It’s good to know human beings are nowhere near as predictable as marketers like to think we are.
Despite the vast amount of data sites like Facebook hold about members, the social network’s data-driven adverts are still way off target.
OK, I may be in my forties and engaged to be married. But that doesn’t mean I’m into anti-ageing products. I don’t want a massive great meringue of a wedding dress either. Nor am I interested in celebrities or concerned about my weight: I honestly couldn’t give a stuff how much blubber Cheryl Cole has lost. I have better things to do with my life.
Big data conclusions are far too simplistic
These days marketers have access to ‘big data’, which by rights should make targeting offers tightly to people’s needs, preferences and lifestyles much easier. But in real life, it doesn’t. The conclusions they come to are still far too simplistic.
In reality Facebook’s efforts are no better than thirty years ago, when data driven targeting was the direct marketer’s holy grail and we only had postcode, sex and buying history to play with.
If Facebook filled my account with adverts for stuff I’m really interested in, things like 1950s German art pottery, ’60s and ’70s oil paintings, antique rugs, craft materials, tickets for Radio 4 comedies, garden stuff, wood carving gear and good books, I’d be a happy bunny and would probably click through. That’s what I’d call targeting!