Acceleration Appoints Cognitive Intelligence Practice Lead

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Acceleration Appoints Cognitive Intelligence Practice Lead
Virginia Alvarez, new Cognitive Intelligence Practice lead.

Acceleration, a Wunderman Thompson Company, has appointed Virginia Alvarez to lead its new Cognitive Intelligence Practice in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA). The practice is pioneering an approach to consumer insights that uses artificial intelligence (AI) and psychological understanding for motivational segmentation. 

The Cognitive Intelligence Practice helps brands unravel people’s unconscious motivations, so they can create engaging, timely moments and content that builds emotional connections with consumers throughout the customer journey. It translates unconscious drivers of behaviour into data signals that enable brands to segment consumers in a new way: by motivation. 

Before joining Acceleration, Alvarez was Executive Director: Insights at OMD, where she spent more than a decade helping the company develop its consumer insights proposition. She has more than 20 years’ experience in media and research, including Ipsos, TNS and MindShare, and has won awards from IAB Europe, including the Best Consumer Understanding 2018 and OMD RetAIl Revolution 2020.

Alvarez said, ‘The global pandemic, its economic fallout and consumers’ experiences during national lockdowns have disrupted normal consumer behaviours, and many of the changes are likely to be permanent. During this time of change and upheaval, it’s more important than ever for brands to put consumers at the core of their businesses and show empathetic understanding of their needs. 

‘I’m excited to work with Acceleration to help organisations in EMEA use motivational consumer insights to better segment and understand their customer base. Our solutions will help brands to go beyond analysing demographic or behavioural data, towards gaining a deeper understanding of how consumers’ emotional needs and unconscious motivations shape their actions and decisions.’ 

Grant Keller, Global CEO at Acceleration added, ‘We’re happy to have attracted an insights professional of Alvarez’s calibre to head our Cognitive Intelligence Practice in EMEA. Building on the experience and knowledge already developed in North America, our EMEA practice will help brands to develop a more empathetic and customer-centric audience strategy based on a deep understanding of consumers changing motivational mindsets.’ 

Alex Steer, Chief Data Officer for Wunderman Thompson EMEA added, ‘We’re delighted to welcome Alvarez to the team. Acceleration’s approach to cognitive intelligence helps ambitious brands understand why people buy and find the mindsets and moments that drive growth. It’s an important part of Wunderman Thompson’s strategy of developing data capabilities that go beyond optimisation and help our clients find new ways to grow.’

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