Tag Archive | "Business"

Reflections On My 40th Birthday: Blogging, Business, Travel And A Party I Will Never Forget

On July 19th, 2019, I turned 40. When I was a teenager, I saw 40 as REALLY old. It was the age you properly became an adult. No more using youth as an excuse for anything, plus you have to consider things like visiting the doctor for prostate exams… yikes! As I got closer to […]

The post Reflections On My 40th Birthday: Blogging, Business, Travel And A Party I Will Never Forget appeared first on Yaro.Blog.

Entrepreneurs-Journey.com by Yaro Starak

Posted in IM NewsComments Off

An Agency Workflow for Google My Business Dead Ends

Posted by MiriamEllis

There are times when your digital marketing agency will find itself serving a local business with a need for which Google has made no apparent provisions. Unavailable categories for unusual businesses come instantly to mind, but scenarios can be more complex than this.

Client workflows can bog down as you worry over what to do, fearful of making a wrong move that could get a client’s listing suspended or adversely affect its rankings or traffic. If your agency has many employees, an entry-level SEO could be silently stuck on an issue, or even doing the wrong thing because they don’t know how or where to ask the right questions.

The best solution I know of consists of a combination of:

  • Client contracts that are radically honest about the nature of Google
  • Client management that sets correct expectations about the nature of Google
  • A documented process for seeking clarity when unusual client scenarios arise
  • Agency openness to experimentation, failure, and on-going learning
  • Regular monitoring for new Google developments and changes
  • A bit of grit

Let’s put the fear of often-murky, sometimes-unwieldy Google on the back burner for a few minutes and create a proactive process your team can use when hitting what feels like procedural dead end on the highways and byways of local search.

The apartment office conundrum

As a real-world example of a GMB dead end, a few months ago, I was asked a question about on-site offices for apartment complexes. The details:

  • Google doesn’t permit the creation of listings for rental properties but does allow such properties to be listed if they have an on-site office, as many apartment complexes do.
  • Google’s clearest category for this model is “apartment complex”, but the brand in question was told by Google (at the time) that if they chose that category, they couldn’t display their hours of operation.
  • This led the brand I was advising to wonder if they should use “apartment rental agency” as their category because it does display hours. They didn’t want to inconvenience the public by having them arrive at a closed office after hours, but at the same time, they didn’t want to misrepresent their category.

Now that’s a conundrum!

When I was asked to provide some guidance to this brand, I went through my own process of trying to get at the heart of the matter. In this post, I’m going to document this process for your agency as fully as I can to ensure that everyone on your team has a clear workflow when puzzling local SEO scenarios arise.

I hope you’ll share this article with everyone remotely involved in marketing your clients, and that it will prevent costly missteps, save time, move work forward, and support success.

Step 1: Radical honesty sets the stage right

Whether you’re writing a client contract, holding a client onboarding meeting, or having an internal brand discussion about local search marketing, setting correct expectations is the best defense against future disappointments and disputes. Company leadership must task itself with letting all parties know:

  1. Google has a near-monopoly on search. As such, they can do almost anything they feel will profit them. This means that they can alter SERPs, change guidelines, roll out penalties and filters, monetize whatever they like, and fail to provide adequate support to the public that makes up and interacts with the medium of their product. There is no guarantee any SEO can offer about rankings, traffic, or conversions. Things can change overnight. That’s just how it is.
  2. While Google’s monopoly enables them to be whimsical, brands and agencies do not have the same leeway if they wish to avoid negative outcomes. There are known practices which Google has confirmed as contrary to their vision of search (buying links, building listings for non-existent locations, etc.). Client and agency agree not to knowingly violate Google’s guidelines. These guidelines include:

Don’t accept work under any other conditions than that all parties understand Google’s power, unpredictability, and documented guidelines. Don’t work with clients, agencies, software providers, or others that violate guidelines. These basic rules set the stage for both client and agency success.

Step 2: Confirm that the problem really exists

When a business believes it is encountering an unusual local search marketing problem, the first task of the agency staffer is to vet the issue. The truth is, clients sometimes perceive problems that don’t really exist. In my case of the apartment complex, I took the following steps.

  1. I confirmed the problem. I observed the lacking display of hours of operation on GMB listings using the “apartment complex” category.
  2. I called half-a-dozen nearby apartment complex offices and asked if they were open either by appointment only, or 24/7. None of them were. At least in my corner of the world, apartment complex offices have set, daily business hours, just like retail, opening in the AM and closing in the PM each day.
  3. I did a number of Google searches for “apartment rental agency” and all of the results Google brought up were for companies that manage rentals city-wide — not rentals of units within a single complex.

So, I was now convinced that the business was right: they were encountering a real dead end. If they categorized themselves as an “apartment complex”, their missing hours could inconvenience customers. If they chose the “apartment rental agency” designation to get hours to display, they could end up fielding needless calls from people looking for city-wide rental listings. The category would also fail to be strictly accurate.

As an agency worker, be sure you’ve taken common-sense steps to confirm that a client’s problem is, indeed, real before you move on to next steps.

Step 3: Search for a similar scenario

As a considerate agency SEO, avoid wasting the time of project leads, managers, or company leadership by first seeing if the Internet holds a ready answer to your puzzle. Even if a problem seems unusual, there’s a good chance that somebody else has already encountered it, and may even have documented it. Before you declare a challenge to be a total dead-end, search the following resources in the following order:

  1. Do a direct search in Google with the most explicit language you can (e.g. “GMB listing showing wrong photo”, “GMB description for wrong business”, “GMB owner responses not showing”). Click on anything that looks like it might contain an answer, look at the date on the entry, and see what you can learn. Document what you see.
  2. Go to the Google My Business Help Community forum and search with a variety of phrases for your issue. Again, note the dates of responses for the currency of advice. Be aware that not all contributors are experts. Looks for thread responses from people labeled Gold Product Expert; these members have earned special recognition for the amount and quality of what they contribute to the forum. Some of these experts are widely-recognized, world-class local SEOs. Document what you learn, even if means noting down “No solution found”.
  3. Often, a peculiar local search issue may be the result of a Google change, update, or bug. Check the MozCast to see if the SERPs are undergoing turbulent weather and Sterling Sky’s Timeline of Local SEO Changes. If the dates of a surfaced issue correspond with something appearing on these platforms, you may have found your answer. Document what you learn.
  4. Check trusted blogs to see if industry experts have written about your issue. The nice thing about blogs is that, if they accept comments, you can often get a direct response from the author if something they’ve penned needs further clarification. For a big list of resources, see: Follow the Local SEO Leaders: A Guide to Our Industry’s Best Publications. Document what you learn.

    If none of these tactics yields a solution, move on to the next step.

    Step 4: Speak up for support

    If you’ve not yet arrived at an answer, it’s time to reach out. Take these steps, in this order:

    1) Each agency has a different hierarchy. Now is the time to reach out to the appropriate expert at your business, whether that’s your manager or a senior-level local search expert. Clearly explain the issue and share your documentation of what you’ve learned/failed to learn. See if they can provide an answer.

    2) If leadership doesn’t know how to solve the issue, request permission to take it directly to Google in private. You have a variety of options for doing so, including:

    In the case of the apartment complex, I chose to reach out via Twitter. Responses can take a couple of days, but I wasn’t in a hurry. They replied:

    As I had suspected, Google was treating apartment complexes like hotels. Not very satisfactory since the business models are quite different, but at least it was an answer I could document. I’d hit something of a dead-end, but it was interesting to consider Google’s advice about using the description field to list hours of operation. Not a great solution, but at least I would have something to offer the client, right from the horse’s mouth.

    In your case, be advised that not all Google reps have the same level of product training. Hopefully, you will receive some direct guidance on the issue if you describe it well and can document Google’s response and act on it. If not, keep moving.

    3) If Google doesn’t respond, responds inexpertly, or doesn’t solve your problem, go back to your senior-level person. Explain what happened and request advice on how to proceed.

    4) If the senior staffer still isn’t certain, request permission to publicly discuss the issue (and the client). Head to supportive fora. If you’re a Moz Pro customer, feel free to post your scenario in the Moz Q&A forum. If you’re not yet a customer, head to the Local Search Forum, which is free. Share a summary of the challenge, your failure to find a solution, and ask the community what they would do, given that you appear to be at a dead end. Document the advice you receive, and evaluate it based on the expertise of respondents.

    Step 5: Make a strategic decision

    At this point in your workflow, you’ve now:

    • Confirmed the issue
    • Searched for documented solutions
    • Looked to leadership for support
    • Looked to Google for support
    • Looked to the local SEO industry for support

    I’m hoping you’ve arrived at a strategy for your client’s scenario by now, but if not, you have 3 things left to do.

    1. Take your entire documentation back to your team/company leader. Ask them to work with you on an approved response to the client.
    2. Take that response to the client, with a full explanation of any limitations you encountered and a description of what actions your agency wants to take. Book time for a thorough discussion. If what you are doing is experimental, be totally transparent about this with the client.
    3. If the client agrees to the strategy, enact it.

    In the case of the apartment complex, there were several options I could have brought to the client. One thing I did recommend is that they do an internal assessment of how great the risk really was of the public being inconvenienced by absent hours.

    How many people did they estimate would stop by after 5 PM in a given month and find the office closed? Would that be 1 person a month? 20 people? Did the convenience of these people outweigh risks of incorrectly categorizing the complex as an “apartment rental agency”? How many erroneous phone calls or walk-ins might that lead to? How big of a pain would that be?

    Determining these things would help the client decide whether to just go with Google’s advice of keeping the accurate category and using the description to publish hours, or, to take some risks by miscategorizing the business. I was in favor of the former, but be sure your client has input in the final decision.

    And that brings us to the final step — one your agency must be sure you don’t overlook.

    Step 6: Monitor from here on out

    In many instances, you’ll find a solution that should be all set to go, with no future worries. But, where you run into dead-end scenarios like the apartment complex case and are having to cobble together a workaround to move forward, do these two things:

    1. Monitor outcomes of your implementation over the coming months. Traffic drops, ranking drops, or other sudden changes require a re-evaluation of the strategy you selected. *This is why it is so critical to document everything and to be transparent with the client about Google’s unpredictability and the limitations of local SEOs.
    2. Monitor Google for changes. Today’s dead end could be tomorrow’s open road.

    This second point is particularly applicable to the apartment complex I was advising. About a month after I’d first looked at their issue, Google made a major change. All of a sudden, they began showing hours for the “apartment complex” category!

    If I’d stopped paying attention to the issue, I’d never have noticed this game-changing alteration. When I did see hours appearing on these listings, I confirmed the development with apartment marketing expert Diogo Ordacowski:

    Moral: be sure you are continuing to keep tabs on any particularly aggravating dead ends in case solutions emerge in future. It’s a happy day when you can tell a client their worries are over. What a great proof of the engagement level of your agency’s staff!

    When it comes to Google, grit matters

    Image Credit: The Other Dan

    “What if I do something wrong?”

    It’s totally okay if that question occurs to you sometimes when marketing local businesses. There’s a lot on the line — it’s true! The livelihoods of your clients are a sacred trust. The credibility that your agency is building matters.

    But, fear not. Unless you flagrantly break guidelines, a dose of grit can take you far when dealing with a product like Google My Business which is, itself, an experiment. Sometimes, you just have to make a decision about how to move forward. If you make a mistake, chances are good you can correct it. When a dead end with no clear egress forces you to test out solutions, you’re just doing your job.

    So, be transparent and communicative, be methodical and thorough in your research, and be a bit bold. Remember, your clients don’t just count on you to churn out rote work. In Google’s increasingly walled garden, the agency which can see over the wall tops when necessity calls is bringing extra value.

    Sign up for The Moz Top 10, a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top ten hottest pieces of SEO news, tips, and rad links uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of stuff you don’t have time to hunt down but want to read!


    Moz Blog

    Posted in IM NewsComments Off

    Google now showing competitor ads on local business profiles

    The unit is from Local Campaigns and businesses cannot pay to remove them.



    Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.


    Search Engine Land: News & Info About SEO, PPC, SEM, Search Engines & Search Marketing

    Posted in IM NewsComments Off

    Kindness as Currency: How Good Deeds Can Benefit Your Local Business

    Posted by MiriamEllis

    “To receive everything, one must open one’s hands and give.” – Taisen Deshimaru, Buddhist philosopher


    A woman stands in a busy supermarket checkout line. The shopper in front of her realizes that they don’t have enough money with them to cover their purchase, so she steps in and makes up the balance. Then, when she reaches the checkout, her own receipt totals up higher than she was expecting. She doesn’t have enough left in her purse.

    “No problem,” says the young clerk and swipes his own debit card to pay for her groceries.

    A bystander snaps a photo and posts the story to Facebook. The story ends up on local radio and TV news. Unstructured citations for the grocery store start crackling like popcorn. National news takes notice. A scholarship foundation presents a check to the clerk. When asked how he felt about it, the clerk said:

    “Personally, I think it’s undeserved attention. Because she did something so good … I felt like it was my responsibility to return the favor.”

    In the process, if only for a moment in time, an everyday supermarket is transformed into a rescue operation for hope in humanity. Through the lens of local SEO, it’s also a lesson in how good deeds can be rewarded by good mentions.

    Studying business kindness can be a rewarding task for any motivated digital marketing agency or local brand owner. I hope this post will be both a pick-me-up for the day, and a rallying cry to begin having deeper conversations about the positive culture businesses can create in the communities they serve.

    10+ evocative examples of business kindness

    “We should love people and use things, but sadly, we love things and use people,” Roger Johnson, Artisan

    As a youngster in the American workforce, I ran into some very peculiar styles of leadership.

    For instance, one boss gruffly told me not to waste too much time chatting with the elderly customers who especially loved buying from me…as if customer support doesn’t make or break business reputations.

    And then there was the cranky school secretary who reprimanded me for giving ice packs to children because she believed they were only “trying to get attention” … as if schools don’t exist to lavish focus on the kids in their care.

    In other words, both individuals would have preferred me to be less kind, less human, than more so.

    Perhaps it was these experiences of my superiors taking a miserly approach to workplace human kindness that inspired me to keep a little file of outbreaks of goodwill that earned online renown. These examples beg self-reflective questions of any local business owner:

    1. If you launched your brand in the winter, would you have opened your doors while under construction to shelter and feed housing-insecure neighbors?
    2. If a neighboring business was struggling, would you offer them floor space in your shop to help them survive?
    3. Would your brand’s culture inspire an employee to cut up an elder’s ham for him if he needed help? How awesome would it be if a staffer of yours had a day named after her for her kindness? Would your employees comp a meal for a hungry neighbor or pay a customer’s $ 200 tab because they saw them hold open a door for a differently-abled guest?
    4. What good things might happen in a community you serve if you started mailing out postcards promoting positivity?
    5. What if you gave flowers to strangers, including moms, on Mother’s Day?
    6. How deeply are you delving into the season of giving at the holidays? What if, like one business owner, you opened shop on Thanksgiving just to help a family find a gift for a foster child? You might wake up to international fame on Monday morning.
    7. What if visitors to your community had their bikes stolen on a road trip and your shop gifted them new bikes and ended up on the news?
    8. One business owner was so grateful for his community’s help in overcoming addiction, he’s been washing their signage for free. What has your community done for you and how have you thanked them?
    9. What if all you had to do was something really small, like replacing negative “towed at your own expense” signs by welcoming quick stop parking?
    10. What if you, just for a day, you asked customers to pay for their purchases with kind acts?

    I only know about these stories because of the unstructured citations (online references to a local business) they generated. They earned online publicity, radio, and television press. The fame for some was small and local, for others, internationally viral. Some activities were planned, but many others took place on the spur of the moment. Kindness, empathy, and gratitude, flow through them all like a river of hope, inviting every business owner to catch the current in their own way. One easy way for local business owners to keep better track of any positive mentions is by managing and monitoring reviews online with the New Moz Local.

    See your online presence

    Can kindness be taught in the workplace?

    In Demark, schoolchildren learn empathy as a class subject. The country is routinely rated as one of the happiest in the world. At Moz, we have the TAGFEE code, which includes both generosity and empathy, and our company offers internal workshops on things like “How to be TAGFEE when you disagree.” We are noted for the kindness of our customer support, as in the above review.

    According to Stanford psychologist Jamil Zaki, people “catch” cooperation and generosity from others. In his study, the monetary amount donors gave to charity went up or down based on whether they were told their peers gave much or little. They matched the generosity or stinginess they witnessed. In part two of the study, the groups who had seen others donating generously went on to offer greater empathy in writing letters to penpals suffering hard times. In other words, kindness isn’t just contagious — its impact can spread across multiple activities.

    Mercedes-Benz CEO, Stephen Cannon, wanted employees to catch the kindness bug because of its profound impact on sales. He invited his workforce to join a “grassroots movement” that resulted in surprising shoppers with birthday cakes, staff rushing to remote locations with spare tires, and other memorable consumer experiences. Cannon noted:

    “There is no scientific process, no algorithm, to inspire a salesperson or a service person to do something extraordinary. The only way you get there is to educate people, excite them, incite them. Give them permission to rise to the occasion when the occasion to do something arises. This is not about following instructions. It’s about taking a leap of faith.”

    In a 2018 article, I highlighted the reviews of a pharmacy that made it apparent that staff wasn’t empowered to do the simplest self-determined acts, like providing a chair for a sick man who was about to fall down in a long prescription counter line. By contrast, an Inc. book review of Jill Lublin’s The Profits of Kindness states:

    “Organizations that trade in kindness allow their employees to give that currency away. If you’re a waitress, can you give someone a free piece of pie because the kid at the next table spilled milk on their foot? If you’re a clerk in a hotel, do you have the authority to give someone a discounted rate because you can tell they’ve had a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day?”

    There may be no formula for teaching kindness, but if Zaki is right, then leadership can be the starting point of demonstrative empathy that can emanate through the staff and to its customers. How do you build for that?

    A cared-for workforce for customer service excellence

    You can find examples of individual employees behaving with radical kindness despite working for brands that routinely disregard workers’ basic needs. But, this hardly seems ideal. How much better to build a business on empathy and generosity so that cared-for staff can care for customers.

    I ran a very quick Twitter poll to ask employees what their very most basic need is:

    Unsurprisingly, the majority of respondents cited a living wage as their top requirement. Owners developing a kind workforce must ensure that staff are housing-and-food-secure, and can afford the basic dignities of life. Any brand that can’t pay its staff a living wage isn’t really operational — it’s exploitation.

    Beyond the bare minimums, Mercer’s Global Talent Trends 2019 Survey of 7,300 executives, HR experts, and employees highlighted trending worker emphasis on:

    • Flexibility in both hours and location to create a healthy work/life balance
    • Ethics in company technology, practices, and transparency
    • Equity in pay ratios, regardless of gender
    • Empathy in the workplace, both internally and in having a positive societal impact with customers

    It’s just not very hard to connect the dots between a workforce that has its basic and aspirational needs met, and one possessing the physical, mental and emotional health to extend those values to consumers. As I found in a recent study of my own, 70 percent of negative review resolution was driven by brands having to overcome bad/rude service with subsequent caring service.

    Even at the smallest local business level, caring policies and initiatives that generate kindness are within reach, with Gallup reporting that SMBs have America’s happiest and most engaged workers. Check out Forbes list of the best small companies of 2019 and note the repeated emphasis on employee satisfaction.

    Kindness as currency, with limitless growth potential

    “I wanted a tangible item that could track acts of kindness. From that, the Butterfly Coin emerged.” Bruce Pedersen, Butterfly Coins

    Maybe someday, you’ll be the lucky recipient of a Butterfly Coin, equipped with a unique tracking code, and gifted to you by someone doing a kind act. Then, you’ll do something nice for somebody and pass it on, recording your story amongst thousands of others around the world. People, it seems, are so eager for tokens of kindness that the first mint sold out almost immediately.

    The butterfly effect (the inspiration for the name of these coins) in chaos theory holds that a small action can trigger multiple subsequent actions at a remove. In a local business setting, an owner could publicly reward an employee’s contributions, which could cause the employee to spread their extra happiness to twenty customers that day, which could cause those customers to be in a mood to tip waitstaff extra, which could cause the waitstaff to comp meals for hungry neighbors sitting on their doorsteps, and on and on it goes.

    There’s an artisan in Gig Harbor, WA who rewards kindnesses via turtle figurines. There are local newspapers that solicit stories of kindness. There are towns that have inaugurated acts-of-kindness weeks. There is even a suburb in Phoenix, AZ that re-dubbed itself Kindness, USA. (I mentioned, I’ve been keeping a file).

    The most priceless aspect of kindness is that it’s virtually limitless. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be quantified. The Butterfly Coin idea is attempting to track kindness, and as a local business owner, you have a practical means of parsing it, too. It will turn up in unstructured citations, reviews, and social media, if you originate it at the leadership level, and share it out from employee to customer with an open hand.

    Sign up for The Moz Top 10, a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top ten hottest pieces of SEO news, tips, and rad links uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of stuff you don’t have time to hunt down but want to read!


    Moz Blog

    Posted in IM NewsComments Off

    Business Prioritizing Digital Transformation For Competitive Advantage, Says Equinix CEO

    “We’re seeing right now continued strength across our business because people are prioritizing digital transformation as a way to gain competitive advantage,” says Equinix CEO Charles Meyers. “The reality is people who are responding well to that are thriving and people that are not are being left behind. What companies (like Walmart) are doing essentially is using a hybrid and multi-cloud strategy. They have private infrastructure that they may house in a significant caged environment at Equinix but they interface it then with the public clouds.”

    Charles Meyers, CEO of Equinix, discusses their huge under the radar role in facilitating the massive digital transformation in progress with companies worldwide. Meyers was interviewed by Jim Cramer on CNBC:

    There’s A Very Deep Demand Pool For Data Centers

    We continue to see a really strong set of underlying secular demand drivers for the business. We’re seeing real strength in the business globally right now. Broadly, we’ve seen the sector respond very well. We think there’s a very deep demand pool for data centers. I do think that Equinix plays a very unique role in the market and our differentiated position is allowing us to even outperform relative to our peers. Public cloud adoption is a major catalyst for our business. As enterprises are adopting public cloud and looking at hybrid and multi-cloud as their architecture of choice we’re seeing really strong demand.

    We may not be a household name but I think it’s pretty safe to say we’re probably impacting the lives of millions of consumers on a day to day basis working with (many big-name companies such as Salesforce and Netflix). We play a very important role in terms of interconnecting our customers sometimes to public cloud providers, sometimes to SAAS providers like Salesforce, sometimes to other members of their supply chain, and sometimes to networks. A really big part of our legacy and history has been interconnecting people to networks. The interconnection story is a really central piece of the Equinix story.

    Equinix Is The Best Representation Of The Digital Edge

    Equinix is in fact the best representation of the digital edge today. That is the point at which people are interconnecting their private infrastructure with public cloud infrastructure, with networks, and with other members of their supply chain. When you hear about edge, oftentimes that edge is in fact within an Equinix facility and being interconnected over private interconnection facilities that are facilitated by Equinix.

    Typically, when inside one of our facilities, we’re unlike some wholesalers which might have one or a very small number of customers, we tend to have a larger number of customers in any individual facility. They are distributed across the site typically in private cages or sometimes in shared caged environments or shared rack environments and they have their equipment. They’re all obviously very secured and something that’s available just for them to access. But they’re all across the facility. You typically wouldn’t be able to see who the customer is because they are very sensitive about that from a security standpoint.

    Firms Prioritizing Digital Transformation For Competitive Advantage

    We’re seeing right now continued strength across our business because people are prioritizing digital transformation as a way to gain competitive advantage. The reality is people who are responding well to that are thriving and people that are not are being left behind. So we’re seeing strong demand. I think the trade tensions, etc. probably affects some level of sentiment but we have not seen that impact the demand profile for our business.

    What companies (like Walmart) are doing essentially is using a hybrid and multi-cloud strategy. They have private infrastructure that they may house in a significant caged environment at Equinix but they interface it then with the public clouds. They’re using a variety of public clouds to house some of their workloads. So that hybrid multi-cloud environment is really the architecture of choice for enterprise customers of all sorts. Retail is actually an incredibly strong segment for us. That architecture of choice, hybrid and multi-cloud, is a major driver for Equinix’s business.

    Business Prioritizing Digital Transformation For Competitive Advantage – Equinix CEO Charles Meyers

    The post Business Prioritizing Digital Transformation For Competitive Advantage, Says Equinix CEO appeared first on WebProNews.


    WebProNews

    Posted in IM NewsComments Off

    Zebra Tech Tracking Technology Integrating Deep Into Sports and Business

    “We’ve learned this past year that the tracking system we have with the NFL is actually considered to be the best by the broadcasters, coaches, and the fans,” says Zebra Technologies CEO Anders Gustafsson. “Our type of technology works particularly well with football but it would also work for basketball, ice hockey, and soccer. With ice hockey, the challenge is the puck. How do you track the puck and put the tag inside the puck? We can do it but it’s more costly. With basketball, they have been more focused on the ball than the players.”

    Anders Gustafsson, CEO of Zebra Technologies, discusses how their tracking technology is being integrated deeply within sports and business in an interview with Jim Cramer on CNBC:

    Our Tracking Technology Works Particularly Well With Football

    We’ve learned now this past year that the tracking system we have with the NFL is actually considered to be the best by the broadcasters, coaches, and the fans. The NFL owns the data so we can’t give (fantasy players) access to the data. I think they give access to some of the data but not all the data. Then you would have all the information you could possibly want to have about every player on all of the teams. 

    Our type of technology works particularly well with football but it would also work for basketball, ice hockey, and soccer. With ice hockey, the challenge is the puck. How do you track the puck and put the tag inside the puck? We can do it but it’s more costly. With basketball, they have been more focused on the ball than the players. 

    Zebra Tracking Technology Works Particularly Well With Football

    We Are Becoming An Essential Part of Retailers’ Strategies

    Savannah is our data platform. We can connect all sorts of devices or sensors on the south side and on the north side we can have APIs to all sorts of other applications. We can provide a lot of analytics around what’s happening there. We integrate with a lot of independent software vendors. If you look at large companies like Oracle, SAP, Manhattan, and JDA, they’re all partners of ours. We exchange data with them and we provide data that they use for their operations. We also have our own software capabilities. We bought a company called Profitect. It does any predictive analytics. This is a good example of this but we have other software capabilities also.

    We are now becoming an essential part of retailers’ strategies for building omnichannel and ecommerce capabilities. Historically, we were probably viewed a bit more as a tactical device supplier. Today we’re much more of an integral part of enabling them to execute on their strategy. We moved ourselves up the solution stack to be able to deliver more value to them.

    Companies are now tracking employees, patients, assets

    Today, more and more things are being tracked and there are more and more efficiencies out of this. Companies are now tracking employees, patients, assets, all of these things. We said we provide the performance edge to the front line of business by having every employee, device, and technical thing being connected and optimally utilized and visible to the network. 

    Tableau (a company recently bought by Salesforce) would more than likely integrate our data. We could be a source for data insight analytics for them. We aspire to get those kinds of valuations (and the higher multiples that Tableau got when they sold to Salesforce). We also overlap (with Honeywell) in a number of areas but we do quite a few different things also. We have our own strengths and we compete with them but not everywhere.

    Zebra Tech Tracking Technology Integrating Deep Into Sports and Business – CEO Anders Gustafsson

    The post Zebra Tech Tracking Technology Integrating Deep Into Sports and Business appeared first on WebProNews.


    WebProNews

    Posted in IM NewsComments Off

    Join Sonia Next Month for a Transformative ‘Slow Business Adventure’ in Norway!

    Looking for a break from the stress and overwhelm of your business? Want to make some amazing connections with your…

    The post Join Sonia Next Month for a Transformative ‘Slow Business Adventure’ in Norway! appeared first on Copyblogger.


    Copyblogger

    Posted in IM NewsComments Off

    Uber CEO: We Expect This Business To Be Very Profitable

    “Not only do we expect to hit cashflow break-even, but we expect this business to be very profitable at maturity,” says Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi. “I think that going forward our spending declines as a percent of revenue. So when you’re growing trips 35 percent year on year your spending is going to increase. But we’re going to get leverage on the marketing line and we’re definitely going to get fixed cost leverage going forward.”

    Dara Khosrowshahi, CEO of Uber, discusses the company’s latest quarterly results and predicts that Uber will ultimately be very profitable in an interview on CNBC:

    Uber Is Much More Than a Rideshare Company Now

    The IPO for us is a once in a lifetime moment. It was a really important moment for the company. Some of what we did like the driver appreciation award, almost $ 300 million that we put in the hands of over a million drivers globally were really important for us to do. It created a messy P&L from an accounting standpoint. I think it is hiding underlying trends that are actually very healthy for the company. If you look at trends for the company which is going to matter long-term, you have got gross bookings over $ 16 billion growing 37 percent on a year on year basis. You’ve got trip volume, and trips are units, growing 35 percent year on year. You’ve got audience, monthly active platform customers, now over 100 million, growing 30 percent. The actual revenue growth excluding the driver appreciation award was up 26 percent. 

    What I did tell our investors is to expect that to accelerate into the back half of the year. The back half of the year you are going to see if trends stay the same, revenue growth in excess of 30 percent. When you look at profitability, we beat our own internal targets and we beat Street targets as well. We came in at a loss of $ 656 million. It’s still a big loss but the losses are improving and the take rates are improving. If you back out some of those one-time expenses, we went from a loss of $ 800 million to a loss of $ 656 million. We got much more efficient on the marketing front. We actually took marketing as a percentage down while we were still growing the top line over 30 percent as well. This is much more than a rideshare company now, it’s a transportation company. 

    We Expect This Business To Be Very Profitable At Maturity

    We are in a situation as far as the network effect of the company where we don’t need to increase the marketing and incentives. We can go in with loyalty plans both for riders and drivers that are going to add to leverage and ultimately profitability of the company. This is a marketplace company that has over 20 percent revenue margins and revenue margins are increasing year on year. Not only do we expect to hit cashflow break-even, but we expect this business to be very profitable at maturity. 

    I think that going forward our spending declines as a percent of revenue. So when you’re growing trips 35 percent year on year your spending is going to increase. But we’re going to get leverage on the marketing line and we’re definitely going to get fixed cost leverage going forward. I think that this quarter proved that out and we have to keep hitting our marks in the next couple of quarters. It’s a super-competitive marketplace but we are confident. We like what we saw operationally this quarter.

    Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi: We Expect This Business To Be Very Profitable at Maturity

    The post Uber CEO: We Expect This Business To Be Very Profitable appeared first on WebProNews.


    WebProNews

    Posted in IM NewsComments Off

    Review counts matter more to local business revenue than star ratings, according to study

    Womply also found businesses claiming their listings on multiple sites generated 58% more revenue than the average.



    Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.


    Search Engine Land: News & Info About SEO, PPC, SEM, Search Engines & Search Marketing

    Posted in IM NewsComments Off

    Not Getting Business Results? Try These Content Tips from Professional Artists

    A lot of people think that artists create work when they feel inspired, spending the rest of their time drinking…

    The post Not Getting Business Results? Try These Content Tips from Professional Artists appeared first on Copyblogger.


    Copyblogger

    Posted in IM NewsComments Off

    Advert