The shift to server-side tracking solutions

July 24, 2021

In response to today’s growing data collection complexities, organisations are taking control – moving quickly to pivot tracking setups to incorporate newly available server-side solutions. While these solutions can be beneficial for data enrichment, load times, and privacy optimization (amongst other things) there is a widespread misconception that server-side tracking will help solve tracking prevention challenges.

The unfortunate reality is that server-side tracking solutions will often barely make a dent in resolving marketing analytic quality and accuracy issues. Here’s why:

Tracking prevention disruptions occur within a user’s browser. Even while popular server-side setups may ensure the last leg of the tracking journey is a server-to-server; most data points will still be sourced client-side. This makes these setups just as vulnerable to tracking preventions as the client-side setups we were used to.

The alternative would be to abandon any elements of our tracking setups that run client-side. Goodbye, GTM. Hello, waiting weeks (or months!) for developers to implement new tracking changes!

The trade-off for marketers: Live with flawed and inaccurate data driving our decision-making, or, stop using the tools that enabled us to self-serve our own tracking needs and boosted our productivity.

The additional challenges with server-side solutions:

Learning curve: Implementing server-side solutions to resolve data collection issues is a new capability. Both developers and marketers will need to invest a lot of time in learning how to set up and manage these new tools in your marketing stack

Limited platforms: Only platforms with server-to-server APIs (such as Google Analytics and Facebook) can be fully supported with server-side solutions. Other platforms, built for client-side collection only, may not be able to be used at all in this new server-side paradigm.

Increased IT overhead: With marketing teams no longer able to completely self-service their own requests – the burden on IT teams will escalate, distracting them from other priorities.

Ongoing maintenance: Server-side means adding servers, and all the associated costs of these. Hosting, scaling up for traffic surges, applying software updates, and other security concerns will be an additional burden for IT teams moving forward.

Unknown success: Once server-side solutions are implemented, teams will typically still be unable to track how effective these efforts were at resolving data quality issues.

It goes without saying – while there is a time and place for server-side solutions, developing these capabilities solely to overcome tracking preventions is not one of them.

The RescueMetrics solution:

RescueMetrics has been developed to resolve discrepancies caused by tracking preventions, across your entire MarTech stack, in the lowest overhead way possible.

How does it run differently from a standard server-side solution?

RescueMetrics resolves the problem inside the browser itself. We dynamically convert existing client-side setups into server-side data collection – engineered specifically to avoid any tracking issues and boost data quality.

This means:

  • The configuration of your existing MarTech tools can all be preserved - and all platforms can continue to be managed in the tools you know. RescueMetrics is compatible with the latest features of each platform and will remain so. 
  • Time saved with a low effort/simple implementation. No new education or ongoing management will be required from your IT team.
  • No additional privacy or compliance issues to worry about. RescueMetrics can automatically follow the existing policies in your tag or cookie management platform.
  • Marketing teams can continue with BAU – while having the right data to boost performance.