Getting to Know the Data Layer

Marketers want to be more strategic with their marketing tactics and expand upon the ways in which they’re leveraging their data. A consistent question when talking about the data points that are leveraged in event-driven website tracking tags and marketing pixels is, “is it in the Data Layer?” And most often than not, the answer is no. 

One of the drivers behind this response is the limitations most teams have when it comes to opening their data layer to collaboration. They want to use the knowledge and expertise of their teams to enrich data, but struggle to add new data points in an efficient, effective way.

Instead, the workflow may look something like this: 

  • The marketing team files a ticket to a request portal awaiting action from the Development Team. 
  • In the meantime, the inevitable scrape of CSS selectors for values within these tags and pixels start a fragile foundation of data collection. 

While we all love our Dev Teams, we also know timelines are long as they deal with a never ending queue of bugs, feature requests, and general maintenance. 

And this bottleneck is not new in our field. For a long time marketing ops and web analytics teams were reliant on Dev for custom scripts to deploy tracking. The introduction of Tag Management Systems filled a void where instead of relying on the Dev Team, these teams could start taking ownership and deploy tracking much more independently.

What if the Data Layer challenge could be solved with a centrally accessible tool that empowers rather than slows-down your teams? What if we gave digital teams outside of Development the ability, in a controlled environment, to add data points to the Data Layer that they could then leverage to fuel event-based analytics, profile enrichment, marketing automation, and more? 

These “what ifs” could be achieved through a solution like The Data Standards CloudTM. With Claravine’s centrally accessible platform, your teams can standardize their approach to Data Layer data points so everyone is working from a consistent framework. And team members typically left out of the workflow can finally contribute data directly to your Data Layer. 

Benefits of managing your Data Layer in a system like The Data Standards Cloud:

  • Create opportunities for marketing personalization by expanding the current data layer. 
  • Reduce dependency on Dev Teams while increasing cross-team collaboration
  • Allow marketing – or other teams – to directly contribute to the integrity and richness of the Data Layer
  • Enable more access and control by the Marketers, Site Managers, Analytics teams who need to create and use this data to inform decisions on personalization
  • More effectively fuel event-based analytics, profile enrichment, marketing automation, and more

Product Catalog Example:

  1. Create a template in The Data Standards Cloud for your structured Product Catalog and expand with governed metadata values.
  2. Digital team defines new row values within the platform, and upon submission, triggers an outbound JSON file. 
  3. This JSON file is then stored within a Cloud Storage bucket.
  4. CMS then references the JSON file on product pages.
  5. Create a loop that references your Product Catalog to trigger a Data Layer push when a product is viewed on your page.
  6. And now, you have an enriched, standardized Data Layer that enables your teams to focus on what they do best!

While this example is for a Product Catalog, this method can easily expand to provide details on other Data Layer use cases like Page or Event/Behavioral data on your website.  

All in all, similar to how you manage your campaign taxonomy (need help with that? We cover that too, click here), you wouldn’t want to have a taxonomy on your links, only to have the data fall apart once the user clicks through your website.  

Good data is structured, better data is easily accessible, and the best data is on a foundation of structure and accessibility to provide actionable details.