A tag management system helps manage the lifecycle of digital marketing tags (sometimes referred to as tracking pixels or web beacons), used to track activity on digital properties, such as websites and web applications. It can also be used to make dynamic changes to the website or application.
Tag management system replaces a multitude of tags with a single container tag which sits across all areas of the property. The tag management system then "fires" individual tags as appropriate based on business rules, navigation events and known data. Typical functionality includes a testing environment (sandboxing), an audit trail and version control, the ability to A/B test different solutions, tag deduplication, and role-based access to data.
Typically cited benefits of tag management systems include:
- Agility: Reduced reliance on technical resources and reduced dependency on IT cycles confers greater agility to business users.
- Performance: Reduced page load times thanks to asynchronous tag loading, conditional tag loading and tag timeout functionality.
- Data control: Ability to control data leakage to third-parties and comply with data privacy legislation (cookie consent, do not track). Tag managers also provide another layer of abstraction for managing the complexity of large websites.
- Preview: Some tag managers include a preview mode which allows checking for formatting and security issues before deploying tags to production.
- "TrustRadius tag management category definition". TrustRadius. Retrieved 2015-02-13.
- "W3Techs: Usage statistics of tag managers for websites".