Fundamentals of tag management


Tag it! Do you remember playing that game where you tag players on the other team? Tagging the digital behaviors of your customers is no different. Tag Management Systems came to help marketers tag their customers across digital journeys. Here, we help you get acquainted with all the necessary fundamentals of a tag management system.

Did you just kickstart your new job as a marketer? Or are you super determined to initiate a data analytics culture with tag management in your organization? For either of the scenarios, you need a “fundamentals about tag management for dummies”, either for yourself or get your team sold about it.

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What Are Tags?

Who is it for? 

Share this with 

  • Freshers who are new to marketing analytics and tag management. 
  • New to exploring analytics technology or other data tracking exercises.
  • Has gone into hibernation since the dotcom era:-)

Tags are of 2 types JavaScript tags and Non-JavaScript tags also referred to as pixels. Tags help track users and their events on websites and mobile apps. They were especially created by the analytics experts for marketers to track their customer data better. They also allow IT teams to create and enrich a database. Tags are used widely for intranet applications too, apart from websites, web applications, and mobile apps.  

Once a tag database is created, a series of commands can be specified to be executed each time a new page is loaded onto the web server or intranet. Any changes made to the data layer of the website or intranet will immediately be reflected in the source code using the target application’s HTML editor. 

Every time a change is made, the source code of the page will get recompiled, and the old tag will be removed, and a new tag will get inserted at the same location. 

What is a tag container?

Over time, you may end up with multiple data tracking codes that could be sitting directly on your website. These when start loading can slow down the speed of a website. That’s when you would use a tag container. 

Types of tags

Tags differ based on who installs them. Third-party tags are installed in the website to track information by third party vendors. They are not a part of the organization. For instance, Google analytics, Facebook ads, and so on. First-party tags are hosted by the organization itself. Both these tags can be used for any of the following reasons. 

  • Gathering information for remarketing and affiliate campaigns
  • Website analytics
  • Conversion tracking
  • Enhance customer experience

Tags could be image tags and JavaScript tags. Traditionally, tags were fired from the browser which are referred to as client-side tags. But, with browser and cookie restrictions and meeting legal compliance, tags are being launched from the server. This process is called server-side tagging. Now, this is becoming more prevalent and preferred. 

What is a Tag Management System?

A tag management system (TMS) is an application developed to help manage the lifecycle of tags. Especially automate the synchrony of first-party tags and third-party tags. A TMS makes it easy to integrate scattered tags from multiple third-party applications into corporate digital real estate properties like websites and intranet content. It enables building organizational intelligence with enterprise analytics too.

With the ever-increasing usage of corporate websites and intranets, the pixel life cycle has started to get complex, with more applications being added to them regularly. 

Over time, use of tags has diversified and so did the need for a tag management system. That brings you to explore the evolution of a Tag Management System. 

How Tag Management System Evolved?

If you are a marketer, then you know tag management. If you don’t, you’ll soon have to learn about it. It is the first step to know your leads and customers. The idea about explaining the evolution of tag management is to help marketers understand the tag landscape and the transforming role of media pixels.

Marketer collaborating with IT

Writing code snippets has always been the techie’s job. And, that’s how it started for tag management too. The code makers uploaded pixels into a system that manages tags and had marketers take decisions of firing or fixing them. For IT professionals it got difficult to keep track of these tags in a way that will allow them to manage, develop, and efficiently maintain them.

But, this meant always depending on the IT team for tag management. It took away the bandwidth of both marketing and IT resources. It also impedes the speed to market requirements marketers have.

Data security and compliance

Third party vendors started publishing tags that lacked transparency. Some also went on to misuse the data that was meant to be restricted. The data leaks were going out of hand. To stop this, tag management systems started building granular control systems that could notify marketers and data security personnel. Marketers could take action with the evolved state of affairs.

However, there was another underlying current adjacent to this that was taking shape in the background. This had to do with respecting user’s data preferences and privacy. Many third-party vendors give sleepless nights to marketers over tag piggybacking  which affects the website performance. But little do the marketers know that they can detect and control this. 

Tag piggybacking has a cascading wave of problems that can arise along. It can lead to data leakages, slow load time, data loss, and non-compliance. 

User demands data privacy

GDPR. CCPA . The names kept adding to a whole new legislation of data privacy. And, this affected marketers and their customer insights. Users now demand that their data needs to be used in a certain way. Cookies policies popped up on every website. And mobile apps further scrutiny in response to digital behaviors. This required tag management systems to support server-side tagging and compliant environments for marketers to test. 

It also required tag management tools to provision with abilities to whitelist and blacklist vendors who did not meet user preferences. This is where next generation TMS like MagicPixel make this seamless.

Predictive and Intelligent Tag Manager

It is no longer about abiding by the changing customer environment. Tag management systems are now designed to remain proactive and intelligent. Using historic data about tags and user behavior across different channels, your evolved tag manager can predict tag recommendations and detect anomalies ahead of time.

It equips a marketer to be fully self-sufficient to launch tags using pre-built smart integrations with a universe of third-party vendors. It provides both production and published environments to test tags and fix them in real-time.

While this caters to fundamentals about tag management, you may also be interested in the following:

Tag Management Solution, a marketer’s eye to better understand the customers

Tag managers are getting smarter by the day to accommodate marketer’s needs. If you are curious about reviewing one for yourself, we will be happy to set up a demo for you, right away.

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