tag management digital marketing analytics

We are living in the era of rapid digitization wherein almost everything we do has a digital side to it. As for business, direct interaction with customers has reduced to a great extent. The evolution of digital marketing has created multiple channels to interact with customers.

Customer interest is the key element in the digital market. Collecting, processing, and transforming data into useful information is a continuous process, which helps businesses grow and stay ahead of the curve. To grow in the digital world, businesses should keep a track of customer interests, cater to their requirements, and address their grievances, if any. These things make customers stay loyal to a business. A satisfied customer leaves good reviews, ratings, and so forth.

But what happens when customers don’t reveal their interests via various modes like email, phone, surveys, and reviews? How do companies grow their businesses in this case?

This is when a tag management system (TMS) comes to the rescue. A TMS helps companies collect data pertaining to the interaction of the customer with the website. Such systems deploy tag snippets (JavaScript), which collect data without disturbing visitors while they navigate the website. The collection of data at every touchpoint helps in ascertaining the reasons as to why the visitor didn’t convert into a customer.

For instance, if a visitor comes to buy shoes of x brand. So, he finds them using the search button. Now, enabling tags in the search button and cart button lets the company know that the visitor is considering buying the said pair of shoes. Tags also provide the count of visitors who searched for the same shoes. This insight helps understand the reasons as to why the visitor didn’t convert – the product is out of stock, the desired size is unavailable, and so on. Companies can thus understand why their conversion rate is decreasing or increasing.

So, what is a tag? How does it look and where does it exist?

A tag is a snippet of JavaScript code through which data is collected on a website. It may be as simple as a pixel or an image tag loaded onto the web page or a JavaScript that allows for more advanced data collection. Tags are embedded into the HTML/JavaScript code and delivered to a web browser or app when a web page loads. You might see them if you look at the source code on a typical website using third-party tags.

Is a TMS the only solution for incorporating tags?

No, another way of collecting customer data is deploying custom hard-coded tags on the website. One would need JavaScript skills to understand and implement the code. This is a difficult task because every page needs a custom code. Also, continuous monitoring would be required because changing the website layout may break the tags, affecting page performance.

Therefore, while choosing an alternative to a TMS, the following points should be kept in mind:

  1. Excellent JavaScript skills are required for deployment, and IT intervention may be necessary.
  2. Continuous change in the website layout might break the tags, which isn’t desirable. There is no point in collecting data from broken tags.
  3. Broken tags cause a decline in page performance. A one-second delay in page load time equates to a 7% loss in conversions (source: Aberdeen).

Should I consider TMS as a solution? Which TMS would be the best fit for my business?

While choosing a TMS, the following checkpoints should be considered. If the points below match with your current business, it is the best time to use a TMS.

  1. Actively using digital marketing solutions: Using more than one digital solution results in an increase in the source code of the web page since each vendor has its own analytics tracking code. It is best practice to put all the solutions in one place. This can be managed effectively by employing a TMS that embeds vendor-agnostic tracking codes.
  2. Using a complex enterprise analytics solution like SiteCatalyst or Webtrends: While using analytics to track elements, it is best practice to decrease complex codes and make everything streamlined.
  3. Making acquisitions and launching new campaigns: When a business expands to more than one location, it is important to keep a track of customer needs across different locations. Centralization is needed for monitoring the business.
  4. Deploying mobile apps: With the increased use of mobile applications among consumers, deploying tags on applications will benefit the business.
  5. Redesigning the website: Redesigning or updating the website from time to time is needed to attract new customers and retain the existing ones. Change in the website layout needs careful supervision of custom tags. Deploying a TMS is the best option to make changes on the fly with little to no JavaScript skills required.

There are many ways to derive a conclusion on which TMS to consider for a business, as there are a lot of vendors to choose from. If the business is already using an analytics solution, it is easy to integrate a TMS with the same solution, whether it is Adobe Analytics with Adobe DTM, Google Analytics with Google Tag Manager, or IBM Tealeaf with IBM core metrics. Some of the solutions are free, while others are paid. GTM and Qubit are free to an extent. Adobe DTM is free if you are already a customer of Adobe Marketing Cloud. Some support a wide range of integrations and some don’t. Ensighten and Tealium may be more scalable depending on the requirement. Now, let us explore each of these solutions for a better understanding.

Google Tag Manager (GTM)

GTM was released in 2012, and it went on to become a widely used TMS solution. GTM makes it easy to add and update many Google and third-party tags.

Features:

  1. It is free and easy to test with a preview mode.
  2. It is specially designed for marketers.
  3. It is IT-friendly and offers multi-account support (can create 100 properties for a standard Google account).

Adobe DTM

Adobe DTM has been adopted by a large number of companies worldwide, making it one of the best among enterprise class TMS systems.

Features:

  1. Adobe DTM is offered as a core service, so it is free if you are already a user of Adobe Marketing Cloud.
  2. It has a simple and straightforward interface that can be used by both technical and non-technical users.
  3. It is mostly site-focused and allows to trigger many technologies simultaneously rather than creating separate rules for each. Currently, it supports three integrations.

Tealium iQ

When you have more than one high-end traffic website or a lot of variety of tags to be fired on the same page, Tealium TMS is right for you. It accounts for 25% of the entire TMS world. It allows digital marketers to try new technologies, making deployment and management of tags easier and allowing for better control over your marketing domain.

Features:

  1. It has a wide range of vendor integrations.
  2. It has controlled, secure, and robust privacy capabilities.
  3. It allows for powerful variables and load rules management.

Signal

Like many other TMS solutions, Signal Tag Management helps improve digital user experience by reducing website load times. Signal TMS is focused on advertising tags.

Features:

  1. It is free for Signal Fuse customers.
  2. You can preview, activate, and deactivate modes on your own schedule.
  3. There are built-in privacy policies that allow users to opt-out.

Opentag

Opentag is an easy-to-use TMS run by Qubit. It was built for marketers and is customizable for developers.

Features:

  1. It has a clean, modern design with easy navigation.
  2. It has scope for AB testing.
  3. It allows for asynchronous type tag loading.

Ensighten Manage

Ensighten Manage is one of the leading, security-focused, process-driven, and highly collaborative environments where marketers need to have some technical know-how to use TMS to its fullest. Like Tealium, it is a heavyweight TMS enterprise solution.

Features:

  1. Roles and security access can be defined easily.
  2. It offers reliable and redundant data centers.
  3. It can also be used to track mobile app user engagement.
  4. It collects first-party data from different channels.

Deploying TMS can sometimes be a tedious task, but it leads to significant business results.

So, what are the advantages of deploying a TMS?

Many people believe that deploying enterprise TMS is an expensive task, but it plays a significant role in saving ongoing business costs. Gartner’s Marketing Spend Report revealed that 40% of the surveyed marketers realized savings through such digital marketing efforts.

A joint study by Google and IPSOS Hong Kong revealed that companies that leverage digital marketing strategies witness 2.8 times the revenue growth when compared with companies that do not. According to another study, small and medium-sized companies that use digital marketing strategies have 3.3 times better chances of expanding their business across both local and international markets.

Here are the major advantages of a TMS:

  1. Monitoring of high traffic is made easy.
  2. Website performance improves with faster tag loading. Also, new tags can be published quickly.
  3. The launch of more revenue generating campaigns is made easy and faster.
  4. There is little to no requirement of IT resources.

Would a TMS actually lead to tangible business benefits?

Yes, many enterprises have adopted a TMS and seen sustainable results.

  1. The report ‘ROI of Tag Management‘ was put together after an online survey conducted in January 2015. The survey was taken by 311 digital marketers who were familiar with their organizations’ use of tags. It revealed that vendor tags are critical to digital businesses and marketing. In fact, 86% of the respondents said that managing website tags effectively is important in digital marketing (source: Tealium).
  2. An airlines company saw an eight digit ROI by implementing tags and providing omnichannel experiences to its customers. The customers came up with recommendations to improve and provided good feedback for their services (source: Ensighten).
  3. The integration of 65 tags in less than one day with complete validation and QA enabled a business to adopt a tag management solution quickly and find new ways to grow the business (source: Ensighten).
  4. A pet food company saved 600 hours in SiteCatalyst implementation, which reduced the effort of the IT team in tagging the website (source: Ensighten).
  5. A pharmaceutical company saw a significant rise in its e-commerce business and more with a TMS (source: Ensighten).

In conclusion, using analytics solutions in tandem with a TMS helps companies manage and improve their digital marketing efforts, resulting in a significant increase in conversion rates and returns. BRIDGEi2i’s marketing analytics solutions put volumes of marketing data and information to work, converting them into actionable insights and thereby enabling better decision-making for sustainable business impact. The company’s technology accelerators enable the operationalization of analytics processes, ensuring better marketing effectiveness and increased returns and helping enterprises embark on their digital transformation journey.

On that note, read how enterprises can use clickstream analytics for real-time upselling and cross-selling.

Revathi Seerapu

Revathi Seerapu

Revathi is a subject matter expert in tag management systems. She excels at the end-to-end implementation of digital analytics and related engagements.
Revathi Seerapu

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Revathi is a subject matter expert in tag management systems. She excels at the end-to-end implementation of digital analytics and related engagements.