1. How does the release of Google Tag Manager affect the future of TagMan and other TMS systems?
The Tag Management sector has grown exponentially over the past couple years, both in terms of solutions available in the market and the demand for such services from companies of all sizes. Google Tag Manager is one more indication of this growth and validates the need for tag management. Like other sectors with such growth, such as ad networks or web analytics 10-15 years ago, smaller companies without a differentiated offering or large customer base will not be able to keep up with the pace of innovation and start to fade away. However, when a large player such as Google enters a market such as this, those leaders in the sector with a strong, differentiated offering become even stronger as it reinforces the value of the offering and encourages even more companies to find a tag management solution that best fits their needs. We believe TagMan, being the largest, most proven and robust technology, is well positioned to gain even more momentum as companies become increasingly aware of the benefits enterprise tag management can bring with this release.
2. Who will most likely use Google Tag Manager vs another system like TagMan?
For companies who wish to invest solely in the Google stack, Google Tag Manager lets them test out the benefits a tag management system will bring. We find that many Google Analytics clients also wish to use technologies not sourced from Google, and it’s those businesses that would likely want an independent tag management system that works seamlessly across all technologies, such as TagMan does. In the same way that larger clients who use Google Analytics usually invest in an enterprise version of an analytics provider when they need enhanced capabilities and large scale data management, we’re likely to see these same clients requiring a more sophisticated Tag Management System that offers greater customization options.
3. Should companies ideally be using an independent tag management system?
Yes. Independent tag management companies work with all vendors to support their technologies to the fullest. Also, an independent tag management system ensures that it will be built with full support of any type of technology in mind, enabling freedom of choice for the client – which is a major reason to have a tag management system in the first place. In addition with an independent tag management system the data belongs to the client, rather than the tag management provider. As an independent tag management system, TagMan works across the entire ecosystem to support clients’ needs and can act as an unbiased advisor to clients on tagging issues, data, and media performance. Advertisers should also prefer a system that is not also getting a lion’s share of their media spend. Google has a near monopoly in search and a leading position in display, making them an inherently biased source of marketing data and tag support.
As discussed on the TagMan blog, other players also see the danger of not using an independent tag management system as well:
“You are simply letting the fox watch the hen-house. As a customer, you remove any opportunity to maintain control of the value that you receive from the various solutions. You set yourself up to be trapped again.”
-Alex Yoder, CEO, Webtrends
4. What does this release mean for other TMS vendors?
It validates the market, just as Google Analytics helped validate the web analytics market while Omniture continued to thrive as an enterprise solution. We believe tag management systems will become a “must-have” for enterprise marketers and Google’s investment in this space only reinforces that. For non-enterprise, long-tail advertisers, Google’s TMS will be a starter product. Companies that focus on low-cost, basic offerings will likely be the most affected by that. However, many businesses will require a true enterprise TMS and it’s those marketers that will look towards companies like TagMan to provide an independent and universal solution.
- Integrations with over 300 tags, and 100 partners certified. Each tag has been fully tested by our team to ensure safe, asynchronous loading and integrated into the platform. Certified tags additionally ensure that we always have the most up-to-date versions from vendors for your convenience.
- Support for any type of tag. Even complex MVT testing and site personalization tags can run safely through the TagMan system, while other tags remain asynchronous.
- Real-time attribution. Make real-time decisions on which tags should fire based on a user’s marketing history. Reduce discrepancies and increase ROI through de-duplication of cross-channel media.
- A graphic tag library and user interface. We’ve focused on usability and design in our newest user interface so that our clients find their workflows easy and intuitive.
- Support and Services. We have global teams for implementation, account management, and technical support. When there’s a problem, you will be able to reach someone to help you resolve it.
- SLAs. We can guarantee 99.99% uptime and under 100ms response time. We’ve never broken these guarantees, but you won’t pay if we do.
- Clean data, marketing insight, and proven ROI. We can provide you with a complete, accurate, and unbiased source of cross-channel marketing activity. We help you understand it through visual reports, and what-if analysis. And we make it portable, so you can feed it into other systems for deeper analysis, offline CRM mapping, and updated bid optimization.
One Final Point… The True Cost of Free
Free sounds great, we all would rather have things for free than pay for them, right? But what if you were sacrificing flexibility and quality for free? For something as important as a foundational technology that powers your ability to optimize, market, and protect the performance of your online business, what is the true cost of free and total cost of ownership?
According to Forrester’s “Understanding Tag Management Tools and Technology”:
- 36% of companies listed page load performance as a top challenge
- 32% listed the technical skills required to manage tags as a challenge
- 28% of users said that that one of their top three benefits of a tag management system is improved flexibility to evaluate and adopt new vendors
- The top two things companies look for in a TMS is ease of use (62%) and ease of implementation and ongoing management (50%)
Without a system that can fully test, support, and asynchronously serve any tag a client wishes to implement, you’ve lost many of the true benefits of tag management by chasing something that’s free but unmanageable for the majority of use cases.
Putting it all together
- Free isn’t a benefit if it doesn’t solve your major challenges or help drive your business
- Quality, service, and flexibility are key
- Don’t settle for less than what you need to thrive, at any cost
- The opportunity costs and total cost of ownership add up quickly
- Free isn’t really free