B.y Shell Epton, Head of Analytics – Code Computerlove
The introduction of GA4 has excited many SEOs, analysts and marketers and has led to an increased focus on measurement and analysis as a whole.
GA4 lets you measure far more than Universal Analytics (UA) by adding new layers to these engaging metrics. the metrics that the CEO is comfortable with or that indicate when teams are panicking, needing to drop everything, and address the problem with more money and resources.
But in fact, the introduction of GA4 has the potential for many companies to waste even more money simply by measuring the wrong thing.
They’ll likely rise and shift – keep measuring things they’re comfortable with rather than stepping back to actually check what to measure; to measure the things that tell them how to change, to transform.
Even though GA4 promises to take your measurements to a new level, we encourage companies not to drag themselves into the measurement mentality, but rather to take the time to verify that they are measuring the right thing and identify what they need to do on the Measured based on current business goals.
Measure the right thing, not everything
With GA4, Google sought to help marketers improve their insights from data and increase ROI.
But the temptation to switch to GA4 will be to just lift and slide. Keep the same dimensions – but maybe just add a few more using the functionality of the new property. The reality is that the KPIs that a company measures were introduced years ago.
At Code, we have found that many of the organizations we work with have never had a metrics audit since their digital platform launched, although it may have gone through many iterations.
What is being measured has not been studied as thoroughly as deciding which digital techniques to use to reach and satisfy audiences. The best practice is to review metrics every 12 to 18 months.
And even if apps or new touchpoints have been added, the same and “typical” metrics are often measured, as can be quantified in these channels.
But while many companies now have multiple platforms and channels, that doesn’t mean they can and should be measured the same way.
Getting started with a measurement framework
The first step in knowing whether you are measuring the right thing or measuring less is a measurement workshop.
The general premise is to ask; Do your KPIs still reflect your business and the customer journey?
To support this goal, you need to ask if the measurement you are taking reflects the actual goals of the platform or customer journey that are relevant to today’s consumers.
The process begins with a stakeholder meeting. Part of the review of how companies measure is to acknowledge that data is a team sport. By working with all of your stakeholders and your team – not just looking at numbers – data analysts can get a complete picture of a company and its digital inventory, including its vulnerabilities.
This also ensures that the knowledge of the current team is passed on – which may have changed again since the original measurements. Interviews with stakeholders can help define the vision of what the second step in the process is.
Then it’s important to dig deep into what customers are actually doing – not just paying attention to what the data is telling us. And to map these measures with what the company expects from customers – to see if there is an interruption.
And remember; Not all platforms are designed to do the same thing – so it might seem obvious, but that means they shouldn’t all be measured in the same way.
The results of the workshop will then enable the teams to create a measurement framework.
Within the framework, we consider what influences changes in metrics in order to add a “human” element to the measurement. There are many things that businesses can’t really do about that affect conversions from seasonal events to major events. The framework will allow organizations to review these.
Often times, journeys are non-linear and non-static, and frameworks help you measure successfully so decisions can be made based on real insights to drive positive digital change.
The metrics that matter
If your organization doesn’t understand or trust data, you won’t really understand your customers. Too often the data is unreliable. A web analytics tool might say one thing while your back-end operations dashboard says another.
By reviewing your data analysis and connecting datasets, companies can answer important questions about their customers and operations and make better decisions with confidence.
So before you get into GA4, first consider the importance of measuring the right thing, not everything.
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