It’s extraordinary how much of an important role website tags play in the efficiency and success of digital marketing.

A digital marketer’s first responsibility is to understand their customers’ experience so that they can improve upon it. Therefore it’s vital that detailed information on behaviours, platforms, channels and technologies are captured.

That’s where website tags come in, snippets of code embedded in web and mobile sites which collect accurate, timely data.

In our brand new report The ROI of Tag Management, produced in association with Tealium, we explore how tags sit at the heart of digital business and marketing, highlighting the growing number of technologies that digital marketers are deploying, and the critical role that tag management plays in successfully leveraging and managing those technologies.

The report is the result of an online survey fielded in January 2015 and taken by 311 digital marketers in North America familiar with their organisation’s use of tags.

You can download the full report linked above for more in-depth insight, in the meantime though here are three brief highlights.

86% of respondents agree that “effectively managing website tags is fundamental to digital marketing”

Tags are associated with a huge array of disciplines: ad serving, bid management, retargeting, demand-side platforms, CRM, attribution modelling and mobile among other digital priorities. 

As the list gets longer, the problems for marketers increase too, creating another management headache. Tags have proliferated along with the technologies they support, this proliferation demands further implementation and ongoing maintenance.

Thankfully in response to this, systems for tag management have been developed and adopted by many organisations, but others do continue to manage their tags manually.

39% of respondents suggest that marketers are responsible for tag management

When deploying tags, an organisation has to ask itself two questions: who will manage them, and how will they be managed? 

Manually implementing tags is a technical process and it naturally fell to technical teams to implement. However over time, responsibility has shifted toward marketing, thanks in large part to their increasing use of tag management systems. These systems give non-technical staff the ability to implement and modify tags without calling on specialists. 

The ROI of tag management

The central question of our survey is whether marketers and site managers saw real, measurable benefits in moving from manual to managed tagging. This question is explored in explored in five key areas: marketing capability, operational costs, speed to market, website speed and mobile marketing management.

More information on each area can be found in the survey, but right now let’s take a look at ‘operational costs’.

We asked our respondents “Has implementing tag management had an effect on the time/resource costs associated with tagging manually?”

Manual tagging can be expensive because it’s a technical resource drain that keeps programmers and IT resources busy when they could be focused on more strategic projects. This is why some companies migrate to a managed tagging solution. 

76% of respondents report that the added cost of a managed solution is more than balanced out by reduced resource costs, with 56% describing tagging activities as “significantly less expensive.”

For much more insight, download the full report here: The ROI of Tag Management