TechBytes with Kevin Dean, President and General Manager, Experian

Kevin Dean

Kevin Dean
President and General Manager, Experian

In this interview, Kevin Dean, President and General Manager at Experian, explains the extent to which Product Innovation teams have managed to bridge the gap between UX and CX and how Experian delivers it to the customers.

Tell us about your role at Experian and the team/technology you handle. 

My role at Experian is to lead the vision and strategic direction of our Marketing Services division. We are committed to helping brand advertisers put consumers at the heart of their strategies. We use data and technology to help advertisers better understand their audiences, make more informed marketing decisions and have more meaningful interactions with people across multiple channels.

What is the current state of Identity Resolution in 2018?

Most marketers view identity resolution as a significant challenge in 2018 – primarily because hundreds of digital attributes exist for almost every person. With so many different touchpoints, it can be difficult for marketers to gain a single customer view. And, because of the difficulty in solving for identity, some brand advertisers may limit themselves to the context of a single touchpoint. Unfortunately, any “one” single touchpoint isn’t an indicator of a person or their interests.

How did you find the gaps and opportunities in Identity Resolution before launching MarketingConnect? What was the driving force behind this latest launch?

People consume information and perform daily activities through a variety of portals, whether it’s mobile, desktop, in-store or email, among others. And, this creates hundreds of offline and online touchpoints for marketers. Now multiply that by millions of people. The challenge becomes, how do marketers consolidate this information and accurately identify customers to deliver relevant communications to them?

The solution has long been to use disparate tools to properly solve the identity challenge. Oftentimes, that leads to the use of different data sets and conflicting platforms. With MarketingConnect, we set out to enable marketers to achieve identity resolution via a single platform, make better marketing decisions and more easily connect with people on a personal level.

How do personalization and hyper-personalization fit into your technology suite?

It is fast becoming mission critical to link together disparate systems of audience insights and engagement metrics to create a more seamless and personalized customer experience across all channels. Whether you’re an agency, advertiser, publisher, media platform, or data owner, Experian’s MarketingConnect provides the extensive and diversified toolset to solve identity challenges with precision and repeatability, enabling marketers to reach their prospects and customers on any device, in real-time, with personalized messaging.

In 2018, to what extent do Product Innovation teams manage to bridge the gap between UX and CX? How do you achieve that at Experian?

An important first step here is understanding the distinctions between UX and CX, and defining these practices as key components of the guiding principles of the product innovation mission. For example, if CX suggests an expansive relationship with a brand (e.g. B2B or B2C customers of a company), UX might imply a somewhat smaller but critically important subset relating to said customer’s relationships and engagements with a company’s products and solutions.

We constantly source feedback from our internal teams, clients and market research to better understand how we can align our product and solutions to help brands move the needle on CX and UX.

How do you connect every customer data with marketing automation and targeting tools?

As a recent Forrester report highlights, accurately establishing and maintaining customer identity is one of the most perplexing challenges facing marketers today. Customers have footprints in the offline and online worlds and tend to seamlessly transition across various channels and devices – presenting a unique challenge to truly understand who they are. But, the ability to stitch these disparate components of information together means marketers can make better decisions and can have more meaningful interactions with their customers. And for customers, that means advertisements that matter to them.

Like most competitive differentiators, the mission-critical components to accurately determine an identity reside within the suite of identity management tools at the marketers’ disposal and the expertise required for proper execution – a struggle for most marketers.

To properly implement from the get-go, and to avoid having to bolt on disparate technologies down the road, emerging industry trends and success stories suggest marketers need a neutral technology service provider that can provide each of these solutions via a single, unified platform. A vendor that can build a solid identity management foundation comprised of omnichannel targeting and attribution, cross-device resolution, online-offline linkage management, and data onboarding form the nexus of a cohesive identity strategy, built to last.

What does your product and solutions roadmap look like for Mobile Marketing and Omnichannel Customer identification?

While the subject of identity resolution continues to garner increased attention, there ought to be an emphasis on shifting the paradigm from point solutions to more holistic identity resolution management platforms. Omnichannel customer identification and cross-channel marketing are effectively table stakes for the marketer seeking to attain a single-customer view.

Falling short of making these identifying connections, data loses value as these fragmented attributes lead to blind spots in true customer identity. Despite our recent launch of MarketingConnect, we continue to explore new data advancements and technology to help brands create a single-unified identity and make better marketing decisions.

What technologies in AI/machine learning have you deployed, or plan to deploy in the coming?

We’re constantly exploring and testing new technologies and use cases for AI and machine learning. Through our research and development group, Experian DataLabs, we’re helping brands better understand what is possible with their data and giving them greater insight to make better decisions.

Thanks for chatting with us, Kevin.

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