TBWA Bolsters Intelligence and Data Talent with Two Key Hires
TBWA\Worldwide today announced the appointment of Alyson Stevens as global head of connected intelligence and Michael Horn as global head of data product, dialing up its knowledge and data capabilities as the company continues to build on prior investments in strategy.
Partnering with TBWA\Worldwide chief strategy officer Agathe Guerrier, to whom they will also report, Michael and Alyson will be jointly tasked with shaping and delivering the vision of a future TBWA collective that is exceptionally connected, finding opportunity in cultural change and focused on business impact. Their appointments are effective immediately.
“Alyson and Michael’s mission will be to orchestrate a practice of intelligence and data grounded in Disruption: designed to understand change, not current states; and to imagine what could be, not just what is, ultimately propelling our clients towards a greater share of the future,” said Agathe.
Alyson is tasked with further elevating TBWA’s Intelligence and Knowledge practices, solidifying the company’s credentials as a proactive partner for clients in understanding the biggest drivers shaping growth opportunities across categories and brands. She will also connect the dots between different sources of Intelligence within the collective: TBWA\Worldwide, local agencies, centers of excellence, as well as cultural (Backslash), social (65dB) and data-based primary research. Partnering with Agathe and Michael, Stevens will also work with external data suppliers as well as partners like Gartner and Forrester to develop new and proprietary methodologies and create proprietary IP.
Michael will leverage data and technology to fuel TBWA’s creative product and client business growth, as the agency collective continues to expand its remit from communications partner to business partner, and advances beyond advertising to brand orchestration and experience design. He’ll be charged with further developing the company’s data services and products, supporting its DisruptionX methodology, which applies Disruption across brand experience. Horn will also lead TBWA’s global data capabilities and partner with Omnicom’s internal data suppliers and partner agencies, including Annalect, Omnicom Media Group, Omnicom Precision Marketing Group, and Sparks & Honey, as TBWA further integrates Omnicom’s Omni platform into its ways of working.
“We fundamentally believe that better inputs lead to greater outcomes, which is why we’ve continued to democratise knowledge and intelligence across our collective and invest in the best talent to connect our 10,000+ creative minds,” said Troy Ruhanen, CEO, TBWA\Worldwide. “Ultimately our goal is to use intelligence and data to inspire disruptive creative ideas that create impact. Alyson and Michael will help us do just that.”
Alyson joins TBWA from Publicis Media, where she served as SVP and director, insight & analytics. In her role she connected capabilities across the agencies of Publicis Groupe, with a focus on understanding emerging consumer behaviours. Prior to her role within Publicis Groupe, Alyson served different roles at Starcom MediaVest Group for 16 years, including SVP, global director, human experience strategy. There, she played a key role in developing the Human Experience Center, the agency’s first co-creation studio, in which she pioneered efforts to bring people into the experience design process. She started her career as a media planner at Leo Burnett.
“TBWA has a tremendous depth of expertise and knowledge of culture, consumers and categories,” said Alyson. “I’m excited to work with our internal community to harness the power of this collective intelligence to drive disruptive growth for our clients around the world.”
Michael joins from Huge, where he served as chief data officer, leading the data strategy, analytics, research, and personalisation practice for the digital experience and product strategy firm. While there he led a high-performing team of 50+ analysts and researchers supporting all of Huge's global offices, transforming experiences for brands such as Google, Spotify, Vanguard, and Fiat Chrysler Automotive. Prior to that, he served as SVP, chief analytics officer at Resonate, where he directed a team of analysts and researchers to build and scale the largest consumer research and digital targeting platform in the US, working across brands, political campaigns, and public affairs. Earlier agency experience includes UM, where he created the agency’s Decision Sciences practice, R\GA and OMD. He started his career at NPR as a user experience analyst, working at the intersection of culture and content and launching the network’s first podcast offerings.
“TBWA’s focus on culture and creativity creates amazing opportunities for data to humanise and respect consumers as well as the talent which powers leading brands,” added Micheal. “Now is the moment for agencies to embrace a broader role for ethical and inclusive data in driving creative and business outcomes.”