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Digital Transformation Analogfolk Agencies

AnalogFolk Group launches ‘behavior transformation’ consultancy


By Sam Bradley, Journalist

January 18, 2022 | 5 min read

AnalogFolk Group has launched a consultancy company, MindWorks, specializing in ’behavioral transformation.’ The business – which has launched with HSBC among its founding clients – aims to help brands realize digital transformation programs with the aid of cognitive psychology.


AnalogFolk has launched a consultancy, MindWorks. From left to right: Brad Herholdt, Michelle Watson and Mark Barry

”Over the course of the last 12 years, we’ve been talking to clients about being more customer-centric,” AnalogFolk Group co-founder Bill Brock tells The Drum. ”We’ve seen companies struggle to make the changes they need internally to make that happen.”

Brands have invested heavily in a variety of new technologies, tools and systems with a view to being less product- or proposition-led and instead create more valuable relationships with people. But connecting the dots has been a challenge.

Brock says MindWorks, then, will set out to ”consult on how to deliver on that promise, how they set themselves up – not just from a technology or a data systems perspective but also an organizational design standpoint – to be customer-first.”

Psychological consulting

Led by managing partner Brad Herholdt, principal behavioral partner Michelle Watson and principal consulting partner Mark Barry, MindWorks’s team of 30 will be based between London and Hong Kong.

Many consumer and B2B companies have embraced technology-led ’transformation’ programs, which enable them to benefit from e-commerce and digital marketing opportunities. Barry says just buying and installing the right software, or collecting data on consumers, won’t be enough for firms to take full advantage.

He says: ”Over the last year we’ve seen a lot of people buying some big tech and not really knowing how to deploy it – not necessarily because they don’t know how to use it.”

He says clients need to ”take those learnings and get people across markets to activate at a really fast pace. With changing customer needs going on at the same time ... that is a really difficult thing to do.”

According to Watson, the consultancy will draw on AnalogFolk Group’s existing expertise bringing together lessons from psychology and marketing. She says its focus will be ”how we measure the behaviors we’re seeing now, what the desired behaviors we want to see are, and then building experiences that are designed to elicit those behaviors.

”You can design a perfect behavior and have all the nudges and triggers ... but if the business is not set up to execute that strategy it’s going to fall every time.

”It’s how you motivate people to behave in a different way, looking within the organization in order to achieve that behavior change we need to see for customers.”

The consultancy’s founding clients include HSBC, which is an existing client of AnalogFolk. The company is the fourth business within AnalogFolk Group, which has expanded in recent years via the launch of automation firm With Robots and production house Untold Fable.

”To continue to compete, we need to have a balance between being a specialist and being more than a one-trick pony ... to be able to work with clients right across the board and open up opportunities,” says Brock.

He told The Drum that he expects that the consultancy will quickly account for 10% of the group’s revenue.

”It’s a significant part of our business from day one. There’s increased pressure in lots of parts of our business to be retained by clients and to grow relationships over time ... we definitely see this proposition as one that puts us back in that world of long-term engagements.”

Pandemic opportunity

According to Watson, Covid-19 has impressed on clients the need to be quicker and more precise in the way they implement new strategies and policies. ”It’s been a real eye-opener in how quickly things can change,” she says.

”It’s not rooted in Covid, but I think Covid opened people’s eyes and acceptance of a test-and-learn methodology, as opposed to a big-budget, big-launch, five-year vision.”

Though the pandemic has seen demand for digital transformation consulting – to help large clients take advance of consumers’ increasing adoption of e-commerce and other digital marketing channels – rise, Herholdt says the consultancy builds on a long-standing appetite among clients for guidance in this area.

”We’ve been doing this type of work within our group for a long time,” he tells The Drum. He describes the new consultancy as ”impact-focused, creating actionable roadmaps that we launch quickly so that our visions are built on real customer behaviors and organizational dynamics. We are consulting made agile.”

Six months of planning later, the agency hopes its new enterprise can meet that appetite better than simply providing the same services underneath the AnalogFolk Group umbrella. Brock hopes the consultancy will be able to access new business previously unavailable to the agency.

”It’s less about it not being possible within an agency, and more about the path to opening up those briefs ... rather than trying to manufacture them.”

Digital Transformation Analogfolk Agencies

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