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U.S. No. 1 direct marketing agency Epsilon adds mobile capabilities

Epsilon, the largest direct marketing agency nationwide, is providing its clients with opt-in mobile marketing services through a partnership with Air2Web.

The agency will offer clients services such as SMS communications, content downloads including wallpaper and ringtones, and microsite development for multichannel marketing programs.

?Mobile is a valuable component of a fully integrated, multichannel marketing strategy,? said Andrew Frawley, president of marketing technology at Epsilon, Dallas.

?Like email and the Web, mobile should be leveraged in conjunction with other channels for a truly multichannel marketing program,? he said.

Epsilon is a subsidiary of Alliance Data. In addition to being the leading direct marketing shop, Epsilon is also the world?s No. 1 permission-based email marketer.

Among the services that Epsilon offers are strategic consulting, database and loyalty technology and proprietary data.

Other Epsilon offerings include predictive modeling and creative and interactive offerings such as brand and promotional development, Web design, email deployment, search engine optimization and direct mail production.
Epsilon?s client portfolio includes National Geographic, Barnes & Noble, TIAA-CREF, Mrs. Beasley?s and Walter Drake.

Multichannel strategy
Founded 10 years ago, Air2Web, Atlanta, is a mobile messaging specialist running SMS efforts for brands such as Domino?s Pizza, Procter & Gamble, The Weather Channel, Starbucks, UPS and AT&T.

?The combined Epsilon/Air2Web?s mobile messaging solution provides significant value to companies focused on the effective use of mobile messaging for customer lifecycle management,? said Bentley Hines, director of partner development at Air2Web. 

?Our partnership will enable worldwide delivery of mobile marketing and customer care initiatives,? he said.  

Epsilon?s move into the mobile space is further evidence of the channel?s growth and potential.

Both Epsilon and Air2Web will provide consulting services for clients to help them incorporate the mobile offering into their existing marketing initiatives.

Clients will have the ability to do geotargeted messaging and send customized mobile coupons to consumers who have opted in to receive communications.

?Combining their marketing data and technology services with the mobile messaging solution will allow their clients to better target mobile campaigns and programs to the end-customer,? Mr. Hines said. 

?Epsilon?s analytics services and technology gives their clients the ability to further refine their mobile programs as a part of a client?s multichannel marketing strategy,? he said.

Here?s a Q&A with Andrew Frawley, president of marketing technology at Epsilon. Please read on.

What?s the importance of mobile to Epsilon?s clients?
Marketers are looking for new and innovative opportunities to connect with their customers and mobile is another channel within the marketing mix that enables them to connect with brands and experience unique and dynamic content.

Since we?re already supporting many leading global brands, this partnership allows us to seamlessly add mobile to our comprehensive services and create a fully integrated program for each individual client.

By leveraging another channel, marketers have one more avenue to connect with their customers to emphasize and amplify marketing messages.

What?s the importance of mobile to an interactive marketing services company?
As a data-driven, full-service marketing services firm, we leverage all touch-points and channels for our clients.

Today?s consumers are constantly wired and connected to devices. This is a huge opportunity for marketers to reach them with valuable content.

What is mobile?s place in the marketing mix?
Mobile is a valuable component of a fully integrated, multichannel marketing strategy. Like email and the Web, mobile should be leveraged in conjunction with other channels for a truly multichannel marketing program.

Why partner with Air2Web when Epsilon had so many choices in the marketplace?
Air2Web?s strong partnerships with carriers and extensive experience in the space were critical factors when Epsilon was selecting a partner.

Epsilon and Air2Web have a shared vision and the same client-centric approach to marketing. Combining our teams and expertise provides tremendous value to Epsilon?s clients.

What does Air2Web offer in terms of technology and marketing expertise that Epsilon couldn?t get elsewhere?
Air2Web?s consulting service also influenced our decision to work with them. It?s a great complement for our own strategic and analytic consulting capability.

How will you approach clients with this offering?
We will evaluate each client as an individual to determine the best strategy and approach to incorporate targeted mobile marketing communications into their overall strategy.

There?s been significant interest across many industry verticals, whether it?s financial services firms looking to incorporate mobile with alerts, notifications and offers, or travel companies working to utilize mobile to enhance their loyalty programs.

Even pharmaceutical marketers see an opportunity to send prescription reminders or doctor appointment reminders via text.