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.