Transcend tags and deliver experiences.

 
Tag management isn’t about tags. It’s about experiences.
Enterprises rely on a vast ecosystem of marketing technologies to deliver customer experiences. In fact, the average enterprise website uses 20 different marketing technologies.
 
To deploy these technologies, developers insert lines of JavaScript code, known as tags, on each web page where a technology is needed. And those tags not only enable the technology itself, but they also connect the flow of data between technologies to provide a more cohesive user experience.
 
Think of a web page as being made up of three layers. The bottom layer holds the technologies that power the page. The middle layer contains the data produced by the technologies. And the top layer delivers the experience — what visitors see and interact with.
 
All these layers are interconnected, and they need to work together to create compelling experiences. That’s where tags come in. Many enterprises have traditionally thought of tag management as being confined to the technology layer — merely bits of HTML and JavaScript code with the sole purpose of installing technologies on web pages. But to deliver experiences that really connect with customers, all those different technologies don’t just need to work — they need to work together.

Tags make that happen by working across layers to transport data to and from technologies and ultimately inform the customer experience. But with an ever-changing and growing ecosystem of web technologies, tag management systems have a big job. First-generation tag managers aren’t built to sustain this new and dynamic ecosystem. Ultimately, this problem leads to broken user experiences.
 
 
 
 
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The trouble with first-generation tag managers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The number of web-based technologies delivering customer experiences skyrocketed from roughly 150 in 2011 to over 5,000 today. As the enterprise adoption rate of these technologies continues to increase, enterprises need maximum flexibility to deploy the right technology to deliver the best customer experience.
 
For enterprises to deliver compelling experiences, these various technologies can’t work independently because valuable customer data sent to one technology wouldn’t inform the actions of other technologies — or the actions of one technology would happen out of context with actions of another. At the end of the day, enterprises would have a hard time orchestrating a single customer experience that spans multiple marketing technologies.
 
Tag templates enable less technical users to deploy and configure a baseline implementation of a marketing technology without touching one line of code. This is accomplished through a user interface that asks for pieces of information that the template translates into JavaScript and injects into the code of the web page.

The first tag management systems entered the market in the early 2000s, and at that time, enterprise websites averaged two technologies deployed. Generally, these two technologies operated independent of one another. Today, enterprise websites average 20 technologies deployed, and oftentimes a subset of these are dependent on one another. Template-based tag managers can’t support the complex, interdependent technologies used today because they lack the expertise to build these integrations. The most qualified people to own an integration with a marketing technology are the people who work for that marketing technology company — not the tag manager. First-generation tag managers have become generalist, unable to develop integrations rich with advanced capabilities needed to meet the demands of businesses today — and certainly tomorrow.
 
First-generation tag managers built on a closed architecture are incapable of supporting and scaling to the needs of experience businesses, which are enterprises that prioritize the customer experience. Here’s why:
 
  • Enterprises rely on an ecosystem of technologies to help solve their challenges because those challenges are very complex. First-generation tag managers are focused on maintaining templates — not delivering innovative solutions to tomorrow’s problems.
  • Enterprises expect their marketing and advertising technologies to work together. But first-generation tag managers provide superficial integrations that don’t allow these technologies to work together well enough to meet user needs.

 

 

 

 

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Defining the next generation of tag management.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To meet the demands of experience businesses, a new kind of tag manager is needed. One designed to let customer behavior drive the journey. And one that empowers marketing technology providers to innovate on their own terms. Next-generation tag management systems can deliver this by providing three critical capabilities.
 
1. An open, sustainable architecture for maximum flexibility.
Given the rapid proliferation of marketing technologies, template-based first-generation tag managers are simply not sustainable. Next-generation tag managers will give marketing technology providers a self-service way to build, manage, and update integrations. This approach gives the company that created a specific technology ownership over deep, sophisticated integrations, instead of leaving those integrations to the tag managers. This open architecture will give enterprises long-lasting integrations that are flexible, frequently updated, and even customizable. Only an open architecture can provide this level of support.
 
2. Unified marketing technologies for better experiences.
Integrations built by first-generation tag managers are superficial. And they typically only allow for the configuration of a technology. But next-generation integrations allow marketing technology providers to add new functionality directly to the tag manager.
 
For example, a company that offers a video player could build an integration that adds new actions, events, conditions, and even data to those options included in the tag manager. The video player could add the following:
 
  • Actions — Play, pause, and extend buffer time
  • Events — Play, stop, and close window
  • Conditions — Connection speed and resolution
  • Data — Video name and video length
 
Enabling thousands of marketing technology providers to extend their core functions into a tag manager’s user interface will unify these marketing technologies so businesses are better equipped to synchronize and deliver cross-technology experiences.
 
3. Automated technology deployments for fast results.
Next-generation tag management systems are driven by open APIs. These APIs allow agencies and enterprises to automate even the most complex technology deployments.
 
For example, consider an enterprise that owns several brands. Each brand owns a separate website with these technologies deployed:
 
  • Adobe Analytics
  • Google Analytics
  • Adobe Target
  • Adobe Audience Manager
  • Oracle BlueKai
  • ForeSee
  • [24] 7
  • Plus 10 other technologies
 
First-generation tag managers force enterprises to manually replicate how each of these technologies is deployed. Managing the individual deployment of each technology across each website can be labor-intensive and time-consuming. And integrating these technologies can be even more challenging.
 
Next-generation tag managers that are 100% API driven will enable enterprises to write a script that harnesses the power of the tag manager’s APIs to programmatically deploy those technologies, capture the relevant data, share that data across technologies, and even create rules to serve cross-technology experiences. So a process that took hours, days, weeks, or months with first-generation tag managers will now take only seconds.
 
 
 
 
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Stop focusing on tags and start delivering experiences.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tag management has traditionally been a means to an end — a way to manage tags that are required to enable different technologies across a website. Today, tag management is no longer about tags — it’s about unifying data and technologies to deliver great experiences.
 
Selecting the right tag management system is critical for delivering exceptional experiences. Next-generation tag managers deliver great experiences to consumers by making it easier for marketers to create those experiences. Launch by Adobe is the only next-generation tag management system on the market. It’s built on the Adobe Cloud Platform, and it helps marketers do the following:
 
  • Deploy and configure Adobe and non-Adobe technology.
  • Unify how Adobe and non-Adobe technologies participate in the customer experience.
  • Collect and distribute valuable customer data.
 
To learn more about Adobe’s next-generation tag management system that’s completely open and extensible, visit www.adobe.com/enterprise/cloud-platform/launch.html.
 
 
 
 
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