Nearly every industry is facing more competition and heightened customer demands, making data the new competitive advantage. However, data is only valuable when it’s accurate and actionable. A tag management system allows companies to track customer actions across the online journey and use the information to build user profiles and personalize the experience.
We often see companies underestimate the importance of tagging, especially when launching a new site. In this article, we’ll dive into how a tag management system works, use cases, and aligning your solution with business KPIs.
What is a tag management system?
A free analytics solution, such as Google Analytics, can provide basic website data, including page views, bounce rate, and average time on page. A tag management system (TMS) offers deeper on-page insights to help companies understand how customers flow through the online journey.
A tag is a piece of code integrated into a website or app and collects unique user data based on predetermined triggers. Triggers can be any actionable event on a page, such as add to cart, checkout funnel exits, or signup forms. The TMS tracks the triggers on the website and presents the data in an analytics solution.
It’s important to note that many TMS solutions have capabilities to help with data privacy. However, it is ultimately up to the company to ensure they do not track customer data outside of privacy standards like GDPR. Some ways you can securely manage tags are limiting access and permissions in the TMS, implementing data governance best practices, and regularly auditing tags,
Download Blue Acorn iCi’s “Amplify the Customer Experience with Analytics” white paper to learn how you can use analytics to enhance the entire customer journey.
Advancing the Tag Management System with a Data Layer
The data layer is a repository of data, such as user and product IDs, transaction information, and promotions, that the TMS uses for tags and triggers. This provides advanced tracking, but the data layer requires developers to deploy it. In Google Tag Manager, the Data Layer is called Enhanced Ecommerce. By creating a data layer, you have insight into the end-to-end customer experience from which products a visitor viewed to how much they spent on their purchase.
These advanced capabilities may come standard in more advanced analytics solutions, such as Adobe Analytics. The Adobe Analytics tag manager, also known as Adobe Launch, allows companies to unify their marketing technology ecosystem and capture and use data from both Adobe and third-party applications.
Common Tag Management System Use Cases:
- Shopper Behavior: Get insight into online shopping behavior such as product page views, adding and removing items from the shopping cart, abandoned carts, and completed transactions. This type of data identifies opportunities for optimization across the customer journey.
- Product Performance: By tracking product performance, you’ll capture conversion rates, revenue generated per product, average order value, and add to cart rate. As we continue to face global supply chain issues, being able to predict product trends and stock needs will be vital to keeping up with customer demand.
- Digital Marketing Efforts: Measuring marketing efforts, such as affiliate programs and coupons, allows you to pivot and optimize campaigns.
Aligning Your Tag Management System with KPIs
Once you implement your tag manager, you’ll need to create a tagging plan that aligns with the company’s KPIs and initiatives. For example, if you want to track the performance of the checkout journey, you’ll need to measure every relevant event in the flow. Keep in mind that in most cases, you cannot collect historical data before a tag is put in place. This is why it’s critical to identify all of the events needed to track your metrics upfront.
A tag management strategy will evolve over time as company objectives shift. To maintain and optimize your TMS, regularly audit your tags to ensure accurate data collection and adjust tags when the website changes, such as new features.
As we enter a cookieless world, nearly every industry will be competing for first-party customer data. If you need help uncovering deeper customer insights with a tag management system, reach out to our team to see how we can help.