Years ago, when data was the shiny new object, people talked a lot about it being organized into useful information that could drive actionable insights. It sounded great at the time. Unfortunately, at that time (and we’re talking about the late 90s and early 00s) the promise far outstripped the reality. However, in the past five years the responsible collection and usage of data has significantly evolved.
In fact, we see that 95 percent of companies feel driven to turn data into insight to understand their customer needs, find new customers and increase the value of each client. Today, successful businesses are drawing meaningful insights from data to impact almost every aspect of business operations.
But what actually makes data valuable? How can this incredible volume of information be converted into action?
In its rawest form data really isn’t all that useful. A name here, an email address there, and purchase intent somewhere else. But responsibly collecting and connecting those data is the key, and it’s also a complex task that almost all businesses struggle with. Accomplishing this task – turning insights into action – is what we do, and it’s something we do better than others.
Transforming insights into action can take many different forms. It can mean helping marketers communicate with customers in more meaningful and effective ways; helping consumers secure loans that are right for them; or helping businesses protect themselves against risk. Given what we do at Experian Marketing Services, it’s that first point I’d like to focus on. How do we approach data so that it has the greatest value for marketers and their customers?
First and foremost, we treat data with respect and protect it rigorously. For some it may be easy to forget that each and every bit of consumer information out there has its roots in a real person. This is something we never forget or take for granted at Experian. We hold ourselves to a higher standard when it comes to working with and managing consumer information. That ethos is in our DNA, and is the foundation of everything we do.
Equally important is ensuring information quality. For a marketer, accurate information is critical. Before you can reach out to a customer you need to have a high degree of confidence that you are reaching the right customer. In many respects, inaccurate data is a bigger problem than a dearth of information. Why? Today we see a little over a quarter of information is believed to be inaccurate in company databases. That high degree of error dramatically impacts marketing success, but also the business bottom line.
The final piece of the puzzle is making that highly accurate and well-protected information available when, where and how it’s needed. This means being steeped in the innovation that is part and parcel of the integrated marketing mix. Our Experian Marketing Suite provides marketers with the ability to plan, manage, execute and optimize all of their customer interactions in real time across any channel.
And this is critical as today’s consumer moves seamlessly between media channels. She may be reading an email one minute, browsing the Web in the next and scanning Facebook on the phone in the one after that.
This reality of the consumer device experience creates opportunities for marketers to meet the consumer where they are with messages that make the most sense, at the right time. For example, promoting the latest episode of a popular program to a streaming-enabled device in the evening is an actionable impression and one likely to be welcome by a fan. When this type of interaction happens, consumers often don’t think twice, they simply appreciate the natural and timely delivery of relevant information.
Information needs to inform every consumer engagement in today’s cross-channel world. We’re able to deliver this through our strong foundation in marketing technology, our appreciation and understanding of today’s platforms, apps and devices, and by keeping an eye on the future.
We recognize that consumers live in an increasingly diverse digital world. We understand that the data – accurate data that provides a great experience for consumers and marketers alike – is an asset like no other. It’s the bedrock on which so many businesses, relationships and experiences are built. Serving as responsible stewards of that data through the technology and services we provide has allowed Experian Marketing Services to play a central and trusted role for marketers around the world.