My favorite lesson on business philosophy
Most people know that the Japanese make the most reliable cars on the planet. 4 of the top 5 most reliable car companies in the world are all Japanese (according to Consumer Reports 2021 Auto Reliability Report).
That’s not by accident. It’s not because the Japanese have better materials or better technology available to them. It’s about CULTURE.
Toyota employs a concept known as Kaizen (the philosophy of continuous improvement) and respect and empowerment for people, particularly line workers. What this translates to is a sharp contrast in comparison to the reliability of American vehicles. Lincoln was dead last for reliability and Tesla was second to last. This too is not by coincidence.
Reason being is American car manufacturers will completely redesign a vehicle model every 5-7 years. That means every single component has to be reengineered even if the previous generation was working flawlessly. In contrast, the Japanese only redesign a component if they truly feel it’s necessary.
Which design philosophy do you think yields the most reliable vehicles? The one where everything is completely and routinely redesigned or the one where small incremental changes are made? It’s the latter of course, and that’s why the Japanese win.
Isn’t it amazing that how something as intangible as culture can have far reaching effects in the physical products a company creates. It’s because of Kaizen, that I personally only buy Japanese vehicles.
I believe this example demonstrates why a company’s culture and philosophy tells you everything you need to know about them. With all that said, here’s mine.
Act as your client's fiduciary
Call me radical but aren’t service providers literally being paid to put their client’s interests before their own. If we are, shouldn’t we be held to the same standards as fiduciary service providers?
What I mean by this is maybe agencies shouldn’t sell their clients services for $5k/mo that they know likely won’t deliver a ROI.
It is your duty to your client to strive to be the smartest one in the room
“If you haven’t read hundreds of books, you are functionally illiterate, and you will be incompetent, because your personal experiences alone aren’t broad enough to sustain you.”
-Retired Marine Corps General James Norman Mattis
Marketing is a constantly evolving profession, we’re not growing potatoes here. Our clients are paying us to consistently educate ourselves, frequently bring innovative ideas to the table, and then execute them. We’re failing our clients if we’re not constantly evolving.
Your number one priority should be maximizing your client's profits
Isn’t the best way to serve our clients is to strive to make them as much money as possible as affordably as possible? If that happens, everything else sorts itself out, everything.
This is why I love performance-based marketing, it completely aligns the client and the marketer’s financial interests.