Power 300: Q&A with John Gray of Experian

CARY, N.C.  - 

In the latest installment of the annual Power 300 issue of Auto Remarketing, we go behind the scenes with some of the leading companies in the used-car space and their top executives with a few Q&A features.

Next up is John Gray, president of automotive at Experian. 

Auto Remarketing: In a nutshell, how is the new Experian Marketing Engine designed to work for the auto industry?

John Gray: There’s an exorbitant amount of money dedicated to automotive advertising annually. And much like every other marketer, those in the automotive industry need to ensure they optimize the return on every advertising dollar spent. Part of that approach means understanding who the prospective car buyer is and personalizing communications. We leverage our existing identity and marketing capabilities to help automotive marketers better connect a person’s online and offline identities — meaning they can bridge the gap between a person who is looking to buy a car and their digital personas.

But, there’s the added benefit of utilizing our automotive-specific insights, including vehicle purchase behaviors and ownership data. The level of insight we can provide helps automotive marketers make better decisions and have more meaningful interactions with prospective car buyers.

AR: It was launched at a pretty interesting event, the Cannes Lions 2018 International Festival of Creativity in France. What was the inspiration for launching it here?

John Gray

JG: With the Experian Marketing Engine, we’re aiming to redefine marketing for the automotive industry. And, Cannes Lions is one of the premier events in the marketing industry — a place where the some of the most respected marketers gather. We want to help automotive brands make better marketing decisions and reach prospective car buyers, and Cannes Lions seemed like the perfect launch point.

AR: What are some of the everyday applications of the Experian Marketing Engine for a dealer or automaker?

JG: The name of the game for automotive marketers, whether at the dealer or OEM level, is to identify in-market car buyers and have a meaningful interaction with them. Experian Marketing Engine is a soup-to-nuts solution that helps marketers make more informed decisions across the spectrum. It helps them build segments of people that will likely be interested in a specific make and model, communicate with them through preferred channels and measure the effectiveness of the campaign. But what sets Experian Marketing Engine apart is the ability to measure the effectiveness of campaigns based on actual sales results.

AR: In a news release about the product, you mention that consumers base their car-buying decisions on different criteria than they did in the past. What are some of the new points of criteria they use?

JG: The automotive industry, as well as consumer behaviors, have undergone significant change over the past few years. With rising gas prices, ride-share options and higher vehicle cots, different people have different criteria for their next car. Perhaps a person is interested in a high performance luxury vehicle, or maybe a vehicle that they can use when driving for a ride-share company. Whatever the reason, marketers need to understand the behaviors and needs of a prospective car buyer, and communicate with them on a personal level.

Today's top headlines