Google Tag Manager has recently emerged as one of the more powerful tools in the arsenal available to digital marketers. As with most powerful tools, in the right hands, it can create unprecedented insight into the behaviors of customers and prospects and the corresponding opportunities they represent. Let’s start by simplifying the Google Tag Manager (GTM) function and then explore a real-life case study of how it impacts top-line numbers for a B to B retailer.

Most businesses with any behavioral savvy have a strong understanding of Google Analytics and this long-established tool works hand in hand with GTM. There are 4 main components of a successful Tag Manager application and Google Analytics is an important part.

The first is the tag itself. It is basically a script placed somewhere inside a digital framework- a flag waiting for a customer or prospect to access it by opening a page or performing some other action like clicking an email, scrolling to a portion of a web page, or progressing to a certain part of a form. Fairly simple to understand. 

The second element of the process is the trigger. This is the action element in the equation and indicates what has actually occurred in a digital application and reports that data back to Google Analytics. 

The third element of the process is the variable. This is a named placeholder for a changing value. Google Tag Manager enables you to use built-in and custom variables. Examples of built-in variables include Click URL and Click Text. 

The fourth element is the data layer. Use the data layer to temporarily hold data and pass information to the Tag Manager container. A frequently used example of the data layer is on eCommerce sites, where data layer code is added to the receipt page to temporarily collect transaction information such as transactionId or transactionShipping.

Google Tag Manager can generate a voluminous amount of data for a retailer who can then begin to get a clearer understanding of exactly who that user is and their behavior interacting with your digital offering. If say, someone is perusing bone density supplements on a vitamin site, elects to read more information on that topic, scrolls to the bottom of the topic copy, begins to fill out a form and then abandons 60% through the form, using this granular data GTM can help a retailer then shape that behavior and guide them to refine specific future offers for that user.  The process is simple on the surface, but more and more retailers are seeking the assistance of a talented digital marketing agency in the processing of this vast data as implementing strategic future marketing efforts can get complicated quickly.

Example of site engagement events that can be tracked in GTM.

Google Tag Manager can be implemented across a variety of platforms and makes the process of handling these tags more manageable.  Unfortunately, the real challenge for retailers is creating the proper tags, their corresponding containers, and analyzing the data.  The expertise of a digital marketing agency can make a substantial difference in marketing ROI using GTM.

In conclusion, Google Tag Manager can help gather great insights into granular behavioral data. Selecting a strong digital marketing agency to assist in wrangling the corresponding avalanche of information can be a great strategy in the pursuit of improved marketing ROI.