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How ZEPIC helps marketers woo customers with hyper-personalised marketing

ZEPIC’s no-code AI-driven platform enables businesses to use customer data to customise campaigns and engage with customers in a relevant manner.

How ZEPIC helps marketers woo customers with hyper-personalised marketing

Thursday March 28, 2024 , 6 min Read

It’s IPL season, and marketers are going all out to tap into the excitement of fans. 

This is the perfect opportunity for brands and retailers to push customised notifications to fans based on their team affiliations and interests—be it personalised team jerseys and other merchandise to CSK fans or tickets to upcoming matches featuring RCB for diehard Kohli fans. 

Going a step further, if a brand knows a certain Mumbai Indians (MI) follower also likes sushi, it can hyper-target them with discounts at a Japanese restaurant live streaming an MI game. 

Let’s look at another example.

Come summer and customers get busy looking for holiday destinations. If a particular customer’s browsing history shows ‘beaches’, marketers—in this case travel companies and tourism bodies—can woo them with beachside properties and homestays.

Marketers can effectively delight and retain their customers by understanding their needs and intent through a combination of data. However, to do so, they need a consolidated picture of what customers like and how they interact and behave in real time. 

This is what ZEPIC, a SaaS-based customer experience startup, provides—a consolidated framework of data that helps brands personalise their communication with every individual customer. 

Founded in January last year by Naveen Venkat, Sunil Kumar Somarajan Pillai, Bharathi Kannan Ravikumar, Sreelesh Pillai, ZEPIC aims to change the way go-to-market teams interact with their customers.

The Delaware-headquartered startup, whose product and engineering team is based in Chennai, helps businesses deliver hyper-personalised experiences across the entire customer journey—from discovery to post-purchase. 

Customers are always sending signals through their browsing and buying behaviour. They also provide data through their interactions with brands. All this can be used to build micro segments and target customers with relevant and personalised marketing strategies. 

During one of its early trials, ZEPIC provided a national-level sporting association a consolidated platform that gathered data on members’ roles and activities, both offline and online. It captured each member’s profile and their journey within the association over time.

This helped, and continues to help, the association’s marketing teams to send personalised messages to members through email, WhatsApp, and SMS, based on each member’s preferred mode of communication and needs.

Hyper-personalised campaigns

While working in the SaaS sector in 2021 with Zoho Corporationand Freshworks, the founders gained expertise in building a SaaS product. They came across an online jeweller who had implemented many tools to serve the surging customer demand. However, it took three weeks for the jeweller to process customer lists from these tools before getting started on marketing efforts. This resulted in a lot of lost business and wasted effort. 

“That was the ‘light bulb’ moment for us. Our years of working together with teams struggling to provide customer experiences taught us that the modern world needed a new approach to building go-to-market software,” explains Sreelesh Pillai, Co-founder and Head of Growth, ZEPIC. 

“In today's crowded market, hyper-personalised marketing is crucial for brands to stand out. Customising messages based on user preferences not only helps businesses to build stronger connections and brand loyalty but also allows them to keep up with changing consumer needs,” he says.

ZEPIC’s self-serve platform—hosted on Amazon Web Services—requires no software setup, comes with pre-built tools, and offers a no-code, AI-driven solution that enables businesses to launch hyper-personalised campaigns within just two hours, according to the company.           

The startup’s core architecture is centred around the customer record, which equips marketers with value-added info, using which they can build their customer engagement strategy. 

Pillai explains that this has opened up new opportunities for the sporting association mentioned earlier to cross-sell and upsell services to its members. 

For instance, ZEPIC’s platform helped track visitors to the association’s website who were interested in news related to upcoming games and visitors to its online store.

Using this info, the sporting body was able to promote merchandise to fans of a particular team—as they kept registering for the games involving that team—and also offer them discounted tickets ahead of a game. 

“With a deeper understanding of its membership base, the sporting association can better grow its retail business, membership plans, and streaming subscriptions, and enter new markets,” he adds. 

Having access to customer info also empowers brands to make timely nudges calling for action. 

For instance, a customer interested in a hair serum may have abandoned their cart at checkout. They can be nudged to buy with a discount or a 30-minute free consultation with a hair specialist.

Breaking silos

While there is no dearth of data sets, they often exist in silos. This is of no use to marketers as it doesn’t give them the whole picture and the associated context. This is an issue ZEPIC hopes to rectify by providing a unified 360-degree view of customers across different mediums. 

“We aim to unify fragmented data across various sources and help businesses engage with their customers through multiple channels, like email, WhatsApp, and push notifications,” says Venkat, Co-founder of ZEPIC.

“We’re re-architecting customer experience platforms, eliminating the need for separate systems to engage with customers and analyse customer data,” adds Pillai.

Multiple data types, such as inventory, product catalogue and reviews, can be modelled on ZEPIC’s platform. Modelling refers to structuring and organising different types of data. 

Market play

ZEPIC, which is in the pre-revenue stage, is supported by a select group of investor partners. The startup's platform is expected to be launched early next month.

The startup’s early customers who are testing the platform include a national level sporting body in Australia, a telecommunications firm in the Pacific Islands, and a tourism body in the Pacific Islands.

Going forward, ZEPIC plans to target customers in the B2C sector, such as retail and ecommerce, travel and hospitality, non-profit bodies, and sports organisations.

ZEPIC was the first India-based startup to participate in the $10-million Cremorne Digital Hub, a Victorian government-backed tech scale-up programme. The startup was selected from a pool of 40 global applicants. 

The six-month programme, which was held last month, in collaboration with early-stage AI investor Boab AI, aims to assist participants in securing investments, forming partnerships, validating their products, and enhancing brand visibility.

According to Accumen Research and Consulting, the global marketing automation market is expected to reach $12,178 million by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 12.1% during 2022-2030.      

ZEPIC operates in multiple categories, including marketing automation, customer data platforms, customer experience management, and CRM. It competes with the likes of global firms such as MicrosoftDynamics 365 Customer Insights, Klaviyo, SalesforceMarketing Cloud, and Braze. Another player in the space is Bengaluru-based Moengage, a customer engagement platform.

Edited by Swetha Kannan