GTM Tracking with Sabre Synxis - Part 1

Google AdwordsGoogle Tag ManagerGTMSabreSynxisHotel Marketing

Integrating Sabre Synxis with Google Tag Manager, Google Analytics, Google Ads, and Facebook Ad Pixels

Measuring Digital Advertising with GTM, GA, Facebook, and Google Ads with Synxis - Part 1

Synxis is a web based reservation application that 10,000 plus small and medium size hotels use to fulfill their bookings. In many cases, you may go to the hotel website and see all the cool rooms they have. Then when you click the ‘Make Reservation’ or ‘Book Now’ button from the site, you’ll be directed to Sabre Synxis.
Synxis was acquired by Sabre for $40 million dollars in 2004.

Of interest to all of these hotels using Synxis is: How do I track my advertizing and marketing efforts and measure results? For example, if a customer sees your hotel Ad on instagram and then clicks to it and books, how can you trace it back to Instagram? What if they click on a Google Ad campaign, how do you know which campaigns are the most effective or generating the most bookings?

If you are using Synxis you’ll find there is lot of data you can use to make these decisions, including:

  • when customers select days,
  • add reservations to the cart,
  • create bookings
  • Remove items from a cart.

You can use this information to find which months most people are eying and make campaigns around them. You can also see when most people book, and what days are most effective. By finding which ads are the most effective you can double down on successful campaigns and pull back from the dogs. Facebook and Google of course won’t tell you that, they just want you to keep throwing them money.

Shameless Plug: At Castle Rock we recently went through this with one of our clients to help them set up conversion tracking and thought it would be helpful to others to document our efforts. We’re happy to help you do this as well, Contact us!

Here’s how it is done:

1. Google Tag Manager

Log in or Sign up for GTM

Sign up for a free GTM account at https://tagmanager.google.com. Once you get it set up, look at settings and you’ll see the tracking code that needs to be added to your site.

One Tag to Rule them all

The only tag required on Synxis is Google Tag Manager. Snyxis had us fill out a form and we only required GTM on there then they put it on Synxis for us. You do not need to put Facebook Pixels nor Google Analytics pixels on Sabre. If you are using Klaviyo or anything else, don’t put it on. You need one tag: GTM. GTM should go on all pages of the hotel website too. All other tags, like Facebook Pixels, etc will put placed in GTM.

GTM Variables

The first thing we’ll need to do is configure a few variables. These variables include:

  • Cross Domain settings
  • GA settings
  • FB Pixel settings

Cross Domain Variable

We’ll create a constant variable called Cross Domain. Here we’ll include the hotel site and the synxis.com URL. One hotel I found for example, that uses Synxis is limelighthotels.com. Let’s use them as our example. When we click ‘Book Your Stay’ on their website it takes us to gc.synxis.com with a bunch of config parameters. So we can then just put in our cross domain variable the two URLs:

limelighthotels.com, gc.synxis.com

Inside of GTM, go to variables and create a new variable called Cross Domains. This will be a constant and we’ll put the above string in:

gtm settings 00

Save this, and let’s now move on to the next variable.

Google Analytics Variable

Our Google Analytics variable will be used in tracking all our actions that get pushed to Google Analytics. To do this, create a new variable called Google Analytics Settings. This will be of type Google Analytics Settings. Notice the first one we did was a constant. This variable is a special type of Google Analytics Settings. It’s under the utilities heading towards the bottom.

gtm settings 01

Now let’s fill in the values. You’ll need your tracking number from Google Analytics. You can get this from your Google Analytics account under Admin / Property / Tracking Info / Tracking Code as shown below:

gtm settings 02

In our system it is UA-160151497-1

Next we’ll add the Fields to Set parameters. We’ll put allowLinker and set the value to true. This tells GA to treat these domains as one domain so measurements aren’t inflated.

Then down below in the Cross Domain Tracking we put the {{Cross Domains}} variable.

Finally, since Synxis has a rich datalayer it shows us we are going to enable Enhanced Ecommerce Features and get those variables from the data layer.

When done, our settings should appear as the picture below:

gtm GA Variable settings

Facebook Pixel Variable

As we’ll be using the Facebook Pixel for multiple events, let’s make a constant with that pixel value as well.
From Facebook, go to Business Manager and click on Events Manager. You’ll see a button to add new data sources. Let’s create a new Facebook Pixel to track web activities.

When you create the pixel it will try to be clever and add it directly to your website. You’ll see it offers choices to use a Partner Integration, Manually, or Email instructions to a developer. We don’t need any of those. Just hit cancel and admire the Pixel. You’ll see there is now a shiny Pixel ID for you!

gtm Facebook Pixel Copy the Pixel ID.

Back at GTM, create a new variable called Facebook Pixel, make it a constant and then add it in:

gtm FB Pixel Variable

At this point you have 3 variables:

  • Cross Domains
  • Facebook Pixel
  • Google Analytics Settings

gtm variables

In addition you’ve also got Cross Domain set up in your Google Analytics Settings.

In the next Post we’ll set up some Triggers we can use with Synxis to show some views.