Bold Business sits down with Aimee Irwin of Experian, the company we all depend on for our credit scores
An FKD Feature exclusive

Aimee Irwin From Experian Joins Bold Business!

Aimee Irwin, Vice President of Strategy for Marketing Services at Experian, discusses data-driven advertising tips for startups with Bold Business!

Posted by BoldTV on Tuesday, December 11, 2018


Tell us about your work at Experian

The division that Aimee Irwin works in at Experian helps marketers better understand their consumers and make better marketing decisions, all of which is based on consumer data.  

Tell us about Experian’s initiatives and projects

Experian has a file on almost every household in the U.S. so that they can understand things like age, gender, presence of children and sometimes interests. This allows marketers to do some interesting things. “Think about what is happening in television for example,” Irwin said. “Traditionally, we all went to watch television at 5 o’clock for the news. And everybody in the U.S. saw the same ad. Now you can, on any device, pick up and watch whatever you want at any time. That also means that the ads can be more relevant and more targeted to you.” Irwin has three boys that play hockey and her next door neighbor has three girls that do ballet “or whatever girls do.”“I can get the ads that are relevant to me, and they can get the ads that are relevant to them,” Irwin said. “And Experian partners with marketers to help them understand their consumers and then deliver relevant messages.”

What is the difference between a credit reference firm and a data software business?

“Yes, we do have a big credit business,” Irwin said. “We help consumers understand what their credit is and protect their data. But at our core, we are really a data company.” Experian has a fraud and ID division which helps protect banks and other entities from fraudulent activity. “At the core is the data. And identity is really important, too. [It is important to] understand consumers across the many many different devices that we operate in today.”

Are startups one of your audiences?

“Our audience is, from the Experian marketing-services division, a lot of brands. Think like retailers, and auto.” Experian has transaction data on the auto side, for example. When people register their car, “[Experian gets] data on that. Think about how you used to buy a car. You went to a couple dealers and then you bought a car. But now you go online and you research. It is great for consumers. There is more information [available] that they didn’t use to have. But it is also great for marketers. It is an opportunity for marketers to insert messages to [consumers] on [their] path to purchase.”  

Are there other examples, besides auto?

As another example: “16-year-olds today, if you talk to them, they are using their phone while they are watching TV and so you are ending up with all these different ways to influence someone along the path to purchase, even if it is not an auto,” she said.

Has social media transformed the marketing landscape?

As a marketer and as a brand, you can have a presence on social media of your own. You can work with influencers, and you can partner with celebrities and other things in social media that can really transform your brand. “But then you can also just advertise on social media, on things like Facebook.” Irwin said, “If you look at a product somewhere else, as we’ve all seen it pops up on Facebook.”

Do you think company-rebranding is something we’re soon to see in every type of business?

“Businesses evolve as technology evolves,” Irwin said. “Some businesses respond sooner than others. From a technology perspective, when we think about the proliferation of devices, all of a sudden, we are not just understanding data that is coming from mobile phones and desktop computers. We are also trying to understand things coming in from all sorts of devices. As businesses adapt you end up with a lot of interesting things to think about. But you must take advantage in the right way, and you must be compliant from a consumer privacy standpoint. Always respect the fact that we have this data because the consumers trust us with it. We need to do the right thing with it, and we need to make the world better for consumers.”


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Posted 01.03.2019 - 08:00 am EDT