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Campaign Manager vs. Analytics 360: Campaign Tagging

Accurate and up-to-date tagging is essential in the programmatic world. It ensures the integrity of all our reports allowing us to be transparent. 

Do you need to add tags in your campaign? Read on to find out whether manual tagging or Analytics 360’s auto-tagging feature is more suitable to you.

What is Landing Page Tagging

Tagging helps you identify traffic to your site, enabling accurate reporting and analysis on each of your marketing campaigns and channels. It is essentially a suffix at the end of your landing page to outline different parameters of your activities. A tagged www.merkle.com landing page would look something like this, where the blue part is your URL, and the orange part is your Tag.

Campaign Tagging

There are two main ways to add the tags onto our different activities within the Google Marketing Stack, either through Campaign Manager (CM) or Analytics 360. Various tags are used to differentiate between campaigns, and even between sections of a campaign.

Tagging in Campaign Manager

In CM, tags are often added manually. As you can see in the image below, it outlines which campaign the traffic comes from, as well as medium, campaign name and other details.

Image courtesy of ‘ga-dev-tools.appspot.com’

Tags should be different for each traffic source, campaign, targeting method and even creative type/size. The more granular your tags are, the more accurate your reports become. As data-driven people, we aim to have the most granular level of data, which can be a tedious process! Manual addition means a less time efficient process, in exchange for more control over tags.

However, it is possible to automate, whilst maintaining a good level of control over your tags. This is where our hero Analytics 360 shines.

Analytics 360’s Auto-tagging

A feature that saves countless hours, Analytics 360 Auto-tagging automatically adds a Display Click Identifier (dclid) parameter at the end of each URL. This dclid automatically appends the different parameters mentioned above (traffic source, campaigns…etc.) into the identifier.

Auto Tagging satisfies the cliche of moving into an automated world. When applicable, we utilise it as best practice, freeing us to optimise campaigns further and focus on improving performance instead of spending time with manual additions.

An added benefit of using the feature is transforming Analytics 360 as a holistic tool over all digital activities. This enables better data-driven attribution capabilities and wider reporting options.

It’s important to note that the auto-tagging can also be overridden by using the Campaign Tagging Override feature, so it can be more flexible if you have specific needs.


CM is an essential ad server when running a display campaign, especially when managing complex creative strategies. It is massively boosted by integrating with Analytics 360. The auto-tagging feature stands out as a time-saving feature in favour of granular transparency. It also enables the platform to have a holistic view over all activities as mentioned in this blog, providing better reporting and attribution capabilities for your campaigns. 

Our Account Managers are very talented in making the most out of these tools, so feel free to contact us if you have any queries.