So your organization has made the decision to pursue digital analytics. You’ve managed to get the buy-in you need from the decision makers and now you have plans to measure everything under the sun, from billboards, to pay-per-click campaigns, to social media. You’ve created scope documents and measurement plans until your fingers bled. To quote one of my favorite movies, Independence Day, now it’s time for “the really icky part”: deployment.

Let's Rewind a Bit…

If you’re familiar with deploying web analytics tracking on your site and your campaigns, you are surely aware of the time and effort that may be involved. For the less technically-inclined, it’s easy to get lost in all of the Javascript, URL tags, and parameters. Luckily, there are some powerful (and free) tag management tools out there to help streamline this process as well as improve the load time of your website. These platforms provide a single place to manage, change, and deploy all of your tags, regardless of their source. With this in mind, you should consider developing a strategy for tag management for your measurement initiative.

Creating a Tag Management Strategy

After you have established what you will measure by aligning business goals and objectives with the right KPIs in your measurement plan, it’s time to get the how in place. This starts with getting the right people in a room (or conference call) together. The IT personnel and webmasters should be present, as well as any marketing and advertising partners that will be involved with any of the initiatives that are to be measured. During this meeting, establish any technical requirements or limitations that may exist when it comes to analytics deployment. It is imperative to identify any constraints at this stage, as any roadblocks may require additional planning and maneuvering.

After you’ve gathered sufficient information, it’s time to take a look at potential tag management solutions. It is important to understand the great deal of time that can be saved when using tag management solutions. It provides a single place where you can manage tracking scripts and tags and only requires a single script to be placed on the website to be tracked. This is ideal when you have large quantities of tags to spread across a site.

There are a handful of excellent platforms out there that offer a great deal of flexibility for multiple analytics and measurement tools. Google recently announced their own free solution, Google Tag Manager. This platform has clearly been designed with Google Analytics in mind; however it offers great flexibility when it comes to using it to deploy scripts for other solutions as well.

If you’re not a fan of Google, there are other tag management solutions out there. UberTags is a powerful paid solution that allows for 3rd party scripts.

Less Time, Less Headaches

Large amounts of time and effort go into preparing tactics for measurement of campaigns. Implementation of tracking scripts can take up even more time than the planning – but it doesn’t have to. Identifying the right tools to help reduce deployment time can spare your organization unnecessary headaches and create efficiencies that lead to saving more money.
Be sure to share any questions or experiences you have had about tag management in the comments below!

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