Smarter Analytics with Adobe Launch

Analytics | June 20, 2018

Analytics implementations can be difficult to develop and maintain without the proper tools.  Some businesses try to implement analytics calls on individual buttons or other user behaviors in their frontend codebase.  Since they are part of the codebase, they can only be updated whenever a code deployment happens. To further complicate matters, these calls may be reliant on specific logic of the underlying system to be able to work with the underlying data. It can be very difficult to port to other marketing systems without writing a bunch of integrations yourself.  There’s a better way using tag management and a dedicated data layer. Now is a perfect time for it too, as Adobe just released their next-generation tag management system, Adobe Launch, for free – even if you don’t license any Adobe products.

Adobe Launch

What is Tag Management?

If you’re not familiar with tag management, tags or “web beacons”, are small user behavior trackers placed on a website.  These are typically JS snippets, but GIFs, pixels, anything can be a beacon. Adobe Launch’s intention is to have them loaded through one JS call at the bottom of the page like so:

<script src=”//assets.adobedtm.com/launch-ENexampleID-development.min.js” async></script>

Then any analytics rules, data elements collection, and data integrations can all be managed separately in the Launch tool, completely agnostic of the underlying site platform or implementation details.

Analytics-Ruleset

How Does Adobe Launch Work?

Calls to Launch are fired based on business rules, navigation events, and known data about a user.  From there, user interactions and data are stored in a dedicated data layer, then mapped to events or variables in different marketing technologies like Adobe Analytics, Adobe Target, Adobe Audience Manager, Adobe Campaign, Adobe Advertising cloud, Clicktale, Facebook Pixel, Doubleclick, and many more!

To the right, you can see an example ruleset that fires on a user interaction, such as a clicked button. A ruleset can also fire on an event from the website or extension. You can configure the event to only fire during certain conditions, and then what actions should take place as a result. As you can see in the image below, there is an “Exception” category, which shows no Regular Expressions are required to configure rulesets.

Why Use Adobe Launch?

There are several reasons why I would recommend Launch over direct analytics calls from the site or other tag management platforms:

Agility and Cost Savings
  • Reduce reliance on technical resources as business users can set up rules and data elements using a streamlined GUI.
  • Since everything is managed in a separate tool, no code deployments are required which confers greater agility and lower cost to the business.
  • Reuse rules and data element configurations across pages by default or limit them using conditional checks
  • Ties in with Adobe Analytics, Target, ContextHub, 3rd party data tools, or anything you want via an extension (plugin).
  • Built from the ground up as a Data API for integration with your applications, also accessible via web-based user interface
Data Control
  • Ability to control data leakage to third-parties and comply with data privacy legislation (cookie consent, do not track).
  • Tag managers provide another layer of abstraction for managing the complexity of large websites and between sites.
Performance
  • Reduced page load times thanks to asynchronous tag loading, conditional tag loading, and tag timeout.
  • The Launch container tag is 60% lighter than Adobe DTM (Legacy) and 40% lighter than Google Tag Manager.
Safe Preview
  • Check for issues on developer or staging environments before deploying tags to production.
  • Role-based approval process.
  • Simple GUI for viewing and managing configuration status

Try Launch for Your Business

Since Adobe Launch is free, I encourage you to request access from Adobe and try it out for yourself.  Set up a sample page on your platform – any website, application, or otherwise that supports javascript.  Then configure some example rules and see how easy it is for data to flow from that page into Launch and back out to analytical applications, other marketing channels, 3rd party integrations, and more!

Want more information?  Be on the lookout for future blog posts covering detailed rules and data elements setup.  We would also love to hear from you if you have questions on overall strategy, design, specific integrations, or extension development for Launch!

 

Looking to try Launch? We can help!



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Paul is a web development consultant at iCiDIGITAL with a long history of system analysis. He has a strong commitment to leveraging the best-fit technology and processes for the situation. His current development focuses are in AEM, Java, JavaScript, and responsive design. In his spare time he can be found reading, practicing the viola, enjoying the great outdoors, or planning for and playing any number of team-based tactical games such as Ultimate Frisbee.