Diana Marszalek 12 Aug 2019 // 1:00PM GMT
NEW YORK — Edelman is partnering with Harvard Business School researchers in launching a behavioral science offering aimed at helping companies better understand, and ultimately impact, consumer behavior.
The new offering will help companies use behavioral science to improve outcomes of challenges from large-scale business transformation to changing customer behavior with better experiences, the agency said. Edelman will use rigorous, randomized controlled trials and other methods to help clients measurably prototype new programs to ensure they deliver greater outcomes in revenue, productivity and the human experience when deployed at scale, it added.
Harvard Business School assistant professor Ashley Whillans (pictured), who focuses on behavioral science research, and psychometric CEO Jason Hreha, formerly Walmart’s behavioral science head, are serving as senior advisors. Felicia Joy, a Harvard-trained behavioral scientist and senior VP in Edelman’s advisory services practice, will lead the partnership and client offering.
“In today’s complex environment, it’s more important than ever that businesses are accounting for human behavior and bias across the spectrum of transformation — from enterprise repositioning and culture change to portfolio realignment and new product launches,” said Jim O’Leary, Edelman’s corporate affairs and advisory services practice chair at Edelman. “Through our partnership with Jason and Harvard Business School researchers, we will leverage a deep bench of experts and human behavioral insights to create more impactful programs and counsel for our clients.”
Whillans, whose responsibilities include building client programs and analyzing research findings, said “businesses are lagging in tapping behavioral science, despite the benefits.” “In addition to improving strategy, Edelman is codifying behavioral science solutions in a way that makes them applicable across business units including communications, customer service, human resources, finance, marketing, product, sales and operations”, she said.