• Steve Poulin

The Buy/Sell Automation Question:"Hey, whose side are you on, anyway?"

While not everyone has a lot of experience being a seller, we are all buyers. In fact, unless you are reading this post in your PJ’s before you get out of bed, chances are you have bought something today: a cup of coffee, a newspaper, a ride to work.

In almost all of these transactions the exchange is positive. You buy a thing because you want the thing more than the you want the money in your pocket. While you may feel a little guilty about it, nobody is forcing you to spend $10 on an extra-large, shade grown, half caff, double pump, vanilla, oat-milk iced latte. You say “thank you” to the barista because you were able to get exactly what you want to start your day and it makes you feel good.

So, when is the exchange negative or even adversarial?

Think about all the times when you weren’t happy as a buyer. Maybe it was because you felt like you were forced to buy something you didn’t want to buy or felt you needed. Or maybe it was because you felt overcharged because there was only one seller of a product you absolutely needed. Often, it’s because you can’t get the exact thing you want and have to settle for something else or buy extra stuff you don’t want. Certainly, that uneasy feeling that you are getting ripped off because you don’t have all the information you need can make for an unpleasant experience.

These situations often arise due to deficiencies or limits inherent in the buying process. You pay too much for a thing because you aren’t aware that someone else is selling the same thing cheaper just down the street. You buy something off the shelf because your seller lacks the capacity to offer a product that is customized to your needs. Sadly, much of today’s brick and mortar sales offer that very experience.

This is one of the reasons on-lines sales are skyrocketing. They are not just convenient. Companies like Amazon and eBay offer customers the ability to shop around and compare prices, customize or find the exact product you want. They also allow you to look at data and reviews before you buy.

At PVX we are often asked: whose side are you on? The buyer’s? The seller’s? How can you represent both? Nobody asks Amazon or eBay whose side they are on. People inherently know that platforms like these serve a need by putting buyers and sellers together with an easy interface that gives them the information they need.

Unlike these online experiences, many industry people assume their media buying and selling process to be adversarial for the same reasons some other buy/sell relationships become adversarial.

• Loss of control over the decision as to what to buy

• Inability to get exactly what you need

• Incomplete information

• Lack of alternatives and choices

• Poor communication

At PVX, we believe media buying and selling should be a “win-win.” Just like Amazon, our cutting-edge platform goes way beyond automating “on-line” transactions. We set about making a platform that eliminates the elements that sour a transaction.

At no point does either party lose control of their money or inventory. PVX ensures that communication between buyer and seller is clear and complete. Buyers are able to create robust buys that deliver to the precise goals and objectives of the campaigns. PVX provides full analysis of the many alternatives that can often complete a perfect campaign. Buyers and sellers who are operating in good faith should walk away from the transaction feeling good about the experience.

Of course, if you are in the business long enough, you will experience some buyers or sellers who will try to bully the other side. This is inherent in the buy-sell business. We have not eliminated the human element from PVX and therefore we cannot ensure the person on the other end of the transaction will be operating in good faith. However, PVX doesn’t do anything to enable it in any way. We let you be you.

What we can ensure is that PVX will not contribute to a “race to the bottom” that pits buyers and sellers against each other. PVX is not designed to “force rates lower” the way some auction-based systems can.

PVX cannot create more inventory or more dollars. PVX doesn’t incentivize buyers or sellers to push pricing beyond what the market will bear. PVX will ensure that buyers and sellers have access to the information, transparency, and communication that will allow both sides to feel like partners.

The imbalance in the relationship between buyers and sellers would result if one party is not using our technology. Clearly buyers who have access to PVX’s power and automation will be able to move more quickly and more decisively through any marketplace situation while creating massive value for their clients. Sellers who have access to PVX will, in turn, have access to the most sophisticated buyers in the business, all while transacting in a platform that will not strong arm a seller for unrealistic rates: buyers who know how to create that value rather than base their buys on driving cost concessions.

In the end, a transparent marketplace where both parties have control over their respective value in the transaction leads to customer satisfaction, which turns into loyalty, which turns into passion for the product. A coffee drinker may pass by dozens of cheaper coffee shops before they get that special drink. In time the barista will know their order and have it ready for them with a smile. It's a true win-win.

The end goal for PVX is to create a group of loyal and dedicated customers on both the buy side and the sell side. Customers who will view PVX as an integral tool for how they build value and profitability. The vision of PVX as a central “meeting place” for buyers and sellers to interact and create value together only happens if we serve the needs of both sides of the table.

As software that serves the media business, we have a vested interest in helping that business deliver value in a way that is efficient, scalable, and sustainable. So, in the end, the answer to the question: Whose side are you on? PVX is on the side of the media industry.