It has been a while since I have posted. A number of you, my “followers”, have asked me why I don’t write anymore. Most of you have stopped wondering and have moved on to other contributors that consistently create compelling content. This is the reality of being part of the biggest content generation period in history… if you don’t create content and do it regularly, you quickly become history. We are all looking for exciting, educational, inspirational, and provocative points-of-view from each other to stay on top of our game. In an environment that changes and evolves frequently, we need to stay relevant.
Why have I been AWOL? Some of you know this, but for most who don’t, last year was a blur.
After closing 2011 strong, I merged SolutionSet (then the second largest independent marketing services company) with the DL Ryan Group (then the largest independent digital, promotion and shopper agency) to create Hyper Marketing, the first ever “transaction-driven” holding company and the largest independent marketing services company in North America. With this merger, we doubled the size to about 1,200 people across 24 offices. I then spent the first half of 2012 integrating and organizing Hyper into four brands. Then in late summer, we closed on another deal to buy Acorn Marketing, then #11 and now the largest agency in Ireland. This was the first step to take Hyper global. Things were moving along…
In late summer, we found ourselves in discussion with Alliance Data (NYSE: ADS) which led to Hyper Marketing being acquired to become a part of Epsilon, one of three businesses within the ADS portfolio. We closed this deal on November 30 – literally 84 days from the first conversation. It was a sprint. Lake Capital, my owners at that time, confirmed that this was the fastest deal they have done. Good outcome for all parties involved and more importantly, for our people.
We are now part of Epsilon – the largest CRM and digital agency in the world. This deal is a perfect fit on both sides. Epsilon are the best in the world at data, CRM and Loyalty marketing. Hyper, in addition to helping scale these core capabilities adds digital, shopper and promotional marketing capability – to help our clients drive profitable transactions while building brand value in a holistic manner. At the risk of being presumptuous, I don’t believe there is any other marketing services company that can deliver what we now can in terms of measurable, accountable transaction-driven marketing in our space.
I am the CEO of Epsilon Agency Services. Responsible for about 2,500 people, a roster of Fortune 1000 clients and five agency brands. It been a ride. And a good one…
…but like Arnold Schwarzenegger said in the Terminator. “I’ll be back”. I am, as well. What am I going to write about now, you might ask?
Not surprisingly, a majority of my discourses will be about what I do and what I believe. I will absolutely write about Brand Rituals. I will also share my views about happenings and perspectives in the marketing world, in the world of business, technology and data. I will write about subjects from my next book. Of course, there will be the occasional Raj rant and rave about things that inspire and move me.
So, folks. Get ready to engage, comment, disagree and challenge. Whether we’re building brands, creating connections, selling a ton of product or finding a way to change the digital future. We are fortunate to live in a time of plenty. Plenty change. Plenty opportunity. I promise you plenty POVs.