ORLANDO — Over the last 10 years, the advertising industry has obsessed over new toolsets that allow it to precision-target audiences, automatically buy the right ads and finely measure the results all the way through to sales.

But is this now an industry that is led too much by the numbers? Or, put another way, is it time the “Mad Men” took over from the “Maths Men”?

Rishad Tobaccowala wants a better balance, and the chief growth officer of media agency holding group Publicis has written a new book all about that balance.

“People choose brands with hearts and not with numbers,” he tells Beet.TV in this video interview. “The more your business is only based on machines and spreadsheets, you will also be out of a job.

“You need both the spreadsheet and the story. What do people feel? What are their emotions? Without the humanity looking at the data, you end up in a different place.

“The entire business … is besotted with what I call plumbing… how you reach the right person at the right time. But no one is thinking about the right context and what you (should) actually say. (There is) too much plumbing, too little poetry.”

He says he is becoming fond of technology companies that use machine learning to predict an audience’s emotional response to a video before it is published.

Tobaccowala has written a book on “digilog” companies, ones where digital tools and analog people are integrated expertly.

Restoring The Soul Of Business by Tobaccowala is available for pre-order on Amazon, published by HarperCollins in January 2020.

This video is part of Beet.TV’s coverage of the ANA Masters of Marketing Conference in Orlando, 2019.   The series is sponsored by iSpot.tv.  For more videos from the series, please visit this page.