In the old days, I'd ask my readers to switch roles on Boxing Day ... here's a link from something I wrote back in 2006 asking readers to submit content that I'd publish. The reader could submit something and have access to 2,500 individuals.
You'd think a vendor ... any vendor ... would have taken advantage of the opportunity to market to their prospects for free.
That never happened. Given the choice between creating helpful content in exchange for access to 2,500 highly qualified prospects or paying Google a tax, vendors paid the tax. You'd likely pay the tax to a third party as well.
How many opportunities does your brand pass up because the opportunity would require some work, and because the opportunity is "non-traditional" and "unproven"?
There's a reason the service provider community loves the "omnichannel" approach to marketing. You, the reader, are constantly paying taxes. You pay your paid search vendor a tax to have the paid search vendor pay Google a tax, then you pay an attribution vendor a tax to measure how effective the tax was that you paid a vendor to pay to Google. You pay an influencer a tax so that the influencer says something on the socials causing the tax you pay the socials to drive traffic to your site that the tax you pay your attribution vendor measures.
The sources we pay taxes to need to perform better every year to prove their worth. When they don't perform better, we struggle. If we're dependent upon these sources, our businesses suffer.
If new customer counts are in decline and you are highly dependent on tax collectors for new customers ... well, that's a strategic blunder, isn't it?