Analytics and Advertising Services

Tag Management Systems – how they work and why you should care

Tag Management Systems – how they work and why you should care – Simo Ahava, our head of production in NetBooster Finland explains what a tag management system is, how it works, and what it can do for your business.

Learn more at and

Tag Management Systems – how they work and why you should care (transcript)

Hi, my name is Simo.

I would like to say a few words about tag management and specifically about tag management solutions, and why you should bare about them.

Let me give you an example, which you might relate to. Let’s say you have a large website that spans across a number of countries and might have a couple of websites per country, and you have a new tag that you want to install. Now, tags are these little code snippets that your marketing platforms require. They allow the browser to send data about the visitors and the visits to the platform servers. So you get this piece of code from the platform and you tell your IT guy to put that on the website. Now at this point it is very possible that neither you, as the non-developer nor the developer from IT have a single clue what the tag does. You just put it there because Google tells you to, or some other company that you are using. And at this point the thing that really hurts most is that you as a marketer, who needs the data you, are excluded from the process. It gets sucked into the “IT vortex”.

It is tested, developed, managed, all in these different environments and finally when the data is live, when the tag is live, it might days, weeks, or even months since you put the request in and this is just way to slow.

So the first thing a tag management solution does is to tackle this problem. It helps you discuss, with your developers, what the data is actually used for, using a common terminology, which is really important. It helps you, as a marketer, to understand more about the developer’s headaches, so it builds trust in both ways. And all in all it helps you focus on the right things, which is getting the data quick and not having to worry about the tool doing its job.

How does it work?

So the real meat of a tag management solution is in the technical implementation. What it actually does is that you just replace all these different pieces of code that you used to have on your website with one container snippet – one container that manages all these different tags. And after that you delegate all the management, all the deployment, and all these different platforms to the tag management system. You don’t have to worry about; your IT does not have to worry about having disparate code paths, having version control or something like that, because the tag management solutions takes care of it for you.

The good thing is that a mature tag management solution will also take care of testing, of documentation, of deployment, of management, so all you have to worry about is leveraging the latest features of the tag management solution itself. You do not have to worry about of the code is written well because the tag management solution will do all the kind of testing for you. The thing here is that even though IT is still very much involved in the process because they are the key holders, they are the masters of the website, they are the webmasters, their responsibilities are lessened, and their work is facilitated because right now one of the hardest jobs they have to do which is manage all you crazy marketers tags is now lessened because now you are in charge of that. All they have to do is give their approval, and if they understand more about the tag management solution itself the approval itself is much easier to give.

What this will mean for you?

So what this all means for you as analysts and marketers and business owners who actually need the data on a daily basis is you can now actually focus on the data itself. You can do analysis on fresh data, quality data, stuff that is being gathered right here and now in real-time, instead of waiting for a long IT process to produce that data for you. It also gives you a new way to approach your organization, a new way to communicate with different departments, with IT, and with all the other stakeholders. It helps you in your daily communication with them, which facilitates your entire operation on a larger scale.
And also it gives you a central location for all your marketing tags. The benefit of that, you probably know, is that you don’t have to figure out where everything goes and what everything does. You will have a central one group of tags that helps you understand what your visitors do, and what they do during their visits.

Now obviously this has been a very “scratching the surface” kind of session so if you want to learn more, just don’t hesitate to contact us. We are always happy to talk about things like this with you.

Need help with Google Tag Manager?