Have you ever been doing a puzzle and been stuck -- and then someone else who’s never seen the puzzle walks up and puts a critical piece in place? In short, sometimes someone who has been looking at a problem too long can’t see the answer right in front of him.
I’ve had a similar job role throughout my career but have changed industries several times. Sometimes it takes an industry outsider to look at a problem and ask, “Why are we doing it that way?”
Just like trying to solve a puzzle the same way every time, I think industries get stuck in a rut thinking, “That’s how things are always done,” without taking a step back and asking, “Why are things done this way?” I can’t tell you the countless times that my teams have come up with a new product or service because we’ve challenged how things were traditionally done.
Eric Maas and Bjorn Espenes are fairly new to paid search; starting Finch in 2009. But Finch is doing really well – in part because Finch is doing things really differently.
Eric questioned the paid search industry best practices based on spreadsheets and manual work. He had spent 10 years automating an extremely complex inventory management and order fulfillment system that allowed products to sell through large online marketplaces like eBay and Amazon and through a customer’s online store. When he came to paid search, rather than building a tool to help an account manager like every other company out there, he created a data-driven, intelligent application that learns how to optimize a campaign with super-human speed and precision.
Rather than accepting the traditional business terms of most ad agencies or PPC companies, Bjorn questioned why upfront fees, hourly billing, and long-term contracts were necessary. The answer; because these companies aren’t sure about the performance they can deliver but want to get paid either way. By building a product that provides reliable, predictable performance, then why would this billing structure be required? (hint: It wouldn’t)
Finch does things differently than other PPC companies, and that’s OK. Actually – it’s great! If we were doing things the same as everyone else, then our performance would be the same as everyone else. Our approach is different, and our results are better.