 

 

1. Ensure GA4 is fully configured and you are comfortable with the new interface by the end of Q1. This is the new standard for website traffic analytics and aligns with all current consumer privacy expectations. 

If you are monitoring site usage and engagement metrics for your website, you may have noticed an alert in a red bar across the top of your browser. Google will deprecate all Universal Analytics properties in Google Analytics in 2023. Universal Analytics properties will stop recording new data effective July 1st, 2023. GA4 properties are the way of the future for website performance measurement.  

1. Increased visibility for decision-making. This represents a shift to an entirely new data model — one that is more flexible and robust than Universal Analytics. GA4 uses a measurement model that is largely based on events and parameters vs. sessions and pageviews. This allows for a more comprehensive picture of the user journey and which touchpoints were impactful along the way to one’s final purchase decision. GA4 allows marketers to understand cross-device and cross-platform insights, which can inform strategic decision-making, allow you to understand the efficacy of marketing campaigns across specific devices and platforms, and create a more full-funnel impact.

2. Seamless tracking and integrations. GA4 has an enhanced measurement feature that is automatically built into the interface, which allows for tracking specific actions that users can take on the website without needing to deploy additional codes, tags, or tracking mechanisms through GTM, Google Analytics, or any other platform! These types of automated actions include outbound clicks, file downloads, video engagements, and scroll depth tracking. For custom events, GA4 abandons the legacy category-action-label schema and manages tracking through custom parameters that can be added. You can also elect to integrate Google Ads with GA4 to understand GA4 conversions against paid search conversion volumes.

 

2. Spend some time crafting your POV on firstparty data strategy What data do you already have that can be leveraged once third-party cookies are finally removed from Chrome? How can you collect more first-party data on your website?

Starting in early 2024, Google’s Chrome browser will no longer support third-party cookies, following in the steps of Mozilla’s Firefox and Apple’s Safari browsers. ​Today’s consumers prefer and expect relevant, tailored experiences whenever and wherever they interact with a brand online. However, they do not want this at the expense of their personal privacy. According to Google, searches for “online privacy” have grown more than 50% year-over-year, and more and more users are opting out of being tracked for advertising purposes on mobile and desktop devices, which limits tracking of success metrics in a very digitally driven landscape. It’s important to note that when third-party cookies are deprecated, the ad inventory doesn’t decrease or go away. This could result in gaps in personalization, impression waste, and a decreased user experience. Enter first-party data. 

1. Collect as much first-party data as possible, but make sure users are aware of what data you are collecting — and WHY. You can do this through the collection of email addresses in the form of newsletter sign-ups or contact form submissions. You can also consider increasing gated content on the website to encourage engagement with the brand and be able to ensure additional touchpoints with each user. If you have a CRM system or customer database, as long as users expect to be contacted by you for marketing purposes, you can consider direct marketing campaigns for acquisition, engagement, and retention purposes. If you don’t already have a marketing communications policy for users to consent to, consider working with legal and internal stakeholders to draft one that is complete with privacy and cookie policy language. Provide users with a choice of how they’d like to be contacted by you — this is especially important if you do business in areas where stricter privacy regulations like GDPR or CCPA are applicable and enforced.

2. Tap into custom audience overlays from vendors like Crossix and Oracle to support existing digital marketing efforts. For healthcare, Crossix has proven especially helpful. Crossix audience segments provide data-driven segments that help advertisers reach high-quality audiences at scale while complying with HIPPA, NAI, and other industry guidelines. These audience segments can be used for digital and TV ads, and we’ve seen as high as a 60% increase in conversions using these segments when compared to general outreach.

 

3. Automate aggregation and data processes within your organization.

We are living in an age where we have access to more data points than ever before, which is great… but we also need to create processes that are replicable and sustainable long-term to avoid being led astray from the big idea by the clutter. Having automation at the heart of all you do within the organization will allow all decisions to be made proactively vs. reactively. There are many different options to facilitate automation, but one of the best and most scalable ways to manage is by onboarding a data aggregation platform to do the heavy lifting for you. When you remove the manual aggregation piece from the process, it helps to reduce the amount of time it takes to generate an insight.

1. Identify if you have the tools you need internally to facilitate automation or if you need to evaluate a partner or platform to support. When Infinity faced the critical need to automate back in 2017, we vetted a number of platforms and landed on ChannelMix. We’ve used them ever since to tap into automated data aggregation solutions for over 150 different data sources — things like Google, Facebook, Trade Desk, Instagram, and Salesforce. Long-term, this automation has allowed us to focus the bulk of our time and efforts on the visualization, strategy, and crafting of actionable, meaningful insights. Automation = efficiency, and time = money. Make sure you’re set up for success by taking a look at ChannelMix, Adverity, M Insights, funnel.io, or a number of other similar potential partners. The partner and platform need to be the right fit for you and for your vision for the future of your organization.

 

2023 will be a year of continued dynamicity within the digital marketing ecosystem, but in prioritizing some analytics must-dos, you can get out ahead of the competition and have more visibility than ever before. Learn more about what you should be doing with your Analytics processes and initiatives in 2023 by listening to Infinity’s Let’s Talk podcast.

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