With Universal Analytics now well and truly behind us as of July 2024, it’s time to look at the data collected in your Google Analytics 4 (GA4) property and review the next phase: media activation. This article aims to illustrate the different ways you can activate your GA4 data in Google Ads and/or Google Marketing Platform.

For simplicity, we’re ranking use cases according to digital maturity. Note that it’s always best to have clean data and to align your marketing goals with your digital marketing stakeholders before you start the activation process.

1.0   Low Digital Maturity | Zero or Limited Conversions

For GA4 properties with zero or limited conversions, focus on an activation strategy that’s easy to implement, with plenty of room for testing and measurement.

1.1. GA4 Suggested Audience for Targeting

GA4 suggested audiences for targeting 1

GA4 has pre-configured audiences that you can use or modify further if needed. These suggested audiences utilise Analytics data to reach users more likely to engage or convert. You can target these audiences in Google Ads or Display & Video 360 (DV360) after platform linkage, allowing for improved campaign performance.

1.2.  Target/Retarget Based on Site Behavior/Content Consumption

Target or retarget audiences 2

Use GA4’s event tracking to monitor specific user actions, such as page views, video plays, or product interactions. Create custom audiences based on these behaviours to target or retarget users with tailored messages. For example, if users frequently visit a product page but do not purchase, you can retarget them with ads highlighting a special offer for that product.

2.0   Medium Digital Maturity | Nuanced Conversions & More Granular Event Tracking

For GA4 properties with more sophisticated conversion tracking and granular event data, the following strategies will help optimize your media activation.

2.1.   DV360/SA360 Suppression of Existing Customers from Acquisition Campaigns

By creating audience lists of existing customers in GA4, you can exclude these users from acquisition campaigns in DV360 and Search Ads 360 (SA360). This is achieved by syncing your GA4 audience lists with DV360 and SA360, ensuring that your ads are only shown to new potential customers, thereby optimizing your advertising spend.

2.2.   Predictive Audience Building and Retargeting for Acquisition & Lead Generation

predictive audience 3

GA4’s predictive metrics, such as purchase probability and churn probability, allow you to build audiences based on future behavior predictions. For example, you can create an audience of users who are likely to purchase in the next seven days and target them with acquisition campaigns. Additionally, use predictive metrics to identify high-value leads for targeted retargeting efforts, increasing the efficiency of your lead generation strategies.

2.3.   Web and App Cross-Platform Audience Building and Re-Engagement

Firebase 4
Firebase overview report, taken from https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/12922625?sjid=15872146649846790554-AP

By integrating GA4 with Firebase, you can collect data from both web and app interactions, enabling comprehensive audience building. Use this cross-platform data to create segments of users who engage with your brand across multiple touchpoints. For instance, you can target users who have installed your app but have not interacted with it recently, encouraging them to re-engage with personalized content or offers.


Whether you’re just starting with limited conversions or have advanced tracking in place, the use cases outlined above can help you maximize the impact of your data. As the digital landscape continues to evolve, staying informed and leveraging the latest tools and techniques will be crucial for success.

Stay tuned for our next article, where we’ll delve into advanced strategies involving conversions with value, customer data, and the application of Google AI to further enhance your media activation efforts.

Privacy-safe solutions: 1st party data integrations with DV360 & GA4Pros of linking Search Ads 360 & Google Analytics 4