Introducing Visual Tagger

Geoffrey Keating, Andy Schumeister on April 29th 2020

Our mission at Segment is to help every company in the world use good data to power their growth. And over the past eight years, we’ve been lucky enough to help thousands of businesses do exactly that.

During that time, most of the people implementing these customer data strategies have come from specific, and largely technical teams, like engineering and analytics. This is not only because of the technical effort involved in data collection, but also user comprehension around what they should collect and why.

But imagine a world where a product manager didn’t have to ping an engineer to instrument a tracking plan for the new feature they just launched. A marketer didn’t have to submit a Jira ticket to track whether an A/B test was successful or not.

Today we’re introducing Visual Tagger — to help everyone in your company collect the website data they need in minutes, without relying on technical teams. 

With Visual Tagger, you can capture all the events that you want to capture without having to touch your code.

Neeraj Sinha, Chief Technology Officer, ScoutMyTrip

In less than 10 years, the amount of customer data being tracked by businesses has grown exponentially. According to Gartner, 82% of organizations have seen an increase in the types of customer data they are tracking over the past five years. 

Just as the overall volume of customer data has increased, so too has its influence across the business. Nowadays, product and marketing teams are as eager to collect and use customer data as engineers and analysts.

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How customer data is changing in the organization. Image source: Gartner

The desire to collect customer data may be universal, but so too is the struggle to execute.

Whether you’re an early-stage startup or Fortune 500 company, engineering teams are facing increasingly limited bandwidth. When implementing a customer data tracking plan has to compete for attention with dozens of other priorities, it can be deprioritized, or worse, ignored. 

Driven by these constraints, an entire industry has started to flourish.  Known as the “no-code” or “low-code” movement, tools like Webflow, Airtable, and Zapier (and Segment customers like Buildfire and Hotjar) are democratizing access to tasks that previously required technical expertise.

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We now live in a world where you no longer need to become a developer to build a website or build an app. At Segment, we believe you shouldn’t have to be an engineer to start collecting the data you need to understand your customers either.

How Visual Tagger works

Visual Tagger is available free to all Segment customers, so long as you have a Segment workspace set up and the analytics.js snippet installed on your website. While the functionality of Visual Tagger is powerful, the user experience itself is incredibly simple and intuitive. In fact, it’s as easy as 1, 2, 3.

1. Build your events

If you’ve ever used “WYSIWYG” software, Segment’s Visual Tagger will feel familiar. Simply point and click the different parts of your website that you’d like to track.Out of the box, Visual Tagger lets you create three types of events:

  • Button or Link Clicked: Create an event every time a user clicks a button or link on your website.

  • Form Submitted: Create an event every time a user fills out a form on your website.

  • Any Clicked: Similar to button or link clicked, create an event for any HTML element you would like to track (e.g. a banner).

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The Visual Tagger interface

From there, you can then add rich, contextual information in the form of properties to help you understand more about the specific action that the user took.

For example, if you wanted to track a button on your homepage, you could add the property Location: Homepage. If you wanted to track a demo request on your pricing page, you could add the properties Location: Pricing Page and Feature: Demo Request. 

If you aren’t sure which events or properties to track, we’ll provide recommended events to track based on your industry right in your workspace. For additional recommendations, you can also check out our industry-standard tracking plans for ecommerce, B2B SaaS, media, and more.

2. Test your events

Your data-driven decisions are only as good as the quality and accuracy of the data you collect. With Visual Tagger, you can preview the results before the event gets created and starts flowing in production.

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 In test mode, you can:

  • Target URLs: Specify which URLs or group of URLs that an event is fired from.

  • Preview your events: Test the actions that would trigger the event and verify they are firing e.g. if your event gets fired, then a green checkmark will display.

  • Check all the details: Get granular feedback on where, how, and what event gets fired so that you can fix any issues before you deploy.

This means that you can have complete confidence before you deploy.

3. Publish

That’s it! Once you hit publish, the events you created will start flowing into Segment and will show up in your Debugger. You can use the Visual Tagger console to see what events are live, along with additional context for you and your team on who created the event, when it was created, and any recent updates.

Check out the docs to learn more. 

How customers are using Visual Tagger

Whether it’s helped them to experiment faster or save valuable engineering resources, Visual Tagger has become integral to the workflows of technical, and even non-technical, users alike.

Here are use cases from a few of our early customers and the positive impact Visual Tagger has had on their businesses.

Increase your agility

ScoutMyTrip, an AI-driven road trip planner and travel expert marketplace, relies heavily on quick, iterative experiments to help drive customer acquisition and retention.  However, with a small engineering team, they struggled to make a strong business case for launching and analyzing these experiments. Investing precious engineering resources in capturing data for an experiment (that might not even work) felt wasteful, given other demands from across the business.

With Visual Tagger, ScoutMyTrip can track all the experiments they need without having to touch a line of code. Whereas tracking events for an experiment usually took the team six days on average, they were able to track the same number of events in two hours.

It took me about two hours to capture 30 events. If I didn't have Visual Tagger, I would have decided not to capture half of the events altogether because that would be too much of a hassle.

Neeraj Sinha, Chief Technology Officer, ScoutMyTrip

Empower every team

Nationbuilder, a nonprofit and political campaign software platform that combines website, communication, and donation tools, wanted to understand and optimize their onboarding experience.

Unfortunately, getting the data they needed was a highly manual process. Tracking events had to be manually instrumented with engineering, and, quite often, was ignored in favor of more pressing matters. For Alex Stevens, Director of Growth at Nationbuilder, they needed to start tracking with minimal investment of resources, so they could understand product adoption and onboard customers as easily and quickly as possible.

With Visual Tagger, the team now feels comfortable implementing event tracking themselves. 

It used to take weeks for an analytics request to get prioritized. With Visual Tagger, I can quickly collect the data I need without having to create tons of requests for our engineering team.

Alex Stevens, Growth Director, Nationbuilder

Make any tool codeless

With Visual Tagger, customers can configure events in minutes and then activate the data in 300+ tools in the Segment catalog.

For example, Voopty, a business management software that connects educators, tutors, and clubs, with families searching for their services, needed better visibility into engagement metrics. 

Voopty’s Founder and Software Developer, Taja Kholodova, needed access to product analytics to provide reporting to the hundreds of partner businesses they work with. Unfortunately, collecting this data was manual and required time to learn every additional tool and platform.

Kholodova turned to Visual Tagger and was able to quickly set up event tracking to understand user engagement in a matter of minutes. From there, Kholodova instantly activated the data across their entire tech stack, including tools like Indicative, FullStory, and Google Tag Manager. 

We were able to start sending events to destinations in 5 minutes.

Taja Kholodova, Founder and Software Developer, Voopty

Visual Tagger is a win for both technical and non-technical users alike. Engineers are free from menial and repetitive tasks that take away time they could spend on building product. Product managers and marketers can unlock the myriad of use cases within the Segment product, without writing a single line of code.

But we think the true benefits will be felt by your end customer. By making analytics instrumentation unbelievably easy, data is accessible to everyone in your company. This empowers every individual to use that data to inform their day-to-day work.

And ultimately, that means better products and better customer experiences for all of us. 

Ready to get started with Visual Tagger? Log in to your workspace to set up new events in minutes. 

Want to learn more about Visual Tagger? Join us for a webinar on May 21st at 1pm PST.

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