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Case study : Lagardère Active

Our News sites are an inherently complex technical environment; Commanders Act was able to greatly simplify our tag integration and deployment processes
Jérôme Pérani,
VP Digital Platform Marketing and Analytics,
Lagardère Active
Case studies

Easier implementation of 3rd party tags leads to more agile marketing teams

Testing new initiatives can be perplexing for marketing teams due to the complexity of implementing 3rd party tags. Commanders Act helped simplify this for Lagardère Active and made their marketing team more agile in the process.


Lagardère is a world-class pure-play media group headquartered in Paris, France. Lagardère Active, a complementary sub-division, is responsible for newspaper, digital media and magazine publishing, radio and television broadcasting and production, and advertising sales. It operates 30 websites including Elle, Match and Europe 1. Its 20 million monthly visitors and 0.6 billion monthly pageviews consistently rank it among the top 10 French Internet companies.

Like at any large company, limited technical resources and pre-determined release cycles make testing new marketing initiatives requiring 3rd party tracking tags difficult. With this in mind, Lagardère Active sought a solution that would give its marketing teams more agility by providing them with the tools needed to independently launch campaigns while adhering to the company’s strict privacy guidelines.


The Lagardère Active management team was already leveraging two separate analytics solutions to track and measure user activity across their diverse media properties, and it had identified a third it wanted to test. While testing this new solution, Lagardère Active realized it could achieve significant savings in terms of both cost and effort, by using just one analytics solution across all 30 sites.
In the autumn of 2012 the team decided to add the third analytics solution with a goal of completing the project by end of the year. This way they’d have all three solutions in play in 2013 and could make a decision on which to eliminate thereafter.

In order to meet their aggressive goal, the Lagardère Active management team needed to:

    • Quickly integrate the new analytics solution’s tag across its 30 sites while maintaining the integrity of two existing ones to ensure nothing broke and no data was lost
    • Not impact the product roadmap by diverting already limited technical resources from other projects to this one
    • Be ready to shut down the old analytics solutions, and remove their tags from all web properties, at a moment’s notice during the process
    • Avoid incurring additional cost from this strategy

To add to this already complex project, the Lagardère Active management team was tasked with allocating a percentage of its ad inventory to La Place Media, a private ad exchange company that Lagardère invests in. La Place Media wanted to run targeted ads on the Lagardère Active’s portfolio of websites to monetize their audiences.

With everything considered it became apparent that leveraging a tag management system (TMS) would help simplify this project by ensuring the new analytics tags were deployed correctly. The TMS would also be used to help detect errors within existing tags, and enable Lagardère Active’s marketing teams to manage these tags on their own with little support from their technical team.


After diligently reviewing the tag management space and the competing technologies, Lagardère Active chose Commanders Act because it offered the most features and had the most experienced team to help Lagardère Active correctly implement and maintain it.

The Lagardère Active management team determined their news websites would benefit the most from adopting the new analytics solution first, so they implemented Commanders Act and placed all their 1st and 3rd party tags, including their analytics, retargeting, conversion, etc, codes into it and launched them across all the
news properties in a matter of days.

Once these tags were consolidated within Commanders Act it was left up to each unit manager, after doing head-to-head-to-head comparisons of the three analytics solutions, to decide which one they chose and when they would pull the non-winning tags from their websites.


Commanders Act exceeded Lagardère Active’s expectations by enabling them to significantly speed the tag implementation process, avoid further burdening their resource-strapped technical team, and positively impacting the company’s bottom line.

Specific achievements included:

    • Quick integration of the new analytics solution across all websites. Lagardère Active deployed tags on 30% of its global portfolio of sites within one month, 60% within three months, and 100% within six months
    • Faster than anticipated growth in La Place Media’s advertising revenue because their retargeting tags were implemented ahead of schedule
    • Marketing’s increased autonomy to test new initiatives with minimal IT support and oversight
    • Lagardère Active’s ability to leverage Commanders Act’s A/B testing functionality to quickly identify technologies that help contribute to the company’s bottom-line
    • Increased cooperation between the marketing and business development teams when evaluating partnerships
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