As the old adage (sort of) goes: more data, more problems. That’s where the data marketing company Epsilon steps in to help.
“Our vision is to know consumers and to be able to identify those consumers in the channel where they’re transacting,” Stacey Hawes, president of data practice at Epsilon, says in the latest episode of the “AdExchanger Talks” podcast. “[Our clients] are still very reliant on us to help them understand what data they need and how to use it.”
Hawes arrived at Epsilon after it acquired her former company, the data coop Abacus, in the mid-2000s. It was yet another addition to Epsilon’s gigantic set of third-party data assets.
“We [also] have a survey data asset called Target Source, which is one of the biggest surveys online,” Hawes says. “Consumers can go and fill out everything from their lifestyles to what kind of toothpaste they use. It’s a very rich data set.”
Hawes says the biggest adjustment she’s seen at Epsilon is how the company’s data sets are used. Ten years ago, the company’s data sets were “100% used for direct mail.” But since customers are now checking their electronic inbox more than their physical one — if they even have one — Epsilon had to adjust.
This meant digitizing everything.
“That’s really been a transformation for us,” Hawes says. “Making those data sets available not just for the mailbox, but any and everywhere a consumer is transacting.”
Privacy mandates including the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) have already shifted how Epsilon runs its business.
“With GDPR, it took us about a year to get compliant in our European business,” Hawes says. “It’s a big investment, and it took a lot of interpreting to figure out how to become compliant.”
Listen to the whole episode to find out how big data drives big changes in the industry.