The Launch of Tag Management University: 5 Questions with Tealium’s Clint Ivy

Editor’s Note: The following is an interview with Clint Ivy, senior director of education at Tealium, the leader in enterprise tag management. Clint, formerly from FOX Audience Network and Disney Internet Media Group, will be leading Tag Management University (TMU), the industry’s first formalized training program, on how to use tag management to increase digital marketing efficiency and results. TMU will debut at Digital Velocity conference, scheduled for Jan. 23-25, 2013, at the Hard Rock Hotel San Diego. Please visit to register. 

Tell us about yourself—how did you get into the digital marketing industry and what is your experience in the field?

I was working as a technical project manager for Disney Internet Media Group in the early 2000s, and my second-ever project back then was to manage the transition from an internally built web analytics tool to a solution from WebSideStory (now part of Adobe Systems). From there, it just stuck with me. I ended up owning web analytics for the entire length of my time there and have been in the industry ever since then.

As a digital marketer, what do you see as the biggest benefit of tag management?

For me, there are two critical benefits to tag management – speed and agility. The challenge of managing tags without a tag management system is that development teams own each tag, even though marketers are responsible for that data. This leads to marketers not being able to respond as quickly as they need to because every change – small or large, one tag or many – must involve the development team. This not only slows response times on the marketer’s side, but also increases frustration between the development and marketing teams. Tag management mitigates this issue by reducing the number of dev cycles needed to support marketing efforts. With tag management, marketers are in complete control of their tags and can make as many changes as they need, as fast as they want, without ongoing development assistance.

What are your plans/approaches for education and training for TMU?

Tag management can be difficult to understand in the abstract. All the documentation in the world may not be able to help you solve your digital marketing challenges in practice. By connecting theory to real-world issues through the use of live testing environments in almost every course, TMU will enable digital marketers to develop a real-world toolbox of solutions that they can apply to their own businesses. We are empowering them to effectively manage their tag management systems on their own.

Tag Management University at Digital Velocity will have several informative sessions to choose from. How should attendees decide which sessions to participate in? 

Answering some basic questions can help you out. Are you just starting out with tag management? Then you should attend “Tag Management Fundamentals,” “Extending Your Implementation” and “Web Analytics Implementations.” These are all great starting points. You should also ask, “What is the primary purpose of your site(s)?” If your answer is something like “Making awesome content for users,” then you would greatly benefit from “Tagging for Mobile & Video,” where we will be focusing on tagging for mobile, video and rich Internet apps. If your answer is “sell awesome stuff to people,” then the e-commerce session is perfect for you. And even though it’s one of our most advanced sessions, just about everyone can benefit from the “Data Validation & Testing” session where we will work through how to test and troubleshoot your Tealium implementation and how to use some of our more advanced features like data validation to identify potential problems in your tags.

What is your vision for TMU? Where do you see the tag management industry and this training program going in the next few years?

With both Google and Adobe entering the tag management market, there is no doubt that this industry is hot right now. We are at the beginning of the adoption curve, and the problems that tag management addresses are not likely to disappear any time soon. TMU at Digital Velocity is just the start of our growing efforts to help digital marketers accelerate marketing speed and improve agility in an increasingly complex digital world. From expanded venues to virtual training content and webinars, TMU will become the umbrella for all of our enablement efforts. We want marketers to have the training and resources they need to find greater success in their initiatives.

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