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An Introduction to Tag Management

With the exponential growth in the digital world, most organizations are now using various types of digital marketing solutions and techniques simultaneously. They make use of complex enterprise analytics solutions to make sense of data and strive to optimize their analytical and digital marketing capabilities. Tag management is a crucial technique that can help companies collect more accurate and standardized data from a variety of sources, and increase website performance. It enables analysts to better govern their analytics tools and tests. A tag is typically the first place to start when dealing with digital analytics, so here are some details on what tag management is all about.

What are tags?

Tags are snippets of JavaScript code that is usually placed in the <head> of a page. They enable 3rd-party tracking, analysis, and reporting of the web and mobile sites. A tag is also called as a pixel, web beacon, tracking bug, ad tag or clear GIF. Typically, these tags capture visitor behavior, profile, and context data on your site. So, for instance, if a visitor goes to certain pages and does some type of activity on those pages, different tracking snippets or pixels would be triggered and this information is collected by the analytics tool. There are various other things that a tag can do apart from instructing web browsers to collect data. For instance, tags can set cookies and extend audiences between multiple websites. Tags are the foundation stones of digital analytics as everything, from analytics tools to digital marketing campaigns, runs on tags.

Challenges of Tag Management

A typical website has anywhere between 100-200 third party tags. The number is huge for complex enterprise websites with multiple domains and various marketing and analytics tools attached to them. The number of tags can easily reach in millions for such websites. The biggest challenge, however, is the ownership of tags. IT and marketing teams are always in a conflict and the problem is compounded when each third-party implements tags and takes control of those tags. Putting multiple tags on the same site also puts its privacy at stake and every tag can reduce loading time and have a negative impact on the customer experience. Also, there are times when tags are not fired and this reduces the accuracy of analytics as well as leads to lost opportunities.

What is a Tag Management System (TMS)?

Manual tag management requires continuous governance and monitoring of hundreds or thousands of tags and requires many developers. This is a tedious and error-prone process and might make the website slow. By using a tag management system, companies can centralize these code snippets and easily and quickly manage, modify, remove or add the tracking code. The manual effort is minimized, IT assistance is significantly reduced, and the website becomes faster too. Tag management systems make it easier for marketers to manage and implement digital marketing solutions. Tag management can also enable better omnichannel experiences by effectively collecting information from channels like the primary website, mobile website, microsite, campaign site, mobile app, international sites, and specialized apps. Apart from this, enterprise tag management systems also provide a range of advanced capabilities like data management, customization, privacy controls, and more.

Benefits of a Tag Management System

The complexity of tags is increasing and organizations cannot burden themselves with outdated/broken tags, badly-written/extraneous code, duplications, or non-compliant tags. Thankfully, tag management systems available today (like Google Tag Manager, Tealium, TagMan, Adobe DTM, SuperTag, Ensighten, BrightTag, and more) can enable companies to manage tags with ease. The benefits include:

Simplifying the code:

Tag management solution can replace complex tagging codes with a single-line, uniform code, thereby making the tagging process simpler.

Centralized solution:

Instead of managing various types of third-party tags separately, a TMS can help manage them all by aggregating and standardizing them through the web-based app and enabling the user to manage the tags with ease,

Reduced page load time:

Tag management solutions use high-performance tag delivery networks and reduce the page load times. A TMS also identifies bad codes and removes such tags.

Control in the hands of the marketing team, instead of IT:

Earlier tag management was a tedious process that required IT skills, but with TMS, the marketing team can take control of the tag management process.

Faster implementation of marketing programs:

All the digital marketing programs require tagging and with the help of TMS marketing team can quickly implement or modify tags based on the latest campaigns and marketing priorities. This directly translates to faster analytics.

Better security and compliance:

Tag management solutions improve the transparency in the tag management process, ownership of tags, and compliance. The IT team can easily govern the tags and ensure security. Advanced tag management systems can take care of compliance with EU/UK cookie laws, do not track (DNT) standards, and other such requirements.

To conclude

Effective tag management is critical for today’s organizations. Utilizing digital marketing effectively and measuring it accurately requires advanced tag management capabilities that are possible only through tag management systems. Efficient tag management can directly have a positive impact on website performance, user experience, marketing campaigns, and ROI.

Nabler offers end-to-end tag management services. We integrate third-party tags for web analytics, ad serving, widget integration, social media integration, conversion tracking, remarketing/retargeting, A/B or MV testing, customer survey, etc. Our in-house software services team is proficient with most of the leading tag management solutions in the industry.

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