It is my not-so-humble opinion that the advent of Tag Management Systems are the best thing to happen to Digital Analytics since high-speed internet connections. Tag Management Systems have removed much of the complexity and overhead of managing page tags, and have allowed marketers the ability to change and adapt tagging with amazing speed. During my career, I have used or been exposed to every major TMS in the analytics industry, and I develop my favorite tools and biases. Recently, I was tasked with updating some tags for a client that uses Adobe Tag Management.
After the implementation, I started thinking about not just the UI and workflow differences between tools, but more of the differences between the logic behind various TMS tools. It occurred to me that Tag Management Systems fall into two broad categories (which Adobe coincidentally named their products): Tag Management and Dynamic Tag Management. In this post I will compare and contrast these two TMS categories, so you can make informed choices about which type of system is right for you.
So what is tag management, and why are we so hyped about it?
Tag Management Systems are online programs that you use to manage any/all of your websites’ third-party tags. The primary purpose of a TMS is to manage your analytics (Adobe Analytics, Google Analytics, Web Trends, Target, etc.), but you can literally put any tag (Optimizely, ObservePoint, Live Person) into your TMS. When you put a tag into your TMS, you can make edits and updates through an online console rather than having to go to your developers and get in their development life cycle. This cuts down turnaround time and resource overhead.
This also comes with a tremendous responsibility, as you now have the power to inject code directly on your site, which can slow down or even break parts of your pages. Most TMS administrators sit between marketers and developers. The best TMS admins are familiar with both worlds and can translate the language of the two.
To demonstrate Static vs. Dynamic Tag Management, let’s look at the way we would track a button click in each.
write the code based on button click Create a rule for button click
Less coding knowledge needed.
Which type of TMS is right for you?
A better question probably is which type of TMS is best for your organization?