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Everything You Need To Know About The New GA4 (Google Analytics 4) So Far…

Updated: Aug 24, 2023

As you may have heard, there is a new digital kid on the block in 2021: the new Google Analytics known as GA4.  Over the last couple of months, our team at CBC Automotive Marketing has been diving into the specifics, and we’re ready to share some key high-level information to get you up to speed, ahead of your competition. Let’s dig a little deeper into the past and current Google Analytics tools: the old GA (now referred to as Universal Analytics), and the new update, GA4.

First off, unfortunately there are some digital companies out there using scare tactics to get views & engagement by talking about the GA4 update in a ‘doom & gloom’ way. Don’t let these tactics fool you. The transition from Universal Analytics to GA4 should be gradual, controlled and your data will NOT be lost. Upgrading or creating a new GA4 property will NOT impact your Universal Analytics property. Google will keep supporting Universal Analytics in the future. While we don’t exactly know how long, it is safe to assume that Google won’t stop supporting Universal Analytics any time soon.

GA4 certainly has some fantastic new features. For example, one enhancement to GA4 is new automatic event tracking that makes it much easier to capture all aspects of user behavior. However, it’s also worth noting that GA4 as currently-constituted is missing some valuable elements available in Universal Analytics. Google is releasing new features every week on the new GA4, so there is no doubt that eventually GA4 will become far superior to the older Universal Analytics.

With most automotive dealers already using Universal Analytics, the current recommendation from Google is to install GA4 in addition to Universal and use both in parallel during a transition period. This will allow users to become familiar with GA4 while still relying on the trusted interface of Universal. Having spoken extensively with our partners at Google, our understanding at CBC is that it will be several months until GA4 is up to where it needs to be for us to recommend that our dealer clients use it as the new default platform. Until then, a hybrid model is best-practice.

What does all of this mean for you?

For now, we suggest dealerships and agencies begin a gradual shift from Universal Analytics to GA4 over the course of 2021. The change doesn’t need to made all at once, and frankly it would be counterproductive to do so. In the meantime, CBC plans to continue to utilize Universal Analytics for our clients while fully implementing and exploring the upgraded functionality of GA4.

If you are an existing CBC Automotive Marketing client, you can rest assured that we are, as always, on top of these changes (and many others in the ever-evolving digital marketing landscape). We will be sharing more information with our clients as it becomes available and our Team is happy to answer any questions and/or discuss your best options for migration.

If you’re not partnered with CBC, but you’re an automotive dealer looking to optimize your digital marketing presence, then please do not hesitate to contact us. We are more than happy to discuss the new GA4, what we are seeing in the digital marketing landscape, and how you can maximize the return on your digital marketing spend. Let’s have a conversation!

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