Experian Unit Unveils Facebook-Based Research Tool


Techlightenment, a unit of Experian, has entered into a partnership with performance-based ad network Adknowledge to gather brand research on Facebook; it offers users virtual currency and in-game points for taking part in consumer surveys.

The surveys will be distributed via Super Rewards, the Adknowledge-owned monetization platform for online games and social networks.

Through its new social-research service, Techlightenment promises that brands can make more informed decisions about ad campaigns, marketing strategies, product development and competitive positioning. And with opt-in participation from Facebook users, clients can add a layer of consumers' interests and demographics on top of survey responses.

"In the same way that Hollywood studios screen movies to gauge consumer reaction prior to general release, companies can use the Social Research Platform to test and refine brand messaging or get feedback on products," stated Ankur Shah, co-founder of Techlightenment. "We can reach more than 10,000 people, online, in a day."

Data analytics firm Experian in January bought a majority stake in U.K.-based Techlightenment to help provide social media marketing tools in connection with branding and direct response campaigns.

Its clients include pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline, Skype and Universal Pictures. Dr. Martens is among the first clients to test the company's new Social Research Platform service, which it said is fully compliant with Facebook's privacy and social game-playing guidelines.

The well-known shoe brand used the research tool to find out more about what the Dr. Martens name stands for, how consumers compare it to competitors like Uggs and Converse, and where people buy shoes, among other things. Shah said GlaxoSmithKline is another client expected to tap the new offering.

Among social games in which brand surveys will appear include Island Paradise, Treasure Madness and Farm Town. Shah noted that marketers pay based on how many responses Techlightenment actually delivers -- it guarantees up to 10,000 a day.

He also emphasized that the social platform can be used to test and optimize TV, as well as online advertising. An advertiser can solicit feedback from two different commercials to see which performs best with a particular target audience. "Then you can build a campaign on the back of that," said Shah.

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