tagmgtWhether analysis, retargeting, A/B-testing or affiliate marketing: For each of these campaigns, a so-called tag per website must be set to collect the desired data about the website visitor. The task of online marketing experts is then to evaluate and use the data in a targeted manner.

As customer journeys become more and more complex, there is a wealth of opportunities for personalized customer engagement. At the same time, however, the risk of bad investments increases with every marketing channel.

To keep track of marketing channels and budgets, a sophisticated tagging strategy is indispensable, which requires, however, suitable tag management solutions.

Just tagging alone is not enough

Tags are without doubt an essential part of online marketing. The short code snippets are integrated into the individual web pages of a web presence and serve to track the activities of visitors.

The most common ones are the counter tags (or so-called "tracking pixels"), retargeting tags, as well as conversion tags for counting clicks or for determining whether the customer has also bought after surfing. The data provided by them form the basis for a targeted customer approach across all touchpoints and allow an optimization of the channel mix for a campaign as well as the budget distribution.

This requires, however, modern tag management systems (TMS), since it is not enough to simply integrate the tags into the respective website. For each individual tracking code, the type of integration into the page must be defined - in addition to the placement, based on the underlying tagging concept. Furthermore, it must be determined for each individual tag whether it is dependent on another tag or compatible/incompatible with one of the other tracking codes used, activities that cannot be performed independently by the IT departments without the support of the marketing departments.

Performance improvement, cost savings and success control thanks to TMS

With tag management systems, marketers can exchange tags using so-called "container" without having to interfere with the website's HTML code. The container is integrated once, as a single tag ("single line of code") in the HTML code of each web page and takes all other tags "piggyback". This way, all the tags of a web page are combined in a single file. The user interface of modern TMS allows the various containers and their individual tags to be configured on-the-fly, without the support of the IT department. With just a few clicks, TMS marketing managers can then decide when and how a tag should be played. Individual settings, such as changes in the tagging concept and the integration of new tags, are made directly in the Tag Management System and are therefore possible at any time without much effort.

By enabling tags to be rolled out once on all pages, simplifying the implementation of complex tagging concepts, TMS increases the consistency and relevance of collected data. When rolling out new tags, marketing departments free themselves from the reliance on release cycles of the website. At the same time, it's easier to get code updates and fix bugs from a single application.

Through the comprehensive analysis of all user data and relevant marketing channels, conclusions can be drawn about the success of individual measures. It can also be easier determined which channel mix leads to the best results and highest conversion rates within the customer journey. Based on this data, an attribution of the marketing channels can be made, which means results can be assigned to the individual channels.

Furthermore, tag management allows to drive new pilot projects quickly and easily, to test providers and agencies without great expense and effort, and to exchange them if necessary. This dissolves dependencies and improves the own negotiating position. By dedicating variables and eliminating tags that are not needed, TMSs also improve page load times, not to mention that an automated shutdown of bad tags has a positive impact on load times and user experience, too.

Clearly, tagging is indispensable for successful online marketing and a modern tag administration is equally important – especially for large platforms or an online shop. Professional tag management systems not only save time and money, but also provide cross-channel access to all relevant information that can be used in real-time to optimize campaigns, budget allocations, and customer journeys.

By Daniela La Marca