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Tag Management Systems: the turbo for web analytics and online marketing – part 2

  • Unic Author

What are tag management systems and what are their opportunities and benefits? In the second part of this series we will discuss the various functions and tools for TMS in more detail.

Functions and advantages of a tag management system

In part 1 of this series, we described the main problem that a tag management system (TMS) aims to solve: a reduction of the dependency of the marketeer or web analyst on IT and release cycles. And, conversely, to give IT more time for more important functional improvements to the website instead of implementing tracking pixels.

With a tag management system, you can define yourself – independently of IT – which tags (tracking codes) are to be executed under which conditions (‘rules’ or ‘filters’).

Tag database and mobile tagging

Most TMS also have a comprehensive ‘tag database’, some of which have hundreds of ‘turn-key’ tags. Thus, many tags can be created and added with just a couple of clicks. Incidentally, the system also works for mobile apps with a number of Enterprise providers.

Testing on a live system

Many TMS have practical testing functions that allow you to simulate in a separate browser that the tags have been implemented on the live website, and then quickly see whether the tag works. Another click and the new tag is live. If you discover an error now, you can use the version management to quickly reset the system to a previous version.

A TMS is both a turbo and a place of learning for marketing

This is how a TMS can become the turbo for online marketing – if not a compelling basis for agile online marketing. As you can see from the following statistics, a TMS allows the tags, e.g. the tracking, to be optimised much more frequently than before, as it can be done faster and more easily.

Once you’ve made a TMS your own, you’ll quickly discover what an excellent learning environment it is. You can try out a new tool or feature for a few days (if necessary, just on the test system) without incurring any IT costs.

Reduce loading times

We know that slow loading times are a conversion killer. A handy side-effect of most TMS is that they actually decrease the loading times, provide statistics on the loading times of individual tags, and some even allow you to ‘complete’ slow-loading tags after, for example, one second.

Overview of the opportunities provided by a tag management system

The following is an overview of the most significant arguments in favour of a TMS. As you can see, aside from the advantages named, there are many others that we can mention only briefly due to space considerations:

  • Independence from IT releases
  • Easy testing – even on the live system
  • Overview: all tags from all tools in once place
  • All platforms (CMS, shop, blog, etc.) can be tagged from a single place
  • Tag library: enables turn-key tags to be implemented without JavaScript coding
  • Version management
  • Faster loading times: increases conversion rate
  • Innovation catalyst: new tools/tracking can be tried out easily
  • Simplified data integration of data gathered on web platform
  • Data protection: supports ‘do not track’ and local legislation (EU cookie directive)
  • Fewer problems with diverging data (tool A measures X, tool B measures Y)

Which tag management system should I get?

The providers are many – and with QuBit, Google Tag Manager and Adobe, which recently bought the Satellite TMS, there are even free providers on the market (QuBit up to a specific page view volume; Adobe if you use another paid Adobe product from the Adobe Cloud). Although free does not mean worse, the number of functions in Enterprise solutions such as Ensighten, Tealium, BrightTag and TagMan is generally bigger.

For example, although the popular Google Tag Manager is very user-friendly and provides what may be the most practical testing function, it has no workflow management at all and, apart from the Google tools, hardly any other tags that can be implemented as turn-key tags. So if you use Webtrends or Adobe Analytics (SiteCatalyst), it will be difficult to perform an implementation via Google Tag Manager. Even with other tags, you have to work with the actual JavaScript code of the tags (Custom HTML in Google Tag Manager) instead of with templates. As a result, you will require a colleague familiar with JavaScript to perform a review, thus diminishing one of the main advantages of a TMS.

Currently, the Enterprise tools are developing increasingly from pure content management systems for tags into data collection and data organisation machines. They enable the automatic consideration of data protection settings for the user or the country (see the cookie directive, which is interpreted differently in almost every EU country), make tagging easier with visual tagging tools and allow you to export your data to other systems, thus simplifying data integration.

Of course, Unic will be glad to provide a professional evaluation in order to help you find the most suitable tool. Learn more about our expertise here.