Andy Frawley: CEO of Epsilon

What's Your Native AdVice:

Andy Frawley is Chief Executive Officer of Epsilon, the global leader in creating connections between people and brands. He joined Epsilon (a division of Alliance Data) in 2009 to lead digital marketing and became President in 2012. In early 2015, he was elevated again, to serve as CEO of Epsilon, recognized by Ad Age as the #1 World CRM/Direct Marketing Network, #1 U.S. Digital-Agency Network and #1 U.S. Agency from All Disciplines. On behalf of its clients, Epsilon manages billions of consumer records, delivers over 50 billion email messages a year and handles 70 billion digital interactions per day in display, mobile and video advertising, leveraging the power of rich data to connect people to brands.

With 30 years of operating experience, including 25 years at the senior management level, within agency, marketing services, consulting, enterprise software, software as a service (SaaS), and professional services companies, Andy is also a leading subject matter expert on digital marketing, including email marketing, CRM, Big Data, database marketing, marketing automation, and customer value management. He is the author of “Igniting Customer Connections” (John Wiley & Sons, Inc.), which was released in October 2014.

How did you get into the Advertising industry?

My career in advertising did not follow a typical trajectory. I started on the data and technical side of the business, working to help clients understand and predict consumer behavior. This is a field that Epsilon has a rich and long heritage in as well. However, over the last five years with the digital revolution and convergence of channels, the market now requires big ideas (aka Mad Men) and big data (aka Math Geeks - like me), working hand-in-hand.

Tell us about Epsilon.

The same way my career has evolved to encompass data, technology, creative, strategy and analytics, so too has Epsilon’s focus as the company has become one of the largest agencies in the world. As an all-encompassing marketing company, we have the ability to uncover new insights, creating connections with consumers on an emotional level across platforms and channels in the right context. Through over four decades of designing breakthrough programs, strategic talent recruitment efforts and a series of acquisitions, Epsilon provides clients with market-specific integrated marketing solutions that help them transform their business and solve their marketing challenges. As CEO, I get to work with over 7000 of the smartest minds in marketing all over the world.

What inspired the idea and what is your vision for the company?

Chief Marketing Officers are challenged with identifying and implementing the most effective tools and strategies to support their goals. With rapid and continual advances in technology, new media platforms and the need for data-enabled, real-time engagement, they often don’t know where to begin. We believe that Epsilon is the only company fully equipped to help CMOs because we understand consumers better than anyone in the world and bring that unique insight to our clients to allow for better business outcomes.

What strategic partnerships/marketing strategies have you implemented that have attributed to Epsilon's success?

At Epsilon we can bring together all of the competencies necessary for today’s CMO, from creative and strategy through all of the technical enablement as well as measurement and learning. A critical component of our approach is that we partner with many leading technology companies like Adobe, Oracle and IBM to build world-class solutions for our clients. These partnerships not only extend our offerings, but have also been an accelerant to our growth by introducing us to new clients across the globe.

What industry trends are you noticing and how do you capitalize on them?

With the enormous influx of technology over the last several years, I think the biggest challenge for marketers going forward is to cost effectively develop compelling content that can be seamlessly deployed across channels. At Epsilon, we continually invest in creative talent to build content as well as robust technology to manage and deploy the content.

We continue to push the envelope of how content will be used in the future including owned content and data as content.

Life Motto?

Life is too short to work with a**holes

Epsilon's Motto?

Clients hire us to deliver the best business outcomes in the industry.

Your greatest success as CEO of Epsilon?

A couple of years ago we looked at our organization which was made up of a collection of brands and companies and made a fundamental decision that to serve our clients in the best way possible we had to bring all of our great capabilities into one, cohesive structure.

It’s a contrarian model. At Epsilon, clients have a single owner regardless of what service or services we provide to them. We have eliminated all variable compensation at the capability or brand level and our people get paid on the success and prodigality of our clients.

Your advice to an aspiring entrepreneur?

A great idea is important, but it’s much easier if your idea is connected to a larger trend. If big companies or the overall industry is investing in an area, that will have a ripple effect, building momentum for new ventures.

Describe the ideal experience using Epsilon.

Our ideal client experience consists of world-class strategy and creative, deployed in real-time across the optimal marketing channels to create a long-lasting bond with consumers on an individual basis.

How do you motivate your employees?

Our employees are motivated by having great clients and doing amazing work. We constantly try to find opportunities to bring our associates new experiences so they can truly become the renaissance people that the industry needs today.

One food and drink left on earth, what would you choose?

Hendricks Gin and Lobster