Experian Steps Up Its Social Engagement Push

It can be difficult enough to market to consumers through one channel, but trying to work across channels compounds that difficulty considerably. Enter Experian Marketing Services, which recently upgraded its cross-channel marketing platform with several new features.

Experian regularly updates its application, Jeff Hassemer, senior vice president for global product management, told CRM Buyer. Oftentimes, the enhancements are aimed at usability.

In this case, though, the company also added new functionality that touches upon social influencing, sentiment analysis and cross-channel multivariate testing.

The company also focused on integrating these new features with the social CRM aspect of the platform — especially its point of intersection with email, Hassemer said.

“There are a number of social CRM tools that we see as integral to cross-channel marketing,” he explained. “Our ongoing goal is to focus on and hone these as much as possible.”

The Social Piece

Experian Marketing Services’ platform can now track consumers as they move from email to online social activities, for example — assuming they have opted in for that tracking.

“Someone, for example, might want to share information about an event or tweet about it,” Hassemer said. “We essentially are able to take advantage of being able to operate in real time and combine things like social media and email together — and then track the reach of that email.”

The ability to measure social influence and analyze sentient comes into play at this point. “With every transaction collected within this environment, users can slice and dice the data and assess how it went viral,” Hassemer continued. “So, for example, if someone realizes they have a valuable influencer using social media, that influencer can be identified and then rewarded with an offer of some kind.”

The ability to perform multivariate testing is also an important moving piece, especially in this multichannel environment, he added.

‘So Many Conversations’

“A/B split testing is not well-suited when there are so many conversations happening and possibly several influencers,” Hassemer noted. “You don’t want to be limited to offering just option A or option B to a particular person.

“Rather, offers must be based around the myriad content out there and how a particular person responds to that content,” he added

Toward that end, Experian’s new multivariate testing option allows users to set up testing at almost every point of the campaign. The user, essentially, can set up any number of tests he or she wants at any complexity level, Hassemer said.

From there, Experian plans to build out predictive modeling capabilities that can run testing models and automatically determine what the best offers are based on the different variables, he said.

“After multivariate testing,” Hassemer concluded, “it is the next logical step.”

Erika Morphy has been writing about technology, finance and business issues for more than 20 years. She lives in Silver Spring, Md.

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