The exponentially increasing amount of data online can leave the modern marketer feeling adrift on a never-ending sea of content and information. How can you keep your head above water? Jeff Lunsford, CEO of Tealium, shares his thoughts on surviving data overload:

 Tell us a little about Tealium and your role there.

Thank you for asking. Tealium is the leader in enterprise tag management and real-time unified marketing solutions. Very simply, we help global brands more easily manage and connect all of their siloed marketing applications and data.

This helps them in two ways: First, it eliminates much of the complexity associated with the growth in marketing technology applications, so they are faster and more agile; and secondly, it helps them seamlessly correlate cross-channel customer data so they can drive more profitable and personalized interactions using their existing applications.

My title is CEO and my role is to lay the strategic framework and provide guidance and a solid capital base to an amazing and talented team.

What are the biggest challenges in the current digital marketing landscape?

Today’s executives have some clear mandates on their mind: data must be real-time and actionable, visitor profiles must be cross-device and omni-channel, and most importantly, marketing efforts must be unified. Unfortunately, these mandates have been difficult to accomplish given the explosion in the number of digital marketing applications, each of which use their own data syntax and language.

Organizations are now spending billions of dollars on costly and resource-intensive data warehousing projects to try and stitch this fragmented data back together so they can create something actionable. Tealium provides a much easier and more elegant solution for unifying this rich customer data in real-time, allowing our customers to take action using their existing marketing cloud eco-system.

With the amount of online data exponentially increasing, how do marketers keep their heads above water?

The truth is that they haven’t been able to, and it’s only getting worse given the problems I’ve described. It’s a losing proposition. Marketers and their IT counterparts need a comprehensive business technology strategy—and, of course, the right technology and data foundation—to help pull all these mission-critical applications together in a way that maximizes their investments and fuels those next-generation customer interactions.

 There is a lot of buzz in the marketing world right now around the concept of “big data vs. smart data.” What do you have to say on the subject?

 I think markets are looking to derive smart data, or actionable data, from the growing streams of big data that now exist. The problem with data is that it is traditionally backward looking, days delayed and difficult to take action with. The opportunities in marketing and performance optimization lie in the ability to take action very quickly. So, we think the answer is to focus on “smart data,” i.e., high-value customer segments, and look to create a technology foundation that enables you to leverage that data in a timely and efficient manner, across your digital marketing cloud.

What are you most looking forward to at this year’s Future of Marketing Summit?

 I am looking forward to meeting and talking with executives about their digital challenges and opportunities, what they are seeing out there, and what they have on their roadmap for success. I am also excited to talk about the economics and capabilities of unified marketing during a lunch keynote on September 17, in which I’ll be unveiling some exclusive data from a new survey we did with CMO Council.

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