To understand the importance of a tag manager and to fully understand what they achieve it is probably best to start with another question.
What are tags?
Tags are snippets of code that you want to implement on your website. Their are a multitude of reasons for the requirement of tags, some of these include:
Analytics – Probably the most common tag. Here you are looking to utilise platforms such as Google Analytics or Adobe to gather data on your website.
- Conversion tags – These are specifically used to measure the impact of your offsite marketing efforts (i.e. Google and Facebook ads).
- Audience builders for remarketing – Where you identify and build audiences based on website behaviour for remarketing ( Google Remarketing Lists are an example).
- Research/UX – These tags are used to get even more insights into your visitors through the use of heatmaps, surveys and form fallout reports (Here we see companies like Hotjar excel).
When implementing tags it historically required developer resource to individually add the required code, but with a tag manager only a single code instance is required.
It also means that future enhancements and tweaks can be implemented without developer resources.
Tag Management Systems (TMS)
These systems (think Google Tag Manager, Adobe Launch, Ensighten) allows you to manage all these tags and enhancements through a tag management interface.
It also opens up the data available in your data layer. All this extra data can be used to provide more personalised solutions for your website visitors.