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.

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.

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.

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…

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.

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.

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.