My Love-Hate Relationship with Google Tag Manager

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(more love than hate to be precise!)

 

Love Story Love

 

I remember the day when I heard about Google Tag Manager for the first time. The concept was so cool, too cool to be true to be perfectly honest with you. You ask your clients to put a piece of a code on their websites – and any other event tracking, clicks, actions and firing rules can be done remotely without touching the website’s source code. So cool !!! My immediate feeling as the account manager were:

 

  • I will save so much time on making the changes myself, instead of asking the clients to do it.
  • The clients will also save so much time by not being involved in things they sometimes were not familiar with (and, if they were, it wouldn’t necessarily be their priority to sort this out quickly).

 

So, as I said – Tag Manager is a very cool and revolutionary idea! Love it!

 

Hate Storyhate

 

I also remember the day when I sat comfortably in my chair (oh, man, my chair is sooo comfortable…it’s just one of the many benefits of working at Broadplace) and with great expectations I started to set up the Tag Man (Yeah, such a cool nickname!) for one our clients. So, let’s see what happened below:

 

    • Creating account – nice and easy – Loved It
    • GTM code generated – automatically, nice and easy – Loved It
    • Creating a container – nice and easy – Loved It

 

  • ….so nice, so easy, so far…

 

  • Creating tags – nice and easy – Loved It
  • Creating Rules (renamed to Triggers it a new Tag Man layout)
    • nice and easy for some (Listeners, Universal Analytics) – Loved It
    • but some other (Events)…well – Hated It

 

In theory it was quite easy to set up, backed up with some great “Google Tag Manager Event Tracking” article my colleagues produced. But, the reality was a bit challenging, I would say. Some rules (triggers) didn’t want to fire (for no discernable reason), some other were firing where you didn’t expect them to fire – So, all in all, not a great experience. But…

 

Love Story, Actually

 

…when, after lots of trying, testing, swearing (I mean….verbally expressing my thoughts), I eventally managed to complete the Tag Man account set up. And now I can say – it was worth doing. Managing the tags and rules (triggers) is…nice and easy – Loved It…and still Love It.

 

To summarize

 

In my humble opinion, Google Tag Manager is a great tool. It needs some attention initially and lots of patience, but it pays off. The Tag Man has got the potential to be an amazing Google product. One condition – Google smart guys need to find a way to implement e-commerce tracking in the Tag Man. When it’s done – I would personally buy them a pint (or two).

 

By Michal Wielechowski

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