Entrepreneur Haydon Bray challenges media buying with Audience Precision

By Jenni Gilbert | 24 March 2020
The Audience Precision team with Haydon Bray at front

Haydon Bray, former chairman of media agency Carat, has launched Audience Precision, a new media strategy consultancy and technology business.

He says the new venture unlocks the true value of media in driving businesses by taking the guesswork from key marketing investment decisions.

The media entrepreneur has worked for five years with founding team members and equity partners to develop the Audience Precision model.

The business already has offices in New York and London.  Warner Music is a global client.

"The model challenges the outdated media buying industry by using a combination of technology that delivers actionable insights and superior strategy," Bray says.

“When I returned to the market, I found it in a worse state than when I left. It’s an industry overwhelmed by new platforms, hundreds of new reporting metrics and still marred by murky deals and a legacy model that hasn’t moved on since the 1990s. Real change was needed.

“Finding and targeting audiences has never been more fragmented and media is the single biggest marketing expense for most businesses. Media investments need to link to business outcomes, without a pre-determined media plan.

“Audience Precision rewrites the rule book. We use data – in fact 35,000 data points for each audience segment in multiple countries - combined with proprietary systems and machine learning to help marketers better understand audiences and potential customers, align their marketing efforts, optimise marketing expenditure and significantly reduce media wastage across all media channels.

"We’ve been able to do what no other media agency has even thought of to eliminate the guess work.”

Audience Precision has worked across numerous Warner Music artists to better connect them with existing and potential fans.

Tony Harlow, the outgoing global President of WEA Group at Warner Music, says: “Fan engagement is increasingly at the heart of what we do – data insights around fans can play a huge part in marketing success.

"Audience Precision has given us a competitive advantage on how we can reach and connect with fans.

"The data they provide is readily usable, easy to digest, and has made a real difference in helping us think harder and smarter about the way we market our music.”

The Audience Precision team includes Bray as global CEO, Samantha Bolton as managing partner US and UK, Laura Newman as global head of research, Alison Coleman as CFO, Sean Gerraty as head of operations and Jeremy Cath as chief technology officer.

The broader team includes strategy architects, researchers, masters-level data scientists, campaign engineers, software developers and media buyers.

The consultancy has so far been working with clients in the entertainment, retail, health, tourism, media and other sectors.

Bray says Audience Precision is channel agnostic, does not conduct annual negotiations or have any reliance on media owner share or commissions.

"It does not buy media based on demographics, there is minimal advertising expenditure wastage and it uses machine learning to predict campaign success and media performance at a channel level," he says.

“Our model moves the conversation from price and efficiency to deliver true value and return for advertisers and our work over the past five years has proven that it can build a sustainable competitive advantage of between 20% and 50%.

“Even with all the technology adoption in the advertising industry, consumer-based market research connected to top-level strategy has been virtually untouched by most agencies, yet this is one of the most important components of marketing.

"Our business is built around these key marketing essentials and we have developed proprietary technology and an end to end solution to help accelerate the process. We help brands align communication across their entire organisation to the core audiences that have a high propensity to become customers.” 

Audience Precision is based on three key pillars:

  • DNA, that has 60+ unique audience segments based on consumer lifestyle, psychographics and behavioural patterns, to find potential customers and what drives their purchasing behaviour and media consumption choices
  • Precise360, that builds media strategies four times faster than a standard agency approach to deliver precise targeting to potential customers
  • Activation & Analytics, that buys media and reports campaign performance against the DNA segments.

It has the ability to measure digital, social and traditional media against any individual audience segment for the first time, Brays says, "and recognises that service offerings are not one size fits all. Models can be customised to suit clients’ marketing needs."

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