Choosing a Tag Management System: A Comparative Analysis

Digital Analytics
Samuel Ordieres
Choosing a Tag Management System: A Comparative Analysis

Unlocking the power of efficient tag management is crucial for optimizing your online presence. However, with so many options out there, choosing a tag management system tailored to your business needs can feel like navigating a labyrinth.

For it, in this blog post, we’ll delve into the world of tag management solutions to help you make informed decisions. Our mission is clear: highlight the unique qualities of each solution, empowering you to select the perfect fit for your company through an extensive review of various tag management systems and their distinct value propositions. By doing so, we aim to streamline your decision-making process, making it easier to filter through this labyrinth of options based on your top priorities and requirements.

Table of Contents

What Is a Tag Management System?

Tags are short snippets of JavaScript used to manage the data that flows between your websites and mobile apps and collect data from third-party analytics platforms and digital marketing tools.

Tag Management Solutions, also known as Tag Management Systems (TMS), simplify the process of web and mobile tracking, enabling digital analysts and digital marketers to create, edit, and deploy tags in minutes without technical assistance.

Here are just a few benefits that come with using a tag management system:

  • Reduced IT workload: Traditionally, marketers and analysts had to submit a ticket to IT every time they wanted to deploy or update a tag, making it harder for data-driven professionals to be agile and measure outcomes quickly. Tag Management Solutions empower non-technical users to manage and deploy marketing and analytics tags, liberating valuable resources and time in the IT department.
  • Consolidated and Standardized Processes: TMS platforms also foster consistency and efficiency, ensuring uniformity across the process of updating tags.
  • Effortless Tracking and Maintenance: With a Tag Management System, handling large volumes of tags becomes a breeze thanks to its intuitive interface and robust tracking capabilities.
  • Enhanced Performance: TMS can also make your web pages load faster by controlling the way your tags load. Consequently, with faster page load times and optimized site performance, TMS solutions elevate the user experience, driving customer engagement and satisfaction.
  • Privacy Compliance Made Easy: In an era of heightened data privacy concerns, tag management solutions offer peace of mind, facilitating seamless adherence to regulatory requirements.

Choosing the Right Tag Management Solution

Let's cut to the chase: choosing the right Tag Management System according to your company’s needs. If you’re here, you’re either embarking on the journey of selecting a tag management tool for the first time or seeking alternatives to enhance your existing tag management setup. Let's dive right in!

The classic players

Google Tag Manager: A Budget-Friendly Option

Looking for a free tag manager solution? Then Google Tag Manager is for you.

Google Tag Manager (GTM) is a free tool provided by Google, offering website owners the ability to manage and deploy marketing and analytics tags without the need for technical knowledge or assistance from IT teams.

One of its standout features is its widespread adoption, making it one of the most used tag management systems globally. GTM seamlessly integrates with Google Analytics 4, Google AdWords, and various other tools, ensuring compatibility across websites and apps of all sizes, and allowing you to add and update tags for a variety of marketing and analytics tools across websites and apps.

Additionally, Google Tag Manager also allows you to set up triggers and variables to control when and where tags are fired, providing greater flexibility and precision in your tracking efforts.

If you use Google Tag Manager, you can install Trackingplan without accessing your site's code. Learn more about how to enhance data observability with Trackingplan and Google Tag Manager here.

Tealium IQ Tag Management: The Agnostic One

While Google Tag Manager facilitates connectivity with Google's suite of products, you should also consider the potential limitations of tying yourself exclusively to Google’s ecosystem.

In this regard, if you think this may limit your flexibility in case you prefer to diversify your marketing and analytics tools to other analytics platforms, then an agnostic solution like Tealium IQ Tag Management is your go-to option.

Tealium IQ Tag Management's integration capabilities offers you the flexibility to seamlessly integrate with any analytics platform provider, ensuring smooth transitions and optimal performance regardless of your choices. Equipped with numerous vendor integrations, you can quickly deploy and manage vendor tags, experiment with new technologies, and maintain complete control over your Martech stack.

Moreover, if your company has multiple high-traffic websites or complex requirements, Tealium is the perfect option to help marketers keep track of all their tags.

Finally, beyond its tag management capabilities, its auto-tagging software allows server-side tagging integration, which will be discussed in more detail throughout this article, offering robust privacy capabilities while ensuring compliance with regulations and industry standards.

Adobe Experience Platform Launch: Easy Adobe Integration

If your company already relies on Adobe’s suite and you’re looking for a tag manager that seamlessly integrates with them, Adobe Experience Platform Launch is your option.

Apart from finding it easy to implement Adobe's tag management solution to your already existing Adobe Products, its agnostic capabilities also make it a great choice to seamlessly integrate it with products outside Adobe’s ecosystem.

Adobe Experience Platform Launch is a tag management system that unifies and connects technologies in the marketing ecosystem to help users break down silos and bottlenecks. It enables marketers to easily add, update, and remove tags without the need for extensive coding knowledge.

This platform empowers marketers to streamline their digital marketing initiatives by centralizing tag, script, and pixel management across various platforms. Moreover, its user-friendly interface simplifies the implementation and maintenance of marketing technologies, including analytics, advertising, personalization, and social media tools.

Ensighten Manage: A Reliable Ally on Data Privacy

For businesses prioritizing robust security measures and stringent policies, Ensighten Manage emerges as a reliable ally, providing comprehensive security features and robust data backup capabilities.

With a keen focus on data privacy, Ensighten Manage addresses the evolving and stricter regulatory landscape excelling in security-focused environments, where adherence to policies and meticulous processes is key. Designed for highly collaborative settings, it offers marketers the technical flexibility necessary to configure and deploy a diverse range of web tagging requirements effectively.

Notably, Ensighten Manage allows testing different scripts on production without committing them to the environment, providing flexibility and control for users across various departments.

New Players

As the significance of data governance continues to rise and governments worldwide continue tightening data privacy regulations, it's imperative that the Tag Management System you choose not only simplifies the tagging process but also prioritizes data privacy and security features.

In response to these evolving demands, a wave of new players has emerged, offering robust solutions designed to ensure regulatory compliance while safeguarding sensitive data through cutting-edge privacy-enhancing features. Furthermore, some of these also offer on-premise solutions to align with your organization's security-focused approach, providing greater control over data management and minimizing risks associated with cloud-based solutions. Let’s see some options:

Piwik PRO Tag Manager: On-Premise Hosting

If your company is subject to stringent regulations or upholding elevated standards for privacy and security, Piwik PRO Tag Manager offers a comprehensive solution by enabling you to host your tag management and analytics data directly on-premise, rather than relying on cloud-based servers.

In situations where technical and legal requirements demand heightened security measures, on-premise hosting provides more control and assurance. By managing your data within your organization's infrastructure, you can mitigate risks associated with third-party cloud hosting while ensuring compliance with regulatory mandates.

Piwik PRO goes beyond traditional tag management solutions by offering robust consent management features, including opt-out and Do Not Track options at the individual tag level. This granular control allows users to tailor their data collection practices in alignment with user preferences and regulatory guidelines.

Furthermore, Piwik PRO Tag Manager provides the option to enable zero-cookie load, further enhancing privacy measures by minimizing data collection and reducing reliance on cookies for tracking purposes.

Matomo Tag Manager: The No-Code Solution For Non-Technical Users

Tag Management Solutions are often likened to a "black box," containing all the tags on your website. However, if a visitor blocks the TMS script, it can result in blocking all resources included within it. In contrast, Matomo Tag Manager is hosted directly on your website, minimizing the likelihood of this scenario.

Matomo Tag Manager stands out as an open-source platform tailored for non-technical users, offering a seamless experience in managing and unifying all tracking and marketing tags without requiring coding knowledge.

Designed with simplicity in mind, Matomo Tag Manager empowers users to effortlessly integrate various features into their websites, ranging from analytics and conversion tracking to newsletter signups, exit pop-ups, surveys, and beyond. With its intuitive interface, even users without technical expertise can implement and manage these features efficiently.

One of the key advantages of Matomo Tag Manager is its ability to measure the success of different elements within marketing campaigns and external channels. By providing insights into the performance of various tracking and marketing efforts, users can make data-driven decisions to optimize their strategies for better results.

Moreover, Matomo's Tag Manager ensures the correct implementation and loading of all snippets, contributing to faster website performance. This reliability and efficiency not only enhance user experience but also positively impact search engine rankings, conversion rates, and overall website performance metrics.


As marketing and legislation evolve, server-side tagging tools are taking a step in as a secure, accurate, and controllable solution to collect data and deploy tags seamlessly.

Gone are the days of relying solely on client-side tag execution, where website performance and data accuracy could be compromised. Server-side tagging platforms provide businesses with a centralized interface to manage and deploy tags, streamlining the entire process and gaining granular control over when and how tags are executed. All this, apart from ensuring optimal performance and minimizing the impact on user experience, enhances scalability, reliability, and page load speed, offering a smoother browsing experience for your visitors.

Infographic showing the differences between client-side tagging and server-side tagging

But server-side tagging is not just about efficiency and performance; it also opens a world of integration possibilities with popular marketing and analytics tools like Google Analytics 4, Facebook, or other tools without triggering any third-party code in the web or mobile part.

While we've highlighted several tools capable of implementing server-side tagging in this article, including Tealium IQ Tag Management, Google Tag Manager, Adobe Experience Platform Launch, Matomo Tag Manager, and Ensighten Manage, let’s see another option worth exploring.

Stape: An Easy and Affordable Way to Server-Side-Tagging

Tired of relying on client-side JavaScript and 3rd party cookies for your tracking needs, then Stape is the solution you’ve been searching for.

Stape is a hosting service specifically designed for the Google Tag Manager (GTM) container on servers. This platform offers a swift and cost-effective solution that simplifies setting up server-side tracking infrastructure. This encompasses various aspects, including cloud hosting and the development of custom solutions, scripts, tags, and plugins to assist website owners and marketers in implementing server-side tracking seamlessly to better understand user behavior, trust your data, and speed up site loading time.


Segment: More Than Just a CDP

Segment primarily functions as a customer data platform (CDP), but it also offers functionalities that could overlap with those of tag managers.

Tag Management Systems primarily focus on ad networks, and can’t support modern tools without extensive customization. On the contrary, Segment takes a data-centric, deliberate approach to destinations, rather than the “firing and forgetting” one used in the majority of TMS solutions.

Moreover, Segment also provides a cloud-based infrastructure for server-side tagging, allowing you to handle tag execution and data processing on the server. This means you don’t need to set up special parameters for each tool, and that Segment will do it for you.

You can learn more about it here.

Frequently Asked Questions when choosing among Tag Management Systems

Let’s finish this article by answering some of the most frequently asked questions when choosing among different Tag Management Solutions.

What factors should I consider when selecting a Tag Management Solution?

When choosing a Tag Management Solution, it's essential to evaluate factors such as ease of use, flexibility, scalability, integrations with other tools, compliance with data privacy regulations, customer support, and cost-effectiveness. Understanding your organization's specific needs and objectives will guide you in selecting the most suitable solution.

For instance, as we’ve seen throughout this article:

  • If your focus is on the budget, and you’re looking for a free tag management solution whose features can expand as your company scales, then Google Tag Manager can be a great option. This is also a great choice if you just need to integrate with Google's suite of products.
  • On the other way around, if you don’t want to limit yourself to any ecosystem in particular, an agnostic solution like Tealium IQ Tag Management or Adobe Experience Platform, which also allows you to seamlessly integrate with Adobe’s suite among others, can be great options.
  • If your focus is on privacy, Ensighten Manage, Piwik PRO Tag Manager, or Matomo Tag Manager are also great options.
  • If you're looking to introduce yourself into Server-Side-Tagging and you're already using GTM, and easy and affordable way to do so would be Stape.
  • Finally, if you’re looking for a replacement as you want to take a data-centric, deliberate approach to destinations, rather than the “firing and forgetting” one used in the majority of TMS solutions, then Segment is for you.

How does a Tag Management Solution benefit my business?

A Tag Management Solution streamlines the process of managing and deploying tags on your website or application, enhancing efficiency, accuracy, and agility in your marketing and analytics efforts. It provides centralized control over tracking and marketing tags, facilitates faster implementation of new technologies, and offers valuable insights into user behavior and campaign performance.

What are the differences between various Tag Management Solutions?

Tag Management Solutions vary in terms of features, pricing models, ease of use, and integration capabilities. Some solutions may offer advanced features such as consent management, data governance, or advanced analytics, while others may focus primarily on simplicity and ease of implementation.

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