Many marketers are already familiar with the ever growing problem of marketing
tags on websites and the need to implement a tag management solution. With a tug-of-war being waged between IT and marketing departments in getting tags deployed and maintained,
if you’re in a medium to large sized company, I’d be surprised if tag management hadn’t crossed your mind already. This would especially be the case if you’re in a large business where IT departments are already stretched and turn around times in getting changes deployed into production are over two weeks.
Tag management is a hot topic in the web analytics and online space at the moment. Web Analytics Wednesday hosted a session this month (January 2013), and a huge number of people turned up to the pub. So much so, that we all couldn’t fit into one room. I went to the event hoping I’d find out more about the tag management industry, but I didn’t stay there too long as it was pretty cramped and like a bit of a sauna! This over-subscription just shows the interest around the tag management area right now.
I’m currently at the start of the tag management research and vendor selection phase at the moment. My organisation has given me their full backing, including the IT department who are keen to muck in and help me push this forwards internally. The key thing I want to do when project managing this is getting it right first time. Implementing this is going to take time and needs to be scalable. Always bear in mind the other business elements and other websites in your company, you need to be able to apply this solution globally.
After a meeting with IT last week, I came back with what I feel is a pretty exhaustive list of requirements which a tag management vendor should adhere to. If you feel that there’s something missing, please feel free to add anything in your comments below:
Tag Management – requirements & business benefits:
- Tag/vendor neutral – all tags supported
- Self service capable (no IT required)
- No RFP’s (request for proposals)
- Needs to work in a non-production environment – (Quality assurance testing / User acceptance testing).
- Tag management is hosted externally
- Positioning and defining of the tags on an individual page can be declared e.g: header and footer.
- No development required to deploy the tags
- How much does it cost?
- How long has the tag management company been in the market?
- Can the tag management solution help improve the site speed?
I did have a glance at Google Tag Manager, and Phil did blog post on it – Why pay when you can have Google Tag Manager for free? but there is some skepticism about the potential lack of support which would be provided by Google on this. Also, at Web Analytics Wednesday, there was some debate as to whether GTM would actually support 3rd party tags.
The next steps for me are to really approach the tag management vendors on the market, with the above list and then see who provides the most encouraging answers. Google will most likely not reply to any such message, but are worth investigating none the less.
I openly challenge any tag management solution/company to comment below with a response to the above requirements!
Has anyone has any success stories of implementing a tag management solution when operating a variety of different marketing tags? Some actual testimonials would be great to help push a business case forwards.
Stay tuned on this post for regular updates.