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Next week, we will be attending Ensighten Agility 2014 conference in San Francisco to learn the latest about the tag management tools and thought we’d write a few lines about why we feel automatic tag management is one of the most important topics in analytics this year.

Tagging can be painful

If you’ve done any digital marketing you’ll know about the pain of analytics tags. There are two types of tags and both are essential if you want to measure your digital effectiveness.

1) URL tags:

This type of tag is appended to the URL of the landing page. If for instance you have a banner pointing to your website you should have a URL tag that’s fired when the banner is clicked and the page is loaded. So for instance if you had a banner from a media site pointing to a landing page, you would add a tag to the URL that would tell Google Analytics the source of the traffic, the medium used, the content segment and the campaign name.

2) Website tags:

But if you want to track your website effectiveness you need to tag all your web pages. You might want to track specific things like conversion points (sales, subscriptions, downloads), videos (video plays, length of time, pauses and video ends/stops), exit links or affiliate links, remarketing tags, form fills or just about everything else that is on the page.

Most companies deal with URL tags quite easily because there are no IT guys involved. It’s pretty easy to set-up without help from anyone. The main problem is with website tags because we usually have to work with IT people who make changes to the website. And some IT people make it more difficult than it has to be. They either don’t follow instructions, they tag in a custom way that makes it easier for them, or they’re just too slow.

But there is another way….

Don’t ask IT to make the changes every time, use a tag management system (a TMS for short). A TMS is a script to replace all other tagging scripts. By adding a single script to your website you could manage all your tagging from the cloud.

You only ask your tech people to add the script to every page on the website once. It’s so easy even an idiot can do it! (See one of my previous articles for more about the technical idiots and why they were expensive to your business). This can be done in 5 minutes with most modern content management systems.

The typical campaign without using a TMS:

Let’s say for instance if you wanted to add remarketing tags to a landing page for a particular campaign. It used to be a laborious process.

  • First you would get the tags required from the re-marketing vendor.
  • Then you would need to pass on the instructions to your IT team.
  • They look at the instructions and do it differently (usually for a reason, sometimes not).
  • The campaign then doesn’t track the way it’s supposed to.
  • The vendor then re-issues the same instructions.
  • The tech team work out how to do it.
  • The campaign tracking is late.
  • You don’t know what the ROI truly is.

IT teams have so many dependencies that placing a tagging script in a standard manner is not always possible. It can mean it takes weeks to get the campaign implemented. Worse you’re depending on (and hassling) the IT team all the time. This causes mistakes meaning further delays, making the above scenario the norm rather than the exception.

Typical campaign with a TMS:

  • First you would get the tags required from the re-marketing vendor (this you still have to do).
  • You login to your TMS system and set-up a remarketing tag.
  • You test it until it works.
  • You track your campaign from the date it was supposed to start.

You only need the IT team once in the beginning of the tag management project. After that you don’t need them anymore.  You can get the campaign tagged in the same day. Want to tag conversion, exit links, form fills, video plays? No problem. It can all be done from a TMS interface.

There are a variety of tag management tools on the market today. Quru work with Ensighten because we believe it is the best in the space. However there is also for example Google Tag Manager, a free tool you could also use to tag anything (not just Google Analytics).

Last year we did a 67 website tagging implementation for a client in 2.5 months using Ensighten. Without it I estimate it would have taken at least 6 months. Our costs, the web development vendor costs and internal management costs would’ve all been higher had we not used it. So not only does it save a huge amount of time, it saves a huge amount of money.

If you’re serious about Digital marketing you need to do tag management. No question about it.

If you are interested in hearing more or even attending the Ensighten conference, let us know. We can fix you a free ticket.