Operating in a World Where Digital Means More Than Data

Michael Epstein, president, strategic resources and client services, Mindshare North America
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Michael Epstein, who was named president of strategic resources
and client services at Mindshare North America last year, is helping the
agency and its largest client navigate the new media landscape.

Heading up the Unilever account, Epstein developed a videoagnostic
approach to the recent upfront, found new ways to approach
communications planning and created a comprehensive digital investment
framework.

His team helped build successful campaigns for Unilever, including
the “Journeys to Comfort” effort for Dove Men+Care, the “Pleasure
Personified” campaign for Magnum ice cream and the “Cleans Your
Balls” campaign for Axe.

In his new role, Epstein has new responsibilities at the agency, including overseeing new business, digital,
multicultural and promotions.

“I started in this business as a media planner, so my core is media planning,” Epstein says. “Now it’s more
about running a business and trying to set an overall vision.”

But Epstein says that regardless of one’s discipline, “you have to have a thirst for learning, because there’s
a ton of stuff going on. Just because you don’t want to be active on Facebook or really active on Twitter
doesn’t mean you shouldn’t understand the space as a marketer.”

Epstein is a digital guy, and digital is all about data. “You hear a lot of people say data is the new black,” he
jokes. Turning serious, Epstein says, “If [you’re] a person running a brand, you think about how hard it probably
used to be to get feedback on what you were doing if you were a brand. Now you can get that in an instant.”

But data is only as good as the person interpreting it. “There’s always art to balance science, otherwise
the world in which we live would be a really boring place,” he says.

Digital can also hit home. During a talk at the Marketing Club at Harvard last year, Epstein was asked
about the digital lifestyle. “I said to them, ‘I came up here for 24 hours and I have three devices on me. I
have a laptop, I have a tablet and I have a BlackBerry. Am I living it? Probably to my own detriment, and
certainly to the detriment of my wife and son, yes.’”

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