Choose Your TMS (3 of 3): Google Tag Manager

December 19, 2016 Clint Eagar

blue and white pulsing light over strings of computer code

Data is—or ought to be—one of your company’s most important assets.

Tag management systems (TMS) help to streamline the process of collecting data about your customers by placing more control in the hands of the people that use data most: marketers and analysts.

With TMS solutions, your company’s developers can make the initial install of a TMS container code and then pass the baton to marketers and analysts, who then use the TMS platform to construct analytics scripts that load asynchronously across an entire site.

This process helps ease the developers’ heavy load and empowers the marketing department’s analytical efforts. Plus, it may diminish the risk of a non-technical marketer breaking your site.

When “TMS” is your watchword, everyone is happier all around.

Developers can focus more on development, marketers on marketing, and analysts on analyzing. What could be better?

So if tag management systems are so great, why haven’t all companies already adopted them?

While the benefits greatly outweigh the inconveniences, getting over the hump and making the initial investment of resources to implement the system is often one of the largest obstacles. Translating all code from across a website into a TMS will take some time.

But it’s worth it.

Google Tag Manager

gtm

Google Tag Manager is a fantastic tool among many, and adoption rates are high. Recently published statistics show that of all websites using tag management systems, 46% of them use Google Tag Manager.

So for those of you considering tag management—which you absolutely should be—what makes GTM a valuable option?

GTM is really easy to use.

As soon as a developer installs the initial tag manager scripts on a site, somebody without even a lot of technical expertise can deploy tags. On a scale of 1-10, 10 being a senior developer and 1 being a basic marketer, someone with a level-3 amount of expertise would be able to use GTM.

That being said, with this ease of deployment comes great responsibility. It’s often the case that tags may be deployed with very little release process oversight, such as quality assurance and user acceptance testing. It’s imperative that businesses place tight controls over whomever may deploy changes to a site’s tags and the processes that should govern any code release.

GTM requires basic knowledge of JavaScript for a marketer or analyst to use it. But with myriad free resources such as Codecademy.com and W3schools.com to facilitate learning, this shouldn’t hold anyone back. In fact, over the last several years we’ve witnessed a surge of web analysts and marketers becoming much more JavaScript savvy.

GTM has a highly functional preview mode.

GTM allows for testing of changes in a sandbox environment known as preview mode. This enables users to verify that new container code is functioning properly, firing the right code in the proper order. Other TMS solutions have that functionality, but Google Tag Manager makes it particularly easy to turn preview mode on and off.

Within the ObservePoint system it’s very easy to set up an automated audit of the sandbox environment, which will further accelerate the deployment of new or updated marketing technologies.

GTM is free and its user interface is intuitive.

You might think that because GTM is free that there are significant limitations compared to other TMSs, but you would be mistaken. As a free solution, GTM is a really, really good free solution.

In all actuality, GTM has some pretty significant advantages, mainly that it is quite easy to configure things. Google has put a lot into their UI, making it easier to correctly write the JavaScript for a tag.

GTM seamlessly integrates with other technologies.

This particularly applies to Google Analytics and Google Adwords, to which GTM pumps out the data that it collects. But GTM can also integrate with many non-Google, third-party tools as well directly from the tag manager.

Liberate Your Team with Tag Management

If you’re considering tag management, getting past the initial install can be a bit daunting. But ultimately the benefits outweigh the negatives, and your developers, marketers and analysts will thank you for it.

If you would like to dive deeper and learn more about tag management strategy, check out our on-demand webinar 7 Steps to a Successful Tag Management Strategy.

 

About the Author

Clint Eagar

Clint gets things done. He has been building websites, marketing and optimizing them for 15 years. He claims to know a little bit about a lot of things and is relied on to execute anything quickly. Clint has been with ObservePoint since the early days and has helped support, test, and promote the product. Before coming to ObservePoint he was at OrangeSoda, running the enterprise SEO team, and before that he was a business consultant at Omniture.

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