Doner Creates New Group to Help Marketers Better Navigate Data and Consumer Behavior

Agency promotes Marcus Collins to lead the practice in new role

Doner promoted Marcus Collins to lead the practice in a newly-created role of chief consumer connections officer. Doner
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Doner, a full-service creative shop in Detroit, has launched a new consumer connections practice designed to help marketers leverage data more effectively and better understand consumer behavior that drives purchase decisions.

Among several focus points, Doner said the agency aims to help clients “get a deeper, more scientific understanding of consumers” through the group by combining data, brand and social strategy with technology and the behavioral sciences.

Doner promoted Marcus Collins to lead the practice in a newly-created role of chief consumer connections officer. Previously, he served as the agency’s svp of social engagement, a title he picked up in 2015. In his nearly 20-year career, Collins also led Translation’s social engagement practice, oversaw the iTunes + Nike sport music initiatives at Apple iTunes Partner Marketing and ran digital strategy for pop icon Beyoncé.

“More marketers are turning to Doner for ideas that start conversations, influence culture and disrupt the status quo, and this practice gets to the heart of how people interact with brands in the post-advertising era,” Collins said in a statement. “While many marketers recognize the opportunities to mine for data-driven insights, few are using the behavioral sciences to predict outcomes, and even fewer are applying this thinking to their marketing efforts.”

In his new role, Collins is tasked with overseeing a team focused on accelerating Doner’s investments in production, data, talent and multicultural consumer reach to guide clients in creating “culturally contagious moments and movements,” according to the agency.

Collins also doubles as a lecturer of marketing at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business. Doner said he will assist in expanding the agency’s current relationship with AI-powered consumer insights company Crimson Hexagon and its partnership with the university’s Media and Advertising Psychology Lab “to test and measure both behavioral and physiological responses to content.” Doner has previously tapped this partnership while producing work for brands including Jeep, Potbelly and the L.A. Clippers.

“Marcus’ unique background as both a practitioner and academic has pushed us ahead in creating new strategic approaches for marketers to establish relationships that impact culture and, ultimately, commerce,” Doner CEO David DeMuth said in a statement. “We are thrilled to have him leading our agency, our clients and the industry ahead in this new role.”

@kitten_mouse Lindsay Rittenhouse is a staff writer at Adweek, where she specializes in covering the world of agencies and their clients.