An Overview of Tag Management Systems
I Already Have a Tag Management System: Why do I Need a Customer Data Platform?
Digital marketers use tiny pixel images called tags, which are often combined with snippets of code, to measure and guide how consumers engage with websites, mobile apps, online ads, connected devices, and other digital properties.
When a user visits a website, for example, tags can trigger technology that captures information such as location, products or pages viewed, white paper downloads, etc. Tags can also trigger technology that helps a user get closer to a purchase decision — such as live chat windows and surveys, product recommendations, and relevant advertising — at opportune times.
Most marketers have adopted tag management systems (TMS) to facilitate the use of tags, which can get complicated when deploying multiple martech solutions. While there are several tools available in the TMS universe, Adobe Launch is free to customers and Google offers Google Tag Manager for free, as well.
Using a TMS, marketers can:
- Quickly deploy and test digital marketing tactics
- Eliminate dependency on web developers
- Improve website performance
Because deploying code inside a TMS is easy, these systems are often used to perform data synchronization and sharing across tags. However, depending only on a TMS gives marketers a limited view of the customer journey. For companies that communicate with prospects and customers via offline channels, such as retail stores, direct mail campaigns, telemarketing, and events — and for companies that want information about online behavior that’s linked to specific individuals and accounts and can be stored indefinitely for historical comparison — a customer data platform (CDP) can be a valuable complement to a TMS.
4 Key Reasons to Integrate a Customer Data Platform to Your Tag Management System
Data Unification at Scale
Data unification at enterprise scale requires incredible processing power, and the flexibility to handle different sources of data coming from offline systems. An enterprise customer data platform (CDP) can unify disparate sources of online consumer data and provide a clearer picture of individual customer journeys.
A TMS by itself might be fine for marketers who don’t need to link online data to other backend systems, such as those designed for CRM or inventory. With the right enterprise CDP, you can link all your systems together for a holistic view of each prospect and customer.
Powerful Data Analytics
With all first-party data centralized in a CDP, marketers can enjoy a single source for the application of data analytics. And with a powerful CDP in place, online data can be coordinated with other backend systems for insights that are highly specific.
Let’s say a person visits an eCommerce website, puts a few items in her shopping cart, and then leaves the site without making a purchase. With a TMS, marketing can offer that person a discount or other special offer if and when she returns to the site. With a TMS combined with a CDP however, marketing can leverage both online and offline data to send a personalized offer to the consumer via email, reminding her about her shopping cart items well before she decides to visit the site again.
In real time, an enterprise CDP can show marketers what web pages specific prospects and customers are going to, what content they’re downloading, what ads they’re clicking on, which emails they’re responding to, what purchases they’re making with a mobile app, etc. — for a true omnichannel view of every customer.
A CDP can also identify specific individuals from the same account. If prospects from a single organization are looking at the same web page or downloading the same content, for example, a marketer can serve up that information on the home page or make additional content recommendations to specific individuals.
Infinite Data Storage
With a CDP, infinite amounts of data can be collected, stored, and analyzed, which can become extremely valuable for revealing trends over time. At Treasure Data, one of our largest enterprise CDP customers generates 600 billion rows of data every month.
What’s more, a CDP can house data from offline and third-party sources, too, providing even greater context around customer behavior and intent. With comprehensive customer profiles, marketers can provide more timely and relevant user experiences across channels.
Data Dashboard Convenience
A CDP can make all this data available in a single marketing dashboard, so marketers can make better decisions and improve campaigns on the fly.
A Customer Data Platform/Tag Management System Use Case
One global information provider and advisor to the energy industry is using the Treasure Data enterprise CDP with Google Tag Manager to track users on multiple websites related to publishing, consulting, events, research, and more. The goal is to build accurate customer journeys, merge multiple websites into one, and increase revenue by capturing more lifetime value from each customer.
By integrating our CDP with Hart Energy’s TMS via specific Treasure Data tags, the energy company is able to better understand who’s visiting its different sites, what visitors are doing on each one, and which content is the most popular.
Because Hart Energy now has access to granular online data in real time, the digital operations team can identify individual visitors looking at specific articles, versus just having an aggregate understanding of the number of people visiting a particular site. What’s more, the CDP can supplement the online, first-party data with personal information and behavior data from other channels.
Not All Tag Management Systems Are Created Equal
Some TMS companies offer a TMS/CDP combo, but these can be limiting. Often these add-on CDPs don’t have the data retention or analytical capabilities that an enterprise CDP like Treasure Data has, and they often only focus on online data.
The vast majority of Treasure Data CDP clients use Google Tag Manager or Launch by Adobe. We already have web and mobile SDKs for these platforms, so integration with the Treasure Data enterprise CDP is fast and easy.
To learn more about how the right enterprise CDP can enhance your marketing efforts in combination with your TMS, request a demo or call us at 866-899-5386.