Sramana Mitra: How long did it take you to get the product to market?
Ali Behnam: Probably about a year. We had an early version of the product that we released in January 2011 but didn’t do everything we wanted it to do. Another six months later in July of 2011, we finally launched Tealium IQ which is the basis of the product that we’re still selling today. If you take the development from beginning all the way to the launch of Tealium IQ, we’re talking about a little less than a year.
Sramana Mitra: During this period of development, the customers from whom you identified the problems – clients and non-clients – were they part of the data cycle?
Ali Behnam: They were to a certain degree because we had worked so closely with a lot of them. We already know their use cases. They gave us a lot of feedback in terms of what they needed this product to accomplish. To this day, we don’t have a product manager on staff. One of the reasons is our product requirements really come from our customers. We’re constantly listening to customers. We haven’t really lost our consulting root. Even though we’re not doing consulting today, we’re always close to our customers because our customers tell us what the market needs.
Sramana Mitra: The seed financing was enough to get you to the launch?
Ali Behnam: Yes and then we did another round of financing – Series A – in December of 2011. That was for $1.1 million through a number of private investors – mostly tech CEOs. That allowed us, for the first time, to go out in the market and start doing some marketing activities. Up till December of 2011, we were not doing any type of marketing activities besides buying some AdWords.
Sramana Mitra: How did the business ramp? What was your go-to market strategy? What did you do in terms of marketing and customer acquisition to get to those customers?
Ali Behnam: One of the benefits that we had was if you think about tag management and the buyers of tag management, a lot of times they happen to be the same buyers for web analytics solutions. Because we came from WebSideStory, I knew the buyers pretty well. We knew how to target them in order to attract them. By 2012, which was when we had just raised our Round A, the market for tag management was starting to take shape. A lot more companies were starting to look for tag management as a viable solution for managing all of their digital marketing efforts.