Marketers believe Tag Management Systems (TMS) have great value as an effective interface for the collection, refinement, and distribution of digital visitor data to digital marketing vendor technologies, according a Forrester Consulting Thought Leadership study, “The Evolution of Tag Management,” which was commissioned by Tealium.
“We are witnessing the emergence of the digital data distribution platform,” the study says.
To gauge marketers’ current perspectives on tag management systems, Forrester Consulting conducted an online survey of 142 digital marketing decision-makers who are familiar with tag management and are responsible for digital marketing budgets, strategy, and/or supplier selection.
The study revealed that the majority of respondents have evolved beyond thinking of a TMS as simply a way of managing tags to viewing them as a method to distribute refined digital data captured at the point of customer interaction to a multitude of digital marketing vendors.
“To get better visibility of their customers across channels, marketers are taking the reins from IT and are now the majority stakeholders of customer data integration project,” the study says.
Here are four key takeaways from Forrester’s study:
Tag management is much more than the management of client-side tags. Marketers see its greater value as an effective interface for the collection, refinement, and distribution of digital visitor data to digital marketing vendor technologies.
The vast majority of firms (96%) have digital data integration challenges. They believe that resolving these challenges will help them better understand their customer journeys and improve the customer experience, ultimately leading to improved customer acquisition and retention. Marketers are not holding back and are leading their IT colleagues in tackling customer data integration challenges.
Marketers are starting to use their Tag Management Systems to help them with their integration projects and gain clearer visibility of customers as they journey across channels. Tag Management Systems are viewed as clean sources of data from across digital touch points, helping marketers overcome data quality issues which had previously inhibited data integration.
Marketers will expand their investments in tag management. The ROI of the digital data distribution capabilities of a TMS is driving this growth.
What’s more, here are some key recommendations for marketers offered in the study:
Remember that not all Tag Management Systems are created equal. Digital data distribution platforms need to do more than distribute digital data. Distributing digital data to the appropriate marketing systems is the end of a process. Before this, digital data needs to be discovered by the system and then defined in a form consumable by the destination system before distribution. If you are looking for a digital data distribution platform, make sure you have all 3 Ds: discovery, definition, and distribution.
Make tag management a key part of your data integration strategy. Don’t let the “tag management” name fool you. Tag management’s digital distribution capabilities make it a critical component of customer data integration strategies.
Keep traditional tag management benefits in mind. Yes, tag management systems do more than just tag management; however, the value in managing the deployment of tags across pages and domains remains clear. Tag management systems do put the management of marketing tags, and therefore digital campaigns, in the hands of marketers and enable them to be much more responsive to the changing needs of the business and its customers. These benefits alone provide ample justification for the investment in tag management systems.
Keep IT involved. So you don’t need IT anymore because you have a tag management system? Wrong! Yes, tag management puts the management of day-to-day digital campaigns in the hands of the marketer; although the number of technical dependencies is fewer, some still remain. These include tag audits and system deployment at its inception, implementation of custom tags—of which there will be many—and the deployment of tags to new pages, domains, and channels.