Marketers / Analytics / Marketing Cloud

Using Salesforce Integration with the New Google Analytics 4 (GA4)

By Robert Gelo

With Google Analytics 4 (GA4), Salesforce and Google Analytics integrations are about to get a major upgrade. This new version of Google Analytics will bring a range of new features and capabilities that will have a significant impact on how businesses use Salesforce and SEO to drive digital marketing automation. 

GA4 gives businesses insights into customer journeys, tracking user behavior across multiple devices, and automating their CRM processes. Salesforce and Google Analytics have been integrated since 2017, enabling companies to better understand their customers, optimize their campaigns, increase conversions, and save time by automating mundane tasks. 

While these two platforms are designed for different purposes, Google Analytics is now becoming even more compatible with Salesforce as it will now provide more in-depth and quality data. Here’s what you need to know…

What is Happening With Google Analytics?

As of March 2023, if you don’t already have a GA4 property, unless you opt-out Google will create one for you. This new property will be based on the settings in your (now obsolete) Universal Analytics (UA) property (with each property representing a website or app you’re watching). Any settings that have not yet been marked as complete will be automatically carried over. Users will save time and effort this way, but are still able to opt-out if they wish.

Until July 1, 2023, you can continue to use and collect new data in your Universal Analytics properties. Some properties will still process data for a short period after this as Universal Analytics is shut down. 

It will take some time to move from existing properties to the new Google Analytics 4 platform, as it requires different data collection methods. During this transition period, users will have time to update their existing properties and migrate any data they wish to keep.

For at least six months after July 1, 2023, you can access your previously processed data in your Universal Analytics property. You have to make sure to export your historical reports during this time. When the six-month period expires, you will no longer have access to that data in your Universal Analytics property. As a result, you could lose access to your historical reports.

Google will provide a date for when existing Universal Analytics properties will no longer be accessible in the coming months. In the future, you won’t be able to access your Universal Analytics data via the API or see your Universal Analytics reports in the Analytics interface. It is important for customers to transition to the new version as soon as possible.

What Does the New Google Analytics 4 Do?

Google Analytics 4 (GA4) replaces the older Google Universal Analytics (UA) as the next generation of analytics – and it is a significant upgrade. In a nutshell, GA4:

  • Analyzes both website and app data to better understand customer behavior.
  • Uses event-based data rather than session-based data.
  • Has behavioral and conversion modeling, as well as cookieless measurement, included with privacy controls.
  • Has a predictive capability that provides guidance without the need for complex models.
  • Can drive traffic to your website or app by directly integrating with media platforms.

Businesses can make data-driven decisions based on these features, making GA4 a more powerful and effective tool.

How Does Google Help Salesforce Marketing Cloud Users?

As Google Analytics is the best tool to understand users’ online behavior and predict the next steps for our campaigns, the precious data from Google can really make the difference in Marketing Cloud operations. 

Salesforce Marketing Cloud users can gather and understand large amounts of data thanks to integration with the Google platform. Using digital analytics, businesses can gain insight into the entire conversion funnel by combining offline sales data with digital analytics data. Businesses can use this integration to understand the effectiveness of their marketing spend and optimize their digital marketing strategies based on offline sales data. It enables businesses to reach customers at the right time and in the right way.

In addition, that extends to the Sales Cloud. For example, you can use your new dataset to create Tableau CRM dashboards. You can, for instance, create an interactive dashboard based on BigQuery (Google’s data warehouse) data that summarizes an advertising campaign’s activities, including engagement by channel and overall ad spend by region.

Rich Data Available in Your Marketing Cloud

Essentially, this integration helps marketers simplify their jobs and build better customer relationships. In addition to helping marketers be more productive, the integration allows them to analyze rich data in one place, make smart marketing decisions, and create personalized messages. It includes simplified setup, cross-channel analytics, content performance, website optimization, and marketing attribution.

The screenshot above illustrates how straight forward a Journey Builder plan can be. It uses data from Google to acquire product reviewers. 

With this feature, marketers can now share these audiences and activate them directly through Marketing Cloud channels, such as email, SMS, or push notifications. By incorporating insights from interactions that customers take as they move from channel to channel, marketers will now be able to better coordinate the customer journey.

Marketers can provide seamless experiences for their customers with this new feature, by ensuring consistency across all channels. They can also create more targeted and personalized campaigns with richer data, which will help them drive engagement and conversions.

Next Steps

After July 1, 2023, Universal Analytics will stop processing data for old UA properties. The Universal Analytics data can be accessed for at least six months after that date. If you manage a web site or an app, you need to plan and implement the transition by June 30th.

The Author

Robert Gelo

A journalist and editor with a technical background, Robert has gained experience in marketing, advertising, public relations, and social media. He was introduced to Salesforce as the CMO of a consultancy.

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