Top 5 Arguments For Implementing a Tag Management Solution

new-tagging-deviceAs I wrote in my web analytics 2012 year in review, tag management is primed for a blowout year in 2013.

Tag management systems have matured and now offer a wealth of new tracking capabilities beyond basic functionality of simply centralizing your tags.

If you’re contemplating the switch, you need to consider these five arguments for implementing a tag management solution (TMS).

1. Freedom to Change Tags as Required by Business Questions

Many of us want the freedom to add, modify, or remove tags whenever we come across a business question we can’t answer with our current analytics software and/or implementation. Changing tags is a necessity of a TMS, but it’s also extremely dangerous and should often be intelligently weighed against the full breadth of capabilities your software currently offers.

In addition, many vendors will offer the ability to go beyond traditional tracking capabilities, with cool JSON or jQuery features such as broken link detection, mobile screen orientation and more. Many also offer sophisticated graphic user interfaces to make otherwise development-heavy changes quick and easy for business users and marketers.

2. Establish Governance of Tagging Across Your Websites

Many businesses incorrectly assume that using a TMS automatically equates to handing analysts the keys to their IT infrastructure with the freedom to make changes outside of a proper workflow or governance model, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.

Implementing a TMS shouldn’t replace any online publishing workflow or quality assurance rigor, and many vendors include framework to support workflow and change management approvals for this specific reason.

3. Reduce Maintenance Costs

Regardless of whether you’re running a paid or free analytics solution, a TMS will effectively enable you to lower operating costs across the board. At the very least, you’ll reduce IT overhead required to make development changes to support analytics reporting capabilities, which is a shared pain point amongst paid and free analytics software vendors alike.

With paid analytics solutions that are often billed on a CPM basis, you can selectively enable or disable primary page-load tags or even asynchronous (onClick) tags at your convenience, which is extremely effective for campaign or seasonal reporting requirements. In addition, a TMS allows for extreme JavaScript file size optimization, so depending on your server load, halving your JS file could effectively reduce page load time and bandwidth costs over time.

4. Code Portability & Becoming Vendor Agnostic

As the analytics industry matures, many of us are faced with sharing information between different systems, which can be a huge challenge with respect to back-end integrations. Tag management effectively bridges the gap between several front-end tagging methodologies that can be used to leverage existing development work and easily port information from one script or beacon to another.

In addition, since tagging rules within a TMS are often defined in a GUI with a set of business rules and even regular expressions, moving from one analytics solution to another becomes extremely easy. After nearly 10 years in this space, I’ve seen vendors and solutions come and go, so I know this may not be a huge deal to many of you, but this kind of portability is priceless when faced with a difficult migration path for hundreds of complex applications.

5. Easily Mitigate Privacy & Regulatory Risk Associated With Information Collection

As many in the financial services industry would agree, coming up with a one-size-fits-all privacy and/or regulatory mechanism can be extremely difficult, especially when managing in upwards of half a dozen secure systems. Privacy commissions across the globe are diverging at an alarming rate, which only complicates matters.

Thankfully, many TMS vendors have business rules and technology in place to address the needs of data-driven marketers. Compliance has a new friend.


Next month we’ll discuss the top five reasons against implementing a tag management solution and how to squash them.

Have you been considering the use of a tag management solution for your business? Have you successfully implemented a TMS in the past? Let us know in the comments section below.

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