#66 Our 2023 predictions for the analytics industry

The Measure Pod
The Measure Pod
#66 Our 2023 predictions for the analytics industry

This week Dan and Dara are chatting about what they think will change in the analytics industry in 2023. Things like consent management, financial recession, multi-cloud warehousing, Universal Analytics (UA) getting shut down and lots, lots more. Listen to the full episode to hear what they have to say, and let’s see how close they get by this time next year…

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Quote of the episode from Dan: “2023, the year of marketers having access to MMM (media mix modelling) without going through a data scientist.”

Quote of the episode from Dara: “…the days of having to pour over lots and lots and lots of data with human eyes and look for patterns is thankfully is going away.”



[00:00:15] Dara: On today’s episode, we kick off a new year with some predictions. So Dan and I put our hats on the line, you have to listen to find out what that means, and we make a few claims, maybe not so bold, maybe some a little bit bold about what we think is going to happen in the analytics space in 2023.

[00:00:31] Daniel: Dara plays it pretty safe and plays both sides. I try and make a couple of predictions, so we’ll see how close we are this time next year. Just to plug something, we’ve got a couple of open roles at Measurelab that we are looking for analytics, clever, nerdy, awesome people. So if that’s you, if you like what we talk about and you want to join us talking about this stuff on a day-to-day basis, check out measurelab.co.uk/careers and see what we have available. Awesome, plug over thank you, and Happy New Year.

[00:00:59] Dara: Enjoy the show.

[00:01:00] Dara: Hello and welcome back to The Measure Pod and welcome to 2023. We are in a new year, happy new year to all of our lovely listeners. It’s really good to be back. I’m Dara, I’m CEO at Measurelab.

[00:01:13] Daniel: And a happy new year from me. I’m Dan, I’m an analytics trainer and consultant here at Measurelab.

[00:01:17] Dara: Given it’s a brand new year, what better way to kick things off and to get our crystal ball out and make a few predictions about what we see happening in the analytics space this year.

[00:01:27] Daniel: Yeah, it is a new year, so why not try and guess what the hell’s going to happen right. I’m not going to pretend it’s going to be a successful guess. I think we tried doing this last year and to relative success.

[00:01:38] Dara: Nobody’s ever successful when they try and predict the future, except when it happens. Like the phrase, a broken clock is right twice a day. It’s coincidence when you get it right.

[00:01:47] Daniel: Exactly, so maybe like the broken clock twice a day we’ll just try and guess every variation of every outcome and then eventually at some point we’ll be right.

[00:01:54] Dara: Something will come true.


[00:01:55] Daniel: We’re so confident now, but one thing we know currently for a fact is going to happen this year is that Google is going to switch off the free version of Universal Analytics on July 1st. And we say that so confidently, but we have known Google in the past to have changed their mind.

[00:02:09] Dara: Yeah, and there was the extension, which was worded as a one-time only extension, but for 360, you know, it is not beyond the realms of possibility, but I would be very surprised, and I’m going to put my hat on the block. No, you don’t do that, I’m going to put my head on the block. I’m not going to put my head on the block either. I’m just going to confidently state that this is going to happen in 2023. It’s a mental update because it’s a bit like when you, it’s a new year and you have to remember to write 2023 rather than 2022. We now have to start saying, this is happening this year, not next year. So we spent quite a bit of time, probably even on The Measure Pod last year, saying Universal is going away next year. Well, Universal is now going away this year, so the timeline is fast approaching and for anyone out there listening who is still to migrate over to GA4, you really need to get on it.

[00:02:58] Daniel: Pick up the pace, yeah, get on board. And I think it’s one of those things, and it’s maybe the sentiment we’ve said many times on this show is whether you like it or not, it’s coming fast and Universal Analytics is going away. In terms of what we predict there’s going to be a flurry, so there was a flurry of activity around Google Analytics 4 when they made the announcement. There’s a flurry of activity when we hit that one-year mark as well, one year before the end of Universe Analytics. And I’m starting to see a bit of a flurry kind of going into this year just because within the six month window, it’s kind of like people doing their budgeting or their planning or their project planning for the next couple of months and it’s starting to get to a point where it’s becoming important or urgent.

[00:03:35] Daniel: So I’m definitely thinking that there’s going to be, over the 2023 year, we are going to see a crazy spike around the July time and then I might even see, well I suppose we could expect to see maybe even a kind of flurry towards the end of the year as well because I know Google’s doing a lot of stuff towards automatically upgrading people to GA4 without even people having to do anything anymore. And I think this is my biggest reason of why I’m willing to put my hat on the line with them not pushing back this, no heads on blocks here, just hats on lines, a lot safer. But the reason I think they’re not going to delay this is because they’ve said this time and time again in lots of different messaging, but they’ve quote, unquote, solved the privacy solution. They’ve solved the data gaps, they’ve solved X, Y, and Z with GA4, and I think they just need to get rid of Universal Analytics as soon as possible so that they can focus on one tool, they can put all their magical models into this one pot, and they can move over all of their marketing onto this new system, and I don’t think they’re in any position to want to delay that.

[00:04:30] Dara: No, I completely agree. You hinted at or alluded to or just were very clear in fact about two other points related to GA4 that we can probably come back to. One around solving the data gap issue and the other around privacy. But maybe we’ll come back to them because I just want to piggyback off the sunsetting of UA (Universal Analytics) just for a second to make another safe prediction. We’re kicking off with the safe ones here and then maybe we’ll go into slightly riskier territory.

[00:04:58] Dara: We’ve said this time and time again as well, one of the big advantages of GA4 over UA is everybody gets the BigQuery export. So I think that can only help to further drive adoption of cloud technology. So I think companies who may be, for various reasons were a little bit slower to get involved with the cloud, they’re going to have even more of a reason to do that now, to look into kind of data warehousing and doing bigger analysis. And as we know, the GCP is huge and ever growing there’s so many tools in there that are very hard to keep track of because a lot of them sound like they do very similar things. But I think more and more companies are going to start to use, it might not necessarily be the GCP, but you know, the world we’re operating in, it’s going to be companies using the Google stack and they’re going to start to venture further and further into what the GCP can offer.

[00:05:46] Daniel: Well, I’d even go as far as to say, yeah, this is going to increase the use of the GCP because it’s one of those things again where you have no choice. If you want your data out, you use the GCP even if it’s a staging environment to get into Amazon or Microsoft stack or whatever. It has to go through the GCP and I think this is for me, and I know these things have been around for a while, but with the proliferation of GA4, with the accessibility into the raw data into BigQuery and now some of the stupid stuff like the quotas and the API meaning that that’s more and more of a glamorous solution or more of a fundamental essential solution to do some reporting. What I’m thinking is that it’s not so much that more people are going to adopt the GCP, but what I think it might bring on is more of a multi-cloud adoption within organisations or more of the term, the marketing data warehouse, different to the business data warehouse, and I think that for me is going to be the big thing throughout this year.

[00:06:35] Daniel: So it’s not about having the data warehouse and getting data into the data warehouse, it’s about having a data warehouse and just having a single data warehouse for a single function. And I think this is where I think we are going to start to see, especially after July this year, I think we’re going to start to see huge movement and more adoption into this sort of micro functional warehousing marketing data warehouse sort of language really.

[00:06:57] Dara: You keep teeing up more for me, you made another point in there that made my ears stick up. Where am I getting all these phrases from?

[00:07:04] Daniel: Not from this reality.

[00:07:09] Dara: Something caught my attention, let’s put it that way. You mentioned about the API quotas, which is something that we talked about a few episodes back. But there’s a potential that is just more fuel on the fire for anybody who is starting to think maybe GA isn’t for us anymore. And to be realistic, I think this probably still is going to be in the minority of existing Google Analytics customers, but there will be that percentage that might have been already thinking, Ooh, I moved to GA4, you know, my historical data is trapped in UA, I’m going to have to get that out of there. It’s a bit of a hassle, it’s new metrics, it’s new features, it’s a new event model. It’s, you know, an entirely new analytics system maybe I should just consider moving elsewhere.

[00:07:53] Dara: Well, this API quota enforcement is only going to make those people think even harder about potentially moving away from GA. So this isn’t maybe the boldest prediction in the world, but I think a percentage of Google Analytics customers will actually move away from Google Analytics in 2023.

[00:08:11] Daniel: I’m trying not to get myself as worked up as we did last year when we were doing that episode. But yes, I do think this is still to date, unless the lag between us recording this and it coming out means something’s changed. But still the biggest thing Google Analytics have done to make people not want to use Google Analytics. And I’m 100% behind that I think we are going to see a, I’m going to say a mass exodus, and it’s going to sound like a mass exodus because I think it’s going to be the loudest people on things like LinkedIn and Twitter are going to probably do the exoding. But yeah, I think the competitor landscape is going to become a bit healthier after July especially.

[00:08:42] Daniel: And you can already see a lot of these websites, they’re messaging on their homepages, like the GA alternative, now’s your chance. And I think there’s going to be a lot of capitalising on things like that. I don’t think people are, like you said, the majority are going to move away from Google Analytics just because it’s familiar territory. Even if it’s a new instance. But I think it’s just a matter of time before it becomes the standard or normal instance right, it’s just a moment of turbulence.

[00:09:03] Dara: Yeah, exactly and it’s really interesting, I always think that when somebody has to say as part of their marketing spiel or as part of their proposition, this is why we are an alternative to Google Analytics. All that highlights to me is how much control Google Analytics have over the market and it’s very unlikely that the bulk of that customer base is going to do anything. Some of them might moan a little bit and grumble and think, oh, this is a bit annoying. There’s these limitations and I have to change things, but they’ll roll with the punches and they’ll stick with it because the reality is any changes or limitations or differences with GA4 compared to UA, if that’s the reason to move away from it, well then you’re going to have to go through that same process and it would be even more painful potentially. Because then you’d lose some of the other integrations that you have with the rest of the Google ecosphere.

[00:09:49] Dara: So it’s not like moving away is going to solve that problem entirely. So I think it’s really about kind of edge cases where it’s a business that maybe has very specific requirements and they were already thinking about you know, maybe moving away from GA.

[00:10:01] Daniel: Yeah, exactly. And I think that’s the reality is things like the Snowplows and things like that, they’re not actually stepping on a Google Analytics’ toes anyway, it’s a completely different solution for a different type of business and type of user. So I think they’re going to still be there, I can’t imagine them to take business away from Google Analytics users but who knows? But Dara, we’re talking about the analytics industry and we’re in danger very quickly of just still making this another GA4 podcast. So how about we throw a dart into the dart board of analytics buzz terms, and see what we hit next. So metaphorical dart thrown and privacy and laws.

[00:10:35] Dara: Oh, I knew it would be the big P. And yeah, I was going to say interesting you mentioned it, but of course you would, and of course it would come up. What I was going to say was interesting to mention after you talked about alternative analytics solutions because there’s a privacy centric approach with some of those alternative analytics tools. We had Jordan Peck on last year and he had actually spoken at MeasureCamp about this, which was really good, and we brought him on and we had a chat with him about it. And he didn’t just talk about Snowplow, which he could have done, but he talked about other analytics solutions like Matomo and how some of them are taking this kind of privacy centric approach.

[00:11:10] Dara: Which again, a little bit goes back to my previous point about, you know, some people are trying to use that as an angle against Google Analytics. All you have to do with the likes of Matomo is look at some of the logos on their website of companies and organisations that are actually using Matomo, including NOYB (none of your business), which is the, well, I don’t know if it’s Max Schrems’ organisation, but the organisation he’s associated with, and also the European Commission, the United Nations, NASA. So if Matomo is trusted by these organisations, then you can probably believe that it’s you know, it’s going to have not only have kind of privacy at the centre but also it’s going to be a very good solution for larger organisations.

[00:11:48] Daniel: It’s a shame no one’s ever heard of any of them right? This brings us onto like the whole conversation around the filings that we just generally call Schrems and Schrems II, just because off the back of Max Shrems through NOYB, having raised them. But this is around the EU and US data sharing agreements and privacy shield and the like of those. And this is something that’s currently being worked on, I’d imagine as we speak, but it’s been in the works for a little while now and that is a new Trans-Atlantic data agreement between the US and the EU. And thus, the inevitable quote, unquote, Schrems III probably to knock it down. But the reality is, this year we’re probably going to see, likely to see some new things coming out of the back of that.

[00:12:26] Daniel: There’s no given date of like when a new agreement will be in place. And we don’t have any specific details of exactly when and how that would look, but this year is likely to be a year where we are going to start figuring out the new normal for data transfer and sharing. And the reason this is a big deal is not just because inevitable Schrems III to come down and knock it down afterwards, and this isn’t just about Google Analytics being illegal. This is about any US data company providing services to people not in the United States, so like the EU and the rest of world, I suppose. And it’s about transferring data from one organisation or one sort of land mass to another. And then things like the American agencies having access to data regardless of where geographically your data is stored. And these big issues around movement of data, personal data, and then access to data from the US government agencies, all of that I would imagine will be addressed in this new agreement in some way. Otherwise, obviously it wouldn’t be a new agreement and wouldn’t be up to snuff.

[00:13:23] Daniel: But I think that’s the kind of thing that we are going to start to see and I think maybe if it goes well and everyone gets what they want. Well, by that I mean if the European Union get what they want, it means that all of the conversations over the last, well 12, 18 months about things being illegal over here goes out the window.

[00:13:38] Dara: Yeah I mean, let’s hope so but you know, thinking beyond just our own, you know, our own kind of UK and the EU, there’s more and more of these legislations being brought in around the world. I think I read a stat the other day that said something like, and I think this was actually predicted by 2023, that 65% of the world will be governed by regulations similar to GDPR and that number will only continue to rise. So, you know, we’re always thinking about kind of UK and EU, but you know, this is an ongoing, I guess, battle between legislators, data protection agencies. And on the other side of the battle, it’s kind of advertisers, marketers and big tech companies.

[00:14:17] Dara: And then big tech companies often don’t do themselves any favours, like the recent fines for Meta. I mean, Meta just really are, they can’t get themselves out of trouble at the moment, can they? And the filter down effect that, that has then on, on the kind of the masses where they’re reading about these companies and all the terrible things they’re doing, it doesn’t help us downstream when we’re trying to, you know, collect data in a legitimate way with consent.

[00:14:39] Daniel: Exactly I couldn’t agree more. The stuff around Meta is just hilarious at this point. But yeah, I mean, look just more on the privacy, the laws side of things. You know, it might even be the year that the US start debating whether they get a kind of GDPR of the United States who knows? Rather than having individual state laws. I mean, this is so far geographically away and from my expertise at least in terms of the kind of law over there. But it could be something that we could start to see, and I think maybe we’ll just start to see a lot of the nations, a lot of the countries, a lot of the continents starting to get something similar to the GDPR and I think it could eventually become something more global and standardised. So I think that’s something exciting to look forward to. I don’t think we are going to get like a global definition this year, but it’s something that could for sure be worked towards and starting locally and working its way up.

[00:15:21] Daniel: But Dara, you mentioned something around consent and I think that I want to kind of separate consent from compliance and legal compliance and privacy, just because I think there’s a whole, and this goes back to a conversation we had a couple of episodes ago with Rowenna and the conversation there is around consent mechanisms and detaching the concept of cookie consent gathering, things like ePrivacy and GDPR compliance to the kind of the law side of things. My prediction is, is that there’ll be more and more of a focus on the consent mechanisms and making, because ultimately that’s the front facing visible aspect of being legally compliant. I’m predicting that this year we are going to see more of a focus put onto that and not trying to, and maybe even just more of an awareness of people trying to get around you and be clever with it or be seedy with it. People are going to become more savvy of all those techniques people have to kind of game consent gathering, and I’m really hoping that more of a legal focus will be put on, more fines issued out and more of a kind of scrutiny of legal consent mechanisms is done, I suppose.

[00:16:23] Dara: And also maybe I’m being a bit naive here, but I would love to see, I mean that’ll force people’s hand, but I would love to see people start to give this the time and attention it deserves. So we’ve talked quite a few times with a few different guests as well about how, it’s tricky because as a user, as a typical user, your easiest thing to do is just to decline everything because you’re not sure what you can trust and who you can trust. So it’d be great to see brands big and small, start to make more of an effort to actually build that trust and gain consent, fully informed, fully valid consent, to form that relationship where it’s a, you know, it’s a give and take. Some data is collected and used in a responsible way, but it’s used to make improvements that benefit the user as well, as opposed to this kind of very polarised approach where you’ve got certain bad players in the industry coming up with these kind of like manipulative ways of gaining consent.

[00:17:16] Dara: I think Rowenna used the term manufacturing consent, which I thought was really good, or like engineering consent, I guess. But then on the opposite side, you’ve got your typical user who maybe is just thinking, oh, this must all be bad, so I’m just going to decline everything that I ever get asked about. It’d be great to start seeing those two start to move a little bit together so there’s a better understanding in the marketplace, as it were, and there’s actually brands doing good things to gain consent in legitimate ways by informing users what they’re going to do with the data that they’re collecting. But maybe that’s, yeah, maybe that’s a little naive.

[00:17:49] Daniel: What I’m thinking is that the biggest change we’ll see around compliance in terms of cookie banners and consent management overall. Once the industry’s fully made that shift away from being used to having exact data, because there’s a time not too far in the past where it was almost a given right that every organisation would track absolutely everything and exact accurate 100% total data would be assumed. As we move through well, the last couple of years anyway, but especially through this year, 2023. As we move through this year, especially the move over to GA4 that’s a lot of this stuff baked in, we’ll find more comfortability in the ambiguity of data and the estimation of data.

[00:18:28] Daniel: So no consent, fuzzy data, data modelling, all of those things to fill in gaps and to do kind of like identity resolution that’s just non kind of like personally identifiable and all those other things, especially, I’m just thinking specifically around the GA4 machine learning models they’ve got for behavioural modelling and conversion modelling. That’s a good starting point, but I think over time we’re just going to become like so normalised to the fact that we don’t get exact data, we’ve just got best estimation based on available data.

[00:18:53] Daniel: But I think once that becomes the norm, I think then people trying to engineer consent to make sure they keep this a hundred percent accurate data or at least as accurate as possible. I think maybe that’ll start to disappear a little bit and then, you know, it is basically a consent or no consent is your choice because we are happy with what we get and we can use the modelled data to kind of continue what we were doing anyway. So I’m wondering if one leads into the other, a year of becoming more comfortable with fuzzy data means less of a bad focus on engineering consent through consent management platforms. So hopefully in the best possible way we’ll see one lead into the other.

[00:19:29] Dara: Yeah, I think you’re right. And I think that again, this is another really sticking to safe territory with the predictions because I think, you know, no one would disagree with this, but machine learning modelling is just going to become more and more prevalent, not just in analytics, but it’s even going to become more accessible as it is to end users, to just everybody in all walks of life. It’s going to make it a lot easier to draw insights you know, the days of having to pour over lots and lots and lots of data with human eyes and look for patterns is, I’m going to say, you know, thankfully is going away. We can all spend our time on more novel and more interesting work trying to then use that inside or use those patterns. But I think the fact that GA4 has, is it three different uses of machine learning so far? The data-driven attribution, the behavioural modelling, the predictive modelling. So yeah, like at least three different types. But then how many different machine learning models are in there? Who knows.

[00:20:25] Dara: And again, back to your point earlier about not making this all about GA. I think access to machine learning powered tools is becoming more and more widely available, even the kind of buzz around the chat GPT. Obviously, you know with our colleagues, we talk about it, but we’re all kind of pretty geeky and we’re all on top of these things. But I’ve heard, you know, people who aren’t really in the kind of tech space, just people I know talking about it so it seems to have made its way into kind of the mainstream. And I read recently as well about, you know, some kind of clever uses of machine learning and things like NLP (natural language processing).

[00:20:59] Dara: So there’s like lawyers using NLP to analyse large amounts of, I guess, court case data or legal history. What they would’ve had to do before is go through and read all of that themselves. So there’s going to be like a real competitive advantage to anybody who adopts these tools, not just in the tech space itself, but in other areas, you know, in education, in health. So the kind of access to these big, sophisticated data tools is just becoming more and more easy.

[00:21:26] Daniel: Well click and deploy, plug and play, it’s just going to be the uninitiated, the non-data science analysts could be able to use these models, these tools, these things, without actually having to understand how they work, even though they maybe should understand a little bit how they work, but the fact is they can use these tools. I think the access to this kind of scale of or historically big type of work will become more widespread. And I think this is the kind of thing that leads into a tangential point, which is around the types of analysis that we’ll be doing. Because fundamentally the data is changing, we are going to have less exact data, less user-based data. Things like attribution modelling and user id level, individual session and hit counts, sequencing, is going to become less and less important because it just becomes less and less about, you know, less and less proportional in terms of the whole data set.

[00:22:14] Daniel: And I think this is where we’ll go full circle, and I know it’s never disappeared and it’s been around for a long time, but this idea of kind of using different techniques to measure contribution and uplift and kind of the new attribution, maybe we just relabel it as attribution 2.0 or 3.7, I don’t know what level we’re on. This is things like media mix modelling (MMM) and different techniques are like that where it’s analysing aggregate data sources, not down to an individual user. And I think even Google Analytics, Google Ads and the marketing sort of data sets we get access to from Meta and things like that, it’s all just daily aggregates, maybe by ad type or campaign. And I think this is where techniques like MMM are going to come in and be able to provide insight off the back of that. Whereas at the moment, you know, especially in tools like Google Analytics, it’s still all based on user level attribution modelling, which just becomes. I suppose to some people and some people very quickly, quite redundant, because if that’s 2% of your users, you can identify them, then how valuable is attribution modelling in that context?

[00:23:11] Daniel: So the proliferation, and I say the proliferation, like I said, they’ve never not been around and it is not a new thing either. You know, this predated attribution modelling right back in the sixties and seventies, but the point with things like MMM is about accessibility. It’s about accessing things like, you know, these type of analysis techniques to a wider audience on a click and deploy basis without having to have bespoke data science models created, and I think that’s what will inevitably happen, whether it’s this year or not I’m going to be super vague again, 2023, the year of accessing things like MMM without marketers having access to MMM without going through a data scientist.

[00:23:47] Dara: Yeah, I won’t argue with you on that one, like with all of these time will tell. Taking a complete left turn out of the kind of tech specifics analytics, it’s worth thinking as well about the jobs market itself. So if we go even a level broader the economy is looking stormy, you know, there’s lots of talk if you read the news, you end up terrifying yourself and you get into doom-scrolling. But, you know, the year ahead is looking unpredictable and potentially beyond that as well. So it’s going to be interesting to see what effects that has on us in the analytics space, even kind of late last year some of the big tech companies were all reporting lower than expected or lower than forecast revenues, which is always interesting because it’s not like they weren’t making money, they were just making slightly less than the amount that they predicted they would make.

[00:24:34] Dara: So it’s going to be interesting to see what effect that has on what has been quite a strong jobs market within the data and maybe wider into the digital space as well. If people are nervous about the economy and nervous about, you know, effects of any recession, it might tempt some people who have been working freelance or as consultants to maybe go back into full-time employment. It might not, but it’s going to be interesting, I’m aware I’m not making a prediction here, I’m saying about things that might happen or could have an effect. I’m definitely not going to get into the space of predicting what’s going to happen in the economy. But what I will say is I think it’s going to force companies who aren’t already doing this to start thinking about what they’re offering their employees.

[00:25:15] Dara: So it’s not just about, kind of salary, and I think pretty much everybody knows that it’s about offering people kind of flexible and supportive working conditions. For example, they kind of shift towards remote first working, which was prompted in a lot of cases by covid, and now you’ve got some companies trying to get people back in the office. So I think there’s going to need to be a kind of doubling down on providing that environment that allows people to have a good work-life balance. So I think companies who get that right are going to do very well regardless of what happens with the jobs market itself.

[00:25:45] Daniel: Yeah, exactly. We’re not in the business of predicting the economy, but things aren’t looking super great, at least compared to where they were a couple of years ago. You know, it’s going to be things like paying for energy costs, food, and you know, mortgages and house costs that are going to be more, well, they’re going to be bigger and thus people are going to be more focused on a steady income. But thinking of the other side, so not the jobs market and the people, but more of the organisations that use analytics. I think this is going to be the hard thing to guess at this point, because you could argue that the first thing to get cut is a marketing budget, and generally the analytics sort of budget comes out of the marketing budget, or the analytics people sit within the marketing team often.

[00:26:22] Daniel: However, you might also argue that it’s going to have more of a focus on using smaller budgets, but being clever with that data, and it’s going to be put more of a focus on a kind of return on the analytics investment to say, look, we need to be smarter, not richer, you know, over the next couple of years, let’s get through this period of time, what can we do? And it could see some impressive change from, you know, more traditional old school organisations to be kind of smarter with that, who knows? But I think it could go one of two ways, which again, is not a prediction because it’s just covering both bases, but there’s definitely change in the air, but which way the coin lands I suppose, is unknowable.

[00:26:56] Daniel: But less doom and gloom, less about the economy, more about marketing basically. And I think marketing is going to see a seismic shift this year purely because, and I know it’s not happening this year, Google’s pushed back the deprecation of third-party cookies in the chrome browsers and their ecosystem to next year now, so late 2024, who knows if that gets pushed back again. But the reality is most browsers, most companies are already blocking them or already stopping using third party cookies. So I think what we’re going to see this year is way more of a kind of unified approach to marketing in terms of retargeting and audience segmentation when you don’t have sort of one-to-one tracking through things like third party cookies.

[00:27:32] Daniel: So we’re going to see more of the kind of the FLoC and other kind of amazing things that Google come out with in terms of user segmentation. So in terms of doing your marketing activities, but I think generally speaking, and I don’t think this is news to anyone anymore, but like retargeting has become a thing of the past and it’s all about, I suppose, using the old sort of terminology, it’s all about prospecting. It’s all about having and working with networks that have good audience segmentation for you to go and market towards those audiences. Rather than saying, this person was on my website, go send them an ad. It’s more like this type of people use my service, go target these types of people or similar people to those and start experimenting with different audiences.

[00:28:13] Daniel: So I think that’s going to be the biggest shift through 2023. A lot of companies are already there, already thinking about it, already doing some small things towards it, but throughout 2023, I think if your entire marketing budget’s based on retargeting, I think that’s not wise. It’s good time to start moving away, but I think it’s finally going to get to the kind of marketing side rather than just data and analytics and IT, I think it’s going to become more of a marketing thing, and I think we’ll start to see marketing campaigns, marketing strategies start to evolve and definitely by the end of this year, with you know, less than a year left of retargeting anyway. I think it’ll be really interesting to see how marketers and marketing teams evolve and react and start changing their business as usual stuff really.

[00:28:50] Dara: Well look, as we know, this isn’t just us sitting having a beer, having this chat on our own anymore. This is recorded and people are actually listening to this. So we’re going to, we’re going to be put to the test which is partly why we’ve been a little bit safe with some of our predictions. But I’m looking forward to getting to the end of 2023 and looking back and seeing how close or way, way, way off the mark we were with this. One thing’s for sure, Universal should be gone and buried by then, but as for the rest of it, we’re just going to have to wait and see how it pans out.

[00:29:19] Daniel: Yeah, for sure.

Wind down

[00:29:20] Dara: I’m sure a lot of your break was spent sitting around eating and eating too much probably. But did you do anything interesting that you could talk about for your wind down, for your first wind down of the year.

[00:29:32] Daniel: I’m going to approach this in a way where I’m going to set the bar super low so that every week I can better it, but in a very small, incremental gain each week. So my big festive break, I’m going to talk about. I did a puzzle, I did a Christmas puzzle. I do a puzzle every year and it’s like my, I’m not really into puzzles, but at Christmas it seems to have become a bit of a tradition for me to do a puzzle over Christmas. So I did, took me a couple of days got a sore back again because I’m still an idiot and sit at a table with no back support. But there we go, I’m starting the year high, I did a puzzle.

[00:30:05] Dara: Do you mean a jigsaw?

[00:30:06] Daniel: Yeah, a jigsaw puzzle.

[00:30:07] Dara: Yeah, how many pieces?

[00:30:09] Daniel: 500.

[00:30:09] Dara: It makes me think, this is a painful memory, but I bought Hannah a marauders map jigsaw, so marauders map from Harry Potter, which you’re a Harry Potter fan if you imagine the marauders map, like it’s just brown scroll with lots of tiny writing on it. I didn’t put a single piece in it, Hannah when she gets into something, there’s no stopping her. I think it took about four months to do it, I think it was maybe, I don’t know how many, it was more than 500 anyway, but they almost all looked exactly the same, so I leave the jigsaws in this house to her. But yeah, glad to hear you did something other than sit in front of computer games. So I know I’ll be unpopular for saying that, but I think it’s good that you did something else.

[00:30:49] Daniel: I did plenty of that too.

[00:30:51] Dara: Yeah I bet.

[00:30:52] Daniel: Right, what did you get up to Dara? Go on what was your highlight of your festive break?

[00:30:55] Dara: Mine’s game related too and also, I mean, no one will be surprised to hear this isn’t a computer game. We played cranium, have you played cranium?

[00:31:03] Daniel: No, I haven’t. What is it?

[00:31:04] Dara: So it’s like, it’s a mixture of things it’s really good fun, actually. So you’ve got, there’s four categories of questions and one is about words, one’s about data, so not our kind of data, but like facts. One is creative and then one is a performer. So there’s all kind of different things, you get some clay and in some of them you have to, one person in the team has to make something out of the clay, which is always terrible and nobody can guess what it is. And then it’s got like a drawing one that’s a bit like Pictionary and then there’s when it’s like charades. So it’s all kinds of different, different things, which means like if you play with a bunch of people, some of them will be really good at some and terrible at the others, and if you mix it up, you just end up having a really good time and lots of laughs. So yeah, good wholesome, family fun.

[00:31:45] Daniel: Amazing, that sounds great. I’ll have to check it out.


Dara: That’s it for this week, to hear more from me and Dan on GA4 and other analytics related topics, all our previous episodes are available in our archive at measurelab.co.uk/podcast. Or you can simply use whatever app you’re using right now to listen to this, to go back and listen to previous episode.

Daniel: And if you want to suggest a topic for something me and Dara should be talking about, or if you want to suggest a guest who we should be talking to, there’s a Google Form in the show notes that you can fill out and leave us a note. Or alternatively, you can just email us at podcast@measurelab.co.uk to get in touch with us both directly.

Dara: Our theme is from Confidential, you can find a link to their music in the show notes. So on behalf of Dan and I, thanks for listening. See you next time.

Written by

Daniel is the innovation and training lead at Measurelab - he is an analytics trainer, co-host of The Measure Pod analytics podcast, and overall fanatic. He loves getting stuck into all things GA4, and most recently with exploring app analytics via Firebase by building his own Android apps.

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