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Identifying Customer Pain Through Consulting Services: Tealium Co-Founder & President, Ali Behnam (Part 6)

Posted on Wednesday, Apr 16th 2014

Sramana Mitra: What was the sweet spot that emerged out of all these? Where were you finding traction?

Ali Behnam: This is where I’m starting to see the web analytics space all over again. I was in WebSideStory in 2000. That was the early days of web analytics space. The early adopters of web analytics were typically e-commerce sites. They were followed by a lot of media or publisher sites and then some B2B or Fortune 500 websites. We see that same exact pattern with the tag management space. The early adopters were, for the most part, e-commerce sites because they have the most to gain or lose from this technology. They were followed by publishers and media sites and some of the other demand generation websites.

Sramana Mitra: Interesting. You had very strong growth in 2012 to 2013. Was that $1.1 million financing enough?

Ali Behnam: We raised more money literally after we raised our Round A. Battery Ventures were interested in investing in the space.

Sramana Mitra: You got the Battery round very soon after the $1.1 million financing that you raised.

Ali Behnam: We ended up closing it in July of 2012. I reached out to them in May. We had the term sheet by June and ended up closing in July.

Sramana Mitra: That was how much?

Ali Behnam: That was for $10.5 million.

Sramana Mitra: Why are you raising so much money? What is the go-to market strategy that requires this much capital?

Ali Behnam: The market is open and green. There is a lot of green field out there and it’s also the result of sales and marketing ROI. We’re looking at our sales and marketing expenses. The rule of thumb within the SaaS business is that if your sales and marketing ROI is positive, you want to invest more in the space. We’re following that trajectory. That was a rule that was adopted and perfected by the guys at Omniture. Unfortunately, traditional GAAP accounting doesn’t always give you the full picture.

Sramana Mitra: What is your primary go-to strategy? Are you using Google Adwords? Is that where the capital is going?

Ali Behnam: No, we really have little to do with Google AdWords. Our customers basically use our service to manage all their different tags. AdWords just happens to be one of the six hundred tags that we’re supporting for customers.

Sramana Mitra: How do you acquire customers? Are you advertising on Google? How do you find these customers?

Ali Behnam: It’s through various channels – conferences, trade shows, press coverage, adwords, and retargeting.

Sramana Mitra: It’s multi-channel online marketing plus trade shows?

Ali Behnam: Yes, those are, for the most, part lead generation. We still have a direct sales team that’s helping close the deal.

Sramana Mitra: You mean the telesales team?

Ali Behnam: Not necessarily telesales. It’s a combination of telesales and field sales.

This segment is part 6 in the series : Identifying Customer Pain Through Consulting Services: Tealium Co-Founder & President, Ali Behnam
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