Experian Marketing Services has paid media on the mind.
The data and analytics provider announced Thursday that it’s beefing up its media partner networks with a series of hookups designed to diminish its dependence on third-party cookies.
Mobile-centric companies like 4INFO, Millennial Media and NinthDecimal have all been added to Experian’s list of partners, and there are several others on the way soon, said Brienna Pinnow, product lead for addressable advertising at Experian Marketing Services.
It makes sense that mobile is a particular focus for Experian, which has historically been stronger in email and direct mail.
Experian’s cross-channel proposition works like this: Say an advertiser is looking to target a segment of shoe lovers on mobile that it had previously targeted via direct mail. The advertiser onboards its first-party data into Experian and Experian looks to see if those people also exist within the customer universe of one or more of its partners. If there’s a match, Experian shares that back with its media partner.
Pinnow is quick to point out that privacy is top-of-mind throughout this process.
What starts out as personally identifiable information is quickly hashed into a series of numbers and letters, and once there’s a linkage, it stays within Experian’s four walls, she said.
“It’s like a one-way machine,” Pinnow said. “Advertisers can use the data to activate campaigns and for analytics purposes, but we’re only matching de-identified data.”
There are about 40 companies in the queue for Experian’s direct partner network, which currently includes Yahoo, AOL, MSN, Dish Network, Cablevision, DIRECTV and Comcast.
“Most people know Experian from the email side of the house,” Pinnow said. “But at the end of the day, the heart of our story is around addressable advertising, and that means helping marketers activate data across all channels. This turns up the volume on the paid media side of the equation.”
In other Experian news, Experian Marketing Services got a nod in Forrester’s real-time interactions management Wave, released Wednesday. The Wave, which evaluated companies based on what Forrester referred to as an ability to deliver contextually relevant experiences at the appropriate moment and via the preferred customer touchpoint, listed Experian as a strong performer, behind Teradata, Adobe and Pegasystems, but on relative par with Salesforce, SAS Institute and SmartFocus.