Horizon Media launches new behavioral science and economics practice under its WHY group
So many factors influence a person’s choice to purchase a product or service that go beyond advertising and marketing. Digiday has learned that major independent agency Horizon Media has assembled a practice called Human Intelligence under its WHY Group that tries to better understand peoples’ behavioral quirks that can either influence or inhibit their decisions.
Horizon’s WHY unit, led by executive vp Sheri Roder, already delves into the cultural and societal factors that impact peoples’ consumption choices, and has done so for 14 years since she joined Horizon. The new Human Intelligence team aims to investigate the behavioral aspects of the long chain of human decision making – the choice architecture, if you will, that Horizon clients want to know more about to inform their marketing efforts.
Leading the team will be new hire and senior vp Steve Grant, who has spent nearly 20 years working in the fields of behavioral science and behavioral economics, not only in academia and consultancies, but also with marketers including Prudential. Grant said he expects to get involved with clients from the product/service planning stage (not ordinarily a place where media agency folk rear their heads) all the way through to messaging, planning and advertising.
“Behavioral science and market research need to cover every step of what a client is putting together,” said Grant, who most recently ran his own consultancy called Animal Spirits before joining Horizon. Agencies “are good at looking at the extrinsic factors, from pricing to brand to attitude, but we need to dive deeper. We want to understand not only what’s important to influence people’s decisions, but also where and when, and most importantly, why.”
Grant started about a month ago at Horizon, and though he wouldn’t identify specific clients, he cited entertainment-category clients as ideal for the type of insights the Human Intelligence unit can unearth. Consumers “have never been more spoiled for choice of entertainment sources, and the pandemic only expanded on that,” he explained. “Behavioral science can help tell you what drives some [TV show or other form of entertainment] to get consideration, beyond traditional marketing – especially when the primary constraint is time.” Horizon’s entertainment clients include A+E Networks and Turner Networks.
Roder, to whom Grant reports, added that the skill-set lends itself also to other Horizon clients in healthcare, financial services and sports (both properties and teams).
“We want to understand business problems at a pre-[marketing] level, and then change the trajectory of their marketing, investment or messaging to influence the outcome,” she said. “And Steve has specific skill-sets and specialized applied techniques that help us understand peoples’ idiosyncracies.”
Maybe Web3 isn’t as dead as it would seem, as agencies play with new data-generating models
Agencies are continuing to invest in Web3 technologies in new ways, from client activations to data management.
Why real estate company Windermere is adding influencers to its marketing mix and spending half of its ad budget on them
Windermere is working with Seattle-based agency PB& as well as the home-focused publication Domino to partner with influencers like design influencer Max Humphrey.
Digiday+ Research: Agencies’ attitudes on secondary social platforms have seen ups and downs (especially on Twitter)
Digiday+ Research surveyed over 100 agency professionals, and found that agency clients' approach to the channels categorized as "other social platforms" has been somewhat erratic over the last year.
SponsoredHow critical data pillars will increase brands’ confidence in CTV
Mario Diez, CEO, Peer39 With every quarter, the balance of TV viewership slips away from the traditional linear model and more towards connected TV. Less than half of the adults in the U.S. subscribe to cable or satellite, and fewer than half of the households watched linear TV daily in the second half of 2022. […]
Why DOOH is a big draw for startups and direct response marketers
As digital ad channels, like social and paid search, become saturated and data privacy gets more restricted, startups and small businesses turn to DOOH to boost brand awareness.
TikTok’s uncertain future: the issues marketers should (and shouldn’t) fret over
A TikTok ban would require U.S. lawmakers to prove that the short-form video app is a genuine national security risk. So far, that hasn’t happened.