Why Adobe DTM Should Be Part of Your Marketing Strategy

by Rudi Shumpert

posted on 11-18-2015

Since Dynamic Tag Management (DTM) joined the Adobe family of solutions, more than 2,500 companies are using DTM to measure consumer behavior across their digital properties. We’re now north of 1.5 billion analytics transactions every day! We’ve worked hard to vault DTM to a leadership position (really the leadership position) in the enterprise tag management system (TMS) space.

Why have so many leading brands implemented Adobe DTM? To me it’s simple: we offer the most robust tracking capabilities within an integrable, vendor-agnostic system. (Wait — what did I just say?) In other words, our DTM system rocks!

Although we have established this leadership position quickly, there are still many companies struggling with their existing tag management solutions and those that haven’t adopted a TMS at all. There are still questions out there, so I thought we would share some of the more common questions we receive.

Why is the DTM solution provided at no charge?

Although we could charge for DTM, it made little sense for us to do that. We see DTM as a feature of the Adobe Marketing Cloud (AMC) platform. It is infused into the Core Services that really drive the eight components of AMC. As I have said before, charging for tag management capabilities would be like a word processing vendor charging extra for spellcheck. It’s a part of a larger solution.

Does Dynamic Tag Management only support Adobe Solutions?

DTM supports any HTML- or JavaScript-based marketing tag, no matter the vendor. Tag management is an industry-wide challenge and DTM is an industry-wide solution. We would not be meeting one of the objectives we set out when Adobe acquired this critical feature (see below) if we constrained its use to the AMC.

Can Dynamic Tag Management scale to support a large enterprise volume of traffic?

If you take a look at the architecture of DTM, you’ll see that the application users log into to manage the configuration of their tracking rules is a completely separate system from the three different hosting options that DTM offers. Adobe can host the tracking library on Akamai, the global leader in delivery networks; other legacy TMS vendors use Akamai as well. Akamai has data centers across the globe.

EAMAN-Why Adobe DTM-fig1

Aside from Akamai, DTM offers three methods that enable companies to host the tracking library on their own infrastructure. Within any of the hosting solutions, we could shut down the application servers that host the UI and the tracking library would remain unaffected. So if you are expecting a huge spike of traffic on a busy day like Cyber Monday, there is nothing to worry about even if every other company has traffic spikes at the same time.

Is DTM able to deploy Adobe Target without any flicker or screen flash?

Adobe Target performs exceptionally well within DTM with no flicker or screen flash. The conditional placement of mboxes using the built-in targeting and segmentation of DTM is faster and reduces wasteful server calls.

Will the DTM JavaScript file grow and become bloated leading to a potential negative impact on website performance?

The tracking library is actually a collection of files, which loads helper files when the scripts or tags are needed, based on the rule conditions. However, since the entire library is deployed at the same time, DTM is able to cache the library on the first page view (this speeds up site performance). This protocol eliminates the dependency of another DNS call to query a shared customer database in order to retrieve the code segment for the requested page on every page load.

There is no bottlenecked database query that runs on every page load for DTM; it simply pulls the files needed from the library at runtime. There is also a physically separate staging and production file, so DTM does not rely on the additional overhead of more JavaScript to determine which version of the code is to be loaded on every page call.

Does Dynamic Tag Management work on mobile apps?

DTM can be enabled for certain mobile apps; however, there is a bit of misinformation out there regarding tag management capabilities on mobile devices. The answer depends on how the mobile application is built and deployed. DTM is fully compatible with any hybrid mobile apps using a wrapper, such as PhoneGap or Cordova. DTM is also fully compatible with responsive designs or mobile-optimized sites consisting of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

For fully-native, compiled Objective-C mobile applications, where every piece of screen content comes from within the compiled code, there is no tag management system available today to adequately deal with tagging use cases in those environments. So the tag management functionality you can use in a mobile application depends on how the app was built.

Is the implementation of DTM longer than other legacy TMS solutions?

Honestly, yes. DTM requires two lines of JavaScript instead of just one. (In effect, it will take an additional minute to copy the code into your webpage.) The additional time required is completely worth the trade-off to gain complete control of where and when you can load any tag onto your site. The question becomes “do you want to load every tag in the head or do you want the ability to ensure the exact placement of every tag, every script, every time?”

Am I able to create sequencing or control the timing of tags?

Any of the scripts, tags, or tools can be sequenced in a drag-and-drop interface within the GUI. Rules can be sequenced by setting dependencies based on any data point or by forcing the order that rules execute. We are here to help enable this functionality.

Can Adobe provide comprehensive data collection and ownership?

Absolutely! Adobe is the verified global leader in data collection and marketing technologies. But don’t take my word for it, read why Adobe Analytics was positioned highest in ability to execute in the latest Gartner Magic Quadrant for Marketing Analytics.

Is DTM only for medium to small businesses? We have been told that most enterprise clients are using other legacy TMS vendors.

As I mentioned earlier in this post, DTM has more than 2,500 users across thousands and thousands of sites. This figure includes a large percentage of enterprise-class solutions.

What is the SLA for Dynamic Tag Management?

As DTM is a feature included with any Adobe Digital Marketing contract, the service level agreement within the contract covers DTM use.

Is DTM only client side? Is it able to run server side or as a hybrid solution?

The generated tracking library is 100 percent client side. This is the fastest possible solution on the market today. When a dependency is placed on a server-side component, it not only introduces new fail points, latency, and redundant server calls but also creates a bottleneck that hinders — not helps — scaling. The DTM client-side library is compressed and minimized to perform at quick response times with no limit on scale.

Do you need advanced technical skills to deploy tags and scripts inside of Dynamic Tag Management?

DTM was designed to handle 90-95 percent of all tracking scenarios without having to write custom JavaScript. Given the nearly infinite variations in the websites and applications that companies use, you will surely encounter something that will need a bit of JavaScript to get the job done. This condition is the same for other legacy TMS solutions; if you are being told that you will never have to work with any JavaScript, it is simply not true.

When we decided to embed the DTM solution in Adobe Marketing Cloud, we had three objectives in mind:

  1. Increase the rate of digital marketing adoption. We saw that the need for properly tagged websites was a primary cause for slow adoption and underutilization of digital marketing platforms;
  2. Solve an industry problem. We found that companies did not want to silo the functions of tagging and data distribution; rather, they are looking for a TMS that works outside legacy platforms; and
  3. Extend marketing capabilities beyond just managing tags. We realized the need to improve the responsiveness of web properties so they could react in real time to consumer interactions.

So far, we have hit on all three of those objectives.

Want to check it out for yourself? If you’re ready to explore DTM, it could not be easier. Just go to https://dtm.adobe.com, sign up for Activation, and start finding out why Adobe’s DTM has become so darn popular.

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