TMS Usage Methodology – The Blueprint to Create a Manageable Implementation

As Tag Management Systems (TMS) have become ubiquitous technology in the web analytics and digital marketing space, there are multiple ways to approach using them.  Regardless of the way your organization decides to use it, it is important to identify the methodology.  Having spent the last several years using multiple TMS platforms and designing solutions revolving around them, those clients that don’t identify the methodology, or the best practices, their organization is going to adopt, the technology usually end ups in the same spot.

Defining the methodology to be followed when using the TMS is important because without it, all of the TMS users will go about adding configurations and deploying tags in their own way.  Within a short period of time, you will have tool that has a plethora of tags configured and deployed and no guiding practice to keep them organized.  We’ve started engagements with clients and they have a platform where it is better to scrap everything and start over rather than trying to untangle the nest of rules, conditions, and tags.

TMS blueprint

Since methodologies are not one size fits all, there are a few key items common to successful ones.  The first is that it needs to work for your team and organization based on the number of sites involved, the complexity of the site, and the number and type of tags to be deployed.  The second is that it should focus on scalability.  Without scalability, you are not able realize the efficiency gains the TMS can provide.  The third is that it needs to lead to a manageable, sustainable implementation.  Process that does not do this is unnecessary bureaucracy; pointless and burdensome.

Toward the end of the summer of 2015, We began working with a client that had started using Adobe DTM roughly 6 months prior.  There was excitement throughout the organization and the there was a defined methodology on how to use it.  Both of these are a great way to come into an engagement.

The methodology was to create a new DTM rule for every new tag that was to be deployed.  For this client, DTM is to be the primary method for deploying analytics and marketing tags to the site.  As we began to engage with the client, we came to the realization that this methodology would not be sustainable for them going forward.  Due to the volume of tags they need to deploy for the business across multiple sites it was highly inefficient and unmanageable.

In our time using DTM, we’ve found a methodology that is highly effective for many organizations and we believed it would be a good fit for this client.  With the way DTM is organized, it is rule-centric.  This is counter to many other tag managers as well as the thinking of many clients who are tag-centric.

Think of being rule centric as being focused on all of the places on the site the customer can engage.  The page types that can be viewed, the various buttons that can be clicked, and how the customer navigates the site.  If you start from that perspective and create DTM rules based on it first, you will have a concise and manageable foundation.  This will give you a clear blueprint forward.  It will become easy to see where the tags fit across the site.  It will also prevent you ending up with a “rats nest” of an implementation.

We began working with the client on a migration plan that would start with detailing the site taxonomy and key customer engagements.  With that, we defined a list of rules to handle all of the identified page types and non-page load customer engagements.  We estimated that the new process for using DTM would require only a third of the number of rules than where currently in place.

Our team will be at Adobe’s EMEA Summit, so be sure to reach out to chat with them regarding this solution or any other you may be in search of.

Guy Dahan, Director of Client Success
guy@33sticks.com

Jim Driscoll, Consultant, Solutions Engineering
jim.driscoll@33sticks.com

Jim Driscoll
Jim is a consultant on the Solutions Engineering team at 33 Sticks who brings 15 years of solution design and technology implementation experience, with 9 years focused on web analytics and digital marketing technologies.  He is a fitness enthusiast and avid sports fan.  He also thinks he can play golf.