GA4: the only analytics platform that benefits from Google’s Consent Mode

Kevin Joyner

Director of Data Strategy

26th January 2023

~ 3 min read

Google’s Consent Mode is a brilliant opportunity for advertisers in their response to a problem that should (and will) get more attention – data lost due to users not consenting to being tracked. 

It’s a brilliant opportunity for advertisers, and also for Google. The biggest benefit of Consent Mode is the effect of modelling that restores the measurement of nonconsenting users, and this benefit is available only to Google Analytics 4 (GA4) and the Google Marketing Platform (GMP) tech stack. By developing a unique product of considerable value for GMP customers, Google has created brilliant reinforcement for the position of its whole enterprise marketing platform.

Browsers and devices have become better at protecting privacy, and are increasingly adopting the principle of privacy by default. This has had an impact (that’s understating it) on our industry, and we’ve tended to focus on preventing the degradation of the quality of user tracking data.

The absence of data

Degradation is one thing, but complete absence is another. The development of data protection regulation, and our understanding of consent, has come hand-in-hand with privacy-protecting technology; and yet the effect of users not consenting to being tracked at all gets less attention than the effect of Apple’s ITP on tracking cookies.

Certainly to a degree, marketers ignore the missing data as though users going untracked is something they just can’t do anything about. But perhaps Meta being required to comply with the GDPR will provoke many advertisers to think again about themselves having to take a position of strict compliance, and about the impact that will have on their measurement.

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