Tech Profile: Tealium

tealiumWhat is Tealium, and how did you and your team get started in this field?

Tealium is an enterprise tag management provider that helps organizations increase the speed and effectiveness of their digital marketing operations by making it easy to add, edit and remove the JavaScript tags (code) that most online vendors require.

Previously, managing these tags was a huge stumbling block for marketers and a time-sucking distraction for IT. The process worked like this: Every time a marketer wanted to deploy a new online solution, he or she had to make a request for IT professionals to embed the code in the website. This could take days, weeks or months depending on the organization and dramatically slow down marketing speed and agility.

With Tealium, you just deploy our single tag on the website. All other tags are then managed through a convenient, web-based interface without ever touching the webpage and without ever burdening valuable development resources. The benefits are increased marketing velocity and results, faster website performance and reduced development costs. Tag management is now a key hub for managing and exchanging all types of digital data.

Nearly all of Tealium’s management team, including new CEO Jeff Lunsford, previously worked together at WebSideStory, a web analytics company that is now part of Adobe Systems. At WebSideStory, co-founders Mike Anderson and Ali Behnam were intimately involved in web analytics deployments and optimization consulting for major brands, leading to the idea of creating a tag management system with one universal tag that would allow organizations to manage all their digital marketing tags through a central web console.

Tealium had a great year in 2012, adding 130 new enterprise clients including Lenovo, A+E Networks, Urban Outfitters, Fox Networks Group, Sony Online Entertainment, EA, Nokia, NHL, News International, US Airways, Volvo and many more. This summer, Econsultancy recognized us as the leader in tag management in their report, “Tag Management Buyer’s Guide.” We also received $10.5 million in Series B financing from Battery Ventures, a highly respected venture capital firm. Later this month, we will be launching Digital Velocity, our signature user conference. A big part of the event is Tag Management University (TMU), the first formalized training program for tag management.

How does tag management play a role in improving overall web performance?

Tag management replaces all vendor tags on a website with a single tag, reducing page weight and increasing page load speed. Tealium relies on several best practices to maximize website performance, including:

  • Asynchronous tag loading: Tealium enables the browser to load different tags in parallel as opposed to loading them one at a time in order. This greatly improves page load speed.
  • Conditional tag loading: Conditional load rules can be set up within Tealium’s system to specify which tags load on which pages under which conditions. For example, you can create a rule to load an AdWords tag on the confirmation page only if the traffic originated from AdWords. This dramatically reduces the number of pixel requests.
  • Slow tag killing: Tealium enables users to terminate under-performing vendor tags so that site performance — and conversions — are not impacted by poor tag performance.

Tealium recently helped Bluestem Brands’ Fingerhut increase page load speed through checkout by 49 percent. For more information about how Tealium improves web performance, please download the white paper, “How Tealium Improves Site Performance.”

Who is Tealium for? How can the marketing/advertising industry utilize Tealium to create better end-results for content and digital marketing strategies?

Tealium is designed from the ground up for digital marketers across any industry. Marketers are the ones using these solutions every day, so it’s our belief that tag management should be designed for them so they can control their own destiny and improve results. This includes web analytics professionals, who benefit from the way we streamline and simplify complex web analytics deployments.

As for creating better results, tag management helps marketers launch more revenue-generating campaigns faster and easier, better manage the exchange of digital data with key vendors and increase conversions through faster website performance. They can also easily test vendors against each other to improve their vendor selection strategy. Tag management is widely recognized as a foundational layer for digital marketing. According to a recent study by Econsultancy, “The ROI of Tag Management,” 87 percent of digital marketers consider tag management a key to their online success.

What trends and changes in the market led you to realize that Tealium would fill a void?

The continued growth in digital marketing and the proliferation of tag-based online marketing solutions that require organizations to exchange data with different vendors. As a result, digital marketing has become increasingly complex, often requiring IT involvement. Tag management helps streamline that complexity and puts the power of these solutions back in the hands of marketers. We eliminate that friction and delay between marketing and IT over tagging requirements, which has been a long-simmering source of frustration for more than a decade. One of our clients manages 183 tags as part of their online marketing efforts — that would be very difficult without tag management.

We also help clients adjust to changing business conditions and prepare for the unknown. A great example of that is our recent case study with Deckers (UGG boots), which used Tealium to turn off a faulty vendor tag within seconds that was causing site delays during Cyber Monday. That type of agility is key for today’s online marketer.

What features distinguish Tealium from other tag management vendors? What mobile solutions does Tealium offer?

Tealium is unique in three key ways: our focus on creating solutions for digital marketers, our scale and performance and our enterprise capabilities, including mobile and video tagging, privacy compliance, data management and more. Our mobile tagging solution (both for mobile sites and mobile apps) is integrated into our core platform — you can manage tags across multiple devices and touchpoints all from the same web interface. The benefits are the same as on the web: increased agility and reduced costs. For example, by embedding Tealium in your mobile app, you can easily make changes to your mobile analytics or add new solutions without having to re-certify your app through Apple or Google — typically an expensive and timely process. We are seeing a lot of interest from clients and prospects regarding mobile tagging. To find out more about our mobile tagging capabilities, visit us at www.tealium.com/mobile.

Erik Bratt, Vice President of Marketing at Tealium

Erik Bratt brings more than 15 years of digital and technology marketing experience, holding senior-level positions at Microsoft, WebSideStory (now part of Adobe Systems), Telcentris and now Tealium. Erik’s responsibilities at Tealium include global marketing strategy and execution for the company’s market-leading enterprise tag management solutions.

Prior to Tealium, Erik helped transform WebSideStory from a webmaster tools provider into the market leader for on-demand web analytics. At Microsoft, he helped lead digital marketing and social media strategy while also launching corporate-wide privacy and security initiatives. As a full-time consultant for Digitaria (now part of WPP), Erik helped build the company into a national brand and earn recognition for its innovative approach to leveraging technology. Erik has also worked with InboundWriter, Viralheat, FunMobility, MarketingProfs.com and others. Erik started his career as a journalist for The San Diego Union-Tribune (now UT San Diego). He is a graduate of San Diego State University.

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