Experian Buys Online Consumer Research Company

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Experian Marketing Services strengthened its consumer intelligence portfolio with the acquisition of Vente Inc., a supplier of online consumer research.


Vente, Omaha, collects information from consumers through permission-based online survey platforms. It complements Simmons Market Research, a New York market researcher Experian bought in October 2004.


"This acquisition is consistent with Experian's strategy of acquiring complementary businesses and Vente's strength in the online marketplace is very complementary to Simmons' strength in the traditional research industry," said Bill Engel, co-CEO of Simmons.


Experian, Schaumburg, IL, didn't disclose terms of the purchase.


Vente's staff of 50 will keep their jobs, although the reporting structure of senior management to Experian higher-ups is still being worked out. The Vente name will be retained.


"Experian's an operator not a consolidator," Engel said.


According to Experian, Vente's database has more than 28 million consumers and detailed demographic data on descriptive variables like interests, hobbies, purchase intentions and ailments.


Also, the self-reported Vente data yields information for marketers to identify consumers, track brand perception and test new products and line extensions. It also cuts the time to field surveys, Engel said.


"For a traditional research company like Simmons, it takes about six months to make changes in the basic questionnaire direction," Engel said. "With Vente we can get a call from a client, go to market with our survey and produce results within 48 hours."


Founded in 1999, Vente averages more than 1 million completed surveys each month, letting marketers identify consumption trends before they become a reality.


"The acquisition expands Experian's capabilities for providing insight into global consumers across multiple marketing channels, which helps our clients to reach customers that are most receptive to our messages," Engel said.


Mickey Alam Khan covers Internet marketing campaigns and e-commerce, agency news as well as circulation for DM News and DMNews.com. To keep up with the latest developments in these areas, subscribe to our daily and weekly e-mail newsletters by visiting www.dmnews.com/newsletters


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