Experian takes on Oracle's Data Cloud with its own customer intelligence platform

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In the same week that Oracle introduced its Data Cloud, Experian Marketing Services is launching a platform that competes directly with it.

Today, Experian announced the launch of the Experian Marketing Suite at its 2014 Client Summit in Las Vegas, NV. The new platform is a repository of customer data, which updates information based on multi-channel customer interactions, as well as Experian's own data resources.

The Marketing Suite serves as an accessible source of data that users can tap into for their multi-channel marketing campaigns.

The platform compiles customer data from all the interactions they have with the company's digital marketing operations. This includes website, mobile, email, and social. It combines this data with Experian's proprietary database of customer information, creating references and matching profiles to create a single, complete view of the customer. For example, linking a customers email address to a LinkedIn or Twitter profile or postal address, and housing it in one accessible source. 

Experian Marketing Services president Matt Seeley says this data integration is a crucial step before engaging the customer. "You need to have a very clear record of the individual before you begin the marketing interaction," says Seeley. "And to do that, you need a system that stores all the data and makes it executable."

Once the central customer profile is created, Seeley says it can be enhanced through other information gleaned through the platform, such as their age, income, browsing history and attitude towards buying. "We can find out how a customer wants to be engaged and then create a great experience for them," says Seeley.

Finally, the platform offers reporting and analysis capabilities on the customer interactions to see which campaigns are working across which channels, and to optimize their future performance.

Here's what Experian's customer profiles look like within the Marketing Suite platform:

Although Experian provides its own cross-channel marketing platform to act on its customer database, it also allows integrations with other marketing platforms that want to tap into it. Seeley says the company was working on an API exchange that would make it easier for brands who are using flexible marketing automation platforms to plug into and utilize data within the Experian Marketing Suite.

If this all sounds familiar, it's because Oracle announced a very similar product on Monday. The Oracle Data Cloud utilizes customer information aggregated from its various marketing solutions and combines them with third-party customer information from its BlueKai data platform. Marketing and sales teams can plug into this combined data repository to create segments and target customers.

Seeley says he agrees with Oracle's strategy of putting data first, but believes Experian's services are more accurate, given how long it has been gathering customer data. "We are an original-source compiler of data, and we've been doing it very well for decades," says Seeley. "BlueKai is an aggregator of data, not an original source, and its existence is a only few years old"

He adds, "It's not a 20 year repository of history."

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