May 1, 2020

How to unlock customer insight with Experian Mosaic data

minute read

Experian Mosaic is a rich dataset that helps businesses understand the complex human characteristics of their customers. Insights from Experian customer data can be used to influence the entire customer lifecycle, from acquisition to retention and growth—but only if you understand how to access and leverage that data effectively. This how-to guide will help you get started.

Understand, then engage.

That’s how every successful business approaches its customer relationships. With an in-depth understanding of your core customer base—who they are, how they live, where they shop, what they shop for, etc—you can tailor your engagement tactics for greater impact, increased value, and loyalty that lasts a lifetime.

Of course, understanding and engagement influence each other as well; customers’ responses to your brand communications can provide you with nuanced insights as to how to engage them more effectively in the future. Either way, the more robust your data, the more impactful and efficient your acquisition, retention, and growth strategies will be.

One of the best tools retailers can use to enrich their customer profiles beyond their direct relationship with customers and gain deeper insights is Experian’s Mosaic.

In this guide, we’ll introduce you to the ins and outs of Experian Mosaic, including:

  • The types of consumer information an Experian data enrichment provides.
  • The high-impact use-cases for Experian Mosaic across the entire customer lifecycle.
  • The ways in which small and mid-sized brands can access it at an affordable price.

What is Experian Mosaic?

Experian Mosaic is a rich set of customer data that segments consumers based on their geography, demographics, socioeconomic status, household dynamics, and more. This “geodemographic” Mosaic customer segmentation is made possible with more than 300 data points, including:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Marital status
  • Household composition
  • Income/Affluence
  • Occupation
  • Education
  • Ethnicity
  • Channel/Technology preferences
  • Location

These complex, human variables are fed into a clustering model, linked to customer profiles based on household address, and then sorted into easy-to-digest segments and types that describe the typical lifestyles, attitudes, preferences, and behaviors of those customers.

For example, the wealthiest Australian Experian Mosaic segment is known as “Central Prosperity.” The consumers in this group tend to be middle-aged to senior couples with very high incomes, enjoying worry-free lives that are rich with social activities and luxury goods. On the lower end of the income spectrum is a segment called “Farming Reliance.” This group is typically comprised of rural farmers and farm owners who make a below-average income and tend to avoid making large investments in favor of “living for the now.”

Although both groups are older and have children, their lifestyles and buying behaviors are divergent enough that the messages you use to communicate with each group need to be drastically different in order to resonate.

The breadth and depth of information provided by Experian Mosaic make it a dynamic and powerful tool for customer segmentation, personalization, and targeting. On the flip side, that same breadth and depth of data mean that the implementation process requires a level of IT resources typically only found in enterprise companies.

For small and mid-sized brands without an IT team that can do the heavy lifting, a Customer Data Platform (CDP) like Lexer can help you match and manage this Mosaic data with ease.

Why is Experian Mosaic more valuable with a marketing tool like a CDP?

Marketers need to have a good understanding of their customers and prospects in order to engage them effectively, but not every marketer has a background in data science. If you don’t have the IT expertise on your team to match Experian Mosaic data to your customer profiles or an Analyst to derive accurate insights from those profiles, then you’ll need to explore Mosaic marketing tools to help you do so.

A CDP partner like Lexer enables you to enrich your customer records with Experian’s Mosaic, ConsumerView™ and household data to transform your data into a single customer view that’s easy to use, easy to understand, and easy to update. Our extensive onboarding and implementation services mean that we act as an extension of (or a substitute for) your IT and Analytics team, matching Experian customer data back to your customers’ addresses using a postal validation service to ensure accuracy.

Because our CDP tools enable marketers to self-serve customer insights, customer segmentation, and activation across all of their retail platforms, they empower marketers to do more with their Experian Mosaic data—without needing to consult the IT team every time. Ultimately, investing in Experian data enrichment through a CDP partner that can provide not only tools but also implementation support means that small and mid-sized brands can leverage these enterprise-level data assets at an affordable price.

How do you use Experian customer data to influence the entire customer lifecycle?

INSIGHT: Set the direction for your end-to-end business strategy.

Customer insights act as the guiding light for marketers to follow as they develop their acquisition, retention, and growth strategies. The more holistic the insights, the brighter the light, and the more effectively you can direct your day-to-day marketing activities.

That’s why insight is the first and most important use case for Experian data enrichment. Insight acts as the foundational use case that will help support every other marketing objective, from acquisition to growth.

Using Experian Mosaic, marketers can gain insight into their most prominent customer groups, including how their values, attitudes, and behaviors compare to the rest of the general population.

Experian Mosaic insights come in two levels of granularity: groups and types.

Groups describe a macro type of segmentation and subtypes are additional layers of segmentation that fall within each group. For example, in the U.S., there are 19 groups and 72 subtypes, so the insights you glean from this data can be extremely granular. Analyzing Experian groups and subtypes can help you understand the underlying distribution of your customers and the relative importance and value of each group to your business. When you can access this information within a CDP, you can use it to analyze all of your other customer data as well.

For example, you could compare things like Mosaic group to order frequency; if you find that group A has ten times the order volume as group B, then you’ll know that prospects who fall into group A will likely be more loyal, higher-value customers and therefore worth more ad spend. On the other hand, if you find that you have a large number of group B customers who’ve only purchased from your brand once, then you know they’re difficult to cross-sell to and you might not want to focus on them in your acquisition, retention, and growth efforts.

Additionally, it’s a good idea to take a look at the types of products and categories that your highest-value groups typically shop for. For example, if you know that your highest-value customers fall into Mosaic group A, which products do those customers typically buy first? These items are your “hero products,” and they’ll make the greatest impact when you feature them in your acquisition efforts.

ACQUISITION: Introduce high-value customers to your brand using insight-driven creative.

Once you understand who your high-value Mosaic customer groups are, you can create lookalike audiences and target them with creative advertising tailored specifically to their segment. Prioritizing your highest-value segments for acquisition is key, because these are the segments that will provide the greatest return to your business over their customer lifetime.

Additionally, the insights regarding these segments’ lifestyles, attitudes, and behaviors can help you personalize your creative and messaging. In other words, how should you speak to each Mosaic group? Which messages would resonate most?

The messages you send to an affluent, conservative, and family-oriented group should look drastically different than the ones you’d send to a single, liberal, and budget-constrained group, for example. Using this information, you can orchestrate hyper-targeted acquisition tracks for each group to ensure higher engagement and profitability.

RETENTION: Personalize your communication to keep your customers engaged.

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: Loyalty is lucrative. If you can keep your customers coming back for more, you can develop prosperous, one-to-one relationships that add compounding value to your business—because after all, happy customers tell their friends.

Retention is all about creating happy customers with relevant, personalized engagement. Insights from Experian Mosaic can help you hone every aspect of your customer engagement—including the timing, channel, messages, and audiences—to keep your brand top of mind.

Mosaic groups can help explain the buying motivations of your core customers, allowing you to build strategies tailored to each group. For example, take a look at the profitability differences between your core customer groups:

  • High-value, high-margin customers have purchased a lot of full-priced products from your brand.
  • High-value, low-margin customers have purchased a lot of products from your brand, but only on a discount.
  • Low-value, low-margin customers have purchased a low number of products from your brand, and only when you’re having a sale.

Then, once you’ve defined each profitability segment, look at the Mosaic distribution for each. This analysis will tell you which groups make more prominent and profitable customers, providing critical insights into the buying behavior and motivation of each.

For example, most brands want to sell their products at full price to make the highest margins possible. If you notice that Mosaic Group A correlates with high-value, high-margin profitability segments, then you should focus your retention efforts on that group to get the maximum return. If Group B falls into the high-value, low-margin profitability segment, then you might only want to target them when you’re having a sale. In most cases, you should avoid spending your advertising dollars on low-value, low-margin customer groups.

GROWTH: Boost your customer lifetime value with targeted cross-sell and upsell strategies.

Experian Mosaic can also help you grow the value of your existing customers by informing cross-sell and upsell strategies.

When you analyze your product data against Mosaic groups, you’ll notice trends in the types of products that certain groups of customers buy. For example, you might find that your most affluent segment tends to make repeat purchases of women’s and children’s clothing, whereas your lower-value segments tend to be one-time buyers of shoes or accessories; this information should inform every aspect of your communications, including the recommended product algorithm on your ecommerce site.

By understanding which categories and messages are most likely to drive the next purchase, you can create targeted cross-sell and upsell campaigns for each group that ultimately increase customer lifetime value.

Additionally, Mosaic groups can inform the prioritization of your cross-sell and upsell activities. If you know that Mosaic group A most frequently makes repeat purchases from your brand, then you can feel confident that investing more paid media targeting that group will reap the highest return.

INSIGHT: Use the new customer data you’ve collected to refine your learnings.

The insights you drew from Experian Mosaic may have helped you kick off your high-powered acquisition, retention, and growth strategies, but gaining insight isn’t a one-and-done endeavor.

Once you’ve implemented Mosaic-driven customer engagement campaigns, you’ll begin to pull in new first-party and zero-party data regarding the response to those campaigns. Coupled with Experian Mosaic, this new data can help you continue to refine your customer knowledge and gain increasingly nuanced insights about the underlying differences in value and order behavior between your core customer groups.

By using a CDP to effectively match, manage, and analyze this customer data, you can take a test-learn-adapt approach to your customer engagement strategies for exponential business growth.

Know your customers to grow your business

Empathy is the foundation for all great human connections, and the connection between your brand and your individual customers is no exception. With a deep understanding of who your customers are and what makes them tick, you can begin to offer them the amazing customer experiences they deserve—from the first touch by marketing to many repeat purchases later.

But remember: Data is only as valuable as the actionable insights you take from it. If your team doesn’t have the tools, resources, or expertise on-hand to leverage Experian Mosaic effectively, then you’ll struggle to achieve a meaningful return on your investment.

Lexer can help you unify, transform, and cleanse your existing customer data and then enrich it with Experian Retail, Mosaic, and ConsumerView. Our support team acts as a strategic consulting partner to help you develop holistic, easy-to-understand customer profiles; draw actionable insights based on proven predictive models; and activate targeted campaigns across all of your retail platforms. With marketer-friendly tools powered by enterprise-level data, you’ll achieve rapid and profitable growth.

Interested in using insights from Experian Mosaic for high-powered acquisition, retention, and growth? The Lexer team can help you get started. Use the calendar below to book a meeting with one of our experts.

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Elizabeth Burnam
Content Marketing Specialist
Elizabeth Burnam is a content marketer and a poet at heart. She has a degree in Professional Writing and experience developing high-impact marketing assets for a broad range of industries.Outside of work, she enjoys reading, painting, people-watching, and exploring the natural wonders of Vermont.