ACR Analytics Blog

Why Your Marketing Organization Isn’t Agile Enough

October 15, 2014

Agility is simply the ability to move quickly, to act when something needs to get done.

At ACR Analytics we frequently work with customers that express a frustrating inability to act on their marketing initiatives. They describe technological and organizational roadblocks that hamper their agility, and thereby our ability to help them. We’re pretty excited about tag management, one of the latest solutions to these roadblocks, which is why we recently helped to sponsor the Ensighten Agility Conference. You can see below one of the images that we saw during the conference; it immediately piqued my interest and helps to visualize the problem. I’ve seen a few different versions of this, all of them virtually unreadable given the enormous number of technologies that somehow all have to work together. Here’s what Scott Brinker’s version looks like from the blog:


According to Scott, 947 companies are represented here! We find that the IT organization is in some way connected to nearly all of these technologies, which means that every little thing that needs to be done has to go through IT. Even small changes–like adding a tracking event on a button click somewhere on your web site–becomes a major ordeal involving many people and a lot of time, meetings, and coordination. Getting these things pushed through is getting harder every day. Your needs get prioritized against the mountain of other critical projects on IT’s list and you hear the predictable, “Fill out a IT project request and we’ll see if we can get that tag upgraded next quarter”. This in turn produces the frustrated conversation I hear from my customers all the time: “Well, if we have to ask IT to do it, forget it. What can we do right now?” Sound familiar? It’s a marketing organization crying out for agility!

Tag Management Makes You Agile

One way we are seeing a lot of our customers increase their agility is by implementing a tag management strategy. It involves simply taking all the web site tags (that so many of the technologies in the above list use) and managing them in once place. Now, changing tag parameters no longer requires IT involvement–you can do everything yourself. But there’s more to it than that. Much of the power and innovation in the use of these technologies comes from flexible application of their tools. Let’s take Google Analytics as an example. Anyone can place a Google Analytics tag on their page, but much more power is unlocked if I implement custom code on my web pages to tell the Google Analytics system a little more about what it’s tracking. A little conversion funnel here, a little button click tracking there. All it needs is a little (well known, easily google’d) custom code on the page. “Oh no!” Custom code means IT involvement, which means I’ll never get it done, right? Wrong. With tag management, I add the custom code myself with the tag management tools and it’s done. Literally five minutes and it’s done. Multiply this across dozens of marketing tools and suddenly, your marketing organization just got a lot more agile.

Microsoft, Symantec, US Bank: Even the Big Ones are Getting Agile

Ensighten_agility_conference2014 What was really cool to see at Ensighten’s Agility 2014 Conference was how even the largest enterprises were gaining surprising traction by implementing tag management solutions. While each company described different originating challenges, the same motif ran through every conversation: tag management made even these large, complex organizations more agile. No More Hoops to Jump Through At the Agility 2014 Conference we saw some pretty talented performers who could contort their bodies in impressive ways. They epitomized the agility of the human body:

That’s fine for them. But most folks I know are tired of having to contort themselves into uncomfortable positions in order to slide through someone else’s hoops. Time to get the little things back under your control. Get in touch if you’re ready to get more agile. We’re happy to share our thoughts and experiences, including why we really like the direction that Ensighten is headed.