The Evolution of Tag Management

Allison Howen
by Allison Howen 12 Jul, 2013

A majority of marketers now see a greater value in using tag management for collecting and exchanging data between visitors and digital marketing vendors, according to a new Forrester Consulting study.

July 2013's Evolution of Tag Management study, which was commissioned by Tealium, reveals that 94 percent of respondents see digital data integration as the next step in the evolution of tag management. Plus, they view tag management as an important solution for customer data integration challenges, because when these challenges are solved brands can better understand the customer sales cycle and in turn can create more effective customer acquisition and retention programs. Because of this perception, the study has forecasted that marketers will increase their tag management budget by 35 percent this year.

The study, which interviewed 142 digital marketing decision makers, states, "Marketers are starting to use their TMSes (tag management systems) to help them with their data integration projects and gain clearer visibility of customers as they journey across channels. TMSes are viewed as clean sources of data from across digital touchpoints, helping marketers overcome data quality issues which had previously inhibited data integration."

Other noteworthy findings show that 65 percent of marketers view tags as a strategic solution for managing the exchange of valuable data between site visitors and vendors. Moreover, 96 percent of marketers say that they currently have customer data integration challenges, with the top three challenges being a lack of IT resources, data quality and cost.

"The results of this study reinforce the challenge that most organizations have in trying to integrate and leverage their digital data to help improve marketing," said Ali Behnam, president and co-founder at Tealium. "We are excited to see that tag management is evolving into an even more strategic role within digital marketing. We certainly see this trend reflected among our many customers, and are proud to be innovating in this area with solutions like Tealium DataCloud."

The study also states that tag management has evolved beyond its label since its digital distribution capabilities make it a valuable part of customer data integration strategies. Tags, which are snippets of codes that most third-party digital marketing vendors require users to embed on their websites, span a wide number of categories, including retargeting and display advertising, Web analytics and even social media. Lastly, the Forrester report reminds marketers to research tag management systems before committing, as these platforms should be effective in three areas, including defining data, making data discoverable and distributing data to key platforms and technologies.