Blog Series

Looking At Google Tag Manager

I’m continuing my look at Tag Management Solutions. Hopefully you read yesterday’s blog about if using a TMS is really the correct decision for your company.  Well today I take a look at Google Tag Manager specifically as the most commonly used TMS around.  Looking at some major questions:

  • Is GTM the most popular because it’s free?
  • Is the main reason it’s used because it’s Google?
  • What would other TMS vendors need to in order to overtake GTM as the main vendor?
  • Is this even possible?
Google & GTM

I recently heard Google referred to as the Hoover of Online, which I’ll be honest stumped me at first but when you think about it they really are. 

Do you think of Web Analytics or Google Analytics first when you’re thinking of Analytic tools?  Well this is the same with Tag Management Solutions; the first thought is always Google Tag Manager.  Why is this? GTM is a very strong product on the market but there are many others out there which do the same job with the addition of a support centre.

GTM Code

Pros & Cons

When looking at any TMS you should analyse the pro’s and con’s, quite frankly GTM doesn’t have as many pro’s as you would think and the ones they do have you would probably consider to be something all TMS should have.

Positives and Negatives

The glaringly obvious positive of GTM is that it’s free. I may have already mentioned this in yesterday blog a few times, but when considering any product the price comes into it and without having any technical background at all, if the most widely used solution is GTM and GTM is free, why wouldn’t this be the obvious choice. 

Add to this the fact that the user interface is actually really intuitive and easy to navigate around, even for a novice.  Implementing any of the products from the Google stack (Google Analytics, Adwords, Doubeclick etc…) is also very simple as they have tailored the integration of these, (unsurprisingly) within the platform to make this almost a 1 click integration.  Not only is the integration of pixels quick and easy but the actual creation of GTM and the implementation on the site is very simple.  You essentially sign up to the product, which takes less than 2 minutes and then you’re supplied with the code that needs to be implemented on the site.  Due to the fact that GTM is the most widely used TMS around, a lot of people, have forums, blogs, vlogs, help websites to provide insight and help tips and suggestions on how to implement these. 

As I said earlier, you always need to consider the negatives of a product when making a decision on whether or not to use it.  I mentioned above that there are blogs, vlogs and forums amongst other sources where you can find help and suggestions on tag implementation and GTM best practice. Google themselves don’t actually offer much support, yes, there are some tips on initial integration and how the structure of the data layer should be, but there isn’t a dedicated support team you can reach out to if you’re having issues with integration or if you’re having problems with anything within the platform.  Not having this dedicated support can be a bit of a hindrance, considering the integration of a TMS is supposed to remove the reliance on the IT team or developers need to implement tags on the site.  

An issue with GTM that I find from an agency point of view is that, the permission allowed within the platform aren’t really practical, there are different types of user that can be created, however the permissions can’t be restricted or added which makes some of the user profiles slightly limited and somewhat irrelevant. 

Looking at permissions from an “Agency Owned” GTM account; you would have the following user roles.
  • View only: The user will see the container listed and may browse the tags, rules, and macros in the container.
  • View and Edit: The user may add and edit tags, rules, and macros in the container.
  • View, Edit, Delete and Publish: The user may add, edit, and delete tags, rules, and macros in the container as well as publish changes to the live site

Realistically I would only ever supply users with “View only” or “View, Edit, Delete and Publish” because the “View and Edit” means that any changes made would then need to be tested and confirmed by another party.  This however in a “Client Owned” GTM account would be widely used as you’d imagine the IT team or the GTM administrator may want final say on what is published and when, so by giving just “View and Edit” permission the administrator would be allowing the marketing team to implement any tags they wanted but the testing and publishing of them would take place by one themselves.

Sold on the idea?

Having hopefully read the blog yesterday (Link) I’m hoping that I’m shown you the clear benefits of a TMS, alongside taking you a run through our preferred solution in today’s blog.  Here at iProspect we provide integration and implementation support across GTM alongside over TMS available, so would love to hear from you if you do require support or if you’re considering adding a solution to your site and want us to help with the migration.

As always feel free to let me know any feedback you have on this at @iProspectIRL or directly to me at @SystemsMarc