Tag Management Solutions
Best Tag Management Solutions
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Tag Management Overview
Many digital marketing technologies—such as web analytics, conversion testing, ad-serving, remarketing, marketing automation and affiliate software—require clients to insert one or more custom tags on their websites. These tags contain instructions on a task to be performed: for example, what visitor data to collect and send back to the technology vendor, or what content to serve up. Because each tag represents a task for the webpage, too many tags can slow down a website’s performance, especially if some of them fire synchronously rather than asynchronously (in parallel).
A tag manager serves as a container by essentially placing one snippet of code on a website that references all the tags that site needs. Employing a tag manager can decrease page load time and allow non-coders such as marketers to manage the addition, deletion or reconfiguration of tags directly from the tag management system user interface. As businesses aim to collect more data about their customers and website visitors, often for the purposes of segmentation and targeting, tag managers becomes more and more necessary.
What is a Tag Management System?Tag management software can benefit an organization by allowing marketing or other professionals to deploy new digital marketing technologies that require tags with less dependence on internal IT processes, thus increasing the speed to market. Some tag management tools also promise to increase a website’s speed and performance and improve the quality of data collected by ensuring that the proper tags fire at the proper times.
Some software vendors offer comprehensive tag management solutions, while others include tag management as a feature in broader analytics or testing suites. Pricing varies from free to charging a fixed price plus incremental charges based on volume of use.
Tag management tools usually provide graphical user interfaces that marketing or business professionals can manage, and allow for different user permission levels. They can also help companies comply with ‘Do Not Track’ preferences and other privacy standards in their data collection.
At the most sophisticated level, some tag managers integrate directly with other data systems, such as customer relationship management or CRM tools, via tagless backend data transfer, to allow supplemental data to be associated with a site visitor without the use of tags. This can be a more secure method of connecting personal profile data to an individual website visitor.
Tag Management Features & Capabilities
- 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
Excerpts from TrustRadius Buyer's Guide to Conversion Rate Optimization
In Internet marketing, conversion rate optimization refers to the process and techniques of continuously improving a website's effectiveness at turning visitors into customers. This is done by making strategic changes to the website's design, copy or flow and evaluating the results.
Marketers try to optimize for conversion to increase the return-on-investment (ROI) of traffic acquisition efforts such as banner advertising, affiliate marketing, search engine marketing and search engine optimization. By increasing the percentage of website visitors that convert to customers or leads (whatever the desired outcome is), a company is able to derive more revenue from the same amount of website traffic. The process thus lowers the cost-per-acquisition (CPA) of customers and allows a business to, in turn, invest more in traffic acquisition or other marketing efforts, leading to greater profits.
Typically a website operates like a funnel, wherein users take a series of steps or behaviors before buying. For example, individuals might use a website to learn more about a product, browse merchandise, view an offer, register for a free trial and ultimately make a purchase. The conversion funnel can involve several visits to the website as well as other forms of connection such as email. At each step some visitors stall or exit the funnel, such that only a percentage of the total website traffic actually converts to customers. This percentage (# final conversions/total # of visitors) is called the conversion rate. Conversion rates can vary over time (day, season, etc.), by source of traffic (organic/paid search, social media, word of mouth, etc.), and other factors.
For websites with significant traffic volume, even very small, incremental increases in conversion rates can lead to substantial revenue gains. Conversion rate is also not always the best or only metric to consider; for example, a price increase might lead to fewer conversions but ultimately greater revenue.
Increasing conversion rates usually involves making the path through the conversion funnel as clear, simple and effective as possible by removing distractions and barriers, as well as aligning the website experience with what visitors are looking for. Conversion rate optimization typically follows a cyclical workflow of measuring visitor behavior, gathering insight, testing hypotheses and evaluating results.
Optimizers start by measuring visitor behavior to understand the current conversion process and rate, including which areas are the least effective at getting users to the next step and which webpages present the highest potential for improvement. Analysis using web analytics software helps optimizers determine baseline metrics, set goals, and prioritize areas for improvement. Some key metrics are unique visitors, conversion rate, exit rate, bounce rate, order value, retention rate and lifetime value.
Web analytics software can also provide visitor data such as demographics, previous visits and behaviors, and device/browser information. This data can be used to optimize content for specific segments of web traffic through personalization and targeting tools, as well as to evaluate the quality of different sources of traffic.
Web analytics is often called digital analytics, as it includes the analysis of customer or user behavior in a web, mobile or native app environment. Digital analytics tools are useful beyond the context of conversion rate optimization as well. For example, companies might use analytics to understand different sources of web traffic, make paid search marketing decisions, or evaluate the effectiveness of search engine optimization efforts.
Another key step in the CRO workflow is to gather qualitative insights to understand why visitors are behaving in a certain way. Getting feedback from visitors or observing how they interact with a website can help answer questions like: What are visitors looking for? What are their driving motivations? What are their pain points? What areas of the website are confusing or distracting? What's keeping them from moving forward in the conversion funnel?
There are many different categories of tools that can help a business gather insights from its website visitors or customers, including mouse-, click- and eye-tracking, session replay, user or usability testing, live chat, survey and voice of customer tools. In the context of a CRO workflow, the goal of the insight-gathering phase is to understand why visitors are behaving in a certain way, and to generate testable ideas for strategic site changes that might improve the user experience and increase conversion rates.
"Analytics software knows when someone arrived and when they left. But it can't tell you why they came, what their preconceptions were, what their objectives were, and--most importantly--why they did or didn't buy. So qualitative tools are also important."
"We look at behavioral and attitudinal information--what are people doing and how are they feeling. Next what matters is how you turn around and use that information."
Insights gleaned from website metrics, visitor observation and feedback help generate ideas for strategic changes that could potentially increase conversion rates. The next step is to test these ideas, either by simply updating the website and comparing metrics before and after the change, or by creating two or more versions of the webpage and dividing web traffic randomly among the different versions. The latter process, called split testing or A/B testing, produces more accurate results because it is a randomized experiment and therefore less susceptible to being influenced by normal fluctuations in conversion rate on a daily or weekly basis. A related type of experiment is multivariate testing, in which multiple elements on one page are tested at the same time, thus creating and dividing traffic among many different versions of the same page.
Whichever version of the webpage "wins," or consistently leads to a higher conversion rate, becomes a permanent part of the website. Another idea can then be generated and tested. The process helps digital marketers make iterative improvements to a website by ensuring that a change is actually an improvement before launching it to all users.
Marketers can also run more targeted website tests by analyzing the behavior of specific visitor segments in response to variations being tested. Segments can be as simple as New vs. Returning Visitors, or more complex combinations of geolocation, device or browser used, referring source (search, social, email, etc.), and more specific visitor data, if available. This type of targeting enables websites to show the most effective content to different visitor segments.
Website testing and targeting software can be used to set up A/B tests, split traffic randomly, analyze results and target specific visitor segments. More sophisticated conversion optimization tools allow optimizers to run tests that span multiple pages of a website, and offer multivariate testing, in which the marketer creates several different values for multiple elements on one page to generate countless combinations or versions of that page to test at once. Some tools can perform native app or mobile website testing as well.
The most advanced website testing and targeting tools help websites serve up a more personalized experience for each visitor, in a near one-to-one fashion. Personalization is an attempt to show the most relevant content based on what a company already knows about an individual.
Tag Management Products
Tealium iQ is a tag management system for enterprise web sites from San Diego company Tealium, an application promised to reduce the complexity of deploying, embedding and managing tags to a sub-technical level for marketing professionals. Tealium iQ is promised to improve and harmonize activities...
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,...
Ensighten Manage is a popular tag management system used globally, promised 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...
Oracle Data Management Platform (part of the Oracle Marketing Cloud, and formerly known as BlueKai) 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...
Dynamic Tag Manager, formerly Adobe Tag Manager, is an application subsumed under the Adobe Marketing Cloud used for, as the name would suggest, managing tags, touting the typical acceleration in page loading speed, data standardization, and speed of deployment of tags (sans coding) expected from...
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.
UberTags was the tag management tool developed by a company of the same name which was acquired by marketing software company "[x + 1]" for use in their Origin DMP. However, [x+1] was acquired by programmatic advertising and marketing company Rocketfuel, who now owns and supports the Origin Data...
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,...
SuperTag is a tag management application from Datalicious, an Equifax company.
IBM Digital Data Exchange (DDX) application is IBM's tag management system and API data syndication platform, integrated with and thus acquirable through many of IBM's larger data management or marketing platforms: IBM Digital Analytics, IBM Tealeaf, IBM Interact, and IBM Silverpop... useful for...
Adform, from the company of the same name in Copenhagen, Denmark, is billed as a programmatic media platform; a multifarious offering featuring programmatic real-time buying, data management (a DMP / DSP hybrid for advertisers or a SSP for publishers), ad serving and retargeting, tag management,...
Hub'Scan is the platform from HubScan Inc in Boston, MA, for site and tag auditing and tag management. Beyond tagging compliance, efficiency, and improvement and data layer analysis, Hub'Scan also provides some SEO and site traffic analysis features, bringing together a rather feature rich...
7suite is a fully customizable data management stack consisting of a data management platform (DMP), tag manager, and content personalization engine. 7suite is designed for Ad Tech & MarTech companies wanting to build a custom data management platform (DMP) to meet specific business needs....
Tag Management Articles
Megan Headley, Research Director, TrustRadius interviews Tracy Hansen, CMO of Tealium to learn about the strategy to broaden beyond tag management, and how the Tealium platform exactly works and fits into the marketing technology ecosystem. They also discuss industry trends and product roadmap.