Month: August 2022

4 steps to prepare for the server-side

With the advent of Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP ) updates by Apple and Google's announcement of the removal of third-party cookies , server-side tag management (also known as tag management "server-side") has gone into overdrive. Most browsers, devices and channels have now stopped using third-party cookies , so client-side tags are doomed to imminent obsolescence. Here are 4 steps to prepare for tag management with server-side.

As a reminder: With client-side tags, the user's browser interacts directly with the provider (such as Google Analytics or Facebook) via a tag container. For all configured tags, an HTTP request is sent for each interaction to the corresponding endpoint of the tag provider. The client-side request is already structured in the appropriate data format.

The server-side tag management solution, on the other hand, creates a separate data endpoint in a server environment to which the data is sent, instead of directly (and all) to the vendors. This means that all ongoing interactions on the website are sent as a grouped data stream from a browser-embedded client to the tag management solution server. Only here are the various tags of the service providers located and they structure the desired data in the required format. In addition, the data can be processed, enriched and anonymized before being sent to the digital marketing service providers.

Many companies are therefore moving from client-side tag management to server-side tag management. However, this transition takes time. This is not surprising, as this is a process that must involve all the players in the digital world. However, there is a risk of a wait-and-see attitude. If you wait until the concept is fully mature before implementing a strategy server-side, you are not only missing out on an essential learning curve, but you are also missing out on important competitive advantages.


So what is the best way to manage this transition? What should be the implementation strategy server-side ? Our checklist gives you some hints.


1. Involve the Data Protection Officer (DPO) in the transition

Many of the challenges facing the digital ecosystem are rooted in data protection issues. Even if an implementation server-side is described as a "technical project", it is essential to involve the Data Protection Officer (DPO) as early as possible. His opinion plays a decisive role at every stage of the process, whether it is a question of selecting the solutions to be switched to the server side or new processes that facilitate the centralization of data on a solution server-side.


2. Inventory the partners

Depending on the company's needs, several dozen tags are currently triggered from the digital infrastructure, and almost as many partners are activated.

Of these, which are the ones that :

... are already operational in server-side ?

... are planning to be in the future?

... will work in hybrid mode?

... have not foreseen any changes in the medium term?


For solution providers, the complexity of the transition is directly related to the nature of the tasks. These tasks are essentially of three types: identification, collection and interaction.

For identification, it is almost impossible to escape the client-side tag; for collection, the change seems possible, while it is much more delicate for interaction (for example, personalization). Moreover, it is very likely that, for the same partner, collection is done on the client-side and further processing on server-side.

To develop your own strategy, you also need to know what your partners' strategies are. As this is a key issue, all players are now communicating on this subject, which makes it easier.


3. Start with the right candidates

Even if it is based on a CDP (Customer Data Platform) designed for server-side, the transition will take place over several months and will take the form of a cohabitation between client-side and server-side. In this context, it is important to choose the right candidates so that everyone (from IT to marketing to the DPO) can become familiar with the logic server-side.

There is a high probability that a Pareto distribution will emerge, with 20% of the tags accounting for 80% of the difficulties. A good candidate is a solution that has already proven itself in the transition to a server-side solution and for which the benefits are clearly identifiable.

Evaluating solution providers based on the resiliency of a conversion and its technical difficulty can help plan the effort.


4. Communicate and raise awareness

The implementation of server-side does not only concern the IT team, the marketing team or the DPO. Everyone, at their own level, must become familiar with the challenges and requirements of the technology server-side. Clichés such as "we need to break down silos" are not helpful in this regard. Instead, companies should opt for appropriate communication to discuss strategy, milestones and feedback together.



We cannot predict exactly what the digital world will look like without cookies. However, several developments suggest that the future will be dominated by technologies server-side. Of course, the switch to server-side concepts will take time and the two models (client-side and server-side) will still have to coexist for some time. But the centralization of data on a server-side solution offers too many advantages to do without it any longer.

Since employees are often already busy with their daily activities, it is almost impossible to do without external experts who can help the company in this transition. Again, it's best not to wait too long. Given the stakes, it's likely that the best resources will be mobilized quickly. With these 4 steps to prepare for tag management with server-side, you are ready for a future with less cookies.



Learn more about this topic:

White Paper: How are you preparing for a future with fewer cookies ?

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