Adobe DTM to Adobe Launch Transition Plan

Jim Glauner

Those who use Adobe’s Dynamic Tag Management (DTM) tool likely know that it will be permanently retired in the not-so-distant future (April 2021). However, waiting until April to either make the transition to Adobe Launch or an entirely new tag management system will paralyze organizations’ analytics and digital marketing efforts, because on October 14, 2020, DTM properties become entirely read-only. No changes can be made to rules, custom code, data elements or anything else in DTM; the version extant on October 13 is frozen in place.

(Note: Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Adobe extended its DTM retirement deadlines by three months. Depending on how the situation unfolds, they may do so again.)

Six months might seem like ample time, but it might not be enough to fully transition from one tag management system to another. Making the switch from DTM to another Tag Management vendor forces a complete code overhaul and a potentially steep learning curve. Adobe has made the transition from DTM to Launch is easier, by providing a handy transition tool that exports most DTM property functionality to Launch properties, and many of the concepts and nomenclature will be familiar, but the time to act is still now, since planning, executing and testing the transition will take months.

The transition will not be seamless. It is not as simple as copying DTM properties into Launch. There are functional differences between the two systems that must be resolved, including the following:

  • The _satellite object behavior and syntax differ.
    For example, _satellite.setCookie and _satellite.getCookie are now referenced as _satellite.cookie.set and _satellite.cookie.get, respectively.
  • Condition options are different in Launch
    (e.g., Opera is no longer an available browser option)
  • Lots of bespoke conditions are converted to simpler Value Condition comparisons.
  • DTM tools are transformed into the Launch equivalent, extensions. However, there can only be one version of a Launch extension, while there can be multiple DTM instances of the same tool. The DTM tool instance whose name is first in alphabetical order is the one copied to a Launch extension.

There are more conflicts/differences to navigate between DTM and Launch, but suffice to say that while Adobe makes switching tag managers much easier, significant customization work is necessary to make the new Launch property fully functional. This underlines the urgency of starting this transition as soon as possible.

Gorilla Group’s insights team, with extensive DTM and Launch experience, can help with this transition as a sounding board, helping hand or a fully functional analytics team to shepherd the entire DTM-to-Launch process.