A few days ago Google announced a "tag management" tool. For those who may wonder at the meaning of this esoteric term, it can be illustrated as follows:
Tag creation and placement has become complex and time consuming. Expertise in tagging is not common. Continuing audits of tagging is recommended but less frequent than it should be.
Hence, the field of tag management. Several companies including Tealium, Ensighten, and TagMan have emerged to meet the market need.
Now, Google has taken notice, as noted above.
When Google came out with Google Analytics, it made web analytics almost a household name among marketers. While targeted mostly at smaller businesses, the offering was good enough for many and created a much larger ecosphere for analytics generally. Since that time Google has only improved its analytics offering and has added a premium version targeted at the enterprise. This has driven the digital analytics market to expand into more and more sophisticated territory: in brief, toward more universal measurement of data that Google at this point does not see fit to offer for free.
Google's tag management solution promises to do the same for tagging. It is likely to provide a tool for managing Google Analytics tags in the small-to-medium-sized market, while giving the field of tag management the higher profile it deserves.
It may also drive changes in the tag management space, much as it has in the older and more established web analytics industry. Web analytics companies are focusing on more integrated measurement offerings. Some new entrants are pulling data from non-web-based sources and combining online and offline data into common dashboards.
Much of this is in response to customers requesting better decision-making tools. But part of it is because Google has done much to take away the traditional footprint of the digital analytics market.
Tag management tools now become much more motivated to innovate: going where free tools won't. It is a familiar pattern, and digital marketers are sure to benefit.
Andrew Edwards is CEO at Technology Leaders, a web analytics consulting company he founded in 2002, and Managing Partner at Efectyv Marketing. He is also a founding member of the Web Analytics Association.
At Technology Leaders, Andrew created the firm's web analytics practice and has been involved in rolling out this service to hundreds of different customers worldwide. Technology Leaders provides web analytics and web site user-tracking expertise to leading organizations throughout North America and the world. The firm specializes in providing both business and technical skills to serve the complex digital marketing needs of its customers.
Andrew speaks and writes regularly about the latest trends in digital marketing and web analytics. He's the creator of the "e5o" virtuous digital marketing cycle as well as the "4x5 conversion cube" that compartmentalizes the approach to conversion for different site types in different stages of the customer lifecycle.
Andrew is an award-winning, nationally exhibited painter and his work is in numerous private collections.
June 5, 2013
1:00pm ET / 10:00am PT