A tag, also known as a pixel, is a snippet of code on which a web page is added. Google Analytics (GA), cloud-based CRM, Marketing Automation platforms, social media advertising platforms, and other retargeting platforms like AdRoll are some of the examples of software that use tags for tracking and data gathering.
Typically, these tags are placed in the header, body or footer of each relevant webpage. The tag will track visitor behaviour, capture data filled out forms, or place a cookie on a visitor’s device to advertise to them on some of the third-party websites they go on to view.
Adding one or two tags to a website is relatively easy. Software like GA also offer plugins where you’ll only need to add your customer ID to the plugin which bypasses the need to add the tag directly to a webpage and is something just about anyone can do with some familiarity with the content management system (WordPress, Drupal, etc.). Managing one or two tags is manageable but if you have GA, CRM, Marketing Automation, Facebook pixel, AdRoll pixel, LinkedIn pixel, etc. then it becomes too complex to keep track of and to update if they change. They can also affect each other.
Using Google Tag Manager (GTM) requires just one code on your website and allows you to manage all of your other tags in one place. It also offers integration with some applications such as other Google products, Facebook, and other popular cloud systems.
Your GTM account can manage multiple containers. A website or application is typically managed by one container. For example, we use two containers – one for our website and one for our Marketing Mix Calculator because they reside in different content management systems (CMS) and we wanted to be able to manage them separately. Another scenario where you might use separate containers is where you use marketing automation software (MAS). When you build a landing page in your MAS, which usually resides in a different CMS, you risk double-firing tags. This scenario is where it becomes complicated and hard to explain, but here goes……
Marketing automation systems use a tag to track behaviour and data on your website, which resides in one CMS – WordPress for example. Most MAS are also CMS though – that’s where your landing pages are managed, and this is different to your main website CMS. So, if you have a GTM code on your website, it won’t track your landing pages because they are in a different CMS. It will fire the MAS tag for tracking though, so if you add the GTM code to the landing pages – which would seem the most straightforward thing to do – you will effectively be firing the MAS tag on its landing pages, which it tracks anyway. Clear as mud?
There are two ways you can get around this:
- Add your MAS tag directly to your website CMS – this means you will have to have two tags, one for MAS and one for GTM, or
- Create a new container for your MAS landing pages and manage the tags separately.
The first solution is the easiest as you can manage all of your tags in one place, but it does mean that every tag – except for MAS – will fire on both CMS’s.
If this article has done nothing but make your head hurt, and your stomach ache, but you do want to be able to track and retarget using different platforms, then get in touch with us. We’ve tried and tested these complex systems and processes, so we can give you advice or do it for you.