Case Study:

New Paths to Growth

How Tealium was inspired to differentiate its business by finding new ways to use technology to better serve its customers.

In November 2016, Jeff Lunsford found himself in Toronto. As the CEO of San Diego-based Tealium, a company that sells enterprise tag management and marketing software, Lunsford had come for Georgian Partners’ annual conference.

Just a year and a half before, Georgian had led a $30.7 million Series D round of financing in the company. Lunsford and his team had spent the months since perfecting Tealium’s technology and expanding its footprint. By the time he made it to Toronto, they had grown the business to the point where the company had emerged as the number one player in its industry segment.

Lunsford listened eagerly during the conference as the Georgian Partners team outlined its new thesis areas around applied artificial intelligence, conversational AI and security first. “It was one of the best days I’ve ever spent,” recalls Lunsford. “It helped open my eyes and focus my attention on some really critical new trends to help drive Tealium forward.”

Lunsford was so impressed with what he heard at the conference that he invited the Georgian Impact team to come back to San Diego with him. He wanted them to present the thesis areas in more detail to his entire executive team, as well as key members of the product and engineering teams.

The following month, Yevgeniy Vahlis and Jason Brenier, two members of the Georgian Impact team, flew to Tealium’s offices where they were met with eight of the company’s executives. They spent the day doing a deep dive into each of the new thesis areas, helping the Tealium team to assess their maturity for each and explaining how to derive value from them by surfacing opportunities for the company to pursue.

Being invited back to San Diego was an important step. Having the opportunity to speak in front of Lunsford’s entire executive team not only validated the work the Georgian Impact team had been doing, but also gave them a great opportunity to help take Tealium to the next level.

The session gave way to a lively discussion where everyone in the room was actively engaged in figuring out how to apply what they had just learned to their business. From that meeting, Tealium came to three big realizations — one for each of the thesis areas they had just learned about:

  1. Applied Artificial Intelligence. The company realized that it was ready to start using artificial intelligence to help its customers. The conference and the onsite session prompted Lunsford and his team to announce plans to create a new product called Tealium Think that would take advantage of the company’s real-time data to make useful predictions. The company also started hiring data scientists to help lead this important new initiative.
  2. Conversational AI. Tealium discovered an opportunity to evolve user interfaces from web to mobile to messaging channels.Since the company is in the business of monitoring all of its user interactions across all of its customer properties, it needed to figure out the right messaging channel to use. Ultimately, it identified Facebook Messenger as its top target for channel integration.
  3. Security First. Tealium identified areas for improving its security, including within its internal operations and weaponizing sales with security collateral. It also became intrigued by the application of differential privacy to anonymize data with privacy guarantees for a single customer or even when going across customers.

On the Path to a Better Business

Jeff Lunsford wanted to take his business from good to great. After perfecting his technology and expanding the company’s footprint, the Georgian Impact team shared some critical insights about three new thesis areas to help drive the business down new paths to creating value.

While it’s still early days, the future looks bright for Tealium’s continued success.

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"[The Georgian Partners annual conference] was one of the best days I’ve ever spent. It helped open my eyes and focus my attention on some really critical new trends to help drive Tealium forward."


Jeff Lunsford

CEO, Tealium