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A Q & A with Experian Marketing Service’s Sarah Ilie

by Dec 21, 2022Insights0 comments

Deep Sync’s Paul Turner recently had a conversation with Experian Marketing Services’ Head of Partnerships, Sarah Ilie, to learn more about Experian, their views on the data-driven marketing industry, and what sets their data apart.

What does Experian Marketing Services do?

Sarah: Experian delivers privacy-forward data and insights to help brands meaningfully connect with people. Whether you’re a brand, agency, or publisher, Experian helps you put people at the heart of your business. Our deep roots in both offline and online consumer data, cross-channel media partnerships, and marketing campaign measurement capabilities make Experian the connective marketing tissue for thousands of brands around the globe.

Can you provide a summary of your key datasets and what sets Experian apart?

Sarah: Experian is a leading provider of consumer data and insights, identity and marketing solutions that helping companies and organizations interact and engage intelligently with today’s connected consumers. Experian ConsumerView, our flagship national marketing database contains information for 320 million US consumers. Some of the common types of consumer information Experian maintains are listed below, with examples from these general categories:

  • Demographics — age, gender, marital status, income, occupation, and education
  • Behavioral and lifestyle — hobbies, sporting activities, travel preferences, high-tech equipment users and purchasing behavior
  • Realty — information from local property records like dwelling unit type, purchase price, mortgage amount, loan type and date, prevailing interest at time of sale, and property characteristics
  • Life events — consumers who have recently moved or purchased a home
  • Past Purchase – transaction information in various product categories and merchants
  • Census — median age, wealth rating and median income

What sets us apart and drives a unique advantage for our customers: we leverage a broader set of original sources in the compilation and curation of our marketing repository. This means Experian has greater breadth and depth of data sources, leading to higher coverage and greater data accuracy.

Our data standards are the most stringent, data is refreshed with the highest frequency rates possible and undergoes rigorous testing, advanced processing, and detailed analysis to ensure that only the best data is being surfaced. Also, when new source data is introduced, hundreds of existing data characteristics are used to cross-check our understanding of that data. Finally, we do all of this with consumer privacy at the forefront by following unyielding information and compliance practices.

There’s a lot of noise surrounding the deprecation of third-party IDs and third-party data. We see a lot of industry commentators conflate the two. What’s the Experian view?

Sarah: While there can be some confusion surrounding the deprecation of 3rd party IDs and 3rd party data, it is important to note that Experian’s ConsumerViewSM data is NOT reliant on third-party cookies. It is also important to note that traditional, offline third-party data is not going away. We actually see this data as becoming more important to the identity story and ultimately more valuable.

What is inevitably going away is 3rd party IDs. Experian’s vision is to help marketers build a more resilient, privacy friendly, advertising ecosystem, diversifying the IDs that we leverage for our identity solutions to enable the interoperability of identifiers and methodologies. This includes Hashed Emails (HEMs), MAIDs, Connected TV IDs, IP Addresses, and Alternative Cookieless IDs. We do not believe that one ID will rule them, and we caution against a single solution because there is risk of being overly dependent on a ‘silver bullet’ and in the same position again in the future. With a focus on enablement we can create interoperability between IDs and better, more robust solutions for our clients.

Where have you seen most success in terms of verticals utilizing Experian data?

Sarah: Experian Marketing Services is a trusted partner for the world’s most recognizable brands. We work with leading marketers across retail, financial services, automotive, telecommunications, insurance, travel and hospitality, media and entertainment, and consumer products – as well as the advertising agencies and other marketing services providers that serve these industries.

That being said, one vertical is not necessarily more successful than others. It is important to ensure that we understand our client’s challenges and create solutions that will drive their business goals. This may include purchase-based audiences such as high-frequency merchant shoppers, competitive shopper segments, or buyer look-a-like models for retailers or location based data to identify people who are in-market for a new car.

What would you say Experian’s biggest differentiator is?

Sarah: Identity driven solutions: In today’s hyperconnected, always-on world, consumers move across channels, devices and real-world locations at lightning speed. Keeping up with customers – and their data – to deliver relevant experiences can feel almost impossible. Experian resolves customer identities to build a full customer profile that connects multiple touch-points, transcends channels and devices, and merges offline and digital behavior. The result is a persistent, privacy-compliant identity that covers all aspects of a consumer’s day-to-day life which enables our clients to launch targeted, measurable moments that drive their business forward.

What would you say to any prospective client looking to test Experian audiences across social channels?

Sarah: It all comes down to identity and the data that informs an understanding of a consumer’s identity. Whether you are a small business owner, or a Fortune 500 company, you will inevitably have a social strategy and it is important to understand your consumer’s behaviors offline and across other channels to drive results. When you combine social platforms with Experian’s ConsumerView database, you ensure that your social audience strategy aligns with your broader customer profile. This combined strategy creates a powerful means to put your message in front of the right audience, increasing conversion rates and lowering cost of acquisition.

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