In a blog post titled The Wrong Math, Bob Hoffman writes, “One of the most frequently repeated and, in my opinion, highly dubious tropes in our industry these days is the idea that the paragon of media strategy is ‘mass one-to-one’ communication. In non-jargonista terms, this means reaching large numbers with individualized messages.”
“I believe the math model we should be using to understand media effectiveness is probability. In other words, what media strategy is most likely to produce the desired result? For large consumer-facing brands, there is ample evidence that (the prudent use of) broad based media has the highest likelihood of achieving the desired result of building substantial brands, and almost no evidence of anything else doing so.”
“The mathematics-based rationale for the primacy of mass one-to-one advertising and its alter ego precision targeting seem to go something like this: a) you are not wasting money on people not interested in your product, and b) customized ads are more relevant and persuasive. This may be true for certain types of B2B marketers and highly-specific brand categories, but I think both these rationales are wrong for mainstream brands.”
“Byron Sharp tells us the key to growing a brand is acquiring new customers. I believe probability tells us that the more people we communicate with loudly and in public the more customers we are likely to acquire.”
Bob Hoffman is the author of Bad Men.