Tag Management – A Feature With a Future #eMetrics

Tag Management – A Feature With a Future #eMetrics

28th November 2012

The first session of day two at the eMetrics Summit in London 2012 and we have a panel of three very interesting speakers who are looking at one of the latest features Analytics, Tag Management. This is definitely a feature that has a future.

The panelists are:

Daniel Wilson, Managing Director at Stubble & Glasses
Deirdre McGlashan, Head of Digital Global Clients at Aegis Media
Simon Smith, Head of Data and Analytics at News International
Adrian Maguire, General Manager: Web Analytics at TUI UK Ltd

In this session, the panel talk about their own personal experiences of improving website performance, testing efficiency and data integration.

Let’s start with a photo of all the panelists:


Where should you start when implementing a tag management system?

Daniel – You should always start by asking yourself the following questions and getting the answers before you begin implementing. 

  1. What are your goals?
  2. What problems are you trying to fix?

People often expect tag management to fix all their problems with just one line of code but there is work to be done before this can work for you. Analytics tags have some low flexibility and they can slow down your pages so you need to make sure you have everything planned out to make them work as effectively as possible for you.

What is best practice for managing change management

Deirdre – Think about the work flow within an organisation before you start implementing  a tag management system. You need to get all the stakeholders involved to ensure a smooth process when it comes to implementation.

How long have you been using tag management?

Adrian – TUI UK Ltd have been using tag management for around six months now.

Simon – News International implemented tag management over 18 months ago.

What was your biggest stumbling block?

Adrian – Initial deployment but more in the context of the communication path and getting buy in from the IT department. They needed to make sure that it was implemented right in the first instance, get it wrong and need to do it again, you will not have your IT department on your side.

Should you implement tag management in-house or outsource it?

Simon – Implementation and management is really all about testing and as long as you can do that, the whole process can be done quickly

Deirdre- For the majority of her clients, they split the resource for implementation 50/50 using internal and external resources.

Adrian – You have your standard deployment of marketing tags it is quite simple but if you want to customise the code, it would be best to utilise the tag management tool as they have their specialism.

Daniel – You should use external if you don’t have the skills in house or don’t have the time to do it

Best advice for anyone starting in a tag management role

Adrian – Do your du-diligence, you need to validate numbers. Spend the time up front and put in investment to future proof

Deirdre – Make sure your media agency have access to it so they can do more work with it to drive better campaigns

Daniel – Think about the work flows, tech departments are worried about making changes without testing things so you need to get this done before you start

Simon – Benefit is about moving quickly and experiment but you can come to a halt if you don’t test. Simon has a team spend two weeks doing all the testing before so now if they need to implement anything, the process is much simpler.

General Observations

Only one person in the audience was already using a tag management system within their organisation, which was very surprising. However, all the audience bar one are looking to implement a tag management system in the near future but this takes a lot of time and resource which is often the biggest constraint.


Written By
Samantha Noble is the founder of Biddable Moments and a former editor and contributor to State of Digital.
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