first party identity

Server-side tracking made easy for Marketers

Client-side pixel-led targeting is dead. All right, it’s soon pretty much going to be—two moments of silence in advance. So now, make way for server-side tracking.
But why is that? What’s happening out there? Client-side tracking, which has been prevalent for a while now, poses multiple limitations, the primary one being data privacy compliance, and that’s for a good reason. The other challenges these poses are degraded website performance, limitations in mapping a user’s journey, etc.
On the other hand, server-side tracking addresses all of these problems while collecting data on the server-side. This approach, which is fast becoming the de facto standard globally, helps provide improved transparency by tracking server-side events such as:
GDPR compliance: Since the tracking is now being introduced from the server, server-side search for marketers helps them own available customers, first-party cookies/data and avoid blind spots.
Unified customer journey: By combining user & customer events across channels and devices using deterministic and probabilistic matches, marketers can now decide on the remarketing approach(es) for highly-engaged users by matching their user profiles.
Site speed & performance: This is a case of pixel transformation. Instead of loading a bunch of analytics & ad-channel pixels or tags on the users’ browser (client-side), the server running the website or your website’s CDN can define tags while ensuring that the webpage loads faster and delivers a compelling experience to the users.
Approximately 50-60% of tracking data is lost due to ad-blocking software and intelligent tracking prevention. This is especially true for client-side tracking. However, server-side tracking circumvents these challenges.
To set up server-side tracking for your business, simple infrastructure is all that’s needed. The key is to decide what information points are actually to track. Collecting everything – IP, URL, host, path, language, etc., and content the users accessed – is ideal for the backend to profile the user more or less accurately, followed up by targeted remarketing ads across intended channels.
For server-side tracking, Magic Pixel’s integration with a lightweight SDK enables websites to fire up the SDK on the server when a user is accessing the website resulting in improved site load-speed performance, among other insights.
Marketers now can collect first-party cookies/data and configure pixels or media tags using a simple user interface.

The need for server-side tracking across mobile apps

Traffic from mobile devices is arguably the most common traffic source nowadays. It’s only natural that an organization has a mechanism to ensure server-side tracking is done for mobile apps.
Server-side tracking for mobile apps can provide insights into users’ searches, subsequent browsing & shopping experience of users, and other parameters like location, device/OS type, etc. With these insights, marketers can create tailor-made remarketing ad campaigns for matching users and drive higher ROI on their ad spending.
Interestingly, adding tablet devices to the mix (while optional for the most part) completes the loop and opens up opportunities for cross-device attribution, which helps marketers decide where to spend how much money in the coming days & weeks.

Why should marketers be excited about server-side tracking!

For one, that’s where the world is headed, given all the debates and increasing awareness around user data privacy.
However, more importantly, server-side tracking lets you, the marketer, have first-party access to data and gives you greater control and ownership around what kind of data you want to track and how you will process it. So, you’d do your best to use it wisely.
Further, it remains unaffected by ad blockers and similar software, thereby helping you have higher quality data. At the same time, server-side tracking helps load websites faster by taking away the processing burden from the user’s browser. Yes, that’s what power feels like!
On the flip side, server-side tracking will most likely require some technical knowledge on your part to implement it initially, which is a minimal price to pay in terms of the learning curve to be able to create custom ‘tag scripts’ yourself.

Is server-side tracking the best option, however?

While server-side tracking does overcome a lot of the drawbacks that client-side tracking still battles with, the fact is that not all your marketing platforms and channels support server-side monitoring yet. In such cases, client-side tracking is still relevant. 
In such a scenario where having incomplete data is a cause of much frustration for many a performance marketing folk, leveraging a solution that works seamlessly across server-side and client-side tracking is an excellent way to go for as long as possible.
It’s time to scale up the first-party cookies approach. Book a quick demo with us, and we’ll show you how easy it is to do that with server-side tracking working along with client-side tracking.