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Epsilon Focuses On Improving Business Performances Of Indian Brands Digitally: Paul Davies, Sr. VP, Asia Pacific, Epsilon

With an experience of 50 years in data-driven insights, Epsilon maps its journey in the Indian digital market. The organization foresees huge opportunities in providing unique experiences on smartphones.

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In an interview with BW Businessworld, Paul Davies, Sr. VP - Asia Pacific, Epsilon, discussed the company's strategies in playing a key role in the evolving Indian digital economy. He sheds light on challenges, opportunities and solutions Epsilon brings to the country.
How would you describe the role of demographics with regards to behavioural and transactional data in modern day advertising?
Modern day advertising showcases a trend where agencies try and get a complete picture of their customers, prospects, retail, merchants etc. It is possible that they can further use that knowledge to connect with consumers’ better understanding their preferences, behavior and the modes of communication they prefer to interact. The more you bring that data together, further segregate it based on their profiles. This creates relevance between a brand and a consumer which further leads to a strong relationship.

What are the challenges face by brands in order to maintain customer loyalty and bring relevance to their demands?
The competition is one of the main challenges and at the end of the day we need to understand what loyalty means to the brand and the consumer. Because we mainly believe in transactional loyalty and we need to build a deeper bond. We at Epsilon create new engagement experiences through communication backed by digital. India is a mobile first country and as technology evolves we tend to bring more ideas and present customers with unique digital experiences.

With data at your disposal, how does Epsilon provide personalized customer experiences?
Delving into first, second and third party data in different ways it is important to create a strategy around it. The next phase is to create a single customer view from a mobile perspective, social media and retail stores. Epsilon is taking the charge in identity management which empowers us to track a single customer’s journey and map it further to the data sources. We then understand the channels of communication used by him/her and then deploy our creatives. Conversant which is our sister company, collects online data which is augmented to shed more light on individual’s point of view. Epsilon is matching all this information better than many agencies in Asia.
India stands as one of the biggest digital markets in the world. What are the opportunities it has unfolded for the agencies?
The opportunities rely on the size and scale of the Indian market. The rising middle class that is growing in the country along with a huge penetration of smartphones. Ultimately the challenge is to deliver the similar or better experience on the mobile compared to the website. Mobile experience is limited and we aim to improve that spectrum of delivering services. Based on the dynamics and economics which is fantastic for us while we deliver personalized customer experience to a large population. Application Interface, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning is an important part of this roadmap to developing our solutions around. With the data privacy laws and norms we are trying to practice our analytics at the basic level. We see consumer’s expectations are set really ahead of the time and not just technology but right allocation of agency resources are going to be the key factors for the time to come.

What makes Epsilon different from its competitors with regards to data driven insights?
We’ve been in the business for over 50 years and we’ve been delving into data driven insights before Adobe entered the market. We have experience, expertise and knowledge along with a soul focus about improving our marketing performances. With a constant focus on our business, we have helped improved businesses of our clients such as Valvoline, Sephora, Marriott, Volvo, Dell etc. We have some world class technology and our agility loyalty solution is now in the Forrester Report for 4 times in a year consecutively unlike no other solution driven company. We have a deep technology suite that allows us to deploy on it. A lot of our differentiating factors are technology and the supporting services around identity management.

With regards to brand expectancy, what are the customer demands from advertising agencies on various digital mediums? What are the trends you see forthcoming in that space?
It’s all about experience and how do you create these experiences around different modern & cross channels. This one of the main trends moving forward. Agencies are trying to manage and crate brand experiences and catering it to the right target audience moving forward. The solutions can be different compared to other regions but they are trying to create a positive experience for a customer on this journey. Ultimately, a brand has to be at the core of the agency’s strategies and that has been neglected to a certain extent in digital marketing. The industry is impacting economies and driving it at the same time. We are playing a significant role in taking the business ahead and that is where I see the trends forthcoming.

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