Tealium Tries to Simplify Tag Chaos, Adds Data Layer for Marketers

11/15/13Follow @bvbigelow

It was almost a year ago when veteran software executive Jeff Lunsford took over as CEO at San Diego’s Tealium, a five-year-old startup providing data-management technology for the online marketing teams at companies like Urban Outfitters, Fox Networks Group, McAfee, and Travelocity.

In a recent call from the airport in San Jose, CA, Lunsford says Tealium now has more than 300 enterprise customers—compared to 140 customers a year ago—and revenue is up by 130 percent year-over-year. (Tealium does not disclose its revenue.) The company raised $15.6 million in a Series C round in April, bringing its total venture funding to $27 million, and moved into a new headquarters near the Torrey Pines Golf Course, where most of the company’s 150 employees work.

Tealium provides Web-based software-as-a-service that enables marketing teams to manage “tags,” the snippets of JavaScript embedded in Web pages or e-mails. Tags are a creature of Web analytics, generating data that enable marketing teams to determine if users viewed a Web page or e-mail. Some Web pages may have dozens of embedded tags, and Tealium says its technology simplifies the process and speeds up website performance without requiring marketing teams to get their IT departments involved.

Tealium CEO Jeff Lunsford

Jeff Lunsford

In recent weeks, Tealium says it also has expanded its core Web-based service to address a rising wave of woe that the company describes as “the data problem.”

According to Chris Slovak, a Tealium senior sales engineer, part of the problem is that tags are embedded by vendors that provide all kinds of different Web services, including affiliate marketing, banner advertising, social media marketing, search-engine marketing, and analytics. The data generated get collected by each vendor, which typically provides the relevant information in batches for its respective customers.

One result is that Tealium’s tag traffic (as measured by Evidon) is up 12-fold—reflecting a deluge in tag data that is becoming unmanageable. Tag data itself also can be confusing, because different vendors often use different terms in describing their data. The terminology can vary even in their use of the term “tag,” which also is known as a Web bug, Web beacon, tracking bug, or page tag.

As Lunsford puts it, “the industry is reaching the breaking point,” necessitating Tealium to develop a new standardized layer of the Web stack that it calls the data layer. “It’s the data layer that reduces all this chaos,” Lunsford says. And with its recently deployed AudienceStream service, Tealium has set out to use this new data layer to unify tag data from different sources into a real-time data distribution platform for its customers.

For example, Lunsford says the marketing team at McAfee now uses Tealium to deploy its tags. “It used to take … Next Page »

Bruce V. Bigelow is the editor of Xconomy San Diego. You can e-mail him at bbigelow@xconomy.com or call (619) 669-8788 Follow @bvbigelow

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  • Mil Bern

    Very nice article about this. Taelium.. topic as always.

    Anyhow, for Taelium might be interesting to take a look at http://lock.li to finally get what they want.

    Thanks,
    Mil

    PS: If links are against the rules feel free to remove it anytime.