Big tech, low tech, no tech… What can you really control?!

April Forbes
February 26, 2021

As a business owner, I spend my days trying to control everything that goes on to and around me. From staff completing tasks before the deadline to the temperature of the air-conditioner so everyone is happy. However, as much as I try, we are not in a position where we can control everything. Whether it’s Facebook changing its rules, to landlords not renewing leases, HR laws about Jobkeeper payments or local newspapers that were pulled from the shelves and front lawns.

What I know is that life is full of uncontrollable effects and we must constantly and consciously adapt. Thinking about the Facebook VS Australian Government and media fight, I started to reflect on challenges we have helped our clients face, through no fault of their own.

Here are a few examples.

  1. In another life, my business partner (and husband), sold businesses for a living. That industry is one of the toughest and hardest and they relied heavily on a website owned by called to list their businesses for sale. It drove 95% of their enquiry. One day, with little to no notice, decided to shut down this division of their business and the correlating website.
  2. A past client held contracts to provide the product to RTO’s for certificates in the beauty industry, which at that time was a huge percentage of their revenue. One day, the federal government decided to change its funding laws for RTO’s. I remember the day clearly, as it had a huge impact on their clients, and over time sent many of them broke, leaving our client with a huge amount of unpaid, perishable stock simply because the government changed funding legislation.
  3. We recently completed work for a client who created a sanitisation product that is 99.9999% effective against Covid-19 as per the relevant FDA approvals. Any easy sell right?! Wrong. Suddenly, Google and Facebook both changed their Terms & Conditions disallowing any marketing relevant to the current pandemic. This also impacted another medical client of ours whose product requires a mask. You have never seen so many disapproved ads come through in your life.
  4. Another food client of ours who placed newspaper advertisements (old school, I know) with redeemable coupon codes lost their entire audience because News Corps decided to stop printing local newspapers. 

The argument I see marketing professionals throwing around is to build your owned marketing assets of what you ‘own’ or what you can control. But what do you really own and are you in 100% control? Apps are now being forced to change their marketing strategy due to the Apple iOS14 upgrade that is happening at any moment (apparently). New smartphone devices are launching on a far too regular basis, which impacts websites and how they are paginated… and did you know that you probably only license your brand from your graphic designer, not technically owning it unless transfers from them to you by a Deed of Assignment.

To be honest, everything is a tool that you only have somewhat control of. The world changes daily, and Governments, Big Tech, Little Tech and even those with no tech, IE the Government, can change the rules of operation in a heartbeat. The only thing you can control is your trademark, patients and reputation. Continuing to do good work, evolve accordingly and plan ahead is the only way forward. Jumping from one medium to the next, to the next, is never the right solution.

Need help? Not sure what to do? Let’s chat.