The Case for Tag Management


Share on LinkedIn

A Digital Marketing Essential

The problem of managing tags, bits of code marketers use on webpages for measurement purposes, has become a growing challenge. As the number of digital assets, marketing campaigns, and marketing technologies increases, manually adding, modifying and removing tags is no longer practical. Fortunately, tag management solutions, frequently citied as one of the most innovative digital marketing tools, has emerged in recent years—making the lives of marketers much better.

In this post, we’ll explore tag management and how to make the case for tag management solutions in your organization. But first, let’s start with defining tags and tag management.

Tags are:

  • Also known as tracking pixels, beacons or JavaScript snippets
  • Embedded within webpages
  • Used by digital marketers for measurement purposes
  • Uses include web analytics, retargeting, personalization, advertising, affiliate marketing, email, Pay Per Click (PPC), and Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Absolutely critical for many digital marketing solutions. For example, an analytics solutions may return no data without a functioning tag

Tags were once added, deleted and modified manually—and still are in many organizations. However, the number of tags and the number of digital marketing assets has exploded, and this has led to several problems.

When tags need to be manually added, modified or removed, it means that marketers must coordinate with IT teams to make the changes and deploy them into production environments. This often requires time to ensure that the request is prioritized, coded, and included in a future release. And, this can take weeks or even months.


The second major challenge with tags is that malfunctioning or poorly implemented tags can degrade the digital customer experience. Malfunctioning tags can cause web pages to take longer to load or stop functioning altogether. With manual efforts, correcting these problems means repeating the IT development and deployment process. In critical cases, it can mean emergency IT procedures to correct problems with significant customer impacts.

Another challenge with manually managing tags is that it becomes much more difficult to switch out marketing technology vendors. Tags from those vendors are embedded in every web page, and removing them can be time consuming and costly. Deploying new marketing technology solutions also takes more time and effort since tags must be embedded across all web properties.


Fortunately for marketers, tag management solutions can remove these headaches. A tag management solution acts much like a content management system (CMS) does for website content and digital marketing assets. It makes it much easier to deploy and manage, without IT development cycles. According to a recent survey by Econsultancy and Tealium, 87 percent of digital marketers cite tag management as a key to success.

imageMaking the business case for tag management can be relatively straightforward. There are a host of qualitative and quantitative benefits. Most digital marketing teams can quickly calculate the cost savings from tag management and the value of more accurate data. Benefits include:

  • Qualitative Benefits
  • Ability to switch vendors (no “lock in”)
  • Faster marketing campaign cycle time
  • Quantitative Benefits
  • Reduced cost of vendor deployments
  • Reduced cost of tag addition, modification, & removal
  • Value of more accurate data analytics

The vendor landscape for tag management is changing, with larger vendors including tag management in their digital marketing platforms and smaller vendors offering standalone tag management solutions. Vendors include:

  • Adobe
  • BrightTag
  • DC Storm
  • Ensighten
  • IBM Digital Data Exchange
  • Impact Radius
  • Google Tag Manager
  • QuBit
  • Site Tagger
  • SuperTag
  • Tag Commander
  • TagMan
  • Tealium
  • UberTags

Tag management solutions provide a host of very compelling benefits. If your organization is still manually managing tags, now is the time to evaluate vendors and consider the business case. Your digital marketing team will thank you.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Dave Birckhead
Dave is the Global Head of Marketing Technology at Spotify. He has worked with numerous Fortune 500 companies to bring about marketing technology solutions that optimize business performance, accelerate innovation and enhance marketing. You can find Dave on Twitter, LinkedIn and Google Plus.


Please use comments to add value to the discussion. Maximum one link to an educational blog post or article. We will NOT PUBLISH brief comments like "good post," comments that mainly promote links, or comments with links to companies, products, or services.

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here