by Shawn Reed, Director of Product Operations and Innovator Extraordinaire at Search Discovery

When tag management systems first came onto the scene a few years ago, marketers of the world rejoiced. “Finally,” they said. “A way for us to promote and measure our site without needing to write code or even involve the IT department. This is great!” Tag management systems revolutionized the world of digital optimization overnight by putting the power to control online marketing initiatives directly into the hands of — wait for it — the online marketers themselves!

Fast forward a few years to 2012. We’ve all had a few years to enjoy the flexibility and time savings that tag management offers us. But now we find ourselves wishing that it could keep pace with the increasingly complex and demanding requirements of our website and our business. We want to increase the accuracy of our data by making use of the same common data points across all of our analytics, advertising, and retargeting efforts. And we want to be able to have granular control over where and when our rules fire. We wish we could target rules by more than just URLs or clicks on page elements.

Well, wish no more. Satellite, the world’s most advanced tag management system, has added even more powerful features to help you unlock the true power of your tags.

Data Elements

One of the key components to being successful with your online marketing efforts is having the ability to use real-time data about your customer or website in conjunction with your tags. But writing custom code in each rule to retrieve a query string parameter, access a cookie, or read the value of a Javascript variable is tedious — and error-prone. Satellite helps you standardize all of the data points used by your tags via a feature called Data Elements. Simply define the Element once, and use it anywhere in your tags without having to write custom code each time.

data elements list

As you can see from the example above, I’ve already defined a number of Data Elements for my website. These Elements can be based on just about anything you like: Javascript objects, CSS selectors, cookie values, URL parameters, or even your own custom business logic.

Let’s say that I run an online shoe store. When my customers create a profile on my website, I might decide to ask them their favorite shoe brand so that I can use that information to offer them special promotions on future visits. If every page contains a user object, I can create one or more Data Elements to make use of the information it contains.

data elements

Once that Element has been created, I can simply drop its value into any of my tags by typing its name surrounded by percent (%) signs. In fact, when I type % in any of Satellite’s tag value fields, I am automatically presented with a popup where I can click to choose any of the Elements I have already defined.

data element popup

When the rule runs, it will now replace the string “%Past Purchaser%” with the actual value of the Data Element before passing the value to your analytics tool or marketing tag. And if one of my colleagues needs to define a new rule that needs the same information, they can use the same Data Element and not have to worry that their definition of a “past purchaser” is different than mine. Simplicity and consistency in one!

Rule Conditions

If you’ve ever used a tag management system before, you know that it’s very easy to create rules that only run on specific pages of your website. Isn’t it time to start thinking bigger? Satellite has. It lets you segment your users in real time by creating rules based on a virtually unlimited set of criteria. You can handle tagging, personalization, and more using conditions based on everything from the user’s browser and operating system to information about their behavior on the site. That’s right — Satellite’s not just for tagging. We can help you step into the world of behavioral targeting as well. Keep reading, this is about to get really good…

rule criteria all

Powerful stuff, right? Let’s look at a few examples of how we might use these rule conditions to target rules to specific types of visitors.

Maybe I’m having a special on my site for people who are having birthdays this month and I want to offer them a free gift whenever they reach the Checkout pages. No problem — I simply create a campaign that runs for the month of November, and then I create a rule that runs on Checkout pages, but only for users born during that month.

november birthday promo

Perhaps I want to watch out for people who have been on my site for a long time but haven’t added anything to their cart yet, so that I can offer them a discount code and entice them to make a purchase.

help you find something

Or maybe I have an online publication and I’ve decided I want to try redirecting people to a subscription page if they’ve already viewed more than 10 articles during their visit.


Guess what? You, the marketer, just set up all that custom business logic on your site in a matter of minutes and didn’t write a single line of code. How amazing is that?

I hope you can see just how easy it can be with Satellite to truly unlock the power of your tags, without writing even a single line of code. These two new features will help you take your online marketing to a whole new level — and we’re not done yet. We are continuing to innovate and bring new features to our users every week, including native integrations with analytics and marketing vendors, and security features that are unparalleled in the industry. If you’d like to learn more about how Satellite can make your life easier, drop me a line.

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