Ad industry veteran Ian Baer has launched a new strategic consultancy called Sooth, that Baer says is designed to help brands make more effective use of data when making marketing decisions.
Baer, based in New York, has held numerous senior roles in the industry including a stint as president of Big Fuel Communications in the aughts and managing partner at iCrossing before that. He was also president of Rapp Collins Worldwide for about five years. More recently he held senior strategy roles at Rauxa, The Barbarian Group and Formerly known As.
According to Baer, half of all marketing decisions are based on data and “those that do, generally aren’t using the data well.” He adds, “brands are targeting consumers, but they are doing a poor job of connecting with people, even with the unprecedented amount of information available to do so. This is a curable communication gap, and the Sooth method solves for exactly that.”
That method, of course, is proprietary, and like many new offerings being unveiled of late, AI is part of the recipe used to interpret consumer data and "synthesize it into meaningful insights into the lives of each individual, segment, and community … to truly understand people’s needs."
"The data is out there," says Baer. "People are telling us what they want by the way they live, interact, and consume every day. Sooth cuts through the noise to get to the truth.”
According to the company, its process builds on a 2015 Harvard Business Review study that identified core universal values that connect customers to brands. Sooth overlays that data with more recent behavioral data from the Helixa database of over 200 million people and because it’s powered by AI, Sooth is kept accurate and up to date in real-time.
One product from the company purports to detail the “precise emotional blueprint of a specific existing audience,” or can find “the best new audiences for a brand.”
Another lays out what Baer calls “a complete customer narrative,” detailing an audience’s values, affinities and priorities.
A third offers brands a consumer road map from anticipation and awareness to action and advocacy, with a plan for “every step of the relationship, laying out each element so that companies can build meaningful lasting bonds with the people that matter most to them.”
Consulting and training services are also part of the offering.