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How do you migrate site and media tags to a tag manager?

Published: July 19, 2016

Author: Sean Adams

You’re not going to get very far as a marketer if you’re not tracking users and data through your website. In order to do that, you’re going to need to use pixels and tags. Most people have some tags set up already; they used to typically be placed by an engineer or developer to a certain specification on the site.
Using this old method has its downsides: it’s expensive to pay your developer to do this (technically simple) work, and you might be beholden to release schedules (maybe you’re pushing a website revision in two weeks, but you have a new campaign launching tomorrow – what do you do?).
Tag management systems can alleviate those problems. What lives within your site instead of a series of piecemeal tags is a container. The container holds the tags. You can update the contents of the container without needing to make changes to your site directly.
This makes it dramatically easier to dynamically change mappings: if you have a couple of media pixels and need three more that use the same data, that’s easy to accomplish. Placing these tags manually is a much more difficult prospect.
Moving to some kind of tag manager is a no brainer, but moving is hard, right? Here’s what you should take into account when you’re looking to make the switch.
Two main components to moving successfully: The initial process, and the ongoing process.

Initial Process

  1. Audit and inventory your existing tags: what they are, what data they capture, where they live.
  2. Inventory what data points are feeding into the tags you’re currently using.
  3. Decide which tag manager you’re going to use, and go with it!
  4. Get the container live on your site.
  5. “Wire up” the tags in the manager you pick. This is where steps 1-2 help!
  6. Go live with the new tags.


Ongoing process

Don’t forget the maintenance. You might move to a new template on your site, so you have to QA periodically in order to make sure data is still coming in accurately. Additionally, you should ensure you have a thought-out process with roles and responsibilities to ensure your container is managed appropriately.
That’s all there is to it. If you make sure to account for all of these factors, you should have your new tag manager up and running in no time!

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