If you've suddenly found yourself in the world of tags and tag management, there might be a few things you find confusing. I know this was the case when I first walked in to Tealium, and I'm hoping I'm not alone in that.
For me, there were four building blocks that formed my foundation:
Universal Data Object (UDO)
As a Senior Trainer on Tealium's Education Team, I want you to be comfortable and confident with the Tealium system. Understanding these four terms is where you begin.
What is a tag?
A tag is a way to collect and exchange information.
This is the most basic way to think of a tag. All tags share this commonality. There are tags out there that do more. Some are very simple and others are complex. However, for our purpose here, let's agree to stay in the shallow end and think in simple terms. We can build out these ideas later.
When visitors journey through your website they are telling you what their interests, habits and behaviors are. If you have clever listeners on your webpages (tags), then you are able to capture their story and send it to various vendors to be analyzed or acted upon. Combining their story with those of your other vistors allows patterns to emerge. These patterns guide you in how to tailor your marketing strategy to your audience.
What is Tag Management?
Tag management is a solution in the form of a user interface (UI) and a small bit of code. The UI (also referred to as the Tealium iQ console) allows you to craft data from your webpage into a better and faster exchange of information with a lot less hassle and headache.
In the Tealium iQ console you have control. Here you create clean data, make decisions that increase site performance and also adapt, alter and test your marketing campaigns quickly and safely (minus the lengthy development cycle). Instead of making updates and changes with developers writing code, it now happens with points, clicks and a little bit of know-how, conveyed to you by your friends at Tealium.
The Data Layer makes it all possible.
You're going to spend quite a bit of time planning out your data layer. So, it's fair to say, you should have a solid understanding of what it is and why it's so important.
The data layer is a funnel for information between your website and Tealium. It's made up of the Universal Data Object (UDO), page variables and other easily accessible data that our Extensions can manipulate to make new data and functionality (but, that's all I'm saying about that because we agreed to stay in the shallow end).
Building your data layer begins by asking "What information from our website do we need?" and then writing it down in the form of variables (this is what we call your business needs) and giving them a name.
Creating your data layer is how you customize information flowing in from your site and translate it into your own business terms. It's the first step in managing your tags.
Universal Data Object (UDO) and .js
How do we make this magic happen? We start by making things simple. We take the tags off your webpage and put them in our console. Having multiple tags on your webpage slows it down and provides lots of opportunities for things to go wrong. We replace your tags with one tag. Ours. Our tag has two components, the Universal Data Object (UDO) and utag.js.
The Universal Data Object (UDO) collects the data from your site and makes it available. Utag.js does the heavy lifting. Once the data is available from the UDO, utag.js fires and decides what information it needs for the mapping, load rules and extensions you have set up in Tealium. From there utag.js works like a mad man to get your information out to your vendors.
It's important that the UDO (utag_data) always sits right above the utag.js on your webpage. Remember, the Universal Data Object (UDO) makes the data available, so it comes first. Utag.js requires this data to be able to do it's job, so it naturally follows the Universal Data Object.
Bringing it all together
Tags are clever listeners that sit on your web pages collecting and sending information about your visitors to your vendors. Tag management makes deploying tags less hectic and more effective. Setting up your data layer to reflect your business needs is an important step in relieving you of the headaches that can plague a multi-tag marketing strategy. This all happens thanks to our clever tag, comprised of the Universal Data Object (UDO) and utag.js. Our tag knows how to communicate with every tag in the marketplace on your defined terms. Telling it exactly what to do is the part you play. And your tool is the Tealium iQ console.
Super simple, right? If you're nodding your head yes, then it's time to ditch the water wings and get in the deep end!
Getting Started with Tealium iQ
Tag Management Concepts
Tealium iQ User Interface Walkthrough
Quick Start Guide
Universal Data Object Guide
Adding Data Sources
Adding a Tag
Save/Publish a version
Publishing Your Tealium iQ Profile
Creating/Resetting Your Password
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