Tag Archive | "Takes"

Automation layering: How PPC pros retain control when automation takes over

By replacing the manual work done by the PPC expert with an automation that follows their logic, PPC teams can still have more control over automations created by the ad engines.



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Disney Takes a Playbook Out of Digitally Native Companies

“All of a sudden people are realizing that Disney is going to take the advantages that they have, content that nobody else has, moats that give them actual real leverage in the negotiations, and then they’re going to actually take a playbook out of these more digitally native companies,” says Sean Ammirati of Birchmere Ventures. “They’re going to actually build direct relationships with their end customers. They’re going to switch their business model from transactional to a subscription model.

Sean Ammirati, Partner at Birchmere Ventures, discusses how Disney has potentially reinvented themselves with the launch of Disney+ in an interview with Bob Evans on the always engaging and relevant Cloud Wars podcast:

Disney Takes a Playbook Out of Digitally Native Companies

Innovation is not relegated simply to 20-something small brand new companies. Large companies are able to leverage their assets and their unfair competitive advantages to play in this also. For instance, Disney recently had its Investor Day and announced its Disney Plus streaming offering. Disney Plus has been framed by a lot of people as a kind of “Netflix Killer.” The interesting thing about what’s happened there is the reaction from Wall Street tech journalists. All these different groups have been incredibly positive.

All of a sudden people are realizing that Disney is going to take the advantages that they have, content that nobody else has, moats that give them actual real leverage in the negotiations, and then they’re going to actually take a playbook out of these more digitally native companies. They’re going to actually build direct relationships with their end customers. They’re going to switch their business model from transactional to a subscription model.

How Do We Transform Our Relationships With Customers?

These are things that we’ve been talking about for four years with lots of legacy companies under the category of digital transformation. But it’s hard every time someone steps up and tries to do that, you’ve got to re-educate Wall Street on how to think about your financial metrics. It turns out that GAAP accounting is not that similar to subscription accounting. To be fair, that’s an easier challenge than it was a few years ago. I remember years ago when Adobe made that pivot and what a struggle that was to say (to investors) we’re going to make less money next quarter and you should be excited about that. Their stock went through kind of a full J-curve there as they walked people through it.

What was encouraging is after Investor Day there was a massive jump in Disney stock. All of a sudden these pieces that you’d watch the leadership put together for a while kind of came into a full mosaic picture. Not only did Disney stock shoot up but this arch competitor Netflix, they took a hit right away, although they’ve come back a little bit with recent earnings. I’m hoping that other CEOs in other boardrooms are taking note of this and asking themselves the same questions. How do we create products and services that transform our relationships with our customers to allow us to have that same type of growth mindset?

Case Study: How to Be a CXO In This Subscription Economy World

We have gotten to a point where we assume that if you’re a company that was born in the digital age and you’ve gone through the full capital formation prospect and gotten out and gotten public you must have certain things in your DNA that makes you the only organization who can win a market. Just look at the grocery industry. Amazon’s coming into grocery so I’m sure Amazon’s going to be the winner in that business. Maybe. But then you see the largest grocery chain in the United States (Kroger) partnering with Microsoft to actually be proactive instead of reactive.

Companies can actually play in this business that weren’t born in the last thirty years. Disney is a great illustration of that. Now Disney needs to continue to execute. They’re going to need to actually finish the vision that they cast. They’ve got to launch these. They’ve got to make it work. They’ve got to pick the right partners. I really think in a couple of years this will be a case study lots of executives point to and say, man, we can do it. In the same way that the Adobe thing has been how to be a CFO in this subscription economy world that we live in.

Disney Takes a Playbook Out of Digitally Native Companies – Sean Ammirati on Cloud Wars podcast

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What It Takes to Launch the Next Great Blog, Podcast, or Video Channel

This week, we had some resources for any new, ambitious content-based project you want to get off the ground. (Or…

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Ryan Levesque: The Author Of ‘Choose’ And ‘Ask’ Explains What It Really Takes To Find A Profitable Niche Online

[ Download MP3 | Transcript Coming Soon | iTunes | Soundcloud | Stitcher | Spotify | Raw RSS ] One of the recent superstars of internet marketing to rise in the last few years is Ryan Levesque. His ‘Ask Method’ of segmenting audiences using buckets has become hugely popular, used by many top internet marketers in their […]

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It Takes Both High-Touch and High-Tech, Says Bank of America CEO

Bank of America has gone massively digital and it is now powering their growth. “We had a billion and a half logins to our apps last quarter,” says Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan. “This is not theoretical. We are one of the largest digital companies. We are also one of the largest physical companies. It takes both high-touch and high-tech.”

Brian Moynihan, CEO of Bank of America, discusses the digitalization of banking with Fox Business at Davos 2019:

Consumers Have a Branch in Their Pocket

On the consumer side, they have a branch in their pocket. Anything you can do at a branch, in the traditional banking sense, or over the phone, you can do in your app. There are 36 million digital users, 26 million mobile users who are not digital users growing at 10-15 percent a year. Sales are at the 20 percent level and 25 percent of all sales are digital. Our digital mortgage product is growing. Our digital auto product is growing. What you can do is do everything.

Half of the checks we have are deposited at the ATM and a little over 25 percent of deposits are by people taking pictures of them with their phone. It’s the exact same activity but you don’t have to go anywhere. You can do everything.  

Then you have Erica. We have five million Erica users and it only started a little over a year ago. That’s where people can just talk and ask questions and it learns about you. It’s artificial intelligence voice recognition program. When you pay your bills you just say, “I need to pay X.” It will say, “You want to pay X, here is the amount.”  Think about how easy it is versus writing out checks or even going into digital bill payment. The technology enables consumers to do more faster and easier.

Apps on the Institutional Side Getting Interesting Too

The applications on the institutional side are getting interesting too. Believe it or not, corporate treasurers want mobile capabilities also. With Cashpro Mobile they can initiate a $ 5 million wire on a mobile device while sitting in a meeting with all the controls around it and all of the foreign currency features.

To me, it was… really? But absolutely, that’s the way they want to do it because that’s the way they are used to operating.

It Takes Both High-Touch and High-Tech

We had a billion and a half logins to our apps last quarter. This is not theoretical. We are one of the largest digital companies. We are also one of the largest physical companies. It takes both high-touch and high-tech.

What have we learned? We are always a curious company and always out their learning. When we go and talk to fintech companies or observe what they are doing, more importantly, we’re trying to learn what does the customer see in that activity that they don’t see in our activity? Then we look at how we can adapt to that.

Are we interested in acquiring fintech companies? There will be no acquisitions, we just work.

Small Business Still Very Optimistic About the Economy

We do more small business than most of the people in the world. When you think about small business, what’s interesting is that the business community in the United States is very optimistic still. Even though they are not as optimistic as they were at the highest point they’re still very optimistic on a relative basis.

In our small business surveys late last Fall they are saying, “We’re going to invest more. We’re going to hire more. We can’t get people.” Those are the common themes.

I think it is a good year for investment as long as we solve a couple of key issues. We have to get the sutdown done. The incremental impact of the workers is important but it’s also just the process of getting approvals and stuff is being held up. Then ultimately the trade situation has to be solved. I’m not giving you any news, everybody says that, but it’s time to get some of this stuff done.

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eBay’s Stock Takes Massive Tumble, Company Axes 300 Employees

This is not a good week for eBay. The company’s stocks took a massive tumble a day after revealing that it was slashing about 300 jobs in the Bay Area.

eBay informed the Employment Development Department of California of its move to cut about 300 jobs in the area by Friday, July 20. The affected employees were reportedly notified last month that they were being laid off.

The retail giant later reported its second-quarter earnings to its investors. The company secured a net profit of 64 cents per share, which was above what analysts projected. However, its warning that the present quarter’s revenue would go down resulted in a selloff that saw eBay’s stocks fall by 10 percent, ending in $ 34.11 per share.

eBay also reported that its expected full-year profit will be around $ 10.75 billion to $ 10.85 billion, down from its previous estimate of about $ 10.9 billion to $ 11.1 billion. The company also lowered its expectations regarding its third-quarter earnings per share to somewhere between $ 0.54 and $ 0.56.

News of the layoffs and the drop in stock prices is typically something to be worried about. Conventional wisdom dictates that cutting jobs should lead to a boost in share prices. After all, reduced cost means better profits. eBay certainly looks at it that way, as the company stated that the savings it made the previous quarter will provide them with additional funds to spend on marketing.

eBay has been relatively quiet the past few years, particularly when compared to rival Amazon. But despite losing its luster, the company has been performing steadily. Its stock prices even reached a high $ 36 per share last January. This capped a 139 percent gain of the past five years. Unfortunately, shares have dropped 27 percent since then.

Some Wall Street analysts have said that this drop in shares is puzzling, as the company continues to make progress with its key initiatives. They noted that the company is still “losing market share at a time when eCommerce, in general, is thriving.” One analyst even said that this could be due to eBay customers not bringing in new buyers to the platform.

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Microsoft Now Has a Free Version of Teams, Takes on Rival Slack

Microsoft is gearing up for its yearly Inspire event and has drummed up interest with the announcement of a free version of Microsoft Teams.

The Teams platform has been around since 2016 and 200,000 companies are now using it. However, the lack of a free version or a freemium tier and the $ 60 annual fee made it inaccessible to freelancers and small businesses.

This oversight may have been costly, as small and medium businesses comprise more than 90 percent of businesses worldwide. Unlike Microsoft, Slack has had a free version of its service since its launch in 2014, which helped the work chat application gain a lot of attention and subscriptions.

It’s better late than never as far as Microsoft is concerned, as the free version of Teams will include most of the features paid subscribers enjoy. Of course, these features have limits that will hopefully encourage people to sign up for an Office 365 subscription.

The Teams free version boasts unlimited search and chat messaging and includes support for up to 300 people. It also has integrated audio and video group calling. Users also have unlimited app integrations, so they can add applications like Trello without fear. It will also have guest access and a limited file storage of 10GB. Each member will have 2GB of private storage.

Microsoft is also introducing improvements like cloud recordings of meetings, inline message translation for members who speak a different language and background blurring for video calls.

In contrast, Slack’s popular free version is limited to 10 app integrations, 10,000 searchable messages, and 5GB of storage. There are no options for guest accounts or group video chats, but one-on-one video chatting is offered. In short, Teams has fewer restrictions as long as you keep the team to less than 300 people.

However, Microsoft is limiting full integration of desktop versions of Excel and Word to paid Office 365 subscribers. But users of the free Teams platform can enjoy the web versions of key Office apps from Office Online.

The free version of Microsoft Teams is available now in 40 languages. Companies that have reached the limits of the app have the option to upgrade to an Office 365 subscription for as little as $ 5 a month per user.

[Featured image via Microsoft]

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Microsoft Ventures Into Checkout-Free Retail, Takes on Amazon

Microsoft is reportedly taking on Amazon, as the company ventures into retail territory. The company is said to be looking into checkout-free shopping, an innovation that Amazon has pioneered.

Reuters reported that at least six people have talked to them about Microsoft developing technology that will give retail companies the option to have cashier and checkout-free shops. Microsoft is said to have partnered with fellow Redmond-based company AVA Retail. The company develops systems that can collate information about shoppers. This time around, it will be working with the renowned software company on innovations that could be used on brick-and-mortar stores.

Interestingly, Microsoft will not be installing said technology in their own stores. According to the sources, it has instead reached out to Walmart about the possibility of a joint effort. If this pushes through, the two companies could give Amazon a run for its money.

Microsoft is said to have around 10 to 15 employees working on researching and developing their new retail technology. There aren’t a lot of concrete details at the moment, but one report said the research team has explored using cameras attached to shopping carts as a means to track the customer’s purchases.

If successful, this could potentially do away with the need for cashiers. It also means a store won’t need to put up hundreds of cameras the way that the Amazon Go pilot store did.

This approach suggests that Microsoft is looking to offer retailers a more cost-effective system. Stepping into the checkout-free store arena would also pit the software company against retail giant Amazon. Heated competition between the two is nothing new. Microsoft’s Azure cloud service is second only to Amazon’s AWS.

Walmart has declined to comment on the news and a Microsoft spokesman said the company “does not comment on rumors or speculations.”

There’s no question that Amazon leads the way when it comes to changing the face of retail. If Microsoft or other businesses want to get ahead of the company, or at least be on the same standing as Amazon, they better get a move on.

Amazon has already opened to the public its first cashier-less convenience store, Amazon Go, in Seattle early this year. Shoppers entering the store are required to swipe an app which enables computer-vision technology to monitor and track them and their purchases as they walk around the store. Once done with their shopping, consumers simply walk out and their purchases are charged via their Amazon app.

[Featured image via Pixabay]

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Google Assistant takes center stage at I/O, search takes a back seat

Search only mentioned twice in a nearly two-hour keynote that saw a long list of announcements.

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Alphabet Takes Aim at Cybercrime with its Launch of ‘Chronicle’

As internet users are becoming more aware of online threats, cybersecurity is becoming a serious challenge for internet firms as they scramble for ways to dampen their users’ fears over online vulnerability. To take advantage of this need for more secure online systems, Alphabet, Google’s parent firm, has put up a new independent company with the goal of providing cybersecurity solutions to big businesses.

Alphabet’s new cybersecurity firm is called Chronicle, which will offer state-of-art technology to boost companies’ online security. In particular, the firm will be using machine learning technology to help firms in the detection, tracking and blocking cybersecurity attacks.

In a post, Chronicle CEO Stephen Gillett explains that it is the new company’s goal to help businesses address potential blind spots in their online security with its mix of technologies. He believes that Chronicle will give businesses the upper hand against cybercrime:

“Add in some machine learning and better search capabilities, and we think we’ll be able to help organizations see their full security picture in much higher fidelity than they currently can. We hope that by making this mix of technologies available to more companies at affordable prices, we can give ‘the good guys’ an advantage and help us all turn the tide against cybercrime.”

According to Gillett, Chronicle is in a unique position to help the security issues of other companies. First, the company will be running on “fast, powerful, highly-scalable infrastructure” giving it enormous processing power. This means that retrieval and analysis of a large amount of data can be done in mere minutes rather than days, a useful capability in detecting and blocking cyberattacks.

Another advantage Chronicle has is in storage. Due to its infrastructure advantage, Gillett promised that the firm can provide a massive amount of storage to companies that need it at a lower cost.

Gillett is confident that Chronicle can adequately meet any cybersecurity threat proactively. In his post, he wrote that “None of us have to settle for cybercrime being a fact of life, or for a reactive, expensive existence of cleanup and damage control.”

[Featured image via Pixabay]

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