Updated 22nd October 2018
In the same way, that Google created Google Analytics as a free web analytics solution, they have launched Google Tag Manager.
On November 14, 2005, Google announced Google Analytics – a revolutionary product that changed the web analytics software landscape. It was free, delivered as a service, was integrated with Google AdWords, had a solid (if basic) feature set and did I mention it was free?
Despite predictions to the contrary, GA didn’t take over the enterprise web analytics space – sophisticated websites still needed the advanced features and scalability of Omniture SiteCatalyst, CoreMetrics and WebTrends. The GA feature set has improved immensely over the years and today GA is the leading web analytics application with 55.8% of websites worldwide using it. Check out this infographic for more impressive stats on GA usage.
Google’s market entry raised awareness of the category and taught an entire generation of digital marketers about web analytics best practices and the incredible optimization and user insight benefits web analytics can generate.
This trend has also been seen in the tag management space, with the introduction of Google Tag Manager.
What Is Google Tag Manager?
Following from the launch of Google Analytics, Google announced Google Tag Manager as a revolutionary product that would change the tag management software landscape. It is free, delivered as a service, supports Google AdWords, Floodlight, GA and simple 3rd party tracking tags (pixels). And it’s free.
Google Tag Manager limitations:
- Tag Support: GTM is based on a simple container tag architecture, limiting its capability to support critical enterprise tags like MVT, non-GA web analytics, customer experience, consumer survey, online chat, etc.
- No SLA for GTM: While GA also has no SLA – if GA goes down, your website loses some website visitor data. But if GTM goes down, it takes ALL the Google and 3rd party tags down with it, putting an enterprises’ critical digital tools at serious risk if they are managed via GTM.
- Data ownership: Tag management systems have the ability to collect lots of data about your online business and your website visitors. With GTM, it’s unclear, read those terms and conditions carefully.
- Site performance: A simple container tag based TMS can’t provide the same level of improvement of site performance improvement that a sophisticated TMS like Ensighten can. For example, Ensighten reduced Subaru’s homepage loadtime by 2.72 seconds. That type of performance gain is enabled by Ensighten's custom built global Tag Delivery Network, advanced infrastructure custom-built for accelerated real-time tag delivery. Google has impressive world-class infrastructure - but it isn't built for real-time tag delivery.
Ensighten vs Google Tag Manager features
Although there are limiting facets of GTM for the enterprise customers, GTM will significantly impact the already hot tag management space.
Below is a summary of the key differences:
- Bypassing Ad Blockers: With Ensighten's 'First Party TDN' customers have the ability to bypass adblockers. Since GTM does not office First Party capabilities, customers may lose up to 30% of their traffic.
- Web and Mobile Tagging Templates: Ensighten offers 1k+ tagging templates allowing seamless web and mobile migrations. GTM offers less than 75 tagging templates.
- Support & Infrastructure: Ensighten offers 24/7 technical support, a dedicated CSM, and a University full of knowledge base articles. GTM only offers a community page, which includes public forums and knowledge base articles.
- Server-Side Tagging: Ensighten offers Server Side Tagging capabilities which lead to decreasing page load speeds and tagging limitations. Whereas, GTM is a code-injector, they simply do not have the functionality to accomplish SST.
- Enterprise Spaces: Ensighten offers an unlimited amount of spaces, creating a seamless cross-departmental working experience. GTM only offers three spaces, creating a bottleneck for multiple departments.
- Enterprise Permissioning: Ensighten offers levels of robust user permissioning, whereas, GTM only offers roles of admin and user.
- Page Load Speed: Although GTM has competitive page load speeds, pages utilizing Ensighten outperform GTM pages 3/4 times. Regardless of region, ENS maintains an optimal end-user experience over GTM.
For a detailed comparison of Ensighten and Google Tag Manager, click here.
What Is the impact of Google Tag Manager?
First, it has disrupted the business models of tag management vendors serving the low end of the market with simple, container tag-based pixel deployment offerings at low price points. Why pay $50 or $250 a month to deploy a few conversion pixels when GTM can do it for you for free?
Second, Google’s market entry has validated tag management as a critical component of digital marketing infrastructure, drawing new interest from analysts, investors and other observers.
Third, while GTM is unlikely to get the same phenomenal market adoption as GA, it has increased awareness of tag management and exponentially grown the base of marketers who understand its value and leverage the incredible benefits of tag management. Google has created a large tag management user community with great educational resources around GTM, training a new generation of tag management experts.
Overall these factors have accelerated the demand for enterprise tag management solutions, just as GA boosted the growth rate of the enterprise web analytics market.
As the leader in enterprise tag management, that’s great news for Ensighten. With new additions to our management team, a recent large round of funding and continued stellar sales results – we’re ready for accelerated growth of the tag management space.
Welcome Google GTM…seriously. It’s good to have you join the tag management market.