Advertiser Letter – March 1, 2018
My Company was formed early this year to provide a consumer application. I had the perpetual and nagging problem of losing online content that was important to me, and through some effort I felt I had found a way to solve this problem. After talking with several people and trialing a few prototypes, I felt that my solution to connecting people with what mattered to them was appealing to many people – not just me. I decided that 2018 was the year I’d put this dream into motion.
Outside of the dream, I worked in advertising – doing quite a few things: sales, production, engineering, training, and more. Over the last two years, I and one other coworker built a business unit that delivered outstanding results to clients. From the ground up, we were able to provide web design, search engine optimization, paid search engine marketing, social media marketing, and several other services to small and mid-sized businesses. But last week, following a disagreement in direction, I found myself resigning from my position within weeks of my coworker making an identical decision. This was upsetting. But I started hearing from my old clients, and they still wanted to work with me and they found value in the products we built for them.
The consumer application my Company is developing is about connecting people with what matters to them. After some reflection, I realized that advertising done correctly tackles the same problem. Since helping business owners’ customers connect to products and services that matter to them isn’t mutually exclusive from helping individuals connect to information that matters to them – and in fact, since these two things are very much compatible – I decided that the Company can do both. By partnering with Boomajoom, you are partnering with the following vision:
• At heart, advertising is about connecting people to what matters. Sadly, the industry has lost sight of that. The increasing uses of ad-blocking software and “ad-free” publications are not a rebellion against the concept of advertising, but are a reaction to advertising that doesn’t help connect the viewer with anything of importance to them. Instead of helping people, the advertising industry insists on interrupting them and harassing them with irrelevant and intrusive messages. This is not our approach.
• The advertising industry is rife with fraud and deception. After seven years in this industry, I’ve seen it all: artificially boosted view counts, click fraud, programs in your browser to take over your processor and mine cryptocurrency, hacking, phone number hijacking, misleading telemarketing scams, surreptitious call recording, and even accounting fraud at companies struggling to justify their continued existence in this space. This Company radically opposes this, believes that an honest living can be made, and further believes that business owners will reward ethical advertising companies with trust and confidence. Our goal is to instill order and integrity on an industry that operates as if the business owner is prey to be hunted. Predictability, accuracy, transparency, and accountability may yield slower rates of growth for us but they mean that our clients stick with us and we as individuals can sleep well at night.
• You, the advertiser, don’t actually care about advertising. As Dr. Clayton Christensen and others have argued, customers don’t purchase drills – they purchase holes in the wall. As an advertiser, you hire advertising to accomplish a specific job. In most cases, that job is a transaction that takes place when your customer purchases from you. If you’re hiring us to facilitate transactions, our task is to facilitate transactions with the least amount of friction possible. While you may purchase advertising from us, we are not an advertising company. We are a connection company that connects people to what matters to them, and in your case that means connecting your customers to you when the product or service you offer is important to them – and keeping away people who don’t value what you offer.
• You care less about individual relationship than you’d care to admit. The old model of advertising sales saddled the single sales representative with all the responsibility of taking care of the client. They are supposed to create ad copy, reserve space, manage billing, set appointments with you, consult with you on campaigns, etc., etc. But what you really care about is results and effectiveness, and that sometimes means a division of labor. When one person can handle everything, then you’re satisfied to let that one person handle everything. But when that one person refers you to a specialist who can answer a specific need, you aren’t likely to object because your real goal is to get the results you’re hiring the Company to achieve. While at this stage, a single person (me) handles everything, that may not always be true. The Company’s commitment to you is to make sure that things are handled most effectively so that the results you’re hiring us for are met.
• Values determine what’s offered. By “Values” I don’t mean the words that hang on plaques in corporate lobbies, I mean the real concrete criteria by which an organization makes decisions. As an example, when I worked for a phonebook company, the cost structure and gravity of phonebook revenue had an influence on what recommendations a sales representative would make to a client. A company without the gravitational black hole of collapsing phonebook revenue can create and manage product lines that carry smaller cost/revenue structures with ease. This Company believes that smaller business units are critical to unlocking market opportunities, to valuing smaller customers, and to spurring innovation in markets yet to be realized.
These assumptions shape the Company and the products we release. In concrete terms, this means that search engine optimization is a great fit (people search online for things that matter, they find you, job accomplished) while giant screen takeovers on a website are not a fit (people want to read about entertainment gossip, they see a huge graphic and auto-playing video about a local physical therapy center, people are annoyed and uninterested). In partnering with this Company, you also help us pursue our master plan:
1. Create paid consumer and advertising products that connect people with what matters to them.
2. Use the money from this to create lower cost or free consumer and advertising products that connect people with what matters to them, like chat, news, and payment processing. (But which are essential to daily habits and activities.)
3. Use that money to link the different products and services so that they can grow, share, and improve on each other – while staying true to our commitments to integrity, security, and privacy.
4. While doing the above, launch integrated hardware and software offerings to provide true personal cloud computing to individuals, businesses, and everyone in between.
Stage four means that you, the advertiser, will be able to tell us how many customers you want, enter into an agreement to pay us a percentage of each transaction we bring to you based on that volume, and never have to worry about advertising again because you never wanted to worry about it in the first place. All you worry about is how to service your customers.
Please don’t tell anyone about the master plan. I’ve told plenty of people and they aren’t interested.
Brandon J. Schwartz