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A Tag Management Systems Primer
 

A Tag Management Systems Primer

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Tag management systems (TMS) which can help companies alleviate the reliance on IT, involve interfacing with JavaScript and can be based on client-side conditionals, server-side conditionals or ...

Tag management systems (TMS) which can help companies alleviate the reliance on IT, involve interfacing with JavaScript and can be based on client-side conditionals, server-side conditionals or server-to-server architectures.

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A Tag Management Systems Primer A Tag Management Systems Primer Document Transcript

  • • Cognizant 20-20 InsightsA Tag Management Systems PrimerEmergent tagging tools allow nontechnical resources to more effectivelymanage JavaScripts used by ad measurement and serving systems. Executive Summary • Puts marketers/business in control of third- party tagging: With user “permissioning,” ac- The proliferation of third-party tags used by Web cess can be limited to specific tags within a sites has resulted in a burdensome reliance on site’s source code. already-stretched-thin IT resources. With the emergence of tag management systems (TMS), • Reduces IT dependency: Less dependency site managers can now accelerate updates of on IT resources to update and maintain tags site code by empowering nontechnical resources creates more of a “self-service” environment. to deploy tagging via intuitive, user-friendly Also, these tools decouple tag maintenance interfaces. from IT bandwidth and code release cycles. TMS tools allow for the management of JavaScript • Intuitive user interface: Simplifies tag man- agement by leveraging tag libraries and menu tagging typically associated with measurement options to maintain tagging. and ad serving, without the need to access a site’s entire source code. This is accomplished Tagging Challenges by permitting any selected internal or external company resource to access third-party tag While tag management solutions greatly optimize source code. As a result, tagging modifications third-party tags used on organizations’ Web sites, are decoupled from IT and its dependence on site they come with their own set of challenges: update cycles. • Effective tag deployment requires IT and consulting resources: TMS implementations Advantages of Tag Management typically require external expertise. Systems Significant benefits can be achieved via proper • Tags create vendor lock-in: Once implemen- use of tag management. Its ability to resolve tation is completed across all the pages it can entrenched challenges that restrict the flexibility be challenging to switch vendors. of Web analytics and marketing optimization can • Tag deployment rarely works perfectly at include: first: There is always a defect or variable that was missed; moreover, data collection is an on- • Page speed optimization: By compressing the going process that increases deployment time. size of third-party tags, TMS tools speed page downloading by decreasing page weight. • Emerging platform challenges: New and non- cognizant 20-20 insights | november 2012
  • JavaScript-based platforms such as Adobe rors on the page and notify support team. Flash, Microsoft Silverlight and the mobile platform require tags that use proprietary • Support and services: Ongoing vendor sup- port, technical documentation and online languages. knowledge repositories.Tag Management Features Types of TMS ArchitectureWith tag management technology still nascent, While there are many features and functionalitiesit is important to ensure the selected solution across the different tag management vendors,supports key functionalities, including: there are three primary types of TMS architec- ture: client-side conditionals, server-side condi-• Complex/emerging technology compatibil- tionals and the server-to-server approach. Each ity: TMS tools should have the capability to comes with varying degrees of complexity in how support JavaScript tags, rich media applica- tags are created, loaded and executed. Which tions, Flash and mobile scripts. TMS structure works best for your organization• Vendor template support: The ability to will depend on the functionality of your site, the handle preconfigured third-party vendor tem- structure of your organization and your budget. plates and create custom templates for spe- Client-Side Conditionals cific scenarios. With client-side conditionals, the rules are deployed• Scope management: Flexibility to control de- within the JavaScript file that is downloaded from ployment of tags including domain, path, file the TMS servers to the client-side browser. This and URL query parameters. file is cached for subsequent page loads, reducing• Rule management: The ability to create, mod- the need for communication between browser ify, duplicate, activate and deactivate rules, and server. File size increases as rules are added, compare rule versions, view version history which can result in increased page weight and and create rule dependencies and conditional decreased site speed (See Figure 1.) loading. Server-Side Conditionals• Code deployment management: Ability to In this model, conditional logic is processed by support multiple deployment environments such as development, QA and production. the TMS server. Once a small JavaScript file is downloaded from the TMS server, a dynamic• Security management: Role-based access request is generated and returned to the TMS with specific, configurable functionality for dif- server. Based on the tag rules created within the ferent types of users. interface, only the necessary vendor code is then• Error management: The ability to track tag er- loaded into the browser. Subsequently, tags areClient-Side Conditionals 1. Request from browser. TMS Platform Web Page 2. Client-side tag rules are downloaded and cached in the browser for subsequent nt page loads. The initial large file can be followed by multiple smaller requests. Vendor A Vendor B Vendor C 3. Tags are executed in the browser and requests containing tracking data are sent to various vendors.Figure 1 cognizant 20-20 insights 2
  • Server-Side Conditionals 1. Request from browser. TMS Platform Web Page 2. Vendor tags are downloaded to the browser. Vendor A Vendor B Vendor C 3. Tags are executed in the browser and requests containing tracking data are sent to various vendors.Figure 2executed within the browser and data is forwarded While there are some performance advantagesto the respective vendors (See Figure 2.) to this approach, there are potential issues that should be considered. For instance, a lackServer-to-Server Approach of vendor support and issues around visitor IDIn addition to server-side conditionals, cloud cookie sharing are common with the server-to-connectivity with selected partners allows for server model. Additionally, data contained in thedata to be communicated directly between the server-side calls can be difficult to validate andTMS server and vendor servers. This reduces will not be seen using a standard browser-basedthe number of requests fired from the browser, debugging tool.where integration is an option (See Figure 3).Server-to-Server Approach Vendor X 1. Request from browser. TMS Vendor Y Platform Web Page 2. Vendor tags are downloaded Vendor Z to the browser. 3a. Tags are fired from the server for selected integrated vendors. Vendor A Vendor B Vendor C 3b. Tags are executed in the browser and requests containing tracking data are sent to various vendors.Figure 3 cognizant 20-20 insights 3
  • Pricing ModelsWhen weighing tag management vendors, it isimportant to consider the pricing model that fits Quick Takebest with your site type and amount of traffic. A Word on ContentWhile most TMS providers charge on a server call Management Systemsbasis (similar to Web analytics vendors), othercost models include per visit, per domain and by Though somewhat limited when compared with standalonethe number of vendor tag templates. tag management solutions, some content management systems (CMS) are integrated with Web analytics tools andMany tag management providers may also levy can be used to push tracking tags to the Web page. Adobeimplementation and consulting fees for proper CQ, for example, has integration with Adobe SiteCatalyst.configuration and end-user training. Make sure to Check with your CMS vendor for more information.weigh the total cost of implementation with thevendor you consider.Best PracticesAs enterprise Web sites evolve, new tags are added an intuitive user interface. It is important toand existing tags are modified on a continuous implement uniform processes for managingbasis, it is not possible to deliver 100% error-free templates, rules, deployment and users.tagging. By adhering to tag management best Page Dependenciespractices, errors can be substantially reduced. As a Web site goes into maintenance mode, siteStandard Naming Convention administrators may inadvertently alter page ele-Having an enterprise-wide standard naming ments that impact tag functionality. It is bestconvention creates the foundation for a robust practice to share page elements that have tagand intuitive TMS implementation. Large orga- dependencies to the platform team. Make sure tonizations may have multiple Web sites across implement procedures to communicate tag/pagedozens of countries in multiple languages, each interdependencies between the TMS managerwith its own unique vendor tags configuration, and IT teams.QA and development environments. Architectsand developers should create the foundation Tag, You’re Itfor a uniform TMS environment by utilizing an Tag management systems provide a welcomeenterprise standard naming convention. alternative to the inefficient processes and tagging constraints of today’s complex Web sites.For example: By providing a consolidated approach to tag<Marketing Vendor tag>-<Country>-<Partner administration, a TMS can ease the burden facedsites>-<Environment>-<Functionality name> by IT staff and assist nontechnical resources in meeting the digital measurement requirementsAn organization using SiteCatalyst and Double- of the business.Click vendor tags within the U.S. and Canada canhave rules such as: Organizations should do their due diligence“SC-US-Student Loan-QA-Apply for loan (or) in the discovery and evaluation of the variousDBL-CA-Weekly Deal-PROD-Registration” tag management vendors and implementation specialists in the market. By fully and candidlyTag Administration exploring challenges stakeholders face relatedVendor tags within a TMS are managed using to Web site code management, organizations willadministrative tools. Most solutions deploy the be in a better position to determine which TMStags within the cloud, allowing an administra- solution will best serve their needs.tor to enable, disable and archive rules using cognizant 20-20 insights 4
  • References• Tealium, “Buyers Guide to Tag Management,” by Logan Tod & Co, http://www.tealium.com/business/paper_buyers_guide.html.• Joe Stanhope, “How Tag Management Improves Web Intelligence,” Forrester report, http://www.forrester.com/How+Tag+Management+Improves+Web+Intelligence/fulltext/-/E- RES58207?objectid=RES58207.About the AuthorsBrian McGee is a Senior Manager within the Cognizant Interactive Practice, with nearly a decade ofexperience in managing digital analytics initiatives for agencies and enterprises. He specializes in AdobeSiteCatalyst, Discover and Test&Target, as well as Google Analytics. He holds a bachelor’s degree fromthe University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and an M.B.A. from Clark Atlanta University. He can bereached at Brian.Mcgee@cognizant.com.Vishwa Sharan is a Senior Manager within the Cognizant Interactive Practice. He specializes in Ensightenand Adobe SiteCatalyst. Vishwa holds a bachelor’s degree from National Institute of Technology (NIT),Jamshedpur. He can be reached at Vishwa.Sharan@cognizant.com.About Cognizant InteractiveCognizant Interactive provides innovative solutions for design, content, learning, digital marketing andanalytics worldwide. Its 2,000-plus member team of Web strategists, analytics consultants, informa-tion architects, visual artists and developers have the experience of working with 1,500-plus projectsranging from design, development, strategy and analytics. The CI Digital Marketing & Analytics Practiceoffers comprehensive digital measurement solutions that enable companies to effectively benchmarkand optimize their digital properties across the Web, social and mobile channels. We are a corporatemember of the Digital Analytics Association (DAA) and feature a 150-plus pool of on-site and offshoresubject matter experts and certified consultants. Our strategic alliances with global partners includingAdobe, IBM, Tealeaf, Ensighten and Tealium enable Cognizant Interactive to deliver world-class solutionswith zero execution gaps from strategy to implementation.About CognizantCognizant (NASDAQ: CTSH) is a leading provider of information technology, consulting, and business process out-sourcing services, dedicated to helping the world’s leading companies build stronger businesses. Headquartered inTeaneck, New Jersey (U.S.), Cognizant combines a passion for client satisfaction, technology innovation, deep industryand business process expertise, and a global, collaborative workforce that embodies the future of work. With over 50delivery centers worldwide and approximately 150,400 employees as of September 30, 2012, Cognizant is a member ofthe NASDAQ-100, the S&P 500, the Forbes Global 2000, and the Fortune 500 and is ranked among the top performingand fastest growing companies in the world. Visit us online at www.cognizant.com or follow us on Twitter: Cognizant. World Headquarters European Headquarters India Operations Headquarters 500 Frank W. Burr Blvd. 1 Kingdom Street #5/535, Old Mahabalipuram Road Teaneck, NJ 07666 USA Paddington Central Okkiyam Pettai, Thoraipakkam Phone: +1 201 801 0233 London W2 6BD Chennai, 600 096 India Fax: +1 201 801 0243 Phone: +44 (0) 20 7297 7600 Phone: +91 (0) 44 4209 6000 Toll Free: +1 888 937 3277 Fax: +44 (0) 20 7121 0102 Fax: +91 (0) 44 4209 6060 Email: inquiry@cognizant.com Email: infouk@cognizant.com Email: inquiryindia@cognizant.com©­­ Copyright 2012, Cognizant. All rights reserved. No part of this document may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, transmitted in any form or by anymeans, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the express written permission from Cognizant. The information contained herein issubject to change without notice. All other trademarks mentioned herein are the property of their respective owners.