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Data Collection, Automation Top-of-Mind for Digital Teams

Posted on Categories Strategy, Web + Online MarketingTags

The digital marketing landscape is quickly evolving and top marketers around the world are asking the same questions.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that many of the speakers at this year’s SMX Advanced focused on how digital marketers should respond to the evolving technological landscape. Data collection and usage – along with machine learning and automation – are top-of-mind. Here are some of the top questions marketing teams across the globe are asking themselves.

When Is Google Analytics Going Away? How Soon Do I Need to Switch Over to Google Analytics 4?

Google’s latest generation of analytics, Google Analytics 4 (GA4) rolled out in October 2020. While users can still access Google Analytics (aka GA or GA3), any new properties created will default to GA4.

GA won’t fully go away until July 1, 2023. However, if you want at least a year of data in GA4 before this occurs, the time to start transitioning has already passed. There’s still good reason to get started now even if you’ve missed this deadline. 

When Is Google Dropping Third-party Tracking? How Does This Affect Our Team?

The timeline for phasing out third-party tracking was (again) pushed back to late 2024. Now is the time to consider how to advertise without cookies. Digital teams must start thinking now about collecting first-party data (or more of it) because data extrapolated from ad performance and market research will become even more valuable.

Teams also will be looking at how to partner with large publishers, who carry a treasure trove of data based on content consumption. Contextual ad targeting also will become more relevant.

What’s With Google Pushing All This Automation? What’s To Lose or Gain?

Anyone who’s been in a Google Ads dashboard in the past several years knows that the platform is all about machine learning these days. The ubiquitous presence of AI-powered features has forced (old school) advertisers to face the idea of letting go of so much of the hands-on control they’ve enjoyed.

There’s a lot to lose for those who jump into automation head first without careful testing. For those who take the extra time to ensure their results won’t falter, AI can open the door to even more strategic sophistication.


It’s true, a lot of the change that’s coming is unprecedented. But in this marketer’s view, it’s equally true that ad tech will find a way to adapt and respond to these challenges as they always have.

Got questions about how these Google marketing tools are evolving? Our team is Google Certified and can walk you through these transitions with confidence. Contact us to learn more.

Photo by Mitchell Luo on Unsplash

Avatar photoSarah Snyder-Castañeda is a Digital Ads Manager and Content Creator with a long-established career in SEO/SEM. Originally a journalist, her background in writing and research informs her approach that combines the technical and human aspects of marketing. A lifelong passionate learner, Sarah enjoys sharing her knowledge of all things digital.