Experian Hitwise SVP Bradstock Says AudienceView Using Largest Panel Of Online Consumer Behavior

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Simon BradstockEarlier this month, Experian Marketing Service's Hitwise measurement group announced its foray into audience data management with AudienceView. The company claimed in a press release that with AudienceView, "retailers can track and trend the online behavior of existing and potential consumers to better optimize online media planning and target their messages to reach and retain the most profitable and relevant segments." Read the release.

Experian Hitwise's SVP, General Manager Simon Bradstock provided insight on the AudienceView product and his company, in general, in a recent interview with AdExchanger.com.

AdExchanger: What would you say the problem is that you see AudienceView solving?

SB: The problem is that marketers have an increasing range of tools at their disposal to contact and address their audience today, but they don't necessarily understand who that audience should be, what that audience is thinking and how they're behaving.  What AudienceView does is take the data assets from Experian and allows a marketer to drill down on the audiences that are going to be the most highly-valued for that business. We help them understand how that audience is interacting with the Internet to drive revenues.

What are the data sets here?

The data sets start with the largest panel in the industry of online consumer behavior - and that's anonymous consumer web interaction information that is coming from HitWise, various ISPs and panels that we work with.

On top of that, we layer in the Experian consumer view and database, a compiled set of consumer data which combines U.S. Census data, public record data, self‑reported data, into a rich view of consumers at the household level. What we do is anonymously match, and therefore enrich the information that we have when we look at online behavior. We also layer into this the Experian Mosaic, the lifestyle segment classification system, which was recently updated not more than six months ago. It is the most complete and up-to-date view of the American consumer that you can find anywhere.

It basically segments American consumers into a range of different lifestyle segments across the industry and country. We also have the lifestyle classification system with [Nielsen's] PRIZM attached. In future releases, we're working to add other segmentation schemes into this from both other Experian assets that we have and third-party assets. With another Experian asset, we can segment by what your summarized credit score might be.

Who's going to be your client here, and do you plan on partnering?

We’ve been talking to our customers about this for some time. There are advertisers that will want to buy this directly, and big companies that have big analytics groups who want this kind of segment data and want to go deep on it. There are a whole range of companies that are interested and will be part of our early program.

The people that are our clients are the analytics teams and the VPs of consumer insights - typically from larger organizations. We believe we'll get a lot of traction with agencies, too, who after all are often asked to do this for their clients.

There's a role for us to play with demand-side platforms (DSPs) and data management platforms (DMPs). We can certainly help to provide behavioral targeting, and if you like, the white‑listing and black‑listing of sites. We can also play a role in helping to do ad effectiveness.

We can help the DSPs and the publishers understand the behavioral lift that comes from an ad campaign, it is particularly important when we're talking about brand advertising. It’s not just to look at the direct response and the click through, but actually to look at “Did it change the search terms that they're using? Did it change the time that they spend on competitive sites? Did it change conversion rates on competitive sites?” We think there's an opportunity to help people prove the effectiveness of campaigns that are being implemented.

What about event-based audience buying? Does AudienceView respond to this?

The answer is yes, and in fact, we often talk about that because one of the differentiators for HitWise versus the competition is we compile our metrics and our numbers on a daily basis. We keep that information over a two- to three-year period. There are a number of different things that makes that interesting to event marketers such as, “Do people behave around events over the last three years? Are there any common learnings? Is there anything that we can get out of that that could inform the strategy for this year?”

Then beyond that, when the Super Bowl happens, the very next morning, you've got the full results of how your audience or how your competitors actually did coming out of that event. And, you can quickly begin to tune campaigns that are running. You can measure or benchmark yourself against how well you did. Timeliness is an important thing for us, and you often find that people who are event-based are HitWise customers.

By John Ebbert

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