Tim Spencer, CEO of Fluency and Rhonda Hiatt, CTO of Clear are interviewed by The Drum on the power of the new ‘Brand Desire Engine’.
Data-backed marketers have made serious strides in the last couple of decades in figuring out what people desire (and why, and how much). We sat down with two people who claim to be further along on that quest than most: the team behind M&C Saatchi’s ‘brand desire engine.’
No prizes for this level of insight, but marketing is about getting people to buy (or in some cases do) stuff. Between the messaging and the action is the mysterious realm of wanting: desire.
If you could know what desire is, what makes it tick and how to measure it, that’d be a useful tool. That’s why brands and agencies are willing to pump so many resources into human understanding labs, psychometric research and a raft of qualitative and quantitative techniques to peel back the musty curtain that obscures the reality of want.
Earlier this year, M&C Saatchi unveiled its new tentpole desire play: the ‘brand desire engine’. Working on the confluence of eight Artificial Intelligence (AI) platforms, using psycholinguistics and machine learning (ML) and a billion (and growing) rows of data, the pitch is that it will allow chief marketers to pinpoint how desire for its brand shifts, and in response to what.
All of this data is out there telling us what the brand is like, what it’s about, what’s good about it, what’s not so good about it. The problem is that it’s not being tapped; it’s not being derived properly.
Tim Spencer, Fluency CEO and Co-founder – The Drum
But what does that really mean? How, really, can anyone demystify desire? We spent some time with two leaders from the M&C agencies behind the engine: Rhonda Hiatt, Chief Strategy Officer at strategy arm Clear; and Tim Spencer, Chief Executive Officer at data specialists Fluency.