The system has been rebuilt to support real-time, data-driven, timely interactions with consumers, John Merakovsky, the company's managing director for Asia-Pacific, told Campaign Asia-Pacific. The company has made a fresh start, retiring its former platform, which originated as an email tool with additional functions bolted on over the years.
Although email is still effective despite many reports of its demise, Merakovsky said, "The rules have changed and the opportunity now is to get engagement well beyond what email can provide".
The new platform can "basically take any data point and use it to trigger any kind of interaction", he said. Asked to flesh out what this means, Merakovsky cited an experience many people are familiar with: being 'followed all over the internet' by the same banner ad. In this situation, a visit to the company's website has led to retargeting, which often continues regardless of whether the person has actually made the purchase the ad is meant to trigger.
A modern marketing system needs to be smart enough to differentiate between consumers who have transacted and those who have not. "For those who have transacted, the last thing you want to do is hit them again," Merakovsky said. "So you need to cease and desist on the display ad, and use some other channels to enhance the experience." This might mean, for example, emails that provide guidebook information for a purchased travel package, augmented with upsell opportunities.
"If they didn't transact, maybe you continue with the display ad, or better yet, decide to target onto Facebook instead of publisher sites," he said. Or if the consumer has already opted in to emails, an email highlighting the very item they looked at during their website visit might do the trick.
The point is to build a set of action-and-response rules that mesh with the consumer's actions appropriately, delivering the optimal message in the optimal medium.
Among its other features, the platform includes the ability to identify and reach key influencers on social networks to encourage and reward brand advocacy.
Experian is far from alone in its claims of best support for cross-channel marketing. Salesforce and Adobe are prominent competitors. Epsilon recently rolled out a new version of its platform, called Agility Harmony, and its marketing hits many of the same notes Experian is sounding.
Asked to explain why Experian's platform is better, Merakovsky returned to the fact that the system is a new build and as such includes code-level support for high-speed data handling and the ability to work with even the most massive customer databases. He also cited the company's presence in the region, not only of sales people but more importantly client-services staff.