Congratulations. You’ve rolled out a tag management solution (TMS) on your website – no small undertaking. The weight of all those pixels has been lifted. No more scrambling to get IT or your web agency to implement a tag. No more email back-and-forth tweaking tags and configurations. No more latency as tags proliferate and drag down page load times.
A recent E-Consultancy survey of marketers indicated that of those who have rolled out a TMS, 81% agree that marketing agility is improved, with a majority of marketers tagging more frequently. Evidently, a lot of tagging they would have liked to do pre-TMS never got done simply because of the hassle factor. Now implementation costs and effort are much lower – enabling a flood of usage. The same report showed that the vast majority of marketers – 86% – agree that “the ability to control their critical online solutions without having to call on IT is a requirement for digital marketing moving forward.”
So yes, just putting it in place is a big accomplishment. But while we hate to rain on your TMS parade, the fact is that aside from eliminating those tag coordination hassles – you’re probably not really doing anything new. That’s a shame, because a TMS can be a great marketing enabler – and with a little advance planning, your roll-out can do a lot more than you think.
We encourage organizations considering a TMS to take a step back, do some strategic planning, and really assess what you are hoping to accomplish. Consider what sorts of data would be useful in advance, even if you don’t intend to use it right away.
Here are just three ideas for making your TMS work harder for you.
Go ahead, experiment
Let’s say you’re a large clothing retailer and have always pursued the usual product retargeting strategy. With a TMS, the barriers for experimentation are lowered, and your retargeting possibilities widen. Why not try out new strategies or promos? Perhaps you’re collecting brand information and want to retarget users based on the brands they like to buy. Or maybe you’ve always wanted to run a special promo for consumers interested in a particular collection. Or you’ve released a new style guide article on your fashion blog that’s going viral – and you want to retarget those users with a fast offer.
Another way to experiment using your TMS is to create custom retargeting audiences and measure how they perform against existing creative. Or, if that audience proves responsive enough, even develop a unique personalization strategy for that audience to really drive performance.
Look for correlations
The traditional use of conversion tags is to measure a “success event.” But TMS enable a broader use that allows for measurement of “milestone events” as well – sometimes revealing unexpected or valuable correlations.
A great example came to us from Ford. They typically launched independent campaigns for each car model – often simultaneously. After implementing a TMS, they were conducting a routine analysis to determine whether their model-specific campaign was generating test drives and stumbled upon an unexpected finding. Model-specific campaigns were causing significant ripple effects on other models.
The team used tags to examine this relationship – looking at which ads drove interest in which other models. They could even put a dollar figure on this correlation. For example, for every campaign dollar spent on a Ford Edge campaign, Ford could assess the average dollar value to sales of other vehicles. These analyses allowed them to recalibrate their campaign schedule to maximize spillover benefits and minimize redundancy.
TMS’ allow you to learn something new about your campaign. Did a new question pop into your head mid-campaign? Use the TMS and measure it. Have a hypothesis that you want to prove? Create a conversion tag, plug it into your TMS and test it out. With a tag management solution, you can act quickly to take advantage of virtually any trend, idea or opportunity.
Play with bidding strategies
Let’s say you’re using a DSP like Turn or AppNexus. You’re buying retargeted eyeballs on the exchange, and you’ve laid out your DSP’s retargeting pixel across your entire product line. In the beginning of your campaign, you need just one DSP retargeting pixel because you have a single bidding strategy to serve all products as you try to drive up Return on Ad Spend (ROAS).
However, after some time, analysis reveals that retargeting certain popular products elicits stronger responses from your audience – higher clickthru or conversion rate is higher. You decide you want your DSP to layer a different retargeting pixel on those products so you can assign a more aggressive bidding strategy when those products are being retargeted.
This entire task is a no-brainer with a TMS, which lets you layer and experiment with different bidding strategies and fine tune your segmentation to deliver more bang for your media buck.
More than speed
Faster campaign tag rollout is indeed a huge benefit of using a TMS. But there are other, more strategic benefits and capabilities that often get overlooked. Start seeing your TMS as a way to not only implement more tags faster, but also to use tags in new and creative ways.
So go ahead, tag your heart out (the IT team won’t bat an eye.)