Experian Takes Stake In Social Marketing Firm Techlightenment
Demonstrating high demand for social media expertise, Experian on Monday said it bought a majority stake in social marketing specialist Techlightenment. Founded in 2007, the UK-based Techlightenment develops strategies and applications for social media marketing and advertising campaigns, while its brand research division monitors and analyzes social data to understand what people are saying about products. To date, clients have included Skype, Facebook and Lovefilm, along with GlaxoSmithKline, Universal Pictures, and Dr Martens.
This acquisition will allow Experian to use its data, client base and geographic reach alongside Techlightenment's technology and digital expertise, to enable clients to build their brand and direct-response campaigns in the social media environment. "With social media growing at a phenomenal rate, this acquisition further extends the range of leading digital marketing capabilities we can offer to our clients," said Mark Zablan, managing director of Experian's Marketing Services Group for the UK and Ireland.
Based in Shoreditch, London, Techlightenment will trade as "Techlightenment, an Experian company" within Experian's Marketing Services Group, and continue to be led by its existing management team, and report to Zablan. The startup's revenue for the year ending February 28 is expected to be nearly $8 million.
Thanks in large part to the meteoric rise of Facebook, social media is officially big business for marketers. Forrester Research estimates that social media marketing will grow at an annual rate of 34% over the next five years -- faster than any other online marketing segment, and double the average growth rate of 17% for all online media. By 2014, Forrester suggests that social media will be a $3.1 billion business.
To keep its edge in the highly competitive information services industry, Experian has pursued a combination of acquisitions and partnerships. Last year, for example, Experian tied up with search engine marketing and technology firm Kenshoo to offer joint services in the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia.
Also last year, Experian invested in addressable advertising company Invidi Technologies. As part of the deal, Kosta Skoulikaris, senior director of digital advertising services for Experian, will serve as an observer to Invidi's board.