In Part 1 of this two-part interview, Stéphane Hamel discussed tag management from the perspective of web analytics and implementation. This week he looks into the future and discusses where tag management might be headed.
Q: What’s the future of tag management?
A: Maybe it’s making it even easier for marketers. In my dreams, making it possible to drag and drop pieces of the puzzle. A visual tagger, maybe, that hides all the complexity of the actual code behind it.
Q: Is there a learning curve when you implement tag management?
A: Yes, like anything else there’s a lot of change management. If the culture of the organization was marketing had to go through IT to change tags, and suddenly marketing can manage the tags themselves, that’s shifting from one place to another. There needs to be some buy-in, some commitment and probably some training also. What I like to do is map a responsibility matrix: who’s responsible, who’s accountable. When you map that for an organization you find no one is actually responsible for tag management. Even if you put tag management in place you need skill sets, someone who knows the intricacies of tagging.
Q: With all these complexities, where’s the benefit, the rainbow?
A: Some people think tag management is going to be a magic solution. It is a good solution, but it’s not magic. Like anything else, it requires effort and commitment. The learning curve, the pain or difficulty you have to go through initially don’t compare to the benefits you’re going to get in the long run. You could go from manual tag management to full deployment in a timeframe of maybe three months. Then you get the benefits, the flexibility, the assurance and higher confidence in the data you’re collecting. You’ll have auditing you never had before.
Google Analytics just introduced track social, we could imagine of Omniture releasing a new version of their library and new features. Now it becomes a lot easier to leverage those new features and still have confidence in your tags.
Q: Can you offer one piece of advice for someone considering tag management?
A: I would start by doing homework and mapping the responsibility matrix. Just doing that may require some political skills. Formalize who is responsible. Is it sitting in the right seat, or should it shift to someone else? Then you can get buy-in from managers that this was sitting in it before, but now we can give some responsibility to marketers.