2 23444 how-tochoose_a_tag_management_system

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2 23444 how-tochoose_a_tag_management_system 2 23444 how-tochoose_a_tag_management_system Document Transcript

  • HOW TO CHOOSE A TAG MANAGEMENT SYSTEM By David A. Yovanno President – Mediaplex®
  • MEDIAPLEX © COPYRIGHT 2012. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. PG.2www.mastertms.com PG.3 Introduction PG.3 Why Tag Managmement? PG.5 Eight Questions to Ask Potential Tag Management Providers PG.6 The Questions in Depth PG.6 1. Can the vendor’s solution accommodate the number of tags you currently use, and is there room for growth? PG.6 2. Will the solution enable you to work with any third party technology that you choose, or does it favor certain solutions over others? PG.6 3. Has the solution been proven to work in real world implementations? PG.7 4. Does the solution integrate into marketing attribution platforms that can help you drive greater marketing effectiveness in the future? PG.7 5. Does the vendor have staying power — is it an established company or a well-funded new company? PG.8 6. Do you already work with the vendor, or does the quality of the solution warrant adding the complexity of working with another vendor? PG.8 7. Does the vendor offer strong service, and are they easy to work with? PG.9 8. How does the vendor address consumer privacy regulation? PG.9 Conclusions PG.9 About the Author PG.9 About Mediaplex
  • www.mastertms.com MEDIAPLEX © COPYRIGHT 2012. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. PG.3 INTRODUCTION Over the past several years the number of third party technologies in use to empower brand websites and marketing has exploded. The common denominator across literally hundreds of these new technologies, platforms, and marketing solutions is the use of scripts, beacons, and other types of site tags to collect consumer information. Tags are critical to most digital marketing tactics, and are driving remarkable advances in marketing effectiveness. But they also pose implementation hurdles, website performance issues, and make it more difficult to ensure that you and only you control and have access to your customer data. “Tags can pose implementation hurdles, website performance issues, and make it more difficult to ensure that you and only you control and have access to your customer data.” To mitigate these risks, many companies are in the process of choosing and selecting “tag management systems”. A great tag management system replaces the many tags on your site with a single piece of code across all pages. It helps marketers better control their data, manage tags without relying on IT, improve site performance, and gain flexibility. All while continuing to collect the same information as when multiple tags were deployed individually on web pages. Further, costs for tag management solutions tend be very modest versus the immediate economic benefits that they provide. “The potential benefits of a great tag management system are large, but not all systems are created equal.” While the potential benefits of a great tag management system are large, not all such solutions are created equal. For the strategic marketing generalist, it can be difficult to choose the best vendor. This whitepaper is designed to help the marketer choose the best possible solution for their brand and company. It’s built around a set of eight questions you should ask vendors as you consider their various offerings and proposals. By choosing a vendor that delivers on all these issues, you can ensure that you reap maximum benefit from this important solution to real business issues. WHY TAG MANAGEMENT? Thousands of companies are considering tag management because it helps mitigate five critical business issues: 1) Site Crashes and Security Warnings: Improperly implemented tags can cause site crashes that destroy the user experience and significantly limit online sales and other KPIs. In addition to problems that arise from improper implementation, tags on your site have the potential to trigger security warnings. Also, when a vendor’s security certification expires, disconcerting security warnings can appear on your site. This too can greatly impede consumers from transacting on your site. A tag management system can help ensure that you have greater control over the number and implementation of site tags, and can prevent tag issues from impacting user experience. HOW TO CHOOSE A TAG MANAGEMENT SYSTEM
  • www.mastertms.com MEDIAPLEX © COPYRIGHT 2012. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. PG.4 2) Slow Loading Pages: The loading speed of your site strongly impacts customer satisfaction and abandon rates. For ecommerce sites, it can improve (or limit) sales, cart abandons, and lifetime customer value. A study at Amazon.com a few years ago found that for every 100 milliseconds that load time increased, online sales decreased by 1%.i That means that just a one second delay in load time would cut potential sales by 10%! Another factor to consider is that Google factors load times into consideration when ranking sites. Slow sites seem to rank lower. 3) Data Piracy and Leakage: Many marketers operate under the illusion that only they know what consumers do on their sites. For the majority of brand websites, that simply isn’t true. By working with third party technologies like retargeters, media providers, lead gen and affiliate networks, rich media technologies, and the like, you share your on-site data with others. And here’s the rub: your partners may in turn have partnerships with other third parties who can also see what happens on your site. Whatever your partners’ motivations, your site data may currently be visible to a legion of companies you don’t work with – may not have even heard of. Many marketers also find that even when they stop working with a vendor, that former partner’s tags remain on their site for months or even years. The odds increase if your site was built in stages, is quite large, or is managed by a highly taxed IT organization. With tag management, it’s easy to observe and control all of the tags available on your site and thereby control your data. 4) Slow Deployment of New Technologies: In some companies, there is friction between Marketing organizations that want to implement new technologies and tags quickly and IT organizations juggling many priorities. It isn’t at all unusual for us to hear clients say that getting a new tag added to a site can take 2-12 weeks. For marketers working to achieve increasingly steep sales goals, a loss of a month or more can be quite frustrating. Using a tag management system allows marketers to implement their own tagging rapidly while enabling IT to focus on more mission-critical tasks. 5) Privacy Violations: In the US, the FTC has strongly encouraged companies to be more transparent in their data collection policiesii , and to offer consumers robust notice on ads and web pages. In the EU, standards are even higher.iii In order to comply with the guidelines, brands must know with certainty all of the companies collecting data on their pages. With tag management, the task is much easier. A great tag management solution can – and should -- address ALL of these concerns. EIGHT QUESTIONS TO ASK POTENTIAL TAG MANAGEMENT PROVIDERS As you consider tag management alternatives, use the following questions to help ensure you choose the best solution: 1. Can the vendor’s solution accommodate the number of tags you currently use, and is there room for growth? HOW TO CHOOSE A TAG MANAGEMENT SYSTEM i Kohavi and Longbottom, 2007 ii Prepared Statement of The Federal Trade Commission on The Need for Privacy Protection May 9, 2012 iii EC Data Protection Reform (Includes dozens of factsheets and videos)
  • www.mastertms.com MEDIAPLEX © COPYRIGHT 2012. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. PG.5 2. Will the solution enable you to work with any third party technology that you choose, or do they favor certain solutions over others? 3. Has the solution been proven to work in real world implementations? 4. Does the solution integrate into marketing attribution platforms that can help you drive greater marketing effectiveness in the future? 5. Does the vendor have staying power – is it an established company or a well-funded new company? 6. Do you already work with the vendor, or does the quality of the solution warrant adding the complexity of working with another vendor? 7. Does the vendor offer strong service, and are they easy to work with? 8.Howdoesthevendoraddressconsumerprivacyregulation? THE QUESTIONS IN DEPTH 1. Can the vendor’s solution accommodate the number of tags you currently use, and is there room for growth? Solve the problem in one go. Find a vendor that can accommodate all your tags and enable you to add additional tags as new technologies arise. Don’t choose a platform with a limit to the number of tags it can accommodate. Be safe. Plan for radical growth in the number of technologies you employ. You are far too busy to have to go through this process again in 18 months. “Don’t choose a platform with a limit to the number of tags it can accommodate.” 2. Will the solution enable you to work with any third party technology that you choose, or does it favor certain solutions over others? One of the key benefits of tag management is the freedom to deploy more and better technologies on your website, quickly and easily. Your choice of tag management platform shouldn’t constrain you from choosing to work with any data or technology company you choose. If you feel “pushed” into shifting your existing third party relationships by a prospective tag management vendor, ask for specific feedback on why the vendor wants you to make a change. 3. Has the solution been proven to work in real world implementations? As interest in tag management has grown, more companies have entered the space. Some of these new solutions may have very little real world track record combined with minimal understanding of marketers’ true needs. There’s no need to go with an unproven solution for tag management. “There’s no need to go with an unproven solution for tag management.” HOW TO CHOOSE A TAG MANAGEMENT SYSTEM
  • www.mastertms.com MEDIAPLEX © COPYRIGHT 2012. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. PG.6 There are a number of cost effective options that boast strong in-market experience. This is not an area in which to be a guinea pig. Your data and customer insight are far too important for that. 4. Does the solution integrate into marketing attribution platforms that can help you drive greater marketing effectiveness in the future? Many believe that marketing attribution is the most important future challenge facing marketers. Understanding the relative impacts of different marketing tools on the eventual sale is absolutely essential to drive the massive increases in ROI effectiveness that you will be charged with delivering. The best way to ensure that you can deliver on this challenge is by laying the groundwork for precise marketing attribution now. Because tag management is a critical step in developing a true 360-degree customer view, it’s important to discern how your potential vendor is reflecting the challenge of marketing attribution in its current offering and product development plans. “Find out how your potential vendor is reflecting the challenge of marketing attribution in its current offering and product development plans.” Most companies choose tag management to address very practical page performance and control issues. But as we develop and deploy more and more technologies to better meet the individual needs of consumers, we need to collect and manage more and more data. Tag management is a keystone in making all of that data collection efficient. Make sure that the vendor you choose can answer how their offering fits in with the larger trends of marketing accountability and attribution. 5. Does the vendor have staying power – is it an established company or a well-funded new company? The excitement and enthusiasm of entrepreneurs can be pretty infectious. They’ve created companies in a particular field because of their passion and zeal for it. But after the parade, someone needs to sweep the streets. And after a prospective vendor electrifies a conference room, every marketer knows that it is their responsibility to ensure that the vendor they choose can deliver what they promise – both now and for the foreseeable future. “Choose a vendor that’s been around for a long time, or which is very well funded.” Choose a company with some staying power. One that’s been around for a long time, or which is very well funded. Being cautious here may prevent the need to find a new vendor in a year or two. HOW TO CHOOSE A TAG MANAGEMENT SYSTEM
  • www.mastertms.com MEDIAPLEX © COPYRIGHT 2012. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. PG.7 6. Do you already work with the vendor, or does the quality of the solution warrant adding the complexity of working with another vendor? While having hundreds of companies innovating in the digital marketing space has had a great effect on the number and availability of empowering technologies, it has also spawned a vendor management challenge. Some companies are dealing with more than a dozen third party technology vendors. You don’t need me to tell you that is a big drain on your time. While adding the 9th or 13th or 17th vendor to your list might not seem all that significant, I am convinced that the most effective marketers will be working with fewer, more versatile vendors in the months and years ahead. For even the most frugal brands, time and attention are the most limited marketing resources. “Start by exploring options from your current set of vendors, and look farther afield where necessary. You may also find that tag management can be bundled with other services you are already buying for better pricing.” If a tagging solution can be delivered by a company or an alliance partner that you already work with, it will likely demand less of your time. That’s not to say that working with a pure-play tag management company is a bad idea – but their solution should be “better enough” to warrant the increased complexity. Perhaps the best strategy is to start by exploring options from your current set of vendors, and look farther afield if necessary. You may also find that tag management can be bundled with other services you are already buying. For example, Mediaplex’s tag management solution, Master TMS™ , offers cost effective integrated pricing for users of ValueClick® , Dotomi® , and Commission Junction® . 7. Does the vendor offer strong service, and are they easy to work with? Tagging solutions are relatively easy to implement. While implementation and training are important, the amount of actual contact you have with the vendor need not be extensive on a week-to-week basis. But the data provided by third party platforms are absolutely vital to your marketing effectiveness. Choose a vendor with a team that will quickly address any issues you experience. A vendor that is slow to respond could lead to the loss of several days – even a week – of data. As with any service organization, your experience will be a function of the work of the individuals on your team. Ask for references from the prospective vendor – specifically from clients of the sales and account people you will be working with. “Be VERY certain that the vendor you choose has both the people and the interest in being there after the sale.” HOW TO CHOOSE A TAG MANAGEMENT SYSTEM
  • MEDIAPLEX © COPYRIGHT 2012. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. PG.8 One other thing to consider – tech start-ups tend to focus more on delivering technology platforms “as-is” than in delivering services. This is because venture capital investors prefer tech- versus people-intensive businesses. Such businesses tend to be more profitable. If you choose an early stage company for your tag management solution, be VERY certain that they have the people and the interest in being there after the sale. 8.How does the vendor address consumer privacy regulation? While tag management solutions do not in-and-of-themselves address consumer privacy, they can help companies get and stay compliant. Because privacy legislation and regulation are in flux, it is useful to work with a company that works ongoing with leading privacy solutions providers. Such relationships can help companies prepare for possible future regulation and quickly find ways to respond to new rules and guidelines as they arise. CONCLUSIONS Tag management is an important decision, and one that deserves your focus and attention. I hope that this whitepaper makes it a little easier to choose and implement the right solution for your particular brand and company. I’d be delighted to hear from you – on this paper and on your process for choosing a tag management solution. Please feel free to email me your thoughts and comments at davidyovanno@mediaplex.com. ABOUT THE AUTHOR As President of Mediaplex, the technology business segment of ValueClick, David A. Yovanno is responsible for all of its global operations. He is also responsible for driving cross-division synergies and assisting with the Company’s corporate development program. Mr. Yovanno first joined ValueClick in 2000 and held a number of leadership positions for ValueClick Media including executive vice president of sales and marketing, general manager and chief operating officer until 2008. Mr. Yovanno left ValueClick in 2008 to be CEO of Gigya, a successful social technology SaaS company based in Silicon Valley, and rejoined ValueClick in 2011. Mr. Yovanno also served in the United States Navy as a Lieutenant and CIO. Mr. Yovanno is a graduate of The George Washington University in Washington, D.C., where he earned his bachelor’s degree in marketing and master’s degree in healthcare administration. ABOUT MEDIAPLEX Mediaplex is the technology division of ValueClick, Inc. (NASDAQ: VCLK) and is recognized as an established, innovative leader in digital marketing analytics and advertising technology. Mediaplex technology provides a comprehensive solution for the entire buy-side digital landscape including ad serving, real time bidding (DSP), data management (DMP), tag management, attribution analysis, rich media, and more. Since 1996, Mediaplex has been a trusted partner to leading brands and agencies helping them leverage analytics and technology to maximize the return on their digital advertising investments. For more information visit Mediaplex.com or contact us at 1.877.402.PLEX (7539). HOW TO CHOOSE A TAG MANAGEMENT SYSTEM www.mastertms.com