Marketing technology has become a bit of a zoo lately, with an abundance of exotic animals. And if you want to picture a zookeeper, picture Will Griffith, who recently joined Tealium.

Marketing Technology, or martech as it is called by those who want to be seen as insiders, is taking on ever more forms and shapes. Website have Content Management Systems, CMSs. On the ad tech side we got Data Management Platforms or DMPs, on the messaging side we got marketing automation. All of this was quickly joined by website optimisation tools, and the latest rage is Customer Data Platforms (CDPs). Oh, and throughout all of this there’s always been CRM of course. Are you still there?

If anybody can take you through this zoo, it should be Will. After a brief spell of selling ads, he joined RedEye and later SmartFocus, early movers in what later came to be known as email marketing. He then moved on to Eloqua, which became part of Oracle. After a few years of heading up Sales for Oracle Marketing Cloud came Marketo, which was promptly gobbled up by Adobe. And now there’s Tealium.

Tealium started out life as a tag management platform, a place where you could organise what can be called your website audience information. It is a bit of an under-the-radar platform, at least where marketers are concerned. This is probably due to a lot of Tealium use cases sitting outside the marketing discipline, such as managing transactions and optimising data flows. But make no mistake: anything that helps you organise your customer data is both relevant and important to your marketing effort.

Thus, appointing a marketing guy to head up your APAC region makes sense for Tealium. And it shows. Will acknowledges Tealium’s ‘tag management heritage’ as he calls it, but then continues talking mainly about things like creating a data layer for your Customer Experience data, creating customer profiles and campaign channels, and increasing conversion rates. More like a CDP, then? And yes, that’s one of the main focus points for Tealium today.

So let’s talk about CDPs and DMPs for a moment. How is that evolving? First of all, ‘Tealium is not a DMP. But the AudienceStream product is most certainly a CDP.’ Does this imply in Will’s view CDPs will replace DMPs in the end? Not necessarily. Will recognises two future use cases: in many cases a CDP will be enough; but in some cases, the DMP will remain and sit alongside a CDP.

A lot of this is already happening in Australia. But how about the situation here in APAC? Yes, APAC is still a wee bit behind the curve. Many Australian clients are already jaded ‘Martech 2.0 clients, looking to reinvent their martech stack and become Martech 3.0 or even 4.0.’

But according to Will, APAC is already starting to leapfrog. Tealium especially sees a new breed of digital client, ‘born in apps.’ APAC does lead in mobile, so it’s no surprise that this is where said leapfrogging is taking place.

The result is an interesting playing field. Will recognises that ‘a new breed of marketers is arising, who are much more aware of the role of data. Data management is coming of age. People increasingly want to make their business smarter, and start using data in an intelligent way.’

Tealium wants to be smack in the middle of this. Will defines Tealium’s core business as ‘connecting the [data] end points, and calls it ‘data orchestration.’ AdAsia remembers this being the favourite word in Responsys marketing materials a year or two ago, so let it be known that Tealium is now unmistakably part of the martech business. Welcome to the club.


Editor: Jos. Birken