2023-02-01 | Case study | Insights
Digitl has helped us establish state-of-the-art user tracking by enabling server-side tagging. It is possible to track and attribute the performance of a greater number of users when first-party cookies are used.
Berge & Meer Touristik pioneered the travel industry by offering exceptional all-inclusive travel experiences around the world. Operating primarily in Germany, the company sells almost exclusively directly to customers. After the Coronavirus outbreaks in the last few years, the business shifted to a digital-first strategy to ensure business continuity. Focusing on digital activities, they needed to increase traffic and conversions on their website. However, rising expectations and regulations around user privacy were making it difficult to meet both performance measurement and privacy needs. The company engaged in a discussion with Digitl about regulatory changes, how these were impacting their marketing activities, and what were available measures to meet the expectations in the advertising industry.
To move from a third-party to a first-party tracking approach, Digitl proposed installing Server-Side Tagging. By doing so, the user’s touchpoints with third-party servers are replaced with an enterprise Server-Side Google Tag Manager (GTM). As opposed to standard tagging, Server-Side Tagging sends tracking hits to the Server-Side GTM hosted under the client Berge & Meer's domain. As a result, all tracking hits from Google Analytics and marketing pixels can be aggregated into one. The hits are received in the client's cloud environment and forwarded to other tools by the server. This allows for combining and modifying them before sending them to Google Analytics. This way, all tracking-related touchpoints become first-party.
This setup also allowed for a connection to a Google Cloud Firestore to enrich the Google Analytics data with data from the client's CRM database in the future. With Cloud Run, the tagging and preview server instances were run at a lower cost than with App Engine.
Furthermore, Consent Mode was installed by Digitl. Consent Mode helps customize how Google tags behave before and after users make their consent decisions. Used with conversion modeling, it helps use consented, first-party data to better understand how users convert after engaging with ads. This way, the gap of lost conversion data in Google Analytics 4 is reduced by improving the accuracy of the data.
Due to Intelligent Tracking Prevention, Google Analytics is unable to recognize the conversion channel after 7 days when third-party cookies are used which jeopardizes the accuracy of the analysis such as of new vs. returning users. With the new setup, this challenge was solved improving the ability to evaluate online marketing performance.
The page load speed could be also improved as the computational power needed was shifted to the tagging server ultimately creating a better user experience.
Moreover, Digitl evaluated the performance before and after implementation. The ability to measure conversions could be improved by 11%. At the same time, 15% more users could be attributed to paid search traffic.
Senior Consultant Digital Analytics