Maurice Saatchi writes in the FT that the ROI optimization inherent in buying targeted and automated advertising on platforms such as Google's AdWords misses the larger point about the human role in audience persuasion.
Saatchi and Saatchi is part of Publicis’s
( nearly $6bn in annual revenue) empire , and their offline media buying and planning
business is probably a decent chunk of that. But near the end, there is this snippet:
Human nature is not amenable to prediction based on the trends or tendencies prevailing at the time. It is amenable to startling creativity of the kind practised by great artists, directors, writers, musicians, actors, who know how to touch a chord in humans everywhere. They are the people that are needed to help advertisers navigate the internet because, as Aristotle knew 2,000 years ago: “Fire burns both here and in Persia. But what is thought just changes before our eyes. The decision rests with perception.”
I think this is an interesting question. If search advertising promises to present advertising messages only to those who show intent to purchase a product or service, is the search advertiser avoiding the true persuasive challenge of advertising?
I'm tempted to think that any large advertiser would be foolish to fully ignore mass media campaigns and market research. Metrics will have a place in advertising campaigns for the foreseeable future, but if Google's advertising platform gave advertisers the feeling that they left money on the table (in unrealized sales from persuasive campaigns), surely advertisers would start buying different ads?