The State of Tag Management: An Interview with Ensighten

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I’m very excited to bring you part three of our State of Tag Management Q&A series! This week, we spoke with Ensighten’s Josh Manion, CEO and Founder.


Josh Manion Ensighten

Photo courtesy of

Josh Manion, CEO and Founder of Ensighten



Josh took the time to offer us some insights on the state of tag management and its future. Enjoy!


How would you explain the value of tag management to somebody that’s worked in the digital analytics industry but has never heard of the concept?

Anyone who works with data knows, too much time is spent chasing down data, aggregating it across silos and cleansing it, but not enough time analyzing it. Tag management flips the equation on its head by making it very easy to collect and standardize data from all third-party marketing vendors across all digital touchpoints. The implications are important for digital analytics:

  1. Data silos are eliminated.
  2. Marketers can collect first-party data from all digital channels, where traditionally only third-party data is available.
  3. Integration with a data layer enriches the dataset for all third-party marketing vendors.

In essence, an enterprise-level tag management system removes the hurdles and empowers the digital analytics community to do what they do best: focus on driving actionable insights.

[Tweet “An enterprise TMS empowers the digital analytics community to focus on driving actionable insights.”]


What is the main reason, in your opinion, tag management and tag management systems have become such a hot topic in the digital analytics space?

On the one side, marketing technology continues growing exponentially. We are in a stunning cycle of innovation as network bandwidth and computing speeds increase, and storage costs decrease. This is rapidly accelerating the evolution of the marketing technology landscape, as the number of vendors doubled from 2014 to 2015.

As technology has evolved, so has consumer behavior. Digital platforms continue to proliferate across web, social and mobile environments. And the expanding Internet of Things has introduced consumers to new digital offerings, including wearable devices with embedded technology.

These two trends have collided to create the perfect storm within the digital analytics space. Marketers need to leverage best-of-breed marketing technologies, while also accounting for an ever-expanding number of consumer digital devices. The key to successfully managing this increasing complexity is an Open Marketing Platform with tag management at its foundation. An Open Marketing Platform empowers digital marketers to collect, own and act on data across digital touchpoints.


How has the acceptance of tag management among Fortune 500 companies changed when comparing today with two or three years ago? And why do you think that is?

Today’s enterprise marketers don’t have just a few revered technologies in their arsenal—they maintain and continuously evolve an entire marketing technology stack. Just a few years ago, all a great marketer needed was a core set of technologies within a handful of categories, such as email, search and display advertising and analytics. In today’s competitive environment, marketing technology stacks now need to account for up to 43 different categories, according to ChiefMartech’s latest marketing technology landscape.

Marketers also face much larger challenges as they are called on to manage volumes of data growing at exponential speeds. They need to be able to deliver optimized experiences across every platform and channel and scale initiatives across the globe. The original tag management tools were focused on websites and strictly about managing tags, which only addressed part of a marketer’s needs.

The best of today’s enterprise-level, tag management solutions bring omni-channel data and tag management into the center of an organization’s marketing strategy, allowing marketers to craft personalized customer experiences in real time, across all channels.


When you think about the evolution of the tag management industry, is the industry still in its infancy or has it moved on to a more mature phase?

The market has embraced the wisdom of using the tag management system. However, tag management is still very much in an early growth phase. Adoption of even basic tag management is growing rapidly within Fortune 1000 companies. But, Ensighten has never been solely about tags. We are about optimizing the digital relationship with consumers. From the beginning, we believed that the need to deploy and manage tags through an agile system was the presenting symptom of much larger pain points for marketers, including how to manage and act on data, and how to deliver optimized customer experiences across every available channel and device. Our focus, as a result, is on optimizing tag management within the context of our Open Marketing Platform that delivers capabilities required to do omni-channel, personalized marketing to support consumers.


How will the tag management industry evolve over the next five years? Any predictions?

Tag management will evolve tremendously over the next several years. We firmly believe that the Ensighten Open Marketing Platform provides a glimpse of the future by incorporating data beyond the tag, including offsite and offline data, and giving marketers the ability to execute 1:1 marketing in real time across all channels, platforms and devices. Some call it the “marketing hub” or the “digital intelligence platform.” The name may change but the premise will not – it will be foundational and a must-have for all marketers.

A great example of where the market is going comes from United Airlines, which among other things is leveraging our Open Marketing Platform to break down data silos, capture previously inaccessible advertising view-thru data and stitch together consumer profiles cross-device for personalized marketing.

The challenge for brands to advance is that they need to embrace omni-channel marketing as the principal communication strategy with their customers and prospects. Today, companies are still trying to figure it out, but tag management technologies and marketing organization structural changes are helping to overcome some of the obstacles traditionally associated with omni-channel marketing.

[Tweet “The challenge for brands is that they need to embrace omni-channel marketing”]



About Josh Manion

Josh brought the breakthrough Ensighten tag management technology to market in 2009, and continues to lead the company’s technology vision and strategic operations.

He established Ensighten’s key accounts, including Sony, Microsoft, American Express, Staples, Home Depot and Capital One, which put the company on the fast track to success. Prior to Ensighten, he served for seven years as the CEO of Stratigent, a web analytics and marketing optimization consultancy. Over his career, Josh has worked with clients such as Motorola, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Mattel and General Mills, and with partners such as Omniture, Google Analytics, Coremetrics and ExactTarget.

About Ensighten

Ensighten, the global leader in omni-channel data and tag management, is changing the face of digital marketing by transforming the way enterprises collect, own and act on their customer data across all marketing channels and devices.

The Ensighten Open Marketing Platform enables enterprises to achieve true one-to-one personalization, accelerate the execution and optimization of their marketing initiatives and deliver superior user experiences. Ensighten, with its unique hybrid-tagging™ technology, powers companies generating over $1.9 trillion in revenue in over 150 countries.

The world’s leading brands (Microsoft, Capital One, United Airlines and T-Mobile) achieve marketing agility by implementing Ensighten’s single line of code. Ensighten is headquartered in the heart of Silicon Valley in San Jose, with offices in San Diego, London and Sydney.

To learn more, visit, and join the conversation on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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Originally Published On May 1, 2015
October 8, 2020