What's up with Google Tag Manager?

There is a lot of buzz in the digital analytics space around Google Tag Manager, or GTM. Is it the ideal tool for each company? Is it a nightmare to code and implement? When is it the right solution for a business? The bottom line is GTM is a valuable tool for businesses the need an analytics solution independent of the website development team. (If that sentence didn't scare you, read on.)

Digital analytics is an area that is growing rapidly as more and more companies realize the benefits of online user behavior. One of the many integral components of this area is the online analytics tool used to collect website data, which can range from expensive to free. One of the most used tools on the market is Google Analytics (the free version), which is a javascript code placed on each page of a website that collects visitor information and sends it to a Google database. The Google database makes sense of the data and displays it on a user-friendly dashboard.

Google Analytics Dashboard

At the core of this tool is the actual javascript code that needs to be placed on website. Based on the level of detail the data needs to collect, some of the coding can be quite manual and time-consuming. And the coding has to be done by a website developer that will in turn be used by a marketing analyst or marketing manager. Needless to say, there is a lot of communication that needs to happen in order to have this process done correctly.

What if the website developer lives in a different department? What if the website developer is located in an external agency? The timeline for this type of communication is now even more difficult!

Now we get to the value of Google Tag Manager. With this solution, code only has to be added once to the website. Need more buttons tracked? No coding to the website! Need demographic data collected? No coding to the website!

Google Tag Manager allows any department to access the tags of a website whether they can develop in a website language or not. Does this scare a lot of website developers? Not really, because the code created won't interfere with their website code. (It's asynchronous.) Does this mean someone who has little experience coding can be an expert tag manager? Not really on that, either. This next part is important:

There is a basic level of development skills needed to implement Google Tag Manager, but given the right person, or the relationship with the right person, all future website tagging can be done outside of the website development code.

In sum, if you are a business that is always running into problems with your website code being developed outside of your data department, and you have the ability to do some minimal coding, then Google Tag Manager is right for you.

Happy analyzing!

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