Home / Analytics  / Picking a Tag Management Solution: Google Tag Manager vs. Tealium
Home / Analytics  / Picking a Tag Management Solution: Google Tag Manager vs. Tealium
Jeffrey Wiesman

Jeffrey Wiesman is a manager on the Technical Operations team at The Search Agency, where he has worked since 2017.

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    Janice R

    Apologies in advance of my lengthy response. I applaud the article, but I think it is comparing two products which are wolves in sheep’s clothing, and I speak from experience as a digital marketing leader who has been severely burned by choosing both of these solutions in the recent past.

    Although there are some adequate features for both of these solutions which address common needs– readers should understand that both are client-side [read:non-server side], procedurally-based “container” tag solutions which 1) expose javascript for exploits and code [the same issues that are making headlines frequently these days], 2) are NOT 1st-Party solutions which can’t address the automatic blocking of most 3rd Party Tags by default browser settings, 3) do not offer or provide EFFECTIVE, robust, consultative customer service and support, and 4) do not attract the kind of martech talent that you actually need who can solve the larger problem of preventing the waste of your marketing dollars through inefficient programmatic ad spend.

    Brands are losing millions of dollars in media spend each year to Google, various DMPs, and various DSPs, and SSPs due to the fact that they do not own or desire to own and control their own data. There are enormously better TMS solutions out there that better connect your visitors to the marketing offers and conversations that you want to have. Most brands will freely spend millions on programmatic without realizing that 40 to 50% of that spend is completely wasted. Google is part of this problem, and rents the brand’s data back to them while expiring its abstracted unique identifier so that the brand cannot query its customer journey data on its own. Essentially, Google is holding every brand’s data hostage– just like a DMP. Additionally GTM contains nothing in its product to address advertising efficiency– in fact it KNOWS that 40% of the ads are fraudulently flighted and have a policy to refuse reimbursement on initial asks. The system is corrupt, agencies know it, and enterprise brands are getting ripped off with “Freemium” solutions like GTM. Tealium is also not addressing the issue, and making the problem worse by claiming to solve media spend efficiency problems while exposing brands to known rogue javascript and security flaws with no ability to help the brands with the larger customer journey connectivity problem. So a brand can’t just jump into a contract with a TMS just because they claim to have something more than their competitors. The only proper way to vet this is to employ seasoned practitioners who have solved this problem before. Nothing else will do. Both Google and Tealium promised me that they had reps who could speak to the problems I was seeing and both of them either managed to lead me down a path of spending more money unnecessarily OR just flat out lied to me. I have a chip on my shoulder, sure. But it’s because I’ve already been burned by vendors who will say anything to get my business.

    Another issue is all of the tags on our site that contain piggybacked tags which are slowing down my site and contributing to low time to first byte and poor SEO results. Both GTM and Tealium do not address these important, and often overlooked, issues. I’m not going to endorse who I use now, but I certainly would never use these 2 solutions again until they show me that they care about my ad spend and my site performance.

    Tag management is an important tool, but for the experienced veteran digital marketer TMS is an opportunity for solving a much larger problem on the programmatic side– where an enterprise brand will spend the lion’s share of their dollars. If you receive a TMS solution for ‘free’ or at a weak commoditized price, you will get what you pay for. Is it really worth spending $40k USD on a TMS solution when you’re throwing $10m USD away in media spend?? Apparently many of my colleagues believe this to be true and I SMH.

    There are at least 2 other TMS solutions out there that address media optimization solutions *properly* through their other solutions. But neither GTM or Tealium even attempt to solve this problem (hmmm I wonder why?)– they both make it worse. I’ve demo’d them both at 2 different companies and neither protect the consumer visit or help me target effectively. Last year we re-appropriated $19m in wasted advertising spend. This is spend that had been dripping away down the drain for at least 3 previous consecutive years. I would not have been able to save this money had I not moved away from Tealium. And btw, GTM was even worse for a variety of reasons. Talk about guiding brands down a path of doom.

    If you’re a small business with little advertising spend I can see how a GTM solution might be appealing. If you’re an enterprise brand with significant digital ad spend, and you choose either of these solutions just understand that neither will solve the larger problem that other much more advanced TMS solutions can provide which directly address the ad waste issue and the inherent security liabilities that both GTM and Tealium exacerbate.

    April 27, 2018 at 3:50 pm Reply
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