Tealium IQ is one of the most mature tag management solutions on the market. The tool offers a solid feature set, and it’s continuously innovating and adding features and functionalities. Tealium is an enterprise-grade solution, which means you can get anything you care about, such as security, user management, code rollout, publishing, and reliability from an infrastructure perspective. 


Common Questions About Tealium


1. Is Tealium IQ an alternative to Launch or Google Tag Manager?

Tealium IQ is certainly an alternative for both Launch and Google Tag Manager (GTM), but a paid one instead of two free ones. The two alternative tools are offered for free, with GTM by Google and Launch by Adobe Analytics. 


2. Why should you pay for Tealium?

The main reason you should pay for Tealium is the propensity for growth. For companies that are looking to invest in their digital properties, Tealium is the better choice. Tealium is going to be able to keep up with any aspirations, whereas other solutions may fall short since they are strictly looking at their own ecosystems. 


Here is a simple example: GTM does Google Analytics very well. If you go all-in on Google Tag Manager and at some point, you decide to switch your analytics to another tool, you’ll have a big problem. For example, you can’t really use GTM with Adobe Analytics in a meaningful way, and you’ll have to switch to Launch. 


However, if you invested that time into Tealium, you could switch to Adobe Analytics using the same TMS. Tealium is a vender-neutral product. It’s not tied to Adobe or Google because its job is to do Tag Management effectively. Out of all three alternatives, Tealium IQ is the most mature tag manager or the more fully-featured product. 


The biggest difference between Tealium, Launch, and DTM is that Tealium has excellent server-side and audience activation capabilities. They are innovating a lot on the server-side, far beyond other tag managers. If you see yourself using those features for any reason, Tealium is worth the investment. 


3. I have a DTM implementation. Should I upgrade to Launch or get Tealium?

If you have a DTM implementation and you’ve invested into Adobe, Launch might be the better option for you. As long as DTM is working well for you, then the migration to Launch is going to be easy. If DTM is keeping up with your aspirations, then don’t make the switch to Tealium.


Upgrading to Launch would be an easier switch. It only takes a few steps to make that switch, and those are definitely less expensive than moving to Tealium. However, if you plan on scaling your analytics implementation, and you want to do more, such as investing server-side, it’s really worth choosing Tealium. 


4. What are the steps of the implementation?

When you choose Tealium, the most important aspect you need to take into account is your data layer. Find a really good data layer for your business. You’ll also need to spend time in the application before even touching Tealium to make sure your data layer is solid and put together. Tealium puts a lot of emphasis (rightly so) on the data layer, which is a fundamental part of a Tealium analytics implementation.


From the Tealium side, once you’ve built a data layer, the actual tagging can be simple. If you have a solid data layer, tagging will take a lot less work than with any other solution. For digital properties where there is no data layer, Tealium can be one of the most powerful tools. The capabilities offered by Tealium when there is no data layer present are more advanced than the other tools. 


5. Third-party solutions and a common marketplace

Tealium is an open platform. If you are a third party company and want to make it easy for companies to add your tag, you can create a Tealium template that now shows up and people can use that tag. Tealium doesn’t have to create everything themselves. They are giving people the opportunity to create tags.


Launch has already started doing that, but Tealium has been doing this for the last 10 years, which is another big advantage. But even if the tag doesn’t exist, the javascript capability that you can do in Tealium is very open too. 



Tealium strikes a great balance of what you can do the right way and how to let third parties come in and help. Even if you’re not following best practices, you can still get a lot done without having a data layer. 


The complexity of your digital property and the amount of data you want to track should determine if you should use Tealium or not. If you have a simple e-commerce website that doesn’t get much traffic, try GTM and GA. Tealium for businesses that are just getting started typically have lower traffic. Remember that once you start hitting a certain complexity, Tealium becomes less effort. 


The graph below illustrates what we recommend when choosing between Tealium, GTM, and Launch.

In our graph, Effort means time and money it takes to implement and maintain the analytics tool, while complexity represents how complex your digital property is. 


GTM has the lowest starting point of them all, but it takes a lot of effort to get right once the complexity soares. Even though Launch and GTM are free solutions, you still have to take into account the billable hours analysts and engineers need to put into implementation.


Tealium’s graph is more linear than the two because it is more expensive at the start (since it’s a paid solution), but it flattens out since it’s easier to maintain and implement. Also, the amount of billable hours required is considerably low. 

About the author

Jose Bergiste

Jose Bergiste
Jose loves all things analytics, software development, and product management. His wide range of experience from small startups to large Fortune 1000 companies has helped him gain a broad and deep knowledge of the industry. Jose’s passion is to help companies realize the full power of data and analytics to maintain and develop products that customers find delightful.

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