9 January we saw 6 Tag Management System (TMS) vendors sharing a platform at WAW London see the full video. The vendors were represented by (in no particular order):
The vendors were given a minute to introduce themselves and their product. After that they were asked questions from the floor.
The questions were wide ranging and sometime quite to the point. I have to say that the vendors acquitted themselves very well and there was no sign of the “bun fight” that some people were expecting.
We will not be reporting verbatim as there is a video of the whole session. However, there were some points that were touched on that we would like to remark on.
While it is agreed that good tag management has elements of time saving, speed/ease of deployment and reduction of human error. There is some that would not completely agree with the claims that an increase ROI and conversion improvement is only possible when implementing tag management solutions.
This claim of increased ROI and conversions is surely is not down to tag management tools, it’s down to best practice in the data layer, tagging and the subsequent reporting and analysis. Any tagging is based on GIGO (garbage in garbage out) and if the deployment is done correctly the subsequent reporting and analysis should deliver the ROI and conversion improvements. When a tag management solution is deployed there is an opportunity to “fix” the tagging and get some real insight. But that could be done at any time without tag management gaining the same results. So TMS are only as good as the data layer they are based on and it is sometimes forgotten that there is a lot of effort required to ensure the data layer is robust and correct.
Mixed answers here. Yes, no and maybe….
In our view this has echoes of the web analytics industry 7-8 years ago: a market full of vendors, consolidation starts via mergers at the top of the market, Google enters the market with a disruptive product that accelerates that consolidation at the top end, the mid-market players struggle to differentiate and either get acquired (fire sales) or go out of business.
If history continues to repeat itself, we'll now start to see functionality competition between the "enterprise" tag management solutions and the free Google one.
An unequivocal yes! Anything that simplifies, allows access to and regulates code and tagging is a good thing. However, is having a TMS essential? Well, only you can answer that… if you do a TMS requirements analysis for your business and if the estimated savings in time, money and resource can out way the cost, implementation and support of the TMS than yes go for it!
Finally, don't forget that in using a TMS you are coupling your business to that specific vendor. If you want to change vendors ( vendor goes bust!) or stop using TMS all together then you have a major tagging migration issue.
Full video of the WAW London. (courtesy of Barry Mann)