It’s never easy to say goodbye to something we’ve owned or worn for years, to something that’s comfortable and familiar, to something that holds so many memories, and has become a part of our identity.
Centro, our company name, is one of those things to me. The name holds the memories of highs and lows, challenges and struggles, collective successes, and personal failures.
Centro began on this day, October 15, twenty years ago. I didn’t have experience in building a company; just a dream and vision on how the right software could have a huge and positive impact on the global media industry. Seamless processes, better organization, increased intelligence, enhanced collaborations, etc. -- we had an opportunity to improve the overall health and well-being of our industry.
It also began with a parallel vision for a better corporate culture – with a leadership framework that understood that success is always predicated on the quality, character, intelligence, and ethics of the people it could convince to join its mission. “Lasting success can only be achieved through dedication to growth and well-being of the individual, not the corporation,” I wrote in late 2001.
Life, at times, invites us to let go of the comfortable and familiar. It sends signals, in the form of opportunities, to shed our conches and try a new and oversized shell that gives us more space to grow on our life journey.
After twenty years, we (Centro) are officially changing the name of our corporation to Basis Global Technologies.
This change signifies our longstanding commitment and mission to develop a leading cloud-based workflow automation and business intelligence software platform for marketing and advertising. We are committed to providing our customers software and services that:
Over the past twenty years, our industry has become more complex and disconnected. This has created undue strains and burdens on marketing organizations and teams leading to higher labor costs, increased workforce turnover, deteriorating unit economics, decreasing levels of customer service, lower efficacy of paid advertisements, reduced gross margins, and declining profitability. As new channels and formats are introduced, new supplemental and peripheral technologies and solutions are brought forth, creating a need for new skillsets, guidelines, rules, and standards for marketers to consider and implement.
Additionally, post-pandemic, we’ve been hearing about media companies experiencing massive shortages of workers and talent, leading to a cascading amount of work, stress and exhaustion for those in our industry. It is enormously difficult to run an efficient, happy, healthy, and fast-growth business when dealing with this amount of complexity, disconnection, and operational chaos spread over an insufficient supply of talent.
I believe this is our industry’s No. 1 problem. Until we solve the issue of compounding complexity, increasing disconnection (people, processes, and platforms), and a shortage of skilled professionals,
our industry will continue to degrade and the greatest asset we have, people, will continue to leave.
Industry Talent Crunch
A common solution is to add more talent. However, talent is becoming harder to find and increasingly more expensive. This leads to a spike in personnel costs and a corresponding reduction in profitability. Among advertising agencies, given current trends and the downward pressure on agency fees, there are numerous drawbacks to this strategy. The tangential talent solution is outsourcing or offshoring. In this industry, it’s referred to as finding bodies who can “handle your mess for less.” However, offshoring comes with its own challenges including reduced transparency, higher error rates, geographic and cultural disconnection (on top of general disconnection), and international financial and legal complications. Additionally, the cost of labor is increasing in developing countries, offsetting the benefits.
Transformation Through Automation
Spending more time, energy, and money trying to recruit talent from competitors, investing in professional training of thousands of new workers, or establishing an offshoring and outsourcing practice does not address compounding complexity.
Instead, our industry can invest time, resources, and energy fixing the root of the problem so, as more digital elements develop (AR/VR/MR, service bots, holographic content, voice search, etc.), we can integrate them easily, seamlessly, and cost-efficiently into common processes while not adding stress and undue burden on the people we care about most: our employees.
Almost thirty years ago, professor, scholar, and author, Dr. Shoshana Zuboff, published the phrase, “Everything that can be automated will be automated,” which was later labeled as Zuboff’s First Law. She was ahead of her time.
The digital transformation of industries, focused mainly on the automation of work, is predicted to be one of the fastest-growing global sectors over the next two decades.
Our market needs automation. Professionals need a comprehensive suite of applications that automate manual operations, standardize business processes, and improve marketing and advertising performance. I believe that reducing the stress, workloads, anxiety, and burnout among talent should be our sector’s top priority. Solving these problems creates a better, more enjoyable, more nourishing, and healthier industry.
This is the next chapter for Basis Technologies.