Hundreds of marketing technologies, thousands of tags - effective tag management requires more than just an enterprise tag management solution. In this post, I present you my 10 commandments for effective tag management. I think these 10 simple rules are quite obvious and useful for anyone interested in implementing a more robust and effective tagging regime.

Convention over configuration

  • Choose a data layer convention
  • Develop a tagging style guide
  • Fat data layer skinny tags

Pattern Physiology and Pathology

  • Don’t repeat yourself
  • Simplicity before generality, use before reuse
  • Simplify essential complexity; diminish accidental complexity

Pay down your tagging debt

  • Tagging debts are like open shoelaces - disaster waiting to happen
  • Shortcuts now are paid back with interest later

Tagging is about balancing

  • Good tagging requires balancing act between structure and latency.
  • "Perfect" is the Enemy of "Good Enough"
  • You can't future-proof solutions, today's solution is tomorrows problem

Focus on Tag Support and Maintenance

  • Traceability, auditing and logging
  • Always tag as if the guy who ends up maintaining your tag will be a violent psychopath who knows where you live.

In god we trust and all others we audit

  • Control the data, not just the tag
  • Change management and tag governance
  • Understand the impact of change

Reliable and repeatable release process

  • Version everything
  • Deploy continuously

Everything will ultimately fail

  • Automate actions, diagnostics, and processes
  • Tag testing and monitoring as a first class citizen
  • Perform regression, browsers are evil

Choose your weapons carefully, relinquish them reluctantly

  • Tools you must love - Sublime Text, Github, Charles, Android Studio and TestFlight
  • Debuggers are your best friends - Chrome Debugger, Firebug

Understand the business domain

  • Chances are your biggest problem isn't technical
  • Seek the value in requested capabilities
  • Be pragmatic - business first resume later