Are you familiar with tag management? The term still tends to draw puzzled looks from some online marketers, but from others, there is a growing awareness of the real benefits enterprise tag management provides. Word is spreading, and 2012 will be the year tag management seeps into the online marketing consciousness.
For the uninitiated, tag management makes it easy for marketers to deploy and manage the various web page tags (also known as pixels) that most digital marketing vendors require. Web analytic providers, affiliate marketers, re-targeting companies, personalization vendors, they all require you to put one or more – in some cases many – tags on your web site to measure the impact of their solutions, or to perform some other function.
Over time, as online marketing has grown, the number of tags on the average web site has mushroomed out of control. Tealium estimates that most enterprise web sites have between 30-40 tags embedded within the HTML of their web sites. One Tealium customer has a whopping 120 different vendor tags.
Tag management solutions typically provide one tag to manage all the other tags. In Tealium’s case, this is accomplished through a self-service interface designed specifically for marketers and business users.
So now that you know what tag management is, what are the specific benefits for online marketers? Here are five key benefits:
- Increased Agility – Does this sound familiar? You just contracted a new online vendor – let’s say a re-targeting company – but before you can launch your first campaign, you have to wait for your over-burdened development team to add the tracking code to your web site and put it through testing. Depending on their schedule and release cycle, this could take days, or even weeks. The same goes for any type of modification to the tags. With tag management solutions, marketers and business users can deploy and manage all the vendor tags by themselves with point and click simplicity. This means marketers can get their campaign out faster, while freeing valuable IT resources.
- Improved Site Performance – Replacing all those tags on you web site with a single universal tag dramatically lower page load times, which directly impacts customer satisfaction and conversion rates. Even a one second delay in page response can result in a 7 percent reduction in conversions, according to KISSmetrics. If your site is slow, that can translate into millions in lost sales. Site performance is typically seen as an IT issue, but it can have a dramatic impact on online business results.
- Improved Vendor Selection – Often times, if you’re in the market for a particular marketing solution, you may want to A/B test a couple of different vendors before making your decision. To do that, you need someone to develop a script so you can serve out different pages and tags to measure the results properly. This could take many hours, even days depending on resource availability. With tag management, you can set up split segmentation between different vendors within minutes. Soon you’ll know which vendor is delivering the best results, allowing you to make a data-driven decision.
- Avoiding Vendor Lock-in – In years past, online marketing vendors, especially web analytics vendors, held the upper hand in the vendor-client relationship. That’s because it was an enormous burden to remove all the tags from every page of the web site, and then deploy new tags. With tag management solutions, it’s very easy to de-tag and re-tag. For example, one Tealium enterprise customer was able to re-deploy an entire customized Omniture SiteCatalyst implementation on their global properties within four hours. That was unheard of a couple of years ago. Vendor lock in is a thing of the past, giving marketers better choice and control.
- Protecting Consumer Privacy – Tag management makes it easy for marketers to protect consumer privacy by allowing site visitors to easily opt out of tracking. Tealium, for example, supports the new “Do Not Track’” feature within new browsers. Using this feature, visitors can easily opt out of tracking, regardless of whether your digital marketing vendors support the initiative or not.
Other tag management benefits include commission de-duplication, and better web analytics implementations, which translate into better data and better decisions.
Tag management is growing quickly as marketers, web analytics professionals, e-commerce managers and developers get wind of the tremendous value it offers across the organization. To find out more, please download our free E-book, “Buyer’s Guide to Tag Management.”