Tag management is still a relatively new field. As a result, many business owners and marketers are finding themselves a bit confused as to why a solid tag management system is so crucial to their marketing efforts. However, leveraging a tag management system such as Google Tag Manager (GTM) can do everything from help you in reducing your marketing costs, to increasing the speed of your website and implementing more efficient digital campaigns. If you're interested in learning more about marketing tags and the benefits of tag management systems like GTM, then this article is just for you.
What are marketing tags?
Let's start with the basics. After all, there's no use in delving into the benefits of tag management systems such as Google Tag Manager if the entire concept of tag management in general still remains relatively ambiguous to you.
So, first thing is first -- what are marketing tags?
Types of marketing tags
There are basically two main categories of tags: functional tags and technical tags. Functional tags. as their names suggest perform a function of some sort whereas technical tags have, you guessed it, a more technical nature.
1. Functional Tags
Functional tags can further more be divided into two primary types:
Conversion tags essentially are created for the purpose of tracking the performance of ad campaigns. These can be set up within a platform so in order to identify certain behaviors or events which occur on your website. Once a specified behavior/event is "triggered" by a user, the tag begins doing its job.
Remarketing tags have the ability to change the content of ads and who they are targeted to. This is achieved based on the analysis of your user behaviors. Remarketing tags can further be divided into two sub-groups:
Simple tags are ones you create for an action which you are interested in using for the purpose of remarketing.
Smart tags are general tags which are generated by the tag management system in order to be placed on all of the pages of your website.
2. Technical Tags
Much like functional tags, technical tags can also be further divided into two sub-groups:
Image tags are snippets of code which are inserted into your website for the purpose of sharing data with your ad server. These tags are dynamic and can change in structure and in terms of what they are tracking.
Script tags are small, often static pictures which are loaded on your website in order to share data with your ad server
What is a tag management system (TMS)?
Tag management systems (TMSs) essentially make the process of creating, managing and implementing tags more straightforward and less "technical". Anyone can use a tag management system, however, not just anyone can create, implement and manage tags on their own manually without a relevant educational background or experience.
Tag management systems began to grow in popularity in the late 2000s due in part as a natural response to the rapid growth of marketing technology. With a tag management system, management and deployment of marketing tags is much more streamlined and don't necessarily require the assistance and support of an IT professional. This of course means they can also help companies and marketing departments save both time and money.
In fact, according to recent research from Tealium, 73% of businesses surveyed stated that they believed using a tag management system helped them to reduce costs. With a tag management system such as Google Tag Manager, you don't need to rely on a manual tagging or the ongoing assistance of an IT professional because TMSs are purposely created in order to streamline the processes and make tagging more user-friendly and efficient.
Speaking of efficiency, did you know that the same company also found that a whopping 69% of TMS users are able to implement their new tags in less than a day? Just 23% of companies who manually tag with IT assistance are able to achieve this.
And the efficiency doesn't just stop there -- tag management systems also help increase the efficiency and speed of your website performance. The same company found that 64% of TMS users said their website was noticeably faster with more than 50% of them saying their tag management system made their website "significantly" faster.
The benefits of using a tag management system
There are numerous benefits to using a tag management system. We already briefly touched upon the fact that a TMS can help companies reduce costs and improve website speed and performance, but that's not all. Tag management systems also help create a common language between the marketer and the developer with regards to the data being collected and what it is used for. This in turn helps to establish greater understanding and trust between these two parties.
Tag management systems also help increase agility and improve technical implementation process. With a tag management system, you can say goodbye to all those pesky pieces of code and hello to a streamlined container snippet which houses and manages all of your tags. They also help marketers gain access to fresh, real-time data because deployment takes just moments as opposed to days or weeks.
Tag management systems also help provide you with peace of mind. Gone are the days when one has to become obsessive about the code being used. Is it correct? Is it error free? Is it optimized? With a tag management system, you can rest assured that the code is written well. In addition, with platforms such as Google Tag Manager, you also gain access to easy-to-use error checking tools.
Why you need a tag management system
While tag management systems are extremely beneficial, the truth of the matter is not everyone needs them. Are you actively using numerous digital marketing solutions or complex, enterprise-level analytics solutions? Do you currently have a mobile application or are you thinking about deploying one in the near future? What about your website? Does it need updated? Are you thinking about redesigning it? If you answered no to these questions, then chances are a tag management system might just not be necessary for you at the moment. However, if you answered yes to one or more, then you'll be glad to know that you can benefit from a solid TMS.
Google Tag Manager
Google Tag Manager (GTM) is quite arguably one of, if not the single most popular tag management system available to the public. GTM is a great choice for those looking to get into tag management because it offers simple, reliable and user-friendly tag management solutions tailored towards non-technical audiences for absolutely free. The interface is very user-friendly and the platform also gives you access to folders, instant search and autocomplete, preview modes, a site tag overview and the ability to publish in just seconds. It furthermore gives you the ability to create numerous triggers as well as control how your tags fire. We're talking auto-event triggers, click triggers, form submission triggers, custom event triggers, as well as page view and history triggers.
It also offers a host of features and technologies such as automated tag management, mobile app support, accelerated mobile pages (AMP) support, as well as the ability to sequence, pause and blacklist tags. Users can furthermore take advantage of multi-account support, multi-user support and user-level permissions as well as common and custom tag templates and convenient integrations with other Google solutions (i.e. Google Ads, Campaign Manager) and third-party tag support.
All in all, Google Tag Manager is a wonderfully user-friendly tag management system which provides users with access to a robust set of features and tools in order to streamline and optimize tag management and deployment.
Tag management is a relatively new concept, but is quickly becoming an essential foundation underpinning effective marketing campaigns. Tag management systems such as Google Tag Manager can help companies in numerous ways by increasing their agility, giving them peace of mind and streamlining both the management and deployment of valuable marketing tags. If you're new to the concept of tag management, then we suggest that you take some time to experiment with a free tag management system such as Google Tag Manager so that you can see first-hand how it can benefit you and your company. We're certain you won't be disappointed.
Have you used Google Tag Management? What was your experience like? Let us know in the comment below! We'd love to hear from you!