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I like the look of Google's new Tag Manager. Here's a silly example to illustrate just how powerful it is.

Below, I'm telling it to fire a Google Analytics event that captures the product category, product name, product value and stock status, and to only do that when a visit hits a product page.

All of that handled in a wysiwyg interface, rather than having to go through development cycles, etc.

Just a silly example that I haven't tested, but illustrates the amount of thought they've put into it. Worth a look: http://www.google.com/tagmanager/
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Hugh Gage's profile photoMark Edmondson's profile photoDepesh Mandalia's profile photoPaul Gailey Alburquerque's profile photo
18 comments
 
hi, Tim! I hadn't - that's a nice idea. & I suppose you could even sync up (anonymous) survey results with GA by pushing back to a thankyou page with the survey ID.
 
It's a great idea from google, especially if they can piggy back your existing GA integration.
 
I wonder how it compares to existing tag management systems. From your example, it seems very sophisticated and flexible.  Are companies like TagMan, Tealium etc going to be worried by this?
 
hiya, Ravi, I think some of them will be worried - especially where their current service is 'install & leave it up to the client'.

What do you think?

dan
 
I agree. This might make them put more emphasis on support and custom solutions. 

I guess in time we will find out the limitations of Google's solution and whether it is worth paying for an enterprise system. As end users, competition is great! 

On another thought, how does Google benefit from creating a tag management system?
 
Here are 5 potential benefits:

1. lock-in.
2. instant knowledge of what tags are out there, how people are using them, and when new ones start to appear.
3. less chance of being intermediated by other people. The container tagging solution sits at the top of the food chain in terms of tagging.
4. easier updates. eg: if you use wordpress, it will happily auto-update plugins (etc) for you. Presumably they could extend this to make it easy to auto-update Google Analytics, Doubleclick (etc) tags.
5. easier roll-outs. If they launch a new tag-based product, they can simply open it up as an option within Tag Manager.

If you're running the tag manager, it sort of makes their products/ad technologies/etc the logical choice.

Who knows though. It's quite an easy system to build. Perhaps they just had some people with some time!
 
+dan barker and that if they make life easier for web analysts then websites get better and bids can go up on AdWords
 
Very nice for new builds but legacy code: Presumably previously configured Events need to be removed to avoid bloat?
 
Yes +Tim Leighton-Boyce as it's partly sold on the merits of "not requiring your dev team" for impatient marketeers, the irony is that you need them to flush out existing code to properly deploy this. :) I have a new build though coming up which I will use this from the ground up. (I can just imagine vendors like skyglue.com wincing today)
 
If the code includes the GA javascript in the container tag then  I can't see why current implementations won't work. Of course there will be bad data if you try and use both at once but I don't think it is an all or nothing transition 
 
Pure speculation: could one of the rules be to test for the presence of existing code and not fire GA if it is already present?
 
Yes +Tim Leighton-Boyce I think that's possible - make a rule looking for the GA code, either macro-constant string "_gaq.push" or perhaps better put an id on a div countaining your javascript
 
Dan, how easy do you think it is to automatically apply an Event Tracking naming convention for 'Category', 'Action' and 'Label' variables across multiple links on a site using GTM? Does that make sense?
 
Does anyone know if there's a forum where I can ask questions about using Google Tag Manager? 
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