3 Major Trends in Marketing Measurement for 2024
"Adapt or die" – this phrase rings loud and clear for marketers heading into 2024. As we step into the final quarter of 2023, you and your team are likely considering strategies for success in the new year. Amid the buzz about emerging trends and outdated tactics, we want to cut through the noise and share our perspective on what truly matters.
Instead of overwhelming you with countless predictions, we're zeroing in on three key trends that should be on every marketer's radar for 2024.
1. Google Analytics 4: From Session-Based to Event-Based
Most marketers are likely aware by now that Universal Analytics has been officially replaced by Google Analytics 4, shifting from session-based to event-driven data models. This isn't a minor update that can be disregarded; marketers need to understand and navigate this change in data attribution, and failure to do so will set your marketing measurement and attribution up for a bumpy ride in 2024.
Although there are silver linings to this transition, including the ability to access user-level tracking at no cost, marketers should be asking questions about the transparency, trustworthiness, and potential for biases in GA4’s data-driven attribution (DDA). It’s especially important to be somewhat skeptical given the lack of visibility into how the Google Analytics 4 DDA model makes determinations.
However, GA4 does offer the capability to track users seamlessly across devices and platforms, stitching together their interactions into a cohesive user journey. This holistic view of customer behavior is invaluable for understanding preferences and needs. Nevertheless, it's crucial not to overly rely on a single platform. The Data-Driven Attribution (DDA) model in GA4, though promising, may lack complete transparency in attributing conversions, as mentioned. Therefore, while embracing GA4's user-centricity, marketers should also diversify their measurement methods and maintain a nuanced approach to ensure robust and reliable insights.
So, understanding this change is vital for the success of your marketing efforts in the year ahead. If you don't have clarity on your data or its origin, making informed, intelligent decisions becomes increasingly difficult.
However, it’s not all daunting news. Although Google Analytics 4 might initially seem unfamiliar to those comfortable with the previous version, marketers are known for their adaptability, so with some time, GA4 won’t feel like such a minefield.
For a more detailed understanding of this transition and its impact on your business, check out our comprehensive guide on Google Analytics 4 and learn how to maneuver this new landscape with ease.
2. Death of Third-Party Cookies
This next trend is also not likely to startle marketers. The “death” of third-party cookies has been on the horizon for quite some time, with big players like Mozilla Firefox and Apple’s Safari already banning third-party cookies. Now that Google Chrome has also decided to bid them farewell, how marketers measure display advertising is set to change for good. Finding an alternative solution to third-party cookies should be on every marketer's to-do list for 2024.
One of the most significant challenges posed by the elimination of third-party cookies is the disruption to ad view measurement. These cookies have been the backbone of digital advertising, enabling marketers to track user behavior, serve personalized ads, and measure ad effectiveness across the web. Without them, advertisers face a new reality where these essential insights become increasingly limited.
Moreover, this shift prompts marketers to rethink their advertising strategies, emphasizing first-party data collection and building direct relationships with their audience. Brands must now prioritize creating compelling content and user experiences that encourage visitors to willingly share their information.
Unified marketing measurement (UMM) and multi-touch attribution are solid routes for marketers who are serious about accessing accurate, transparent data to inform marketing decisions without breaching GDPR. With greater accuracy and unity across DSPs and social platforms, UMM offers a well-rounded perspective of display ad performance across all channels, transforming how marketers measure in a third-party cookieless world. By using advanced machine learning to analyze data gathered from multiple sources, UMM can identify complex interactions across different touchpoints.
While the talk of third-party cookies' demise may seem like a never-ending loop, we now have a clearer timeline and can anticipate their departure in the second half of 2024. Transitioning to new tracking methods can be intimidating, but marketers have sufficient notice to find their footing with a new, more dependable type of tracking.
3. AI-Powered Marketing Mix Modeling (MMM)
AI has certainly been the buzzword of the year. Beyond its effectiveness in facilitating faster writing, efficient coding, and generating entertaining content like images and videos, AI has also been revolutionizing the world of marketing measurement.
However, the arrival of artificial intelligence (AI) in various industries, including marketing effectiveness, has elicited mixed responses. While some see it as a revolutionary advancement, others voice concerns and skepticism, a reaction not unlike the initial reception of now all-important innovations across multiple industries.
AI-powered Marketing Mix Modeling (MMM) has the potential to greatly enhance the depth and speed at which marketing effectiveness analysis is conducted. Unlike the current situation with consulting based MMM, where analysis often arrives too late (done monthly, quarterly, or bi-yearly) and lacks granularity, AI offers the efficiency to provide richer and more detailed insights just when they're needed (weekly or daily). This translates to a more informed and agile planning process.
Perhaps most significantly, AI presents the opportunity to make advanced analytics accessible to a broader range of clients without having to depend on expensive Marketing Mix Modeling consultants. More organizations can benefit from data-driven decision-making by improving efficiency, lowering data requirements, and lowering subsequent costs, e.g., for MMM experts or consultants. The implications are vast, promising to enhance marketing decision-making quality and execution, thereby generating greater returns for businesses.
This is a big leap from traditional methods, where the analysis tends to be generic and often arrives too late to influence marketing planning and strategy effectively. Thus, AI offers not only deeper but also timely insights, greatly enhancing strategic decision-making. However, like everything, it requires thorough consideration before jumping right in.
In 2024, we are predicting a big focus on AI-powered MMM, emphasizing deeper transparency, and more widespread accessibility, driving a transformative change in marketing effectiveness analysis and strategic planning.
What Do These Changes Mean for Marketing Measurement?
The evolving landscape of marketing measurement, driven by the transition to Google Analytics 4 (GA4) and the phase-out of third-party cookies, has profound implications for marketers in 2024 and beyond. These changes reshape how marketing data is collected, analyzed, and utilized, demanding a forward-thinking and adaptable approach.
1. Prioritize Data Privacy and Compliance: The death of third-party cookies underscores the importance of prioritizing data privacy and compliance. Marketers must navigate this new measurement era with a commitment to ethical data collection practices, transparency, and adherence to evolving privacy regulations like GDPR and CCPA.
2. Diversify Measurement Methods: To mitigate the potential limitations of any single measurement platform or model, diversification is key. Marketers should explore alternative measurement methods, such as first-party data, Unified Marketing Measurement (UMM), and other advanced analytics tools. This diversification ensures a more comprehensive view of marketing performance.
3. Cultivate Adaptability: As marketing measurement continues to evolve, adaptability becomes a crucial skill. Marketers should embrace change and invest in continuous learning to stay ahead of emerging trends and technologies. This adaptability allows for the effective utilization of new measurement tools and models.
4. Balance Skepticism with Exploration: While skepticism is healthy when evaluating new measurement models, it's also important not to be overly cautious. Take the time to explore the capabilities of GA4 and other emerging technologies. Experimentation can lead to valuable insights and competitive advantages.
Out With the Old and in With the New In 2024
The shifts in marketing measurement are indeed substantial, but they also provide an opportunity for forward-thinking marketers to stay ahead of the curve. Businesses need to start preparing for the future, with 2024 set to bring many changes.
In conclusion, with the first quarter of 2024 upon us, it’s time to embrace these changes and usher in a new era of marketing measurement and analytics. The future of marketing measurement may be different, but it holds great promise for those who are prepared to adapt and evolve.
With our expertise in analytics and AI-driven solutions, we can guide you through these transitions, helping to position your business for success in the new landscape of digital marketing measurement. Don't hesitate to reach out and let us help you stay ahead of the curve. Contact us today!