Experian Aims for Addressable Media with New Division

In a move beyond its traditional business of providing data for direct mail, email, telemarketing, and print media, Experian Marketing Services has launched a new division called Addressable Media Solutions to target the cable television, satellite, and Internet advertising sectors.

Leveraging on its recent acquisition of Simmons Market Research and a new creative partnership, Experian is billing the new division as a cross-platform data and creative services provider catering to the needs of media, advertisers, and ad agencies, said Scott Worthem, vice president of the new unit.

Working with those new resources and its own expertise, the new Experian unit will offer advertisers the ability to design, deliver, and track multiple advertisements that can react to changing environments such as different times of the day, markets, and zip codes. “And, at some point, households,” Worthem said. These options will be available for cable television, satellite and Internet media.

“We want to help marketers target down to the lowest possible level, where traditionally you could not go,” he added. “Essentially, we’re expanding on our core competency to take the concept of addressable media closer to operational reality.”

Experian acquired Simmons, which provides segmented information about consumer shopping frequency, media usage, price preferences, and entertainment consumption on October 14.

The company has also partnered with Visible World, which specializes in customizable television advertising, content creation, and delivery services. Visible World, founded in 2000, is backed by advertising companies the WPP Group and Grey Advertising Ventures.

The goal for the new division will be to expand its current trial base of under ten advertising clients to 20 or 30 by the end of its first year, while at the same time seeking out partnerships with major media partners, Worthem said.

As with other innovations in targeted advertising, it may be some time before it will be clear how effective Experian’s latest venture will be in an evolving marketplace, said Hollis Thomases, president of Web Ad.Vantage, which specializes in media buying and other services.

“We’re talking about a company that has a lot of data, right?” said Thomases. ” I see this as another example of a trend in interactive advertising moving in the direction of targeting. As with contextual targeting and behavioral targeting, the real questions in its first year are going to be: Will it work? Is it well-funded enough to prove that it can work?”

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