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Avoid the Freeze this Winter: Stay Agile Throughout the Holiday Season with Tag Management

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis guest post was written by Heather Fowle, director of product marketing for Tealium, a leader in enterprise tag management and digital data distribution.

The winter of 2013 brought on a whole new meaning to the word “freeze” for most people in the Midwest and on the East Coast. But to digital marketers around the world, the word “freeze” will most often be associated with what they tend to start thinking about in the fall – the holiday “code freeze.”

The holiday code freeze is known as the time when digital marketers cannot make easy changes to their digital presence, including adding or removing vendor tags, or adjusting their analytics data points. The rationale for the code freeze makes perfect sense: both marketing and IT want to ensure a seamless, uninterrupted experience for their consumers, without risking a manual code change that could take down the site during an extremely important period.

Now, with modern marketing practices and the deployment of a tag management solution, marketers and IT can partner to maintain their quality standards and allow for maximum flexibility in their environment.

A tag management system (TMS) is part of a unified marketing platform that enables marketers to seamlessly manage and connect their disparate digital solutions, keeping them agile and in control all year round. Once a TMS is deployed, marketers can easily swap in and out their mission-critical solutions, or make changes to their analytics, all through a point-and-click web interface (no software development required). They can also easily disable faulty vendor tags that may be hanging up the web site.

Imagine it’s early December, and online sales are not quite where you expected them to be. Instead of being forced to sit idly on your hands, marketers are empowered to take action to help save the day. They can add a new affiliate network, launch a new retargeting campaign, or deploy a live chat application – all without going through traditional development cycles. This is a standard benefit of tag management, but it becomes more amplified during the critical holiday season when every day counts.

Now imagine that it’s Cyber Monday, one of the most important online shopping days of the year. What happens if one of your advertising tags begins to malfunction, inadvertently causing performance issues? This was a real-life scenario for Deckers, a fashion footwear retailer that operates sites for the brands UGG Australia, Teva, Sanuk, MOZO and Ahnu. They were facing a very “Blue Monday” because one of their advertising pixels went down, creating havoc on the performance (page load speed) of their ecommerce network.

Deckers had never experienced a delay or prior issue with that specific ad pixel before, but the amount of traffic on that particular day caused the tag to fail, resulting in intermittent delays on all of its sites, except it’s most popular site Ugg.com, which fortunately had Tealium installed.

This allowed Deckers to disable the faulty tag within minutes via a web interface and therefore save 100 percent of the orders on Ugg.com. (read the case study here) For other sites where Tealium had not yet been deployed, developers were called in to manually remove the vendor code. This type of agility is extremely important in today’s marketing environment, which is why 87 percent of marketers now consider tag management critical to their online success, according to an Econsultancy survey.

In the past, marketers have been highly restricted in their ability to launch new campaigns or solutions during the critical holiday season, especially for those in e-commerce. Tag management frees them to act faster and more efficiently to help maximize sales. This winter, don’t put your digital marketing on ice. Remain agile, and keep your sales hot.

heather_fowleHeather Fowle is Tealium’s Director of Partner Marketing and is responsible for cultivating and leading joint go-to-market initiatives for Tealium’s entire partner community both on the agency and technology sides of the house. Heather has over ten years of experience leading partner marketing with various organizations including inContact, Alfresco and SPSS.