SapientNitro, which provides multi-channel marketing and commerce services, has lined up aggressive expansion besides continuing to cement its relationship with the existing markets in the year ahead.
In conversation with exchange4media, Ramaswaroop Gopalan, Country Manager, SapientNitro, said, “While we launched SapientNitro in February 2010, in this year ahead, we want to consolidate, reach out and educate the market that we are into the business of customer’s experience. It will be a learning process for us as well as the market around the kind of an entry of an organisation. In terms of business targets, it would be set standard revenue that we want to meet. Then there are specific target markets like Asia Pacific, Europe, North America. We will have to continue to build award-winning ideas, technology-enabled, full-fledged solutions around customer experience. We want to continue strengthening the customer experience for Nike, Coke, Mars, Vodafone, and Unilever, to name a few, through our 35 offices across the globe.”
While the industry was reeling under slowdown effects in 2009, for SapientNitro, it was their birth year. How difficult was it to launch at a time when the market situation was less than favourable? Gopalan replied, “2009 was fantastic for us. We did our best acquisition ever as it allowed us to sharply focus as an organization, and the year gave birth to SapientNitro, so it had to be a good one. It wasn’t risky at all to come up with a new company as it was a journey where we started bringing together technology, interactive and brand together. We did cut back on the costs, but the recession year allowed us to make reimbursement as it forced us to innovate. Investment of $50 million to buy out the Nitro Group is serious money and this is our conviction as to what this can do for a market. It will also be a big game-changer and this is the first time when a digital agency has bought a traditional company.”
It may be recalled that in July 2009, Sapient had acquired the Nitro Group, a prominent ‘above-the-line’ agency, to bolster its strong marketing services in the digital space. This enabled the company to provide end-to-end marketing solutions to its clients.
On being asked whether social media had further triggered the marketing business, Gopalan said, “It certainly has. What you call ‘social media’ is just another activity that is happening today and is relevant. It is unavoidable and inevitable. No marketing or advertising person has created Facebook. When the customers go there, marketers follow. So, the marketing companies are not driving it, they are just following. The rules of the game in social media are different from that of watching television. Deeper understanding of the consumer’s behaviour around a particular medium is very important.”