We’re not just another advertising company. And this year, we discovered our purpose.

Of course, we’ve always had a purpose. A mission. A vision. Since our company’s inception, we’ve stood for something. There was a reason we were created, developed valuable technology, attracted top talent, grew, formed prolific strategic partnerships, and profited. We’ve evolved since the beginning, but our core purpose has stayed the same. This year, we got to reflect on what that was and why it mattered.

First, it goes without saying (but I’m going to say it anyway) that purpose always matters. ANA named “brand purpose” the marketing word (or phrase) of the year. Simon Sinek’s Find Your Why is a fantastic literary resource that illustrates the value of discovering, exploring, and acting on your purpose. And trends show that millennials want meaning in their work and are actively seeking workplaces that can provide context and fulfillment. Purpose gives people a reason to do what they do and makes them feel good about doing it every day. When you wake up in the morning and get ready to go to your office, you feel content because you know your work is important. You feel valued and empowered. You are making a difference. Purpose sometimes gets lost on people; they think a job is just a way to make money and that life happens outside the office. But that approach negates a large percentage of your waking hours and a huge chunk of your life. Your work is not separate from your life – it is a major part of it. For some people, their work defines them. For others, it is a way to make use of their talents and passions. If you don’t have passion, your work may be empty, or you may feel unfulfilled. You may not even be able to articulate that feeling – you may simply long for more but not know which direction to move in to find it. Purpose fills in all the blanks and motivates us to do something, do more, and do better. Purpose deconstructed as such makes it more digestible and helps us understand what it is and how to find it. How do you decide how you spend your time? Chances are your decision is justified by your purpose.

At AdDaptive, our purpose has always been to create a technology that helps companies target more effectively and efficiently, which in turn helps customers receive ads that are relevant and timely, thus decluttering the ad tech stratosphere and improving society’s relationship with digital advertising. But we’re not just another advertising company. We don’t cut corners, we don’t deceive, and we care about more than the bottom line. Internally, we live out a second purpose simultaneously, which helps us reach our business goals: We aim to make our employees feel happy and empowered. When our team members want to start a CSR initiative or try something more independent or strategic within their roles, we evaluate our budgets and company needs, then work with them to figure out how to make it work. Because we’re strategic about what we can allow and how we implement our employees’ passions, we make sure we are always aligning with company goals and making decisions that benefit both our corporate brand as well as the individuals that make up our workforce. In that way, we are able to empower our employees to challenge themselves, try new things, and live out their passions, all while strengthening our corporate footprint and benefitting our brand. Allowing our employees to actualize their purpose is part of our purpose, which creates a harmonious and innovative collaboration among AdDaptive’s team members.

Purpose
Members of various departments at AdDaptive volunteering at Boston Children’s Hospital.

This purpose is two-fold. On one hand, we have a commitment to our employees. We see their devotion to our corporate mission, and watch them as they develop and use our technology to achieve our clients’ goals, thus improving our industry standing and strengthening our corporate brand. If the individuals on our team succeed, our company succeeds. The other part of this purpose is the external factor – why our company exists. In business, you often have to be able to articulate why your company exists in one sentence, to prove your concise understanding of your company’s core mission. AdDaptive exists to provide a better technology solution for digital advertisers (mostly in a B2B setting), benefitting both the brand and the recipient of the ad. When our technology delivers ads efficiently, minimizing wasted impressions and increasing ROI, we feel we have succeeded. We want your ROI to increase as a result of using our technology, because it means we have fulfilled our purpose. We have served as the essential tool that will improve your advertising strategy and provide consumers with ads that are relevant to their needs and behaviors.

This year, we got to see the two elements of our purpose reach new heights in parallel. Our company had a banner year and achieved its highest monthly revenue yet. Our existing strategic partnerships developed while new ones were forged. Our company is growing steadily, achieving new goals month after month. When reflecting on this success, we turn to our employees – the ones who make it all possible. All of our departments grew this year. Employees launched new community engagement initiatives, sustainability projects, and CSR programs. New divisions branched out from existing departments, enhancing the collective skill set of our team. Our employees were happy with their individual and team accomplishments this year, and our company made great strides in developing our technology and maintaining strategic alignment. In other words, we fulfilled our purpose this year.

For the year ahead, find your focus. Start by considering these vital questions:

  • What fuels your work?
  • How do you decide how to spend your time?
  • Why do you do what you do?

As a leader in your company, you should also ask yourself how you are giving context to your employees. Do they know where they fit into the company’s strategy and direction? Do you communicate your company’s mission and vision to them and provide them with opportunities to innovate and grow? And does your company maintain alignment to a single purpose that drives its decisions and strategies? The end of the year is as good a time as any to take a step back and evaluate your company’s strategic alignment, industry position, and resource management, as well as your communication with and leadership of your employees.

Purpose needs to start at the top, fueling the company’s strategy, then must be allowed to permeate every corner of the office, providing context and meaning to all employees. This will help your retention and acquisition rates, draw top talent, align your strategies, and provide your company with a cohesive vision for the future – all while empowering the people who are helping you achieve your corporate goals day in and day out.

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