In this post, we’ll explain how you can and should integrate information from Google Analytics and access rich customer analytics from your Customer Data Platform (CDP).
What are the benefits of GA4?
The new Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is an improved tool that helps businesses understand their website and customer data better.
GA4 brings advanced features such as built in predictive analytics such churn detection and purchase propensity among others. In addition, it offers a much more comprehensive approach to tracking and analyzing user data while reducing the reliance on cookie-based tracking.
With GA4, businesses can delve deeper into user behavior, track multiple touchpoints across devices and channels, and gain a more holistic understanding of their customers.
Do you need a CDP if you have GA4?
While the new Google Analytics brings some exciting capabilities to the table, GA4 and a CDP are both serve different purposes.
GA4 is a tool that tracks and analyzes data about how people interact with a website. It provides valuable information such as the number of visitors, their demographics, the pages they visit, and the actions they take on the site. This aggregated data helps businesses make informed trend-based decisions about marketing strategies, journey and website optimization, and customer engagement approaches.
On the other hand, a Customer Data Platform (CDP) brings together customer information from different sources, one of them being GA4, to create a complete picture of an individual customer behavior. In other words, CDP helps you analyze a known customer, not just aggregate information. For that purpose, it allows for targeted and personalized sales and marketing approaches by combining data from various touchpoints, including website interactions, CRM systems, email marketing platforms, transactional systems and more.
For example, imagine a clothing store that uses GA4 to track website visits and a CDP to store information about customers’ purchase and returns history. By doing integration of Google analytics (GA4) data with customer data platform (CDP), the store can see which website visitors later became customers, which other channels influenced it, and what products they bought. This helps the store understand which marketing strategies are working best and tailor their website content and promotions accordingly.
As another example, let’s say a retailer integrates GA4 data with a CDP. They can then see which items are frequently viewed on their website and which ones are actually being purchased. With this information, they can optimize their marketing efforts by promoting popular items, tailoring their website content to match customer interests, and creating targeted email campaigns.
By doing google analytics integration with customer data platform (CDP), businesses can centralize their customer data and gain a unified view of their audience.
While GA4 does provide an option to integrate the data with Big Query for more advanced analytics, using a CDP helps businesses see a much bigger picture of their customers’ actions and preferences.
What to do about Historical Data from Universal Analytics (GA3)
Universal Analytics is the Google Analytics system that is being retired in July 2023 (in 2024 for GA360 customers). It is different from GA because it is based on sessions while GA4 is based on events.
However, historical information can be valuable trend information that you do not want to lose. A typical advice is that you must maintain a separate dashboard for this historical data.
However, Ignitho has developed a UA(GA3) to GA4 migration solution accelerator that does heavy lifting for you. It successfully maps information from UA to GA4.
The biggest benefit is that you can have a unified dashboard instead of having 2 different reporting and analysis systems, especially for businesses who migrated late to GA4.
Three Primary benefits of Using a CDP for GA4 Data
It is recommended to integrate Google analytics (GA4) with a customer data platform(CDP) so that businesses can get a holistic view of their customers’ interactions across various touchpoints.
It helps identify high-value customers, uncover behavioral patterns, and personalize marketing strategies to deliver relevant and engaging experiences.
We should also be looking at the following as we think about the roadmap for our Customer Data Platform.
- Extensibility of AI models: Many off-the-shelf CDPs are very digital marketing heavy. They are great at processing clickstreams and email behavior, but they lack extensibility. Enterprises must look at the Customer Data Platforms that can easily handle and deploy additional use cases that can provide additional insights – e.g., the effect of high conversions during a time of day to final purchases and also returns.
- Infusing AI into BI Dashboards: As enterprises prioritize the use of AI, they are faced with several issues related to data quality and fragmentation. As a result, a significant amount of effort is spent in creating basic business dashboards that provide insights into the business and customer behavior. Using a CDP may be the right step to leapfrog this complexity and start designing for the future of how data will be used. By doing so, the traditional BI dashboards can be easily provided with insights from AI models thus enhancing business decision making.
- Last Mile Adoption of AI: While AI modeling is now very mature with the availability of data science tools and talent, the overall enterprise architecture is still lagging when it comes to integrating the insights with business applications. A CDP allows for AI insights to be available in real-time for integration with both customer and internal touchpoints.
Check out Ignitho’s Customer Data Platform (CDP) accelerator built on the Domo platform. It has prebuilt AI models that make deployment of an enterprise grade CDP possible in as little as 2 weeks. It also makes it straightforward to realize the three benefits we listed above.
Integrating GA4 data with a CDP offers businesses a powerful way to gain valuable insights into customer behavior and improve marketing strategies. With GA4 providing detailed website analytics and a CDP consolidating customer data from various touchpoints, businesses can unlock a wealth of advanced analytics and personalized marketing opportunities.
Get in touch with us for accelerators that help you:
- Migrate historical UA data so that you can have a unified dashboard for GA4 and UA data
- A CDP accelerator with prebuild AI models that allow you to realize benefits from AI quickly.