Cross-post from 33 sticks: Direct Call Rules in Launch have a new power: passing additional info in _satellite.track

(FYI, this is a cross-post from 33 Sticks’ blog. )

Adobe’s Dynamic Tag Manager has always given developers a chance to define exactly when a rule was called, by firing _satellite.track("insert rule name here"). This is called a Direct Call Rule (or DCR). They didn’t always get a ton of product love- after all, Event Based Rules don’t require work from developers and have so many more options- but many DTM users used them heavily because of the control they provided and how incredibly straightforward they were.

From my view, they historically had a few major downsides:

  1. Multiple DCRs couldn’t “stack” to form a single Adobe Analytics beacon, meaning you couldn’t have one DCR set your global variables and another set more user-action-specific variables.
  2. You couldn’t apply additional conditions (e.g. “don’t fire on the page with this URL”)
  3. There was no good way to clear out your variables so they wouldn’t persist from beacon to beacon
  4. You couldn’t pass additional information specifically scoped for Direct Call Rule. For example, if you fired _satellite.track(“add to cart”), you had to make sure your overall data layer/data elements were already set up properly to show WHICH product was added to cart.

I’ve talked about how happy I am that Launch solved the first three points (here and here) but I’ve finally had a reason to try out how Launch handles #4.

You can now pass extra parameters into your _satellite.track function, like this:

_satellite.track("add to cart",{name:"wug",price:"12.99",color:"red"})

Then, when you set up a rule that fires off that direct call:

You can access the information on those parameters like you would access a data element, by referencing %event.detail.yourObjectHere%:

Or, if needed, in your custom code for that rule by just accessing event.detail:

You could even have a multi-leveled object:

_satellite.track("add to cart",{product:{name:"wug",price:"12.99",color:"red"},location:"cart recommendations"})

In which case you could reference %event.detail.product.name% or %event.detail.location%.

That’s all there is to it! Go ahead, fire this off in your console, and see our rule at work:

_satellite.track("add to cart",{name:"wug",price:"12.99",color:"red"})

I’ve seen this work in DTM recently, too, though I’m under the impression that may not be fully supported, perhaps. Either way, this great enhancement can simplify data layers and Launch implementations and removes the need for a lot of previous workarounds.

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