The Tao of Tag Management


One of my favorite books is ‘The Tao of Pooh’ written by Benjamin Hoff. I read it for the first time years ago, and I am still enamored with how Winnie-the-Pooh embodies the concept of Wu Wei (i.e. “effortless doing” or “just being”). I have had varying degrees of success with striking balance in my own life, so Pooh is one of my models for creating harmony with myself. I suppose I am drawn to Satellite (now Adobe Dynamic Tag Manager) because it’s user interface works much like Pooh lives. When Pooh wants honey, he finds a honeycomb. He does not care about the rigid  colonization structure that bees live in or the interconnected hexagons that honeycombs are created with. Pooh just knows (or only cares to know) that there is honey. Likewise, when I want to setup a site conversion, or I want to track an event – I know DTM works. I don’t know exactly how it works – I just know that it does. I need not concern myself with object oriented programming paradigms or complex data processing algorithms. I am after honey.


“Rabbit’s clever,” said Pooh thoughtfully.
“Yes,” said Piglet, “Rabbit’s clever.”
“And he has Brain.”
“Yes,” said Piglet, “Rabbit has Brain.”
There was a long silence.
“I suppose,” said Pooh, “that that’s why he never understands anything.”

Benjamin Hoff, ‘The Tao of Pooh’

I am drawn to DTM because it works (I dare say) painlessly for most marketers, but I love DTM because it bridges he gap between data and insights. With today’s technology, gathering numbers is easy. I can use something as rudimentary as web server logs to capture behavior on a site. However, what do these numbers mean – or more importantly – how can I expeditiously get to the measurements that matter to me? This is where DTM shines because it is built around managing actions more than managing tags. How many people clicked a button or downloaded a PDF? Of those people that downloaded a PDF, how many bought a widget? Whatever tool you are using to read your data, DTM helps you make the best of it.  It just does.

It would be disingenuous of me to say that the advanced capabilities (segmentation, dynamic data elements, etc.) that are available through DTM can happen with no foundational knowledge or with no effort at all. On the contrary, power DTM users are knowledgeable in business disciplines like marketing and strategy and in technical disciplines like HTML and JavaScript. The beauty of DTM is that you can be an effective user with good business and basic technical skills. Since DTM “just does“, you can find your honey and be on your Wei better than with any other solution on the market.

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