Look Ma No Developers - Using Tag Management Without Being Technical

Hussain and I go back nearly a decade when he was first starting his analytics consulting practice, Marketlytics.  Since that time Hussain team and company have grown and he is our go to analytics partner at StatBid.


Hussain Mehmood:    Hey, folks. My name is Hussain Mehmood. I run a consultancy called MarketLytics. We help clients figure out how to use data and Google Analytics and Tag Manager to implement stuff, and we've been doing that for about eight years now. 
                    The topic that I wanted to talk about today is, how do you effectively leverage things like Tag Manager without being technical and without having to constantly rely on your developers. This is a topic that's come up quite often because the promise of Tag Manager is that you can use it without developers. 
                    So today I'm just going to talk about briefly what Tag Manager is and how you could effectively plan to use it for your benefit. Tag Manager is effectively a container for your tags. It helps you manage your tags in a way that you can implement the tracking ones and then reuse it across different things. It is really useful if you have multiple vendors that are all gonna ... consuming same data. We'll talk a bit more about that.
                    The reason it is very useful is, if you have multiple vendors, or if you're trying to test different types of platforms, or if you're expecting to have a lot of new market windows come up, this makes it very easy to implement all of those things and not have to constantly bug your developers.
                    The reason it can work so well is that fundamentally the data that you have on your website, especially on a e-commerce store, is fairly similar across the board. All different marking windows require the same data but with a different name. You have things like prices, the name of the products, and so forth. Facebook right here [inaudible 00:01:54] have used the same thing by just calling it with a different name.
                    The reason we try to look at it this way is, for our projects we build a data map, and that data map basically allows us to see what is the information that becomes available and how we should organize it for different types of vendors. Really, with the data map, what you're looking at is, as person goes down through the funnel, the amount of information available about them and about things that they're looking at increases, and you start to organize that, and then you have a very clear picture of what information could you use for different types of marketing initiatives.
                    This of course is a bit of work, because you have to first plan and figure out what information's available and then how do you want to use it across the board. But the benefit is that this cost is front loaded because you're planning for it and you have a time that you've outlined to accomplish this. So it makes it easy to start and plan and really take your time to implement what you really want to do. You have the [inaudible 00:03:09], what analytics platforms are you going to use, what are the different market platforms that you're going to be using, and what are some initiatives six, twelve months down the line that you have to plan for, and then build out this structure.
                    Once you've planned that stuff, the next step is to actually look in your developers and give them some information around what needs to happen. We tried to simplify this, so we get all the information that we need in one place, what needs to be removed, what needs to be added, and the status of things as we queue our stuff [inaudible 00:03:43]. So it makes the developers' jobs easy and they're generally going to love this.
                    Once that gets done, we queue it and we verify it and then we get into configuring the stuff that is needed. But at the same time, we are also starting to document what needs to happen, so someone new that's coming in is able to then use that information and has a clear picture of what was the original work that went in, so they are able to reuse it instead of having to start from scratch. Documentation, I think, is one of the key things that we do, organizing everything, why we're doing it, and so forth.
                    Then we try to educate the users on how GTM works. Of course, you are able to do some of this having no knowledge of GTM, but some knowledge definitely helps [inaudible 00:04:43]. We explain what is a variable and what the value is, for example, anything that we store in Tag Manager has a name and that shows the value. Then we talk about triggers, which is another form of [inaudible 00:04:57] about which helps us use that variable or the data collected and trigger some action based on that, so if some condition is true, for example the page visited is cart, then trigger this action, or send this data [inaudible 00:05:11] or so forth. That makes it simple to reuse stuff.
                    Third step of [inaudible 00:05:17] bringing it all together with tags is, you're able to effectively trigger something, then send that data in to one of the different market platforms like Facebook, Analytics, or even use the same trigger to send data [inaudible 00:05:33] places, so that [inaudible 00:05:34] you send everything out [inaudible 00:05:37].
                    This approach is very flexible, because once you have this variable application like the data map that [inaudible 00:05:44] and then triggers and tags, you're effectively just mixing and matching the things that you need to send data into different things. So you could have a lot of new tags added automatically without having to do a lot of effort around it.
                    The key thing that you might have noticed throughout this is that you want to be able to reuse things. The reason we have this certain app is that you get data in once, you want to reduce the size of tags that you add and the amount of [inaudible 00:06:15] that you do through your backend to get data to improve speed, and you are able to recycle stuff. 
                    And then, of course, occasionally you may need to look into developers, but you should understand when is a developer needed. Generally the developer is needed if the information is completely new, if there's a transformation, so if you're converting dollars to cents or something else, that sort of thing Tag Manager can do fairly easily, so you don't need to look into developers.
                    If this all goes according to plan, then it makes it very easy to launch new things and increase your velocity with market experiment. In this particular case, this was applied to [inaudible 00:06:55] that we worked with about two years ago, and they were able to make deployed tags in two days versus sixteen days, and had no updates in the last year, even though [inaudible 00:07:04] four or five platforms with them.
                    Overall, I think this is everything we wanted to touch on, and if you have any questions, please let me know. But I think overall, if you are able to plan the process and then structure it in a way, it could be a very useful [inaudible 00:07:25]. Thank you.