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