Do you really need a tag manager?

So you might be wondering, hey – it’s 2020, do I really need to use a tag manager? It makes sense that modern eCommerce platforms like Demandware or blogging platforms like WordPress would have great tag managers built in, but the reality is – that’s not the case.

Like most things in life, you can do one thing really well or ten things, eh, not so well. The same is true with some of the most well-known platforms for building robust, highly-available websites.

Tag managers are actually more critical now than they’ve ever been given the incredible amount of third-party solutions that are now available to do just about anything on your website. From Enterprise personalization platforms like Certona and Rich Relevance, to popular AI-based fit and sizing solutions like Bold Metrics, a tag manager makes sure everything works together in harmony.

While most third-party solutions will run seamlessly on your site, they do add up and if you run into a problem, trying to figure out who’s causing it and why can be a complex job even for your most senior developer. The problem is, one company could make a small change to their solution, and boom, it suddenly conflicts with another tag on your site, now both of them don’t work.

Additionally, with GDPR and new privacy laws rolling out across the United States, understanding how all of your customer data is being collected and used is now more important than ever. If you aren’t using a tag manager, you’ll need to likely keep track of all of this manually or with some custom scripts that your developer puts together that then only they will know how to use, and of course, this means writing and debugging more code.

I try to group websites into one of two categories to keep things simple: Enterprise and non-Enterprise. If you’re an Enterprise company, i.e. you’re doing say $100M/year or more online, you’re going to want to look at using an Enterprise-grade tag management solution. If on the other hand, you just launched your site, you’re doing say $150,000/year and use only a handful of third-party solutions, using something like Google Tag Manager will be more than fine.

All that being said, no matter how you slice it, you do need a tag manager. The question is, what tag manager do you need to fit your specific needs.

Morgan is the co-founder of Bold Metrics a SaaS company that leverages AI to help apparel brands and retailers unlock the power of body data. An early web developer Morgan started building websites back in 1995. Morgan lives in San Francisco with his wife and two cats and when he's not sitting in front of a computer you'll find him hiking on Mount Tam or snow backpacking in Yosemite.


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