“Data excite advertisers.” What a great line from Ken Auletta in The New Yorker.
In the advertising world, Big Data is the Holy Grail, because it enables marketers to target messages to individuals rather than general groups, creating what’s called addressable advertising.
“Addressable advertising.” Help us, Lord. Tracking digital movements of the people in a target demographic is not the same thing as “walking a mile in the customer’s shoes,” or knowing what moves them to consider and buy.
Would it be too much to ask the data slingers in the employ of brands to leave the safety of their screens and interact with the company’s customers in real time and real space? We need a full and real picture of the customer, not another data-rich persona.
Data Is Not Knowing
The promise of mass personalization is mostly unfulfilled today. An email may come to your inbox with your name on it, and it may even arrive on an optimal day for you to read it, but that’s still surface knowledge, at best.
Can you think of a brand that truly knows you? Your mechanic or barista or barber might know you, but your favorite Big Box store, restaurant, grocery store, and so on does not know you. You may have a loyalty card at these places, but that’s not knowing, that’s low-level gamification.
Look for the Book
Adpulp contributing writer, Dan Goldgeier, is currently reading an advance copy of Auletta’s new book, Frenemies.
Agencies are being challenged by a host of competitive frenemies: by consulting and public-relations companies that have jumped into their business; by platform customers like Google and Facebook but also the Times, NBC, and Buzzfeed, that now double as ad agencies and talk directly to their clients; by clients that increasingly perform advertising functions in-house.
But the foremost frenemy is the public, which poses an existential threat not just to agencies but to Facebook and the ad revenues on which most media rely.
Expect a review in this space sometime in early June.
Previously on Adpulp: There’s Just So Much Digital Smoke Being Blown Up Our Asses