That moment when you are using a tool and you real­ize that it not only does every­thing you want­ed it to do, but it has extra fea­tures that you did not even know you need­ed.    Before I came to my sens­es and joined the team at Search Dis­cov­ery | Satel­lite, I wrote a post “Sure your tag man­age­ment sys­tem is cool, but I want more“.   As I was work­ing with Satel­lite this past week I thought back on that post and real­ized that all the things on my wish list are not only met by Satel­lite, but exceed­ed.

My Wish List

  • I want more con­trol over user accounts
  • I want more con­trol on how I man­age the code/tags/sites in the sys­tem
  • I want more con­trol on how code is deployed and pro­mot­ed to my dig­i­tal assets
  • I want more con­trol over tem­plates, sam­ples, pre-pro­vid­ed code
  • I want more con­trol on host­ing options for the code
  • I want to stop focus­ing on tags and focus on the data

This list was born out of frus­tra­tion from work­ing with oth­er TMS ven­dors for thou­sands of hours, and work­ing side by side with clients try­ing to solve their busi­ness needs using sub­stan­dard tools.  Tag Man­age­ment should not have to be that hard.  Thank­ful­ly, it is not that hard when you are using the right tool.

More control over user accounts:

Satel­lite pro­vides a robust user man­age­ment plat­form that is easy to use, easy to under­stand, and easy to man­age.  We are able to accom­plish this by pro­vid­ing a sys­tem that was designed with busi­ness users in mind by enabling you to man­age access & per­mis­sions to your dig­i­tal assets in an intu­itive way.   Satel­lite allows you to assign users to the fol­low­ing roles:


And these roles are flex­i­ble enough to han­dle any use case that I have seen in work­ing with Tag Man­age­ment over the past few years.  And that flex­i­bil­i­ty is key as the rigid & cum­ber­some user man­age­ment sys­tems in oth­er tools result in frus­tra­tion and set­ting all users to admin­is­tra­tors and then you have intro­duced a sig­nif­i­cant lev­el of risk to your imple­men­ta­tion.  Keep the process sim­ple and easy to man­age and it will func­tion as designed.   You can read more about Satellite’s user man­age­ment here.

More control on managing the code/tag/sites:

The orig­i­nal com­plaint I had was try­ing to man­age one or more sites with hun­dreds and maybe thou­sands of rules and lack of or the com­plex­i­ty of try­ing to do that with the lim­it­ed options of oth­er sys­tems.  Satel­lite han­dles this issue a cou­ple of ways, the first we have the abil­i­ty to add any meta­da­ta to rules that you need in order orga­nize and man­age the rules with­in your account. This cus­tom meta­da­ta fea­ture allows you to struc­ture things in a way that makes sense to your busi­ness with­out try­ing to con­vert your infor­ma­tion into a sys­tem that will not sup­port your struc­ture.

Screen Shot 2013-02-23 at 10.18.21 PM

Stop focusing on tags and focus on the data:

The oth­er way that Satel­lite han­dles this issue is some­thing that is not only quite ele­gant, but core to the foun­da­tion of the Satel­lite itself.   Satel­lite was designed around solv­ing busi­ness needs first, and send­ing data to the var­i­ous data col­lec­tors tags and scripts while still a crit­i­cal step is not the pri­ma­ry design point.   With­in Satel­lite, rules are cre­at­ed around the user inter­ac­tion with your site.  You cre­ate rules that are based on busi­ness goals and objec­tive on your site that are impor­tant to you and your bot­tom line.  Once you have iden­ti­fied those behav­iors or seg­ments then you can from one rule send that data rel­e­vant to that inter­ac­tion to one or one hudred or more tags & scripts.   You can read more about this approach here.

More control on how code is deployed and promoted to my digital assets:

One of the prob­lems that I ran into time and time again was how to man­age deploy­ing code to stag­ing and pro­duc­tion sites and then being able to edit and main­tain those rules with­out impact­ing pro­duc­tion sites or risk plac­ing code on pro­duc­tion that had not been val­i­dat­ed & test­ed first.  The foun­da­tion to how Satel­lite han­dles this request begins with the actu­al library files.  We split the files into dis­tinct stag­ing & pro­duc­tion libraries.  This pro­vides 100% cer­tain­ty that no code that is in stag­ing and being devel­oped will ever make it into pro­duc­tion with­out being both approved and pub­lished.  This approach not only gives you the peace of mind that the crit­i­cal step of QA & val­i­da­tion is being per­formed, but it allows your staff work­ing on new rules to work with­out fear of acci­den­tal­ly hav­ing code sneak into pro­duc­tion.  Find me at a con­fer­ence some­time and I can share some hor­ror sto­ries of see­ing this hap­pen first hand.    Below is the com­ple­men­tary piece to solv­ing this issue, Satellite’s work­flow man­age­ment process whichI have detailed the entire process in a pre­vi­ous post.   If you do not find and adhere to a sol­id work­flow process then you should spend some time pol­ish­ing your resume, because if you allow bad code to neg­a­tive­ly impact your site you will be look­ing for some­thing new to do.


More control over templates, samples, pre-provided code

I lied. Ok, maybe I was just wrong. I do not want any tem­plates with­in a tag man­age­ment tool.  Being told or con­vinced that using a tem­plate to deploy code on your site is a good idea is like walk­ing into a cloth­ing store and being sold a muumuu as the only clothes you will ever need.  Sure it will cov­er your parts, but who in their right mind would want to be seen in one of those.  One size fits all is is for base­ball caps, snug­gies, and oth­er poor fash­ion choic­es.  It is not a dig­i­tal mea­sure­ment strat­e­gy.   You can read more about tem­plates and their per­ceived ben­e­fits here.

More control on hosting options for the code

CDN. TDN. Quin­tu­ple redun­dant high avail­abil­i­ty par­a­digm shift­ing glob­al­iza­tion empow­er­ment big data syn­er­gis­tic plat­form.  These are total­ly awe­some if you are play­ing buzz­word bin­go, but they have been ren­dered com­plete­ly irrel­e­vant.   We also have an acronym for Satel­lites host­ing platform…wait for it… Y.O.U.R.S.    You have already invest­ed in a host­ing solu­tion for your web site, so you can either sign up for anoth­er round of bin­go, or you can lever­age that invest­ment and ensure that you have the high­est lev­el of avail­abil­i­ty of any solu­tion in the mar­ket with host­ing the code on your own web site.   You can read more about Satel­lite host­ing options here.

More Cowbell

Ok, that was not part of the orig­i­nal list but who could not use more cow­bell.

When I wrote that post last year I was hope­ful that some­time over the next few years that my wish list would be ful­filled.  I had no idea that all of my requests were already being han­dled by Satel­lite TMS.   If you would like to talk more about any of the items on my list to see how they can help you with your dig­i­tal mea­sure­ment ini­tia­tives email me at