Ad veterans David Mayo and Gary Tranter join data research agency ADNA

David Mayo and Arcade's founder Gary Tranter have joined Audience DNA as COO and CCO respectively, to reinvent the traditional data research agency. Mayo (pictured left) was previously the group sales and marketing director at Verita Healthcare, while Tranter (pictured centre) co-founded Publicis-owned Arcade in 2010 alongside Matt Cullen. He was also elevated to the role or CCO in 2018, overseeing both Arcade and Digitas.

Both met in Ogilvy when they ran Motorola and Coca-Cola globally. They will work closely with ADNA's founder and CEO Henry Gomez (pictured right). Founded in 2017, ADNA’s audience panel spans over 100 countries reaching millions of users, allowing brands to ask questions to prove hypotheses in real time. Its list of clients include Singapore Tourism Board, Citibank, Disney, SK-II, Wyeth, DBS, MacDonald’s and Microsoft, among others.

Gomez explained that quantitative data has traditionally been very expensive and ADNA was born from the availability of fresh, quality data and his own belief that brands often already know what they want to say. “So with this combination of creativity and quantitative research we can now test hypothesis as well as generating behavioural patterns, which is a huge untapped opportunity for brands," Gomez said.

He aims to change the old, expensive research agency and create a disruptive new style of research that can deliver insights, strategy and creativity at speed, adding that "this is an unlikely marriage of data research and creativity". This idea, according to ADNA, appealed to Mayo and Tranter. 

According to Mayo, brand clients and marketers are constantly being forced to make a choice of opposites between speed and creativity. However, Mayo explained that speed always seems to win, principally because it is easier, it is measurable and it is very cost effective.

"There isn’t a senior client I know who doesn’t still believe in the power of big ideas. So imagine if we could use data to release the power of big ideas at speed," he added. Separately, Mayo told Marketing that agencies today need to collaborate to survive and future proof themselves for the new normal.

"Large chunks of money for bonuses and backroom admin staff is not what clients like to spend their money on any more. They want to spend more on what counts - building their brands and their businesses," he added.