I missed this blog post last week from one of Google’s most senior VPs of Product, Susan Wojcicki. Titled “Ad Perfect” it starts:
Google’s advertising business was founded on the core principle that advertising should deliver the right information to the right person at the right time. This is very similar to our mission in search, and, like our colleagues in search, those of us on the ads team are constantly striving to achieve better results. We have hundreds of thousands of advertisers who collectively have millions of products and services, and out of that vast amount of information our goal is always to show people the best ads, the ones that are the most relevant, timely, and useful (and, from the advertiser perspective, measurable). Achieving this ideal has been difficult since the early days of ads, but now, with the Internet, it is within reach.
Then comes the nut graph:
What does it take to do this? We need to understand exactly what people are looking for, then give them exactly the information they want.
Well…sort of. Perhaps that’s the formula for the perfect “ad” – but the perfect ad is, by definition, imperfect. Advertising without marketing is, well, just a call to action. Only with marketing, a practice that I think is perhaps a bit underestimated at algorithmically driven companies like Google, can companies make any advertising they might do truly valuable. One tenet of marketing FM lives by is this: Add value to the customer’s experience. Sometimes you can do that by matching customer intent with a database of ads. But other times you can’t – you have to understand your customer in ways that are resistant to algorithms.
More on this as I write my next piece for the Amex Blog….