What is a Tag Management System?
Tag Management System allow you to easily deploy and organize tags on a website. Essentially, they facilitate the collection and sharing of data between a website and the third-party technologies it uses.
Tags can do things like:
- capture visitor data
- set cookies that help track users through multiple sessions
- integrate third-party content, such as video players, ads or social media widgets
Many digital marketing technologies require clients to insert custom tags on their websites. This includes web analytics, conversion testing, ad-serving, remarketing, marketing automation and affiliate marketing tools. These tags contain instructions on a task to be performed. An example might be what visitor data to collect and send back, or what content to serve up. Each tag represents a task for the webpage. Therefore, too many tags can slow down performance.
A tag manager serves as a container by placing one snippet of code on a website that references all the tags that site needs. Those tags can be managed within a simple UI.
Benefits of Using a Tag Management Solution
Tag managers promise to provide the following benefits:
- Decrease page load time
- Improve the quality of data collected
- Allow non-coders to manage tags
- Allow marketers to deploy new technologies quickly, with less dependence on IT
Tag managers are particularly important as businesses aim to collect more data about their customers and website visitors. That data is used to help deliver more personalized and relevant experiences.
Types of Tag Management Solutions
Some tag management tools are offered as part of a broader web analytics or testing suite. Google Tag Manager, Adobe Dynamic Tag Management and Qubit OpenTag are examples.
Many pure-play tag management vendors are branching out. Beyond managing tags, they are focusing on managing data, and facilitating its use to drive better customer experiences. Many have launched new offerings that are customer data platforms, designed to help companies achieve a 360-degree view of the customer.
Tag Management Solutions Features & Capabilities
Tag management tools usually provide a GUI that marketers can use to manage tags and data. They also allow for different user permission levels. They can also help companies comply with ‘Do Not Track’ preferences and other privacy standards.
More sophisticated tag management solutions integrate directly with other data systems (such as your CRM) via tagless backend data transfer. This allows supplemental data to be associated with a site visitor without the use of tags. As such, it’s a more secure method of connecting personal profile data to a website visitor.
Common features of TMSs include:
- Tag library
- Tag variable mapping
- Custom tags
- Rules-driven tag execution
- Synchronous and asynchronous tag support
- Event tracking
- Data distribution management
- Universal data layer
- Error checking
- Multi-account support
- Configurable data privacy policies
- Role-based user permissions
- User-level audit trail
- Version history
- Simple roll-back capabilities
Tag Management Products
There are many tag manager system products on the market:
Google Tag Manager
From Google, the Google Tag Manager is a tag management application that facilitates creating, embedding, and updating tags across websites and mobile apps, thus gaining the benefits of data standardization and speed of deployment. Google touts an agency friendly system with multiple user access, and tools to improve tags performance like debugging, and rules, macros or automated tag firing. The Google Tag Manager also integrates with Google product DoubleClick. Moreover, Google Tag Manager is free.
Tealium iQ Tag Management System
Ensighten Manage is a popular tag management system used globally, promising to increase page loading speed, accelerate tag deployment, and facilitate omnichannel 1:1 customer engagement across platforms and devices. Ensighten provides tag control by visitor, session, and page, and harmonizes data collection.
The company’s Tag Delivery Network serves billions of tags annually for familiar brands like Sony, Staples, Symantec, T-Mobile, and United Airlines.
Oracle Data BlueKai, part of the Oracle Marketing Cloud, helps marketers target top revenue-generating audiences by unifying marketing data in one location. The platform is designed so that users can tap into the largest set of pre-integrated third-party marketing data with more than 1 billion customer profiles. Then users can combine that data with proprietary first-party—or owned data—to make smarter media buying, campaign planning, and creative messaging decisions.
The Oracle Marketing Cloud features solutions that are designed to help marketers acquire and retain ideal customers, engaging them with a relevant experience that spans the entire customer lifecycle. Oracle Marketing Cloud helps the marketer connect data across the marketing ecosystem to personalize customer experiences with software including marketing automation (Oracle Cross-Channel Marketing to Consumers/Businesses), content marketing (Oracle Content Marketing), social marketing (Oracle SRM), and data management (Oracle BlueKai).
Adobe Dynamic Tag Management (DTM)
Signal Tag Management
Signal Tag Management from the Chicago company formerly known as BrightTag (now Signal) is a tag management application free for users of Signal’s data platform Fuse, a product for combining visitor and customer data gleaned from visits for a seamless, 1:1 cross-channel experience.
Opentag is an enterprise tag management solution that runs on Qubit’s open Universal Variable data model. Some key features include: Container Tag, CPA De-duplication and Privacy Consent.
Adobe Experience Platform Launch
Adobe Experience Platform Launch is a new “next-gen” tag management solution. Like Adobe’s other tag management product, Dynamic Tag Manager, Launch is based on the acquisition of Satellite from Search Discovery in 2013. But Launch is built to facilitate a more open, integrated marketing technology stack. Launch plays nicely with Adobe and non-Adobe products. It includes an open API and a catalog of extensions (like an app store of pre-built integrations to other platforms) so that data can flow across the user’s marketing ecosystem.
Commanders Act (formerly Tag Commander) is a European company providing a tag management product designed to handle website tags – and also SDKs in a single SDK container – through a management interface without the need for technical expertise.
The company has partnerships with WebTrends, Criteo, and over 200 tag solutions worldwide.