I find it pretty amazing that the subject has been so hotly debated and not tackled more simply. Because it’s a pretty simple thing. If you have something to hide, you’ll fear transparency. If you don’t, you won’t. Don’t get me wrong. It’s important. Important enough that we’ve bet our company on it.
First, transparency is all about trust. Building that trust with customers, partners and the industry at large is the root. Particularly with marketing technology. It’s good to have a secret sauce, but not so good to keep secrets. Trust is also the real foundation of the most media business, from the creation of content to the audience that consumes it and everywhere in between. It now needs to be the foundation of more technology businesses — since so much of tech sits in black boxes that so few people understand (business and consumer alike).
Much of what I read lately, though, was a little cynical. It seems that too many, transparency is about everything from controlling the market, to fairness, to respect. The cynics see many of the people who are finally “taking the lead” on the issue finally have been forced to the table — based on business issues or a land grab for thought leadership. I’m not that cynical. I just applaud the effort.
What ultimately drives executives to adopt transparency — in all its forms — is a business opportunity. Sure, we all focus on opportunity, and at PX, we have, but it’s not about “exploiting” an opportunity. It’s about solving a problem.
That’s my point #2. Delivering transparently takes you a step beyond just trust; it becomes the key to unlocking opportunities for everyone in the industry. We’ve looked at the lead generation industry and our own participation in it for over 8 years, and we’ve seen that there is nowhere near enough openness. When there’s trust, you collaborate; and when you collaborate, you usually solve bigger problems.
Here’s one very recent example that makes me proud. We’ve encouraged lead buyers on our customer acquisition platform to utilize their first-party data (specifically, disposition data) and upload it to our platform. We’ve promised greater learning, increased efficiencies, and more measurable ROI — and we’ve accepted the trust from customers that their lead data will be secure with us. Both sides of this transparency and trust are now being rewarded, and we’ve each begun to see fruit from it.
As our business has grown to hold a prominent space in lead-gen and customer acquisition, we’ve maintained this rather straightforward approach. Not for any reason other than that it’s good — for all parties involved.