11. Custom & Generic Tags

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Lesson Overview

This comprehensive course covers everything you will need to become a Manage power user - from deploying tags, data layers and event tracking to organizing your TMS strategy and properly QA and troubleshoot.

Learners should have a basic grasp of client-side web technologies.


Hello, welcome back to the Ensighten Manage Training series. If you've been following along, you already watched a video on tags and their creation. In that video, I focused on using apps that are designed for your vendors' tags to make your life easier. But what if you can't find an app for your vendor tag, or maybe there is an app, but it doesn't have all the fields you need it to? Both of these situations call for using either our Generic apps or the Custom JavaScript app. With these handy tools, you can create any vendor tag at all, but they are going to be custom designed for your vendor, of course.

As the time I'm recording this video, there are three of these helpful Generic apps. These apps are GenericPixel, Generic Pixel Multi, and HTML Cut and Paste. HTML Cut and Paste is one that I'm going to advise you try to avoid, unless you're really in a bind. Its purpose is to accept the exact code that your vendor gave you and translate it on your behalf into a proper JavaScript-only tag. The app works and is totally fine to meet your needs. But if you've spent any amount of time using a language translation app like Google's, and then compare it to the actual interpretation of a native speaker, you'll understand why I caution using this app as well.

That translation is likely to be unnecessarily cumbersome and inefficient compared to what would be the proper version of the tag. More often than not, the vendor's generating their tag code with the assumption that it's going to be placed directly on the page, and including pieces of code that aren't necessary or helpful. Instead, when you find yourself in a situation where you can't or don't want to use the app, I'd advise using one of the GenericPixel apps or simply Custom JavaScript.

GenericPixel and Generic Pixel Multi apps are there to help you create simple pixel building tags. You have a URL and you know what data definitions to use to get your data. So you can simply plug in the appropriate fields and your tag is done. These helper apps are very straightforward and follow the same steps as your previous learning on the full-app tagging. Plug in the URL of your pixel or script, set up your key value pairs, and let the app generate the code for you.

If you did need to do some actual custom work such as configuring the vendor tag based on complex requirements, you've probably already guessed, you're going to end up in the Custom JavaScript app. This is simply an empty box for you to put any and all JavaScript code inside of. The code you place here will be executed from inside of a function. So be aware that your locality isn't this window, unless you've specified that it should be.

There isn't a lot more to discuss here as it is just that open-ended. You'll either be pasting in your vendor's code here, or if you're comfortable with JS yourself, you can certainly author code of your own. We occasionally see users in Manage using a sort of half-and-half method to tag creation and find ourselves doing so, even after many years of familiarity. This method is useful in a scenario where your vendor does have an app in the library, but it does not quite meet your needs. It has everything you want, except for two fields, for example, that are perhaps newer than this iteration of the app's template.

First, you should definitely email our support team to let them know that the app could use an update. And second, it's a great start to use the app anyway, and then transition into Custom JS afterwards. Doing it this way allows you to use the app for most of the heavy lifting. As you can see on the screen, I've populated all of the app fields I intend to use. Now I'm going to grab the generated code by clicking this button and copying it from this box. Then I'll paste that over into a new Custom JavaScript tag. Most of the work has already been completed for me, so I'll just add in the two fields that weren't present in the app and call it a day.

Lastly, on this topic, I wanna cover a special button that's only present in some apps, and that's the Customize button. As you can see here, this app has the Customize button and by clicking on it, I'll find myself on a new screen. Here, I'm able to define some Custom JavaScript code that will be executed either before, or after the normal tag code.

This is a handy little section for niche-use cases, where you want to do some modification or gathering of page data right before your tag would start its normal content, but there's nowhere within the app to do so. Or perhaps you wanted to add a bit more restriction to if or when the tag should fire beyond what you're doing with conditions you've already applied. These are advanced-use cases and do rely on a working knowledge of JavaScript code, so venture here at your own risk. Thanks for watching this video on custom and generic tagging. Next up, we'll be covering a quick topic on reading and reformatting the codes that you received from a vendor.