Tags have been around since the 90s, but they are more relevant than ever for businesses. They provide companies with valuable insights into the habits, preferences, and demographics of their customer base. Tags—or the marketing tools they enable, rather—allow businesses to create a better customer experience and make informed decisions.
With the right tag management, you can get these insights without compromising the user experience. However, many company websites are still struggling with ineffective tag management. This struggle provides you with an opportunity to get ahead of the competition.
Let’s put it this way: if you harness the most recent improvements in tag management, you can have a faster website with better security and more accurate data.
But here's the thing: if you're planning to scale, you need more than a traditional tag manager. You really need to collect and integrate customer data in a single platform, which both manages your tags automatically and enables you to leverage the data for deeper analysis.
Why? Because customer data integration (CDI) completely re-imagines the world of tags. By adding a single snippet to track events and sending data directly to digital marketing tools, you can keep your tags in order while setting your whole organization up for better data analytics.
A CDI vs. Tag Management
In the old model of tagging, companies would tag their website in a "set it and forget it" fashion. This could be a costly mistake for your business. Tagging is not the only priority now as much as ensuring the quality of the tags and the information that it can impart. Tag management was certainly a step up, but it still doesn't enable the data collection and storage necessary for in-depth and long-term analysis.
With a CDI, the value of collecting the data you track becomes evident quickly, because you can own and store it, keeping your information ready for analysis by any tool, at any time. It also unlocks your options when it comes to adding new tools quickly, without asking a dev to add a tag!
For many people, that's enough. But if your organization really wants to go to the next level, you can deploy a CDI on your private cloud. In that case, you see three main benefits:
1. Improved Data Accuracy
It's a fact of life that tags will suddenly appear, some tags will break, and other tags will disappear. Tag governance allows you to keep accurate tags on your website. It works alongside data management to make sure that your tags are up to date and helping you and your business. Tag governance works to fix tagging errors before they become a problem.
Improper tagging is a problem for many businesses. In this article from the Harvard Business Review, IMB estimated that poor quality data costs $3.1 trillion a year in the US. How can you use data to inform your decision-making if your data is off or low-quality?
It used to be that a tag audit was a time-consuming process. It would require someone going through the painstaking process of reviewing each tag to make sure it was up-to-date and working. With that much time and detail, it was likely that something would fall through the cracks and some tags would get missed. Either a broken tag would get left or, worse, a working and useful tag would get deleted.
However, with a CDI, tag audits are unnecessary and tag governance is baked into the platform. By tracking events once and integrating with each tool, data is more consistent across partners. This makes the process of maintaining correct data easier and more efficient.
2. Faster Page Speed
A classic problem with tagging is that too many tags significantly slow down your webpage. This is a serious drawback for companies, especially in e-commerce. If your page takes too long to load, your customer could become frustrated, and you'll likely miss out on some business.
When it comes to page speed, every second counts. In fact, a 1-second delay in page response can result in a 7% reduction in conversions. However, improvements in tagging eliminate the delay that could cost your business.
The first solution many websites turn to is server-side tagging. It places the burden of processing on the server as opposed to the user's device. This creates a faster loading time while still getting the information that businesses want and need.
If you aren't ready for server-side integrations, whose real superpower is most visible if you integrate data on your private cloud vs. a SaaS product, there are solutions for page speed in client-side tagging, too.
Asynchronous loading is one innovation that allows web pages to load as quickly as possible. Most of the time, what causes the web page to slow down is too many tags firing off at once. Asynchronous loading makes different calls to the scripts at the same time vs. firing each tag independently, which staggers the result and keeps the client-server from getting overwhelmed with too much information.
This improvement is critical since tags are meant to enhance the customer journey, not drive them away.
3. Increased Security
There was a time where companies would amass large lakes of data with little thought to security. However, all of this has changed in the past few years. Not only is hacking on the rise, but companies are paying the price for being negligent with customer information.
GDPR was a significant turning point for many businesses, but government entities have held companies liable for their security breaches long before the law took place. The cost of a data breach is inconvenient for large corporations, but it could spell the end for many SMBs. The impact on an organization averages $3.86 million but lost reputation and business could end up driving those numbers even higher.
While a data breach could be costly, compromised tags can also be a serious issue for websites. It can hamper your webpage and end up costing your business. Tag piggybacking (or redirecting), for example, is a common occurrence that can have severe consequences for companies. It can result in reduced website performance, malicious code, and leaked data.
To take the privacy concerns of customers seriously, consider a tool that takes security into account by giving you total data governance and ownership of information to keep your data safe.
A CDI deployed on your private cloud, for example, can help you to maintain good faith with your customers and also make complying with global privacy regulations easier. With your own private data router, you deliver data to third-parties on your own terms and only once sensitive information has been omitted, as you see fit.
Significant Business Outcomes
With tagging’s potential detriments, merely adding tags and walking away isn't an option. Yet leveraging third-party tools is critical to success. Implementing a CDI to automate tag management and collect your own data is a step up from tag management, making it easy to scale and enabling individual teams to easily try new marketing and adtech tools.
Moreover, in the case of private cloud deployment, business outcomes are even more compelling. With MetaRouter's CDI, for example, one Fortune 50 customer saw a 900ms increase in website speed per every three integrations. Data consistency across partners decreased in variability, going from 30% to 1%.
Investing in the way you collect and leverage data takes some planning on the front end. But ultimately, it helps you improve your customer experience while building their trust and truly providing better security for their information.