Publicis Groupe CEO Arthur Sadoun dismisses the notion that the Groupe's $4 billion acquisition of data provider Epsilon was critical to remaining competitive within Adland's ever-shifting landscape, but he admits that this deal "accelerates" the business model Publicis has been developing.
Creativity, technology and media have been the center of the Groupe's assets, and Epsilon helps provides them "at scale," he explains.
“Our model was already working to win new business and help existing clients, but Epsilon will enable us to better scale these services to clients at competitive prices,” he says. “Epsilon completes our sets of assets harmoniously, with data capabilities that are second to none.”
Epsilon's advantages are threefold, says Sadoun. For one, the Groupe can flesh out its first-party data -- particularly among the retail landscape with its "multiple touchpoints." Second, the Groupe's additional data sets are "enriched" with Epsilon's information to help link more than 7,000 attributes.
These connections will be particularly advantageous to automotive, financial and retail clients, he says. In addition, Epsilon delivers the numbers in aggregation. This activates personalized intelligence at scale, Sadoun says.
Sadoun has spent most of his time "before and since" signing the deal on integrating the data provider into the core Groupe. “When you buy assets, talent acquisition is a huge benefit,” says Sadoun. For now, current Epsilon CEO Bryan Kennedy will join the Groupe Executive Committee and report directly to Arthur Sadoun. There is a lot of "chemistry" between the two teams, he says. "There have been lots and lots of meetings."
Epsilon will be integrated into every aspect of the Groupe, sitting alongside the Publicis PeopleCloud platform to fuel every operation. One particular opportunity is within Publicis Media to build consumer IDs, segment audiences and maximize media-buying ROI.
"My first priority and focus is with current clients," he says about leveraging Epsilon's benefits.
"Clients have been very welcoming," he says. They are all "under pressure" with business challenges ranging from walled gardens to privacy concerns. "They expect clear, simple solutions," he explains, adding that the new acquisition will help them "take back control of their customer relationships."