A clear indication of when it might be time to rethink how you’re running your business is when your own interests overtake those of your customers. I’m pretty sure that while that sort of prioritization makes for short-term gains it’s a losing strategy in the long term. What’s prompted that is a piece I read this morning about programmatic media buying. You can read the piece here and it’s pretty sobering. That said, I suspect many executives could tell similar stories in their fields.
The piece starts this way:
Programmatic is supposed to bring efficiency to ad buying. But in reality, it’s becoming murky and less reliable for many brands. Most of the time, brands end up paying their agency double and even triple when they collaborate on programmatic.
In other words, what is supposed to be a winning solution for both client and agency turns out to be anything but. I’m very sure that there will be collateral damage on publishers as well. This is what happens when business interests are misaligned. We see this sort of thing all the time. What caused the home mortgage crisis? Lenders putting their profits ahead of the customers to whom they issued loans they knew would be in jeopardy from day one. Why do some drug companies levy outrageous price increases? Shareholder interests before patients’.
One thing of which I remind clients is that as a consultant I have no interests other than theirs. Maybe that’s a lie of sorts since in truth my interest is in making their current customers as happy as possible while expanding that customer base. I think that’s the only way forward to sustained profitability, and it only happens when the business’ interests are perfectly aligned with the customer’s. Anything else is akin to committing business suicide. Do you agree?