Monday, May 6, 2013

Working Smarter with Tag Management

Working Smarter with Tag Management

What is Tag Management?

In the beginning of e-commerce, the only analytics tool available was a simple page-view counter. Similar to the infamous McDonald’s billboards which advertised the number of hamburgers purchased each day, the little web counter was visibly displayed at the bottom of the homepage for everyone to see.

Today, web analytics has reached layers of complexity with tags associated with each button, link, and often even images. Each of these tags informs Customer Intelligence (CI) professionals how often a user is selecting an item, viewing a section of text, or completing an online process. 

Should We Use a Tag Management Tool?

Because the level of complexity has greatly changed, the method to manage tagging also needs to enhance. The CI can choose to manage each of the tags manually, but a number of challenges could occur.

Downfall in manual tag management:
  • High Error Rate – A complex site will have hundreds of tags buried inside layers of JavaScript. Each tag will be associated to a particular area of interest. If the tag is placed in the incorrect place, the data gathered may be incorrect or irrelevant.
  • High Cost – In order to manually change each tag, a web engineer will need to spend development time coding and deciphering proper placement. This time could either result in high operational costs or be viewed as excessive and dropped altogether.
  • Long Time Frames – In order to ensure the tags are coded in the best, possible place, continual research and testing would need to be performed. If a decision is waiting on CI results, this may cause a delay and loss in profitability.
  • Ongoing Process – Since this process will need to be repeated over and over again, the continual cost and length of time may jeopardize the benefit of analyzing online customer interaction.
In order to determine when a company should invest in a tag management tool, Forrester has created the following chart1.

Determine your company’s score for each of the questions above. Total all of the individual numbers together to understand your tag audit score. Use the following table to establish if your company meets the level of CI complexity to benefit from a tag management solution.

 Common Tag Management Tools
  • Google Tag Manager
    • Free
    • Integrated with Google Analytics
    • Key Features: Easy to setup, unlimited number of tags, simple portal
  • Adobe TagManager
    • Included with Adobe Analytics suite
    • Integrated with Adobe SiteCatalyst
    • Key Features: Unlimited number of tags, secure administration portal, emergency rollback, ability to schedule start and end dates
  • Tealium IQ
    • Demo available
    • Corporate Pricing
    •  Key Features: Automatically adds code from vendors, turnkey vendor integration
  • QuBit OpenTag
    • Free – Open Source Version
    • Enterprise Version
    • Key Features: Universal variable, container tag for managing third parties
  • Ubertags
    • Hosted Service
    • $50 Monthly Fee
    • Key Features: One single tag on website manages all other tags

Learn More about Google Tag Manager 

Learn About Adobe Tag Manager

Time Spent:
Research - 5 Hours
Write-up - 2 Hours

1Stanhope, Joe. "How Tag Management Improves Web Intelligence".  Forrester. 2010.

2Stanhope, Joe. "Understanding Tag Management Tools and Technology  Forrester. 2011.


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