Data Is Great, But Humans Are Better: Hawkeye’s Executives Lead With Empathy

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New Hires Jill Lyons, Mike Chung, and Brendon Volpe will bridge gaps in a customer-centric approach

As the industry hustles for first-party data ahead of a major industry disruption, Hawkeye asserts that the solution starts with the people—that is, experts and empaths both. Coming off a banner year with 25 new client wins, the agency prepares to maximize proprietary solutions powered by Epsilon and welcomes three new senior leaders to help guide the evolution: Jill Lyons, Executive Vice President, Delivery; Mike Chung, Senior Vice President, Strategy Director; and Brendon Volpe, Senior Vice President, Strategy and Marketing.

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“The ability to sense and respond to human needs is the future of our industry—and achieving that promise means bringing the best people to the table,” said W. Joe DeMiero, chief executive officer of Hawkeye. “Jill, Mike and Brendon—they are the best. Intellectually curious, endlessly credentialed, ready to break down siloes, and the kinds of people who see the humanity in all that they do. They are Hawkeye through and through, and I’m thrilled they are here.”

Hawkeye, which is part of Publicis Groupe, launched at the beginning of 2020 as a merger of the industry’s leading CRM agencies and point of infusion for Epsilon data following the $4B acquisition. The heart of Hawkeye’s experience orchestration (XO) is Let’s Human™—an operating system designed to distill myriad data points to singular consumer profiles and anticipate people along their consumer journeys. Across their respective roles, Lyons, Chung and Volpe will focus on maximizing the scale, efficiency and impact of the agency’s proprietary and industry-leading capabilities to create the best next experience between brands and consumers.

  • Jill Lyons (Executive Vice President, Delivery) will oversee Hawkeye’s activation studios, responsible for connecting client needs with ‘maker’ solutions from the outset of strategy and development, including through enterprise technology, change communications and media. She is also responsible for articulating the agency’s internal experience orchestration through project management and workflow culture.

She assumes the newly created role following a client-side stint at Allstate as head of creative agency operations. Prior to that, she was a senior supervising producer at Harpo, where she worked closely with Oprah to build platforms for programming within the growing network. Lyons’ arrival at Hawkeye marks a return to Publicis—she previously led business operations at Epsilon Agency.

As she explains her passion for content that matters: “Data can get you there and provide authenticity in storytelling.”

  • Mike Chung (Senior Vice President, Strategy Director) will be responsible for building Hawkeye’s strategic approach to true experience orchestration (XO)—working with teams and clients to synchronize experiential within the full spectrum of CRM, and setting the standard for omnichannel marketing of the future.

He is a data-driven marketing strategist with more than 20 years of experience split between financial consulting, first at Accenture, and numerous automotive brands, including Acura, Chrysler, Genesis, Hyundai, Infiniti, Kia, Lexus, Nissan, Scion, and Toyota. His expertise is in converting market needs into customer solutions, with an emphasis on opportunity identification, partnership acquisition, product adoption and go-to-market strategies.

He believes that strategy is the great unifier of brand experiences, and that “our understanding of technology and our empathy for others can and should be fully synchronized and cohesive.”

  • Brendon Volpe (Senior Vice President, Strategy and Product Marketing) will focus on scaling Hawkeye’s capabilities and the power of Epsilon to anticipate continued industry disruption and consumer behavior change, leveraging sophisticated psychological profiles to reframe data analysis from the “what” to the “why.”

He arrives at Hawkeye from Conde Nast where, as the head of strategy for their in-house agency CNX, he established the brand planning and consulting practice. Volpe previously led digital strategy for Team One, a Publicis Groupe agency, where he coordinated across media, creative and product teams to develop brand strategies and roadmaps.

As he puts it: “I believe that customer-centricity, rigorous thinking, and creativity drive strategic decisions that move businesses forward.”

The arrival of Lyons, Chung and Volpe follows a year of significant growth for Hawkeye. In 2020, the Dallas-based agency grew its team 300% to more than 930 employees in 20 offices across seven time zones. Notably, in June 2020, Hawkeye hired Ian Sohn—previously CEO of Wunderman Thompson—as president and chief client officer.

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