Dynamic Tag Management and the User Experience

When Adobe acquired Satellite in 2013 and rebranded the Tag Management System as Dynamic Tag Management, we stated that DTM has the capability to truly revolutionize the way marketers tag their web properties and deliver personalized experiences to consumers. Internally, we called out three specific reasons for adding DTM as a no charge, added value feature to the Adobe Marketing Cloud family of solutions:

As part of those mandates, I like to provide real-life use cases as well as commentary from DTM developers, which might help you in managing the implementation of DTM and governing the data gathered by this fantastic solution. With that in mind, take a look at our conversation with Michael Helbling, analytics practice lead at Search Discovery (the creators of Satellite), who sat down to discuss our three reasons to offer DTM and more. We talked about the work his team has done with clients before and after the Satellite acquisition, and what Dynamic Tag Management has meant to customers.

Before we talk about the DTM solution, can you tell us briefly about your role at Search Discovery and your experience with DTM?

As analytics practice lead, I am responsible for our analytics solution and [its development] team. This includes our go-to-market strategy, client delivery, and team development. I have been using Adobe DTM (formerly Satellite) for just over three years. I was fortunate enough to lead the first ever implementation of Adobe Analytics for a client using what is now Adobe DTM. Our team uses the tool on an almost daily basis, working with clients to deploy and manage their [native] analytics solutions as well as other digital marketing activities through Adobe DTM. It is amazing to see in such short time what has been able to be accomplished leveraging this platform.

Let’s walk through the three key points called out in John Mellor’s original DTM launch post, and get your perspective on how DTM has addressed those points with your clients.

1. Increase the rate of digital marketing adoption

This is the fundamental use case of Adobe DTM. It has always been at its core a mechanism for digital organizations to streamline deployment and usage of digital measurement and marketing technologies. Our clients consistently get speed and efficiency from using DTM. This frees us up to help them focus on data they can trust, the ability to quickly refine that data, and the ability to use the data in ever more creative ways. In a world where becoming more data driven is a necessity

2. Solve the industry problem of tag management with an industry solution

Adobe DTM is unique in its ability to exist in the context of an organization like Adobe and still be able to easily handle any tag and any pixel from from any vendor. At Search Discovery, we have had the opportunity implement and manage Adobe DTM for more clients than anyone else, and we have yet to find a tag or measurement solution that cannot be deployed by Adobe DTM. It is truly a universal solution meant to address any need in any context.

3. Elevate the conversation to more than just tag management

I have long maintained that putting a tag on a webpage is a fairly mundane activity. Many organizations developed systems for managing this aspect of marketing technology long before tag management was a thing. But one thing that DTM does better than any other solution is promote and provide a bridge for real collaboration between marketing and IT. The best and most successful digital organizations are the ones who are solving that problem. For large and small enterprises this can take the shape of governance and making sure there is a well-defined path for how technologies become integrated with the digital experience. In Addition, DTM provides the ability to iterate more quickly and take advantage of the segmentation and personalization features providing a much more rapid growth and response to increased customer understanding. Every client we engage with at Search Discovery we are attempting to move beyond the tags to help solve the problems of becoming more data driven. Adobe DTM is an awesome tool because it makes the deployment of tools and technologies an easily solved aspect of the underlying problem set.

Given your experiences with DTM how much time/money/heartache have clients saved using DTM?

It is incalculable. In some cases, deploying Adobe Analytics went from a painful six-month back-and-forth process to a well-defined three-week process. Even more encouraging for marketers is not just how much money you will save, but how DTM can dramatically increase the value of your digital experiences. Things like real time segmentation, ease of data integration between tools, and the ability to deploy tests and customized experiences rapidly. What we are really excited about is how our clients are using Adobe DTM to grow their businesses. Over 40 percent year over year in one case. Adobe DTM is an enablement technology. It starts the engine, and savvy technologists and marketers are finding ways to hit the gas pedal in extraordinary ways.

Looking back over all the time you have worked with TMS systems in the past, is the market where it should be in the understanding and maturity levels with Tag Management?

Given that the concept of tag management as a stand-alone solution is less than eight years old, the adoption and maturity rate is astounding. That being said, I am never content to say that our work here is done. There are organizations that will always be out on the cutting edge, and there are those that will wait until the solution set is more proven and stable. If I were to place TMS on the Gartner hype cycle, I would say that in this very short time we have put tag management on the “slope of enlightenment”. At Search Discovery we believe that the appropriate use of data will fundamentally transform an organization. Our passion is to assist our clients in that transformation, and Adobe DTM has been a great vehicle for that purpose.

Are there some more challenging uses cases that you’ve encountered that DTM has been instrumental in solving?

Adobe DTM was unique in the space for recognizing that the most valuable measurement often happens within the interactions on the page and not necessarily the traversal of them. Adobe DTM led the way in building a very robust event tracking capability. This makes Adobe DTM an ideal solution for handling the frameworks of the modern web like Angular, Backbone, etc…

Beyond mobile applications (Read here for a better understanding of the challenges faced by all tag management vendors) the better question might be is there a use case that DTM hasn’t been instrumental in solving? There has literally never been a time when we have had to go back to a client and say; sorry this just isn’t possible with the tool. If you are reading this, and you have heard that before we need to talk.

As we look back over the last few years at the amazing success of Dynamic Tag Management, a key piece in the Adobe Core Services offering, it is special to be a part of a process and solution that is being used by nearly 3,000 companies and drives more than 2 Billion Adobe Analytics transactions every day. More than just these great adoption numbers is how DTM and the rest of the Adobe Marketing Cloud have helped companies make great strides in governance, efficiency, and improve that data collection at the first millisecond of interaction with the users in order to deliver the right personalized message to drive conversions.

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