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The Drum - Data consultancy and GA4 training

Managing a complex GA4 rollout with technical consultancy and training to upskill the data and development team.

The story so far…

The Drum is a global, subscription-based publisher for the marketing and media industries, trusted by over one million readers as a reliable source of insight, thought leadership and guidance. Like most brands, the rollout to GA4 has presented a series of challenges, questions and training needs. They needed to work with an agency that could upskill their team, troubleshoot problems, and stabilise their GA4 reporting post-migration.

Why Optix?

Our Digital Marketing team was recommended to The Drum by their data consultant who was aware of our collective GA4 knowledge and capabilities. The Drum needed a deeper insight into their paywalled subscription process, understanding what percentage of their audience was dropping off before completing their subscription, and why. With the rollout to GA4 looming, their complex Universal Analytics tracking needed to be replicated as soon as possible, so that year-on-year comparisons could continue. They also expressed a need to explore opportunities for more sophisticated data tracking.

Our Approach

We started by gaining a thorough understanding of the business model, subscription process and their current data and reporting needs. We created a Looker Studio report to recreate the pipeline, and showed them how to track sign-ups through a multi-stage process. As part of our data consultancy, we implemented GA4 tracking to measure key metrics, working alongside their data team and developers and troubleshooting issues as they arose.

Knowing that the transition to GA4 would bring complex challenges to many, if not all of our clients, Samantha Smith, our Senior Digital Marketing Manager and Data Lead, stepped up to take the lead. Supported by Optix, and through proactive and self-led learning, she immersed herself in the online GA4 community and formalised her knowledge in a Level 3 Data Technology course at Exeter College. She’s now a leading expert in GA4 - even being asked to train other agencies in Google Analytics.

So, she was the perfect person to design and deliver bespoke GA4 training sessions to the data and development teams at The Drum, focusing on the technical differences between GA4 and Universal Analytics. This training has been well received by the team, and has built considerable confidence in GA4. We continue to supply training and consultancy on an ongoing basis.


The Drum now has access to the full dataset they need to analyse the subscription process. Not only that, but we have upskilled their team of data experts in GA4 so that they have confidence to extract and analyse the data they need going forward. They know that Sam, Thomas and the team at Optix Solutions are on hand for any additional questions or training needs within the team.


Over 10 data experts and developers trained in GA4 (and counting).

More detailed, targeted reports for a deeper insight and YOY statistics.

A better understanding of their subscription process.

Ongoing data consultancy and GA4 training as needed.

The client’s view…

“Sam did a great job, just what we needed. Major recognition of her content, delivery, and response to questions.” +10 review on Net Promoter Score (NPS)

- Louise Miller, (Former) Head of Data, The Drum

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The Optix view…

“Being asked to support and train a marketing industry leader in GA4 is a great reflection on us. We’ve enjoyed solving technical challenges, and Sam’s passion for sharing her impressive GA4 knowledge has really set us apart.”

- Thomas Haynes, Director of Strategy, Optix Solutions

01392 667766
Optix Solutions
1st Floor, Alphin Brook House,
Alphin Brook Road,
Exeter EX2 8RG


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