CTO Mike Anderson on Tealium Core Belief #1 – Customer at the Center
To keep up with evolving technology and customer behavior, it’s essential for companies to work with partners sharing similar long term approaches to address current and future challenges. Read below to learn about Tealium’s guiding product development beliefs that help ensure new products and features deliver significant value.
Matt Parisi, Interviewer: (cont’d from Interview Part 1) Interesting to hear these core beliefs in relation to what’s going on in the market. Let’s go through each of the 6 and talk about how they inform product development. Especially in relation to how Tealium’s approach may differ from other solutions.
Starting with Core Belief #1, “businesses must operate with the customer at the center of their operations”. What are some ways that Tealium’s products enable this?
Mike Anderson, Tealium Co-founder and CTO: The core belief there is, as we started, tag management didn’t exist yet. When you’re trying to launch a new vertical or platform or piece of functionality you really need a lot of customer buy-in to get it moving. So we spent a lot of time talking to companies and listening to their pain points to build software that solves those problems. We were fortunate these data problems beyond tags got worse and worse over time with the availability of cloud-based architecture, which EventStream and AudienceStream eventually were built to help with. And, of course, data is the language that companies use to understand the customer, which all our products help manage.
Back in the day, there were handful of vendors that collected data and did things with it. As we started this we rapidly saw a handful of vendors become 1,000, 2,000 and now over 6,000 vendors out there, not to mention vendors that have more than 1 product. There’s a whole economy around the optimization of data. That was something that was hard to do up front because we’re trying to launch something new and we saw that companies were going to need to rely on data more and more, with more tech solutions out there to leverage data, get into that data flow and make it easier to send data wherever you needed it to go.
So, our integrations are one way we enable our clients to put the customer at the center of their operations— they can get their customer data from anyplace to wherever it needs to go based on their customer’s behavior, not based on what point solutions the company may or may not have.
Then, of course, we built AudienceStream, where you could turn this event-level intelligence into a single view of the customer. You take the number of integrations we have, and the fact that AudienceStream turns all that event data into a person, and our clients have an unparalleled ability to put the customer at the center of their operations in a very real way. The customer’s data literally exists at the center of our clients’ customer experience.
MP: So Tealium has had to keep up with an exponential increase in the number of vendors out there.
How about new ways of integrating? How does Tealium keep up with both the velocity of new vendors using existing technology, while also increasing the number of ways to integrate? In addition to tags, there are a lot of other integrations now, right?
MA: From the product development side this is why we continue to stay focused on our integration counts. This is why we want to make sure our integration velocity is faster than anyone else— people look at us to be the largest integration ecosystem out there.Google Tag Manager has Google tags and a handful of other products, Adobe has a handful of theirs – we’re the only vendor that has more than 1,000 integrations (tags, connectors, libraries, etc) and also the only vendor with more than 200 at the same time.
When we look at API hub solutions (ie: Segment, mParticle) they don’t have traditional tag management, which is a gap, but they do have some of these integrations. As they came into the market we knew that this was a way to deliver data efficiently (our API Hub is EventStream). They’re good products and when they first launched we were behind in the number of connectors, so we sat down and said we’re all 3 adding the same number of integrations every month.
We always had the mentality that we need to offer the most integrations, so we re-inspected our factory and figured out innovative ways to be faster. Now we’re at a point where we’ve quadrupled and quintupled the number of integrations we’re able to add. If you take these competitors, we do more than they do combined. If we want to be the market leader in the integrations space we have to find out ways to always add more, have more than anyone else and add them faster.
This was part 2 of a 7-part interview with Tealium CTO, Mike Anderson, about how Tealium’s core beliefs guide product development. Please check back for future installments of this interview.