Q&A: Jeff Lundal, Experian SVP and general manager of data management services

Experian promoted Jeff Lundal to SVP and general manager of data management services at the marketing services provider December 23. In this interview with Direct Marketing News, he discusses the looming privacy debate and explains his view on why it’s imperative that marketers move away from batching and blasting and toward tweeting and status-updating.

Direct Marketing News (DMN): Congratulations on your promotion. What will your responsibilities be as SVP and general manager of data management services?

Jeff Lundal (Experian): This is a business unit that’s really focused on the fundamental data building blocks that marketers need to capture and integrate to understand customers and prospects. In my role, I am accountable for this business. [I’m responsible for] a group that consists of more than 320 individuals in four different locations. And these are individuals in sales, account management, operations, finance and accounting, human resources and marketing.

DMN: Where do you see the marketing technology industry heading?

Lundal: When you look at the market there’s been a fundamental shift. Marketers are making moves away from traditional strategies such as batch-and-blast to more of a customer focused engagement process. What Experian is calling this is the move from mass to individual. There’s a need for customer intelligence to help understand when and how customers want to be communicated with. Marketing technology companies must provide fundamental capabilities to capture data, clean data, and offer analytics so that our clients can best understand what consumers are doing, when they’re doing it, and how best they’ll react to predictive offers.

DMN: Social and mobile are the next frontiers in marketing technology. How can companies collect and use the data found on these channels to improve their marketing?

Lundal: The big push is in creating an addressable audience. Traditional marketing was batching and blasting. The main shift now is moving to an addressable audience that you can understand and present the best offer to through the right channel – social, mobile, traditional direct. My suggestion would be to take the same principles marketers have used offline and apply those to digital.

As far as what we can learn from these channels, there’s a nimbleness that lets marketers identify new trends and emerging opportunities more quickly. It’s new data. And you have to understand what forms of data can you capture? How can you create campaigns in those new environments? Some of it is simply being more present as a brand in those channels: Have fans on Facebook and followers on Twitter. Interact with your customers.

DMN: Where do you see the privacy debate headed? Will future privacy legislation affect how companies gather and use data?

Lundal: I don’t think so. Consumers are comfortable with marketers collecting data. If I like the Williams-Sonoma brand I want them to have the information to make relevant offers and contact me where I want to be contacted. As an educated consumer, I’m going to give them the information that they need in a way that allows them to communicate with me how and where I want them to.

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