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Tracking Optimisation - Switching 3rd party container tag solutions

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This article will review:

  • Steps required to migrate tracking from one 3rd party container tag solution another
  • Implementing a TEST- version of the tracking
  • Setting up the new conditional logic in Partnerize
  • Testing and reviewing the TEST- data from the new 3rd party container tag solution
  • Switching to the new 3rd party container tag solution

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Index

Overview

This guide will outline the steps required to switch from one 3rd party container tag solution to another for live campaigns. Making changes to live tracking without any preparation could potentially cause issues with live tracking and reporting so we need to make sure the relevant checks are performed.

What is a 3rd party container tag solution?

It is common practice for brands to use 3rd party container tag solutions (Doubleclick, Google Tag Manager, etc.) for the following reasons:

  • Optimising site performance
  • Online channel analysis (identify which channel, i.e. PPC, Affiliate, Search) is performing
  • Cross channel deduplication (ensuring sales are awarded to only one channel - last click wins) to avoid overpayment

Implementation Steps

Our goal is to make sure that live tracking activity continues as normal with the existing 3rd party container tag solution while we test out the new solution. With this in mind, we urge brands to implement a 'TEST-' version of the tracking within the new 3rd party container tag solution so we can review the new data while live tracking continues as normal.  The steps are only applicable if a 3rd party container tag solution is used to trigger the Partnerize tracking pixel conditionally.

Stage Description Stage Owner
Discuss changes Identify which campaign(s) require the change Brand
Implementation of TEST- tracking into 3rd party container tag solution

Create and Implement a TEST- version of the tracking into the new 3rd party container tag solution

Brand
Implement new conditional pixel firing logic

Provide Partnerize with new logic required to trigger pixel from new container

Add new logic to test account and provide test link and instructions to client

Brand/Partnerize
Testing

Perform a test transaction and review their 3rd party system data

Review Test data and make sure all data matches as expected

Brand/Partnerize
Switch live Switch over to NEW 3rd party container tag solution and de-activate old system. Brand
Review and Monitor Monitor live activity coming from new 3rd party container tag solution Brand & Partnerize

 

Step 1 - Discuss changes

The first step is for the brand to advise Partnerize that they intend to change 3rd party container tag solutions, including which solution they are moving to.

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NOTE:

Changes should NOT be made to the existing solution at this stage.

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Step 2 - Implementation of TEST- tracking into 3rd party container tag solution

The brand will need to implement a 'TEST-' version of the tracking solution in the new 3rd party container tag solution.  The brand must follow the steps below to generate their own TEST- version.

Pixel:

  • Brand to make a copy of their existing live pixel tracking solution
  • Add 'TEST-' to the beginning of the campaign ID - i.e. /campaign:TEST-1234567/
  • Implement this 'TEST-' pixel into new 3rd party container tag solution

Clickref Pixel:

  • Brand to make a copy of their existing live clickref pixel tracking solution
  • Add 'TEST-' to the beginning of the campaign ID - i.e. /campaign:TEST-1234567/
  • Add 'TEST-' to the beginning of the clickref - i.e. /clickref:TEST-098765/
  • Implement this 'TEST-' clickref pixel into new 3rd party container tag solution

Examples:

Here is how a standard 'TEST-' pixel may look - Notice the 'TEST-' section highlighted in bold:

https://prf.hn/conversion/campaign:TEST-XXXXXXX/conversionref:CONVERSIONREF[category:CATEGORY/sku:SKU/value:VALUE/quantity:QUANTITY/]

Here is how the 'TEST-' clickref pixel may look - Notice the 'TEST-' section highlighted in bold:

https://prf.hn/conversion/campaign:TEST-XXXXXXX/clickref:TEST-CLICKREF/tracking_mode:api/conversion_time:YYYY-MM-DD+hh:mm/device:DEVICE/context:CONTEXT/conversionref:CONVERSIONREF/[category:CATEGORY/sku:SKU/value:VALUE/quantity:QUANTITY]

Once the brand has created a TEST- version of either the pixel or clickref pixel tracking solution, the next step is to implement this into the new 3rd party container tag solution.

Step 3 - Implement new conditional pixel firing logic

Once the 'TEST-' pixel/clickref pixel has been implemented into the new 3rd party container tag solution, the brand will need to provide Partnerize with the new conditional logic required to trigger the Pixel from this new container.

Partnerize can then add this logic to a test account within the Partnerize platform. This will allow us to test the new 3rd party container tag solution, while live tracking continues to work as normal using the existing 3rd party container tag solution.

Step 4 - Testing

Once Partnerize set up the new conditional logic (provided by the brand), we can begin the testing phase. 

Partnerize will provide the brand with a test publisher tracking link which will route through new conditional logic previously provided. The rrand must click through this test link prior to making a test transaction.  Once the brand has performed a test transaction, the details of the order must be provided to Partnerize for review.

We should expect to see a 'TEST-' pixel or clickref pixel in our server logs. This will not track in the Partnerize platform due to using a test version of the pixel/clickref pixel.

Partnerize and the brand can then review the test data to make sure the data has pulled through to the new 3rd party container tag solution and into Partnerize correctly.

Step 5 - Switch Live

Once Partnerize have confirmed that the testing phase is complete, we can look at making the switch over. This involves changing the 'TEST-' version of the pixel/clickref pixel live while deactivating the old 3rd party container tag solution.

This involves the following steps by both Parties:

  • Brand - Advise the exact time/date as to when the switchover is required
  • Partnerize - Update the NEW 3rd party container tag solution click append / prepend for ALL Partnerize traffic
  • Brand - Remove 'TEST-' from the campaign ID section (and clickref section if using Clickref pixel) from the 'TEST-' tracking, within the new 3rd party container
  • Brand - Deactivate the old 3rd party container tag solution/pixel - We would advise to hide rather than delete completely incase this needs reverting
  • Partnerize & Brand - Monitor and review the data coming through from the new 3rd party container tag solution

The optimisation task is now complete.

Notes & Considerations

  • This guide only applies to brands which use pixel or clickref pixel tracking solutions.
  • Server to server (S2S) tracking does not work with 3rd party container tag solutions.
  • As the 3rd party container tag solution relies on pixels, an S2S tracking solution will bypass any the 3rd party as it involves a direct HTTP interaction, via Server to Server.

Questions

If you have any technical questions with regards to this document, please contact our onboarding specialists at  integrations.support@partnerize.com 

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