Today’s digital marketers are under the gun to influence more online sales and increase market share. Boosting marketing-influenced revenue means beating the competition in the fight for the customer: acquiring more customers and converting a larger portion of them before the competition gets them.
Since there’s very little room for error, digital marketers know they must optimize every interaction with members of their target audience to maximize engagement and conversion rates. This means that marketers must move away from a static, one-size-fits-all digital presence, and adapt their online properties to the needs and interests of individual visitors.
One-to-one marketing has been something of a holy grail for many organizations. The ability to transform websites and other digital touch points, and fully tailor them to the unique needs, tastes, preferences and buying cycle stage of individual visitors requires the collection, processing and activation of visitor data. The more pertinent data marketers collect and activate, the closer they can get to one-to-one marketing.
Obviously, the need to collect and activate lots of data is often incongruent with some visitors’ desire not to be tracked online. Digital marketers must, therefore, allow visitors to fully opt out of tracking, while using data to personalize the experience of other visitors who don’t opt out.
Data collection and activation is best achieved through enterprise data and tag management solutions that help organizations increase their marketing agility. It stands to reason then that complying with privacy policies and cookie regulations is best handled through those same solutions.
This is where users of pure client-side tag management tools must be cautious. Such tools are incapable of providing full privacy compliance, and marketers who choose to use their client-side containers to turn off tracking beacons for opted-out users will most likely fail to fully abide by their own privacy policies or any cookie regulation.
The main reason why pure client-side TMS tools are unable to offer full privacy compliance is that not all website tags are deployed through the TMS. Marketers often decide to leave some tags hard-coded on the page. Even if all tags are migrated into the TMS then there is a risk that someone in the organization might decide to hard-code a new tag on the page. Either way, pure client-side TMS tools cannot block tracking made directly from the page. These tools can only block tags that are directly deployed through the TMS itself (by wrapping the tag with a condition that checks if the user didn’t opt out).
Another class of tags that pure client-side TMS tools cannot block is fourth and fifth-party tags, which dynamically fire from third-party tags. For example, a tag like MediaPlex can launch additional tracking by initiating daisy-chain calls to other vendors. Since the tags of those fourth and fifth-party vendors are not fired by the TMS, pure client-side TMS cannot block them.
So, marketers must choose a solution that acts like a browser firewall – one that can block any network request that hasn’t been whitelisted from ever leaving the browser, regardless of where the tag request was initiated.
Even if marketers attempted to deploy a browser firewall technology through their pure client-side TMS then they would risk failing to comply with their privacy policies or any cookie regulation. This is because pure client-side containers rely on sub-optimal network infrastructure, which forces marketers to load their TMS asynchronously and/or towards the bottom of the HTML body in order not to slow down website load speed. As a result, such solutions will fail to catch pixels that were hard-coded to the top of the HTML page, because the pixels will fire before the privacy solution is loaded on the page.
Finally, users of pure client-side TMS that decide to wrap every tag deployment with a privacy condition (a tedious and error-prone task to say the least), will inflate the size of their container. This will force the browser to download, parse and execute a larger file, and risk delaying the execution of their tags. This means that some tags will never get the chance to fire, when visitors quickly navigate away from the page.
Bottom line: online marketers who look to abide by privacy policies must look for scalable solutions that ensure 100% compliance without degrading marketing agility and website performance. With the increased scrutiny over user privacy, marketers should ensure that their operations are in full privacy compliance and reduce risk.
What has your experience been with securing privacy within a TMS solution? Let us know in the comments.