Tag management solutions are an integral part of building a strong data foundation. They allow you to organize and maintain control of your most critical tags, increase page load time, and quicken the release of new and updated campaigns. This means more accurate tagging, more time saved, and less resources dedicated to the maintenance of tracking initiatives.
There are a handful of adequate options across the market, but this conversation regularly comes down to a comparative analysis between two leaders: Google Tag Manager (GTM) and Tealium. While there are strengths and weaknesses to each technology, we believe the pros of Google Tag Manager tip the scale in its favor — at least for now.
With Google Analytics as the gold standard for web analytics measurement, it makes sense for Google to provide a cohesive platform that plugs and plays seamlessly with this celebrated tool. While both Google Tag Manager and Tealium provide a single tracker and intuitive interfaces, GTM takes flexibility and control a step deeper in five key areas:
- Cost to Customer
- Google dataLayer Customization
- Modularity & Access Control
- Enhanced Event Tracking
- Publicly Available Documentation
Cost to Customer
Let’s be honest: sometimes, your bottom line is the bottom line. If you’re searching for an enterprise-level solution that fits neatly within your technology budget, there’s absolutely no better option than Google Tag Manager.
Really. It’s free, with very few limitations. This means you get a robust, clean, and natively integrated enterprise-level tagging solution at no additional cost.
And if you’d like the additional security of a 99%+ uptime SLA, an unlimited number of concurrent workspaces, enhanced SDK integrations and tag templates, and/or best in class support and service from Google and its certified partners, Google Tag Manager 360 can be bundled for free with your Google Analytics 360 purchase through a Google Analytics Certified Partner. (To learn more about working with Delve, contact us!)
Free, free, and free. If cost is a concern, you can’t beat that.
Google dataLayer Customization & Modularity
While both Google Tag Manager and Tealium provide the option of on page data capture within the Google Analytics dataLayer, Google Tag Manager supports a much greater breadth of data types:
|1st Party Cookie||✔||✔|
|Query String Parameter||✔||✔|
|Data Layer Variable||✔||✘|
This enhanced customization allows for more in depth tracking, which will of course give you the ability to slice and dice at a more granular level, and subsequently generate more detailed insights.
That is to say, edits to the dataLayer made within Google Tag Manager are clearly visible, individualized, and asynchronous by design. If accidental overwriting occurs, these tracked changes safeguard the process and allow your to quickly identify and amend the mistake. This is of paramount importance for more complex, enterprise-level configurations that require in-depth dataLayer scope..
Modularity & Access Control
Also of paramount importance for complex configurations is the ability to restrict user access to avoid the idiomatic consequence of too many cooks in the kitchen. Trite as it might seem, the euphemized “unintentional adjustment” is all too common when large and diverse teams are working in tandem against strong deadlines. Digital is fast paced, and the last thing you and your team have time for is fixing a part of your site that should have never been broken in the first place.
Google Tag Manager’s modular editing environments and flexible access control puts authority over code review and quality assurance directly in your hands. You can even set up entirely separate workspaces, where changes in one area can be completely isolated from code in another area. This is an especially great tool if you have multiple partners or agencies responsible for segmented areas of your data tracking, and especially if those different business units are collaborating on tag updates simultaneously.
Publicly Available Documentation
Google is really good about making in depth documentation for their products available to the public, and Google is great at making sure that documentation is actually useful.
Even the most complicated implementations of Google Tag Manager can be successfully completed in house, by a novice team, so long as constant reference to the available guides and best practices is pursued. And the best part of this publicly available documentation is that it’s tailored specifically to a non-technical audience: in combination with the intuitive Google Tag Manager interface, Google’s knowledge share brings control of a very powerful, otherwise highly technical tool to a broader range of skill sets.
It’s a lowered barrier of entry that we’ve seen go unmatched amongst the competitive set, and a decreased dependency on engineering and external resources that allows you to make required updates quicker.
Enhanced Event Tracking
Any proper tag management system will offer the ability to dynamically add event tracking, but the templated tags in Google Tag Manager sets this functionality apart from competition.
Additionally, Google Tag Manager offers built in triggers for events like clicks, page view, form submits, custom events, etc. to, again, help minimize the amount of custom code required for proper implementation. This makes event tracking far more accessible to a non-engineering internal team, and helps improve efficiency in both deployment and accuracy.
Gone are the days of drawn out release cycles, fragmentary tracking, and prohibitively expensive web infrastructure. With Google Tag Manager you can advance your business now: track, analyze, optimize, repeat — quickly, cohesively, and meaningfully.
With low to zero cost to customer, amplified dataLayer customization, modularity and access control, enhanced event tracking, and a robust library of step-by-step documentation made available to the public for free, Google Tag Manager makes a strong argument for its position as the top tech for your tag management needs.