Tag Management

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There are thousands of technologies available to today’s marketers to help them create websites that drive engagement, conversion, and revenue. As a result, websites can incorporate a staggering number of these third-party tags. But along with this comes the challenge of managing all of them - deploying them and taking them off when a campaign is over. Tag management systems were developed to address this. And while it’s easy to see why so many tag management companies have come to the forefront of late, it’s important for both marketers and the IT side of the house to understand what tag management is, what it’s good for, and what it’s limitations are.

What is Tag Management?

Tag management was developed in response to the proliferation of marketing technology. It allows for the management and implementation of these third-party technologies without ongoing IT assistance and support. It allows marketing teams to be more agile - they can quickly try new technologies and get the data they need to make better decisions. Most tag management systems also solve for the many issues that can occur with these third-party techs. These can include:


  • Code-level access - With a tag management system, a marketer often owns the contract. The tool provides access to add, delete, or edit tags so marketers do not need to ask IT to code it for them.

  • Limited firing - A tag management system can make decisions about when and when not to fire a tag - e.g. only on certain pages or after a customer has read an email message.

  • Asynchronous firing - Tag managers can help with ensuring tags fire in parallel with a page’s content, which helps with website performance.

  • Site changes - If there is a change to the site that affects the tag’s access to data, a tag manager can eliminate the need to recode the tag. A site owner just needs to make a change once within the system.

What are the limitations of tag management?

These same tags that help marketers get more data on site visitors and boost conversions can actually wreak havoc on a site if they are not being managed actively. A more complete picture is required: detailed analysis on how a tag is slowing down a page and visibility into how the tag is passing your valuable data to other third-parties. Moving beyond simple tag management to tag analytics is one way to achieve this. Ghostery MCM can help with this by allowing tag manager user to:

  • Analyze tag performance not just place tags - As an example, Ghostery MCM's Trackermap provides a color-coded latency view allowing you to see exactly how fast tags are loading. If you're trying to figure out which third party technology is slowing down website performance, all you have to do is look at the Latency Map to quickly solve the problem.

  • Uncover security holes and leaks In an age where privacy of personal information, security and governance are hot topics, IT and marketing both need to know where potential security holes and data leakage problems are. Ghostery MCM does this two ways: first, it shows you all the hidden tags, those various departments may have forgotten to delete when a campaign is over and "hidden" third party tags that you didn't know were there. Secondly, it reveals non-secure tags, or those that may be passing along sensitive information to other companies through contractual arrangement you or marketing might not have known about. Tag managers cannot provide this level of detail.

  • Assign ownership to tags for internal accountability and better data governance The high number of marketing technologies running on pages is alarming when you discover that most website managers are aware of only half of their vendors, and directly manage less than 25 percent. Ghostery MCM provides complete transparency into the third party vendors running on a site and how they are using customer data. Armed with this information, IT and marketing can come together to create a data governance program that outlines clear owners for vendors and reduces mean time to resolution.

While the breadth of marketing technologies available today necessitates a tag management system for many organizations, the ability to conduct in-depth tag analysis will continue to become as important as companies look to take their websites to the next level.

A Place For Mom Speeds Up Site And Cuts Average Tag Latency By Over 40%

Ed Nevraumont
A Place For Mom

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Questions? We have answers!


The best way to learn more about Data Governance is to connect with the Ghostery team, who can diagnose and resolve where your tags are negatively impacting your revenue. Together we can solve tag and page-related issues related to:

  • Governance
  • Performance
  • Security
  • Privacy 

We’re standing by and ready to help optimize and secure the digital experience that you offer your customers.

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