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How hard is it to onboard Adobe Analytics and is trying to leverage Google Tag Manager and dataLayer make it more difficult?

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We are looking at possibly bring on Adobe Analytics. I am trying to understand how difficult it is to implement. I've been experienced with setting up several sites with Google Analytics(UA and GA4) using Google Tag Manager. Is setting up Adobe Analytics that much more complicated? Can I leverage what is already in place with Google Tag Manager and the Google dataLayer so we can continue to use Google Analytics as our backup analytics package or is best to start from scratch(run both tag managers)? I'm asking because I've seen implementation costs from Adobe, and partners, that are simply prohibitive.

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Personally, I actually find Adobe Analytics easier to implement than GA/GTM (I manage both for our company). 

 

There are two ways to do this.. one, is to choose one tag manager and do both implementations from there (I would choose Adobe Launch / Adobe Experience Platform Data Collection over GTM if I had to choose one - it's much more powerful, and I will add some more notes on this later), or you can use both in parallel, keep your GTM for Google Analytics, and use Launch for Adobe Analytics.

 

Given you already have GTM.. I would suggest doing the parallel route.

 

Adobe Analytics is much more powerful than GA, there are a lot more customization that you can do for your dimensions, so start small with the basics, but as you grow more comfortable with the tool and what it can do, I think you will quickly outgrow what you can currently do in GA.

 

I would also suggest starting from scratch on your Adobe... this will take a little longer, but it will be a good way to learn the system, without limiting yourself to GTM, but of course, your will likely want to keep your basics close to GTM as well.. but this in itself is a good review for your site... what is working, what isn't, what can you expand or drop... 

 

@FrederikWerner did an awesome video on a simple 10 min Adobe Analytics implementation:
 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VRi3WdwkA3g

 

 

Now, before, I mentioned that Adobe Launch was more powerful... there are a lot more triggers both built-in and fully customization that you can use.. 

One of my major issues with GTM is when I create a click element trigger, I have to specifically code all the node levels to pick up clicks on nested elements (div, image, text, span, etc) on some of our fancy "button" links... in Adobe, I only have to reference the parent element and all clicks on the children are captured.... 

 

Doing custom code triggers is so much easier in Adobe too... in GTM, you have to use a trigger, to fire a tag, then that tag does custom code, so that you can create a second trigger for that, then fire the tag you want...  In Adobe Launch, it's just one custom code trigger and your tag.

 

There's lots of help here.. if you know how to use GTM, you should have no issues learning Adobe Launch.. and if you run into any snags, myself, or other people here will glad to help you out.

 

Good Luck!

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4 Replies

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Correct answer by
Community Advisor

Personally, I actually find Adobe Analytics easier to implement than GA/GTM (I manage both for our company). 

 

There are two ways to do this.. one, is to choose one tag manager and do both implementations from there (I would choose Adobe Launch / Adobe Experience Platform Data Collection over GTM if I had to choose one - it's much more powerful, and I will add some more notes on this later), or you can use both in parallel, keep your GTM for Google Analytics, and use Launch for Adobe Analytics.

 

Given you already have GTM.. I would suggest doing the parallel route.

 

Adobe Analytics is much more powerful than GA, there are a lot more customization that you can do for your dimensions, so start small with the basics, but as you grow more comfortable with the tool and what it can do, I think you will quickly outgrow what you can currently do in GA.

 

I would also suggest starting from scratch on your Adobe... this will take a little longer, but it will be a good way to learn the system, without limiting yourself to GTM, but of course, your will likely want to keep your basics close to GTM as well.. but this in itself is a good review for your site... what is working, what isn't, what can you expand or drop... 

 

@FrederikWerner did an awesome video on a simple 10 min Adobe Analytics implementation:
 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VRi3WdwkA3g

 

 

Now, before, I mentioned that Adobe Launch was more powerful... there are a lot more triggers both built-in and fully customization that you can use.. 

One of my major issues with GTM is when I create a click element trigger, I have to specifically code all the node levels to pick up clicks on nested elements (div, image, text, span, etc) on some of our fancy "button" links... in Adobe, I only have to reference the parent element and all clicks on the children are captured.... 

 

Doing custom code triggers is so much easier in Adobe too... in GTM, you have to use a trigger, to fire a tag, then that tag does custom code, so that you can create a second trigger for that, then fire the tag you want...  In Adobe Launch, it's just one custom code trigger and your tag.

 

There's lots of help here.. if you know how to use GTM, you should have no issues learning Adobe Launch.. and if you run into any snags, myself, or other people here will glad to help you out.

 

Good Luck!

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Level 2

Thanks for the response. I had thought about implementing in parallel but was a bit concerned what that would add to page speed. Do you find one faster than the other? 

 

I was also considering that if Adobe was on-boarded and a few years down the road it was decided that the tool  was more than needed or too expensive there would be a significant effort switching back to GTM.

 

One other consideration, tying back to the page speed (and privacy), is client-side vs server-side tag management. With the ever increasing number of tags that need to be implemented, on an already 'heavy' pages, I was looking at moving whatever tagging I could to server-side GTM. Here I expose my lack of the technicals of Launch but is this something that can be done with Adobe?

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Community Advisor

Like anything, there is always going to be some overhead to any system them is implemented... 

 

Adobe Launch has a smaller footprint than GTM.. but we still use both on our main sites (one reason being the YouTube video tracking... as I cannot get that to work reliably on Adobe alone... it might be how our videos are implemented though...)

I use Adobe Launch only on the smaller sites that use both systems (handling both the Adobe and GA tracking from one tag manager).

 

In my case, my newest implementation, I am leveraging the variables from Adobe to use in GA.. so that I only have to process them once, then both tools can benefit.. but Adobe is our primary system, so I started with that, then used GTM to access them.. you are coming the opposite direction so that won't work for you at this stage.... and trying to access GTM variables via JS is really hard, so you probably won't have a lot of luck trying to do that.. but if you can, all the power to you. 

 

Your concerns are justified about the effort to switch back to GTM if that comes to pass, which is another reason to do the dual tag managers right now... get comfortable with both tools, compare what you can do in each of them so you can make an informed decision on which works better... My opinion is just that... "my opinion", and after using both systems you may not agree.. and that is fine

After you are more comfortable.. play with adding GA in Adobe Launch, you can always plan a rollout.. run in parallel first, then migrate afterwards... GA in Launch is easy... Adobe in GTM is not.... 

 

Adobe does have the "Web SDK" which is the server side version of the tracking.. and it supposedly has a smaller footprint than the normal tracking.. I haven't yet used it.. that will be the next big POC that I will do, as I think that will become the future of tagging.. but not a lot of people have made the switch yet... so help will be a little more limited....