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How the most mature organizations are moving beyond tag management to collect highly granular customer interaction data

Published: Friday, 14th December 2018 by Joe Cripps, Product Manager, D4t4 Solutions Plc

A recent Gartner report stated that:

Despite being a foundational discipline, tag management is often an afterthought within marketing organizations, as evidenced by just 58% of U.S. marketing organizations reporting having deployed a tag management technology*.

This surprisingly low adoption level of tag management systems (TMSs) indicates low maturity regarding the systematic capturing of data and suggests that a relatively low proportion of organizations are genuinely ‘data driven’. TMSs are consumed in two main formats: as standalone solutions where the data collected is often manually processed and fed into other systems for use, or as a component of most mid-market CDPs. Tagging-based CDPs provide the advantage of profiling customers, eliminating silos and automating the connection of data to the campaign end points where this can be used, but despite their apparent sophistication, the fact remains that tagging is not the most effective means of capturing customer interaction data.

Even though over 40% of marketing organizations are yet to adopt a TMS, in reality Java Script tags are actually a relatively crude means of data capture. The most mature organizations have been moving away from this dated methodology for many years. The reason? Tagging is laborious, costly, results in incomplete data being captured, limited - tags cannot capture mouse clicks or cursor movements for example and the extra code slows down websites and mobile apps. Not only that, tagging can pose a security risk – lest we forget that the British Airways breach from this summer was caused by malicious code masquerading as a Java Script tag.

So, on one hand 40% of organizations have no TMS and presumably capture little or no customer interaction data, and on the other the most advanced fraction of a percent of companies are replacing tagging with a more complete means of data capture. This illustrates the chasm that exists, not only between the extremes of the maturity spectrum, but also within the CDP market itself. Those relatively mature and innovative organizations that have implemented a tagging-based CDP are miles apart from the global banks that have deployed Celebrus to capture all customer experience and behavior data and feed it in real-time to enterprise analytics and decisioning systems.

These organizations have invested hundreds of millions to achieve an accurate and detailed view and understanding of their customers and are prepared to do what is necessary to optimize this investment. They require a specialist CDP that can not only integrate in real-time with the niche software that they use, but can capture far more accurate and complete customer data than would be possible using tags. Many of them aim to personalize in-page content for individual customers as the page loads, so genuine real-time data (data which is available within half a second or less) is a priority. And since the vast majority of these organizations are either leading banks or insurers, compliance and security is even more of a concern than it is for other organizations, so they look to CDP solutions with rigorously developed security features and who offer the option to deploy their solution on-premise.

Gartner refers to the task of tag management being a ‘hot potato between marketing and IT’ in which marketing see the value but lacks the ability or knowledge to undertake tagging, and IT has the skills but do not understand the value. If we assume that the same is true when it comes to CDPs, this observations challenges one of the defining principles of CDP technology. Although the CDP Institute has recently removed the term ‘marketer managed’ from their definition of CDP, other analyst groups maintain this focus. In reality this aspect of the CDP concept at the very least does not apply across the board. The marketer managed ‘dream’ may be achievable in some smaller or mid-market organizations, although it is likely that at the very least marketers will need to collaborate with IT in the operation of CDPs, potentially leading to the ‘hot potato’ described above. But the scale and sophistication of large banking operations necessitates specialist data teams to manage data capture and the flow of customer data. These teams in turn require ‘a different class of CDP’, which is able to:

  • capture data of sufficient detail and accuracy;
  • create definitive customer profiles and a highly compatible data structure;
  • connect the most relevant parts of customer profiles to enterprise analytics and decisioning solutions within milliseconds;
  • and control their customer data in a highly regulated industry

Celebrus is a CDP that does just those things. Find out more about how Celebrus has enabled leading global banks to enhance the quality and availability of their customer data, transforming their customer engagement initiatives. Contact us for more information.

*Improve Efficiency and Digital Marketing Data Governance With Tag Management, Gartner 2018

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