In the modern digital marketplace, we have an ever-expanding array of tools, models, and metrics to allow us to examine the effectiveness and impact of our marketing on every aspect of our organisations. Nowhere is this deluge of data more prominent than in AdWords, where the very system is built around the use of data and targeting to achieve accountability and precision of our campaigns.
Often we manipulate our campaigns in ways that would make even the most sophisticated marketing professional of the pre-internet era either green with envy or very, very nervous. But in some ways, these tools skew our insight into an overly rigid view. Too often, we look coldly at our metrics, tweaking CPC, bidding rules, and keyword targeting in order to maximise our return. We constantly think in terms of ROI, revenue, and transaction volumes. Numbers are important, but they blind us to the simple fact that our entire industry is focused on interactions involving individual people, who have distinct motives, responses, and inclinations. This fact was obvious to earlier generations of marketers and gave rise to the field of consumer psychology.