Tag management refers commonly to the use of a service dedicated to simplify third party tags management on a website (see third party tags for more details about specific issues)
The principle of tag management is to remplace all third party tags on the website by a single Java script tag on every page. This single tag is called container tag, universal tag, master tag or other names according to vendors.
All needed third party tags are declared or implemented on a central console also called tag manager. When a third party tag must be added or removed, the operation is made at the tag manager level (console) whithout implementing or removing code on the website.
When a page is visited, the universal tag is loaded at the same time that the page and collects data needed by all third party tags hosted in the tag management console (also called tag manager). A set of rules allows to select which data have to be passed along as all tags are not used for a given page or visit.
Theorically tag management allows to reduce page loading times which is good for visitors and search engine ranking and reduces implementation labor costs and delays as there is no more needs to mobilize IT teams for each new tag implementation.
Some tag management systems also enable marketers to better manage privacy issues by controlling data collection, by supporting privacy initiatives such as Do Not Track and by offering geo-based privacy settings.
Lastly, some vendors may offer attribution modeling services.
Tag management vendors charge their clients according to :
volume (bandwith, page views, tag containers loaded, etc.)
as a part of a suite of services
In october 2012 Google introduced his free Google Tag Manager.
In a broader sense tag management may also refers to all aspects of third party tag implementation even if no dedicated management system is used.
An example of tag management consol :