Speaker, best-selling author, columnist, digital marketing pioneer and more, Bryan Eisenberg has become something of a legend as a digital marketing pioneer, web metrics guru, and all around advocate of digital marketing best practices.
He’s also is the newest member of TagMan’s advisory board (see seperate press release). We sat down with him to discuss why he feels the tag management issue is an important one now, and what role he’ll play in moving the company forward.
Q: Why focus on this company at this time?
Bryan Eisenberg: A couple of issues. There’s several things that TagMan does is that are at the forefront of what marketers are concerned about. One of them is attribution management and the other big one is that people keep hearing they have to add robustness to their websites. “It’s just one more tag, it’s just one more tag.” People are getting tagged out, and this is a company that’s found a solution to deal with that. Getting anything changed on a website is challenging today. To get testing done you have to add these functionalities. When you have something that can eliminate one more frustration from the battle that marketing has with IT, it’s a good thing.
Q: You’re deeply involved in web metrics and you’re a founding member of the Web Analytics Association. Does that play a role in your association with TagMan?
Q: Let’s talk about attribution and why it’s so important to accomplish that task.
Eisenberg: Most people haven’t been aware of the attribution issue until really recently when Google began really talking about it, saying they were going to have their search funnel and their multichannel funnel. So people started getting the idea that it might be important. I still see very few people actually using it.
I remember we really started understanding the link between search and keywords and attribution about eight years ago. One of our clients had a very broad term that never, ever, ever converted. Ever. So he decided he was going to shut it off. The following two weeks, his sales were down 30-something percent. He realized that what had happened was earlier on people were starting to recognize his brand, then later on in the search funnel he was showing up again, and they had confidence he was showing up and knew what he was talking about.
There’s no way for him to easily credit that earlier. He didn’t have a solution.
Q: Between all the things a tag management system can do: attribution, website optimization, even do-not-track compliance, what do you feel is the most important or vital?
Eisenberg: I don’t think we can narrow it down to one. Tag acceleration makes it important. But really it’s pain points, and where the market is. The nice thing is it’s one solution that has multiple purposes. That’s very valuable, as opposed to buying three different solutions from three different companies for three different problems. I’m always a big fan of that.
Q: How aware do you think the market is of tag management as a problem? Is the market ready for this solution, or is it a year too early?
Eisenberg: This is one place where I think the U.S. lags behind the rest of the world. In Europe there’s been a lot more discussion about tags and cookies, privacy laws in general. People here haven’t been made as aware of it, plus there’s a lot more people in this market. It’s not mainstream, but it certainly will become so. One thing I’ve definitely learned is the second Google starts focusing on something and rings the bell, the more people actually catch on to it. They just did multichannel funnels, I think that’s going to help educate marketers. They’ll learn very basic stuff and they’ll want more.
Q: Talk a little about how you hope to personally contribute to TagMan.
Eisenberg: One of my main goals is the same goal I’ve had since Day 1: helping marketers become more efficient at their marketing efforts. Part of that is through education. One of the first things I started discussing with TagMan was showing them interesting research studies we should be taking a look at. We need to learn what marketers are talking about and what they’re interested in, and if we have to bring them in via their own interests, we’ll do that. We’ve seen that in some of the research that’s been coming out the past couple of weeks, such as the one on social plug-ins and another on Internet retailers and page speed.
Q: Is there anything you’d like to add to what we’ve discussed?
Eisenberg: For the most part, lots of American companies have trouble accepting companies from abroad as leaders. Apart from a couple of Israeli companies, like ICQ, U.S. marketers have not been accepting of international companies. A lot of them are innovating far beyond what we’re doing here in the States. Some issues have occurred there before they occurred here, like page management issues. TagMan has a track record, they’ve worked with big companies in the U.K. This isn’t something you just piece together.