Tag Management: What it is and why you should consider it for your organization
Analytics implementations can get pretty technical, and often that side of things lands in the hands of the IT or web development team, with a technical consultant or extended analyst being the link between the business users and technical needs. It is a necessary part of a solid analytics program – proper data collection is the foundation on which everything else is built. Having a surface level understanding of how the technical side of things works is critical for any good analyst, and having some control is desirable for those with more technical acumen. So all analysts should have a good understanding of tag management, and tag management systems.
Lets look at how this affects a web site and the implementation of tracking code on the site. First, there is now only one snippet of code. This means the pages have “cleaner” code, and there is generally less code on the page. Now, you may need to still add small amounts of code to your site for advertising or analytics data collection, but it is far less. You’re probably figuring out the implementation benefits – far less involvement for your IT and development teams to deal with, on the coding side of things. Now, IT may manage and work with the tag management system, but they no longer need to push code every time a tag needs to be implemented or changed. This saves considerable development time, limits potential bug-related headaches, and reduces the potential for incorrect tracking code.
This hopefully gives you an idea of the benefits tag management provides to the technical and business users. You’re probably wondering why more organizations aren’t using tag management. Many organizations haven’t had a need, because they’ve had limited scripts to put on their pages – maybe the standard analytics tag, and the AdWords conversion code. But now they’re doing remarketing with AdWords, and they’ve expanded their Bing and Yahoo advertising, and are looking to get that code in place. More importantly, they’re starting to explore advanced analytics tagging. Suddenly they have a lot of code to manage across their sites.
Another reason tag management hasn’t been adopted too quickly, is the cost is somewhat prohibitive for non-enterprise users. But there is more competition now – a number of new vendors have sprung up in the last couple years, and there are about 10 established vendors now. Prices are going down, allowing medium and smaller businesses to enter the game.
Where does this leave the analyst? If you aren’t using it yet, expect prices to continue to drop, and start to consider if tag management isn’t a good option for your organization. Evaluate the amount of time you wait for code to be implemented, and the amount of code that is deployed, or going to be deployed, across your sites. In terms of man-hours, and efficiency in data collection (i.e. quicker analysis turn around) – you may find that there are dramatic financial benefits to be gained for your organization.