MarTech Interview with Heidi Bullock, CMO at Tealium

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“For years, MarTech has been centered around collecting and organizing different types of data and then using it to communicate to customers across various channels. Even as the channels themselves have evolved, marketing ‘in the moment’ across channels based on dynamic data has remained a huge challenge.”

Tell us about your current role and the technology you handle at Tealium.

I am the CMO at Tealium where I run global marketing. We have a great tech stack that has been well-planned out to fit our organization’s needs. I was closely involved in building this tech stack, where I worked with my RevOps leader to ensure we home in on tools that amplify organization-wide efficiency. We use Tealium in addition to tools like Marketo, Drift, 6sense, Sendoso, LeanData, among others.

How is Tealium of 2021 different from what it was at the time of inception?

Tealium has a very interesting story, because we set out on day one with a vision to provide a better way for businesses to collect, unify and leverage their customer data. Our products have pioneered new categories for tag management systems and customer data platforms.

Since that time, our obsession with helping companies leverage data to innovate and fuel customer experiences has only grown. Our Customer Data Hub now encompasses tag management, an API hub, a customer data platform with machine learning, and data management solutions.

Today, we see our platform being used by marketing, IT and even data science teams to optimize customer experience, drive growth and generate new insights. We have always focused on customer data and are continuing to develop innovative solutions that we know customers will need and love.

How did you see this evolution transforming martech solutions?

For marketers to successfully engage their customers, it is imperative that they have a current and rich understanding of what is important to them. For years, martech has been centered around collecting and organizing different types of data and then using it to communicate to customers across various channels. Even as the channels themselves have become more sophisticated – such as marketing automation – marketing ‘in the moment’ across channels based on dynamic data has remained a huge challenge.

This is where customer data platforms (CDPs) like Tealium solve a key problem. Tealium collects, unifies, and activates data in real time, so it now IS possible to deliver buyers the experience they are looking for. The piece that has been missing is really the ‘real-time’ collection and activation as well as integrations with all types of data sources – this is the future. We know there will only be more types of data and applications to surface in the future, so Tealium is focused on being ‘vendor-neutral’ and ensuring we can support all types of martech stacks so organizations can have options and leverage what works best for their business.

Tell us more about the funding round and how it would benefit your customers and partners.

Our recent funding round is exciting because we have seen a lot of growth over the last year. The expedited nature of digital transformation, changes in privacy regulations and third-party cookie loss have driven a lot of demand for us, so the funding will be used to support our global customers and help us develop new products and services.

Tell us more about your product roadmap targeting remote workplaces in the pandemic era.

Due to the global pandemic, many of us have seen a massive shift to doing business online and using remote tools. Prior to last year, running a data-driven business centered around the customer was the ideal scenario – now it’s a must. However, this requires a complex process of extracting customer data from various silos (web, mobile, CRM, point of sale, etc) and then transforming it in a way that makes it actionable.

Tealium’s solution is designed to help companies collect, organize and activate their customer data in order to deliver great customer experiences digitally, and we have experienced a growing demand from this. We now see more interest from other teams within organizations (outside of just marketing and IT). As the pace of digital transformation has accelerated, more organizations are focusing on customer data and recognizing how important it is to have a neutral data platform that works across the company with the tools that are already in place. Our focus is to help all teams in an organization get the most out of customer data through turnkey integrations into their stack, providing tools to drive real-time customer data collection, unification and activation. This year you’ll see Tealium release new features that help businesses further customize their data pipeline, improve data governance and integrate their tech stack.

What is the future of customer success in martech as you see it?

More companies, especially in SaaS, are recognizing and investing in teams that support retention and expansion. Historically, acquisition was where a lot of the investment was made, but there has been a broader adoption of tools and teams that double down on customer satisfaction and success. We know it’s much more efficient to retain and grow current customers, so this will be an area where we’ll see additional growth. Many companies are still figuring out the best set of tools for them specifically and identifying which teams should be involved. At Tealium, we see more focus on the importance of customer data and a broader involvement from teams such as customer success. Tealium Predict ML is our machine learning product built directly into our AudienceStream customer data platform and we see customers exploring how they leverage it to proactively predict customer churn. Teams who can anticipate and get in front of churn before it happens are likely to experience massive business benefits as the outcome.

Your predictions about AI ML’s role in marketing and sales

According to a recent study by Gartner, in spite of the pandemic, “47% of artificial intelligence (AI) investments were unchanged since the start of the pandemic and 30% of organizations actually planned to increase such investments.” With this, I think machine learning and AI tools will most likely be more commonly adopted in marketing and sales stacks. However, this is very dependent on quality and the amount of data – which is where the majority of companies have a challenge.

The benefits of ML and AI are profound and can help organizations move faster, but there is a clear understanding that having a well-defined customer data strategy is imperative to see reliable success. Use cases will also begin to expand once teams feel models are dependable.  Common use cases we see Tealium customers leveraging machine learning include:

– Likely to Buy: Focus budget on prospects who are most likely to buy

– Loyalty Campaigns: Target customers most likely to join

– Abandoner Campaigns: Target prospects who are most likely to come back

– Churn Prevention: Help customers that show churn risk signals

Thank you, Heidi! That was fun and hope to see you back on MarTech Series soon.

Heidi Bullock ia a CMO at Tealium

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Tealium revolutionizes today’s digital businesses with a universal approach to customer data orchestration – spanning web, mobile, offline and Internet of Things devices. With the power to unify customer data into a single source of truth, Tealium offers a turnkey integration ecosystem supporting more than 1,000 client-side and server-side vendors and technologies.

The Tealium Customer Data Hub encompasses tag management, API hub, customer data platform and data management solutions that enable organizations to leverage real-time data to create richer, more personalized digital experiences across every team, technology, and customer touchpoint.

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