Tag Archive | "Values"

Enough is Enough – Tech Companies Values Need To Change, Says Marc Benioff

“I feel so strongly that we are at a point in our industry where enough is enough,” says Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff. “We need to get the values straight with these tech companies. There are some things going on in regards to the manipulation of their consumers, the misuse of the data, and serious issues with privacy. Those values need to change and some of those companies need to be held accountable for what’s going on.”

Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce, discusses how he supports the government investigations into the tech industry in an interview with Jim Cramer on CNBC:

We Are At a Point In Our Industry Where Enough is Enough

I feel so strongly that we are at a point in our industry where enough is enough. We need to get the values straight with these tech companies. There are some things going on in regards to the manipulation of their consumers, the misuse of the data, and serious issues with privacy. Those values need to change and some of those companies need to be held accountable for what’s going on. So I’m actually all in on this (DOJ review of big tech). I actually think it’s maybe too little too late. They should be more aggressive. We’re following behind what the European Union is doing.

The European Union are the ones who are the leaders in this area. Not just in privacy with GDPR but with their European action against these companies when they misuse data, misuse privacy, or take advantage of customers. There are things that have happened in our industry that are embarrassing to me. So let’s clean it up and let’s get back to where Facebook is not the new cigarettes. That’s what I’ve been saying to everybody. Let’s make it all great again if you will. Let’s make tech have the values that we all want it to have and let’s take care of our customers and put consumers first. This is what I think is important.

Absolutely, The Tech Industry Has Brought It On Themselves

Absolutely, (the tech industry has brought it on themselves). I think that now is the time for them to basically clean it up. It’s not too late, it never is. That is what has to happen. You can see companies who have not made these changes and their executives have walked out. They buy these huge companies and you’ve seen them (top execs and founders) walk out. These people are friends of mine.

I’ll say, why are you leaving this company? “Well, I don’t like the values. I don’t like what’s important to that CEO. That CEO said this to me so I’m leaving.” Wow. That’s amazing. Then you saw the customers leave and you saw advertisers leave. That has to change. I think that there needs to be corrective action and it needs to come from the government. I’m for the regulations that are coming in here.

Enough is Enough – Tech Companies Values Need To Change, Says Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff

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New Funding Round Values Reddit at an Astounding $3 Billion

Reddit announced a new $ 300 funding round valuing the company at an astounding $ 3 billion. The valuation is amazing considering that Reddit has been around for quite a while and is presumably past its high growth phase. Reddit was founded in 2005, a year after Facebook and a year before Twitter.

Half of that investment is coming from China video game producer Tencent, raising concerns from some about censorship possibilities. Reddit is currently banned in China.

Steve Huffman, CEO of Reddit, discusses the new funding round in an interview on CNBC:

We are reinventing the ads business both on the technology side and our ability to sell it and to create a friendly home for users and brands alike. We’ve made steady progress on all of these fronts over the last year. We feel pretty proud of where we are. As a result, we’re seeing a lot of attention from both brands and investors.

When we’re talking about competing for ad dollars, of course, we’re talking about Facebook and Google who take up the vast majority of ad spend. But when we think about our competitors, I half-jokingly but truthfully say, we’re competing with anywhere people spend their free time.

They (Tencent) are investing in lots of videogame companies and video games are one of many categories that are really popular on Reddit. But the fact of the matter is we are the only company at our scale that’s still a private company. We’ve had a lot of investor intention in the last year. So we find ourselves in a good position to kind of get something done right now.

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Alphabet Chairman: Anybody Who Does Business in China Compromises Some of Their Core Values

Alphabet Chairman John Hennessy says that anybody who does business in China compromises some of their core values. Alphabet, of course, is the parent company of Google and reportedly Google is considering re-entering the search business in China. Hennessy said that Google is struggling with whether it is better to give Chinese citizens a decent search engine even if it is restricted and censored. 

John Hennessy, Chairman of Google parent company Alphabet, discussed Google’s struggle and internal debate on whether to provide a censored search engine in China during a live audience interview on Bloomberg.

Anybody Who Does Business in China Compromises Core Values

“Anybody who does business in China compromises some of their core values,” says Alphabet Chairman John Hennessy in a live audience interview on Bloomberg. Alphabet is the parent company of Google. “Every single company because the laws in China are quite a bit different than they are in our own country. The question that comes to my mind and that I struggle with is are we better off giving Chinese citizens a decent search engine, a capable search engine, even if it is restricted and censored in some cases than a search engine that’s not very good? Does that improve the quality of their lives? That’s the struggle that we have to work our way through.”

“I think it is a legitimate question in asking how can you do it and still live within the context of what their regulations are,” Hennessy said in response to whether Google can do more good by being in China. “Part of what is reflected inside Google as it is everywhere in the Valley and everywhere in our country right now is the divisiveness that exists. I think that divisiveness has fed more concern in how these technologies get used.”

We Are in a Different Time Now

“If you wind back to the time that Google decided to exit China there were lots of things going on, not just censorship but also surveillance, hacking attempts, things like that,” noted Hennessy. “Those all added together to create a situation. We are in a different time now. Asking how you do this, how you make it safe, but if you store data in the country it can be gotten at by the Chinese authorities. I think you should worry about that and as a minimum, you should make sure that your users understand that.”

Hennessy is not a fan of the current trade wars. “I think in general that trade wars are not productive and they’re not economically productive either. We should try to remind people of that and try to find a way to move forward.”

Google Pulled Out of China in 2010

In 2010 Google Chief Legal Officer David Drummond, announced that Google would no longer continue censoring their results on Google.cn which quickly led to a complete Google block by the Chinese government:

On January 12, 2010, we announced on this blog that Google and more than twenty other U.S. companies had been the victims of a sophisticated cyber attack originating from China, and that during our investigation into these attacks we had uncovered evidence to suggest that the Gmail accounts of dozens of human rights activists connected with China were being routinely accessed by third parties, most likely via phishing scams or malware placed on their computers. We also made clear that these attacks and the surveillance they uncovered—combined with attempts over the last year to further limit free speech on the web in China including the persistent blocking of websites such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google Docs and Blogger—had led us to conclude that we could no longer continue censoring our results on Google.cn.

So earlier today we stopped censoring our search services—Google Search, Google News, and Google Images—on Google.cn. Users visiting Google.cn are now being redirected to Google.com.hk, where we are offering uncensored search in simplified Chinese, specifically designed for users in mainland China and delivered via our servers in Hong Kong. Users in Hong Kong will continue to receive their existing uncensored, traditional Chinese service, also from Google.com.hk. Due to the increased load on our Hong Kong servers and the complicated nature of these changes, users may see some slowdown in service or find some products temporarily inaccessible as we switch everything over.

Figuring out how to make good on our promise to stop censoring search on Google.cn has been hard. We want as many people in the world as possible to have access to our services, including users in mainland China, yet the Chinese government has been crystal clear throughout our discussions that self-censorship is a non-negotiable legal requirement. We believe this new approach of providing uncensored search in simplified Chinese from Google.com.hk is a sensible solution to the challenges we’ve faced—it’s entirely legal and will meaningfully increase access to information for people in China. We very much hope that the Chinese government respects our decision, though we are well aware that it could at any time block access to our services. We will therefore be carefully monitoring access issues, and have created this new web page, which we will update regularly each day, so that everyone can see which Google services are available in China.

In terms of Google’s wider business operations, we intend to continue R&D work in China and also to maintain a sales presence there, though the size of the sales team will obviously be partially dependent on the ability of mainland Chinese users to access Google.com.hk. Finally, we would like to make clear that all these decisions have been driven and implemented by our executives in the United States, and that none of our employees in China can, or should, be held responsible for them. Despite all the uncertainty and difficulties they have faced since we made our announcement in January, they have continued to focus on serving our Chinese users and customers. We are immensely proud of them.

Posted by David Drummond, SVP, Corporate Development and Chief Legal Officer

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5 Ways to Establish Core Brand Values

Your brand is more than just your company or product name. It’s one of the best ways of setting yourself apart from your competitors. Unfortunately, many business owners are confused as to what “branding” really means and how it affects their company.

In a nutshell, your brand value reflects the values your company holds. It embodies your company’s history, vision, and mission. It also stands as your promise to your client with regards to what they can expect from the products and services you offer.

Consider brands like Nike and Apple. These two companies success can be attributed to how well their brands reflected their core values. Nike’s logo and “Just Do It” tagline resonates not just with athletes but people who are looking to channel their drive to succeed. Meanwhile, Apple’s “Think Different” slogan makes it clear to everyone that the company is all about developing the best and most innovative products that are within everyone’s reach.

Defining your brand and the core values it embodies is challenging as it entails time, patience and a little bit of self-discovery. Here are five ways to establish your business’ core brand values:

1. Pick Values That Resonate With Your Business

Discovering your company’s core brand values is a challenging process. One way to go about this is to make a list ofSwan, Towel, Flower, Holiday, Hotel, Bed, Djerba traits that are important to you. But this should go beyond listing down nice sounding adjectives like “trusted” or “reliable.” You have to dig deeper and look beyond your idealized vision of a perfect company.

You can utilize your own negative experiences with other brands. For example, your stay at a glamorous B&B with perfect amenities might have left you feeling disconnected by its cold and snobbish staff. So instead of focusing on “great amenities,” make your mark by offering services that will make your “customers feel welcomed” and loved. And once you’ve chosen values that truly resonate with you, start focusing your energies on that.

2. Be the Best Representative of Your Values

What do your customers say about your brand? Are they impressed with your customer service or with the low price? Find out what traits your customers already associate with your brand and build on that.

Let’s say your customers love the effort you make in answering their queries, then you can make “going the extra mile to answer your questions and meet your needs” as your core value. And since you’re already known for it, make sure you keep representing your core values through advertisements and innovations.

3. Understand Who Your Competitors and Customers Are

You should also consider what your customer needs and expects from your brand while also taking into account what solutions are already being offered by your competitors. Analyzing what your rival is offering can reveal a gap that you can fill, or it can give you ideas on how you can offer a different solution that will better reflect your values.

4. Create Ways to Showcase Your Brand

Image result for taste happiness coke

Once you have established your core values, you have to think about how you can simplify them down to a few key words that will act as a reminder for your business team. Think Coke’s “Taste Happiness” or Nike’s “Just Do It” slogans. This will also help your employees understand and live your values.

Having clearly defined core values will also make it easier for your company to showcase your brand. Aside from your logo, tagline or slogan, there are also other methods you can use to push your brand, like creating your voice or using a unique color scheme.

5. Develop Relationships That Embody Your Values

You can also strengthen your core brand values by using it when building business relationships. Refer to these values in your recruitment and marketing and sales strategies. Hire people who believe in the same values and who are willing to share and spread these ideals.

It’s essential that you establish your core brand values from the start. These will act as the building blocks of your business and will attract consumers who believe in the same values.

[Featured image via Pixabay]

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The 6 Values (and 4 Benefits) of Agile Marketing – Whiteboard Friday

Posted by AgileJim

You’ve probably heard of agile processes in regards to software development. But did you know those same key values can have a huge impact if applied to marketing, as well? Being adaptive, collaborative, and iterative are necessary skills when we live in a world where Google can pull the rug out from under us at a moment’s notice.

In today’s Whiteboard Friday, we welcome guest host Jim Ewel, founder of AgileMarketing.net, as he describes what’s important in the agile marketing process and why incorporating it into your own work is beneficial.

Agile Marketing

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Video Transcription

Hey, Moz fans, this is Jim Ewel. I’m the blogger behind AgileMarketing.net, the leading blog on agile marketing, and I’m here to talk to you today about agile marketing.

Agile marketing is an approach to marketing that takes its inspiration from agile software development. Like agile software development, it has a set of values and it has a set of benefits, and we’re going to talk about those values and benefits today.

6 Values of Agile Marketing

Value number one: Responding to change over following a plan.

It’s not that we don’t plan. It’s just that we don’t write 30- to 40-page marketing plans. Instead, every quarter, we write a one-page plan that specifies our goals, our aspirations to get everybody on the same page, and then every two to four weeks, we reset our priorities. We say, “This is what we’re going to get done during this two- to four-week period.”

Value number two: Rapid iterations over “big bang” campaigns.

In traditional marketing, we get together in a room and we say, “We’re going to run a campaign for three to six months to a year.”

We hash out the idea of what we’re going to do for that campaign. Then we communicate to the agency. They come up with creative. They review it with us. We go back and forth, and eventually we’ll run that campaign for three to six months. And you know what happens at the end of that campaign? We always declare victory because we’ve spent so much money and time on that campaign that every time we say, “It worked.”

Well, we take a very different approach in agile marketing. We take an iterative approach. We start out with a little strategy. We meet for half an hour or an hour to figure out what do we think might work. Then we figure out how to test it. We measure the results, and this is very important, we document the learning.

If something doesn’t work, we test it out and it doesn’t work, it’s okay because we’ve learned something. We’ve learned what doesn’t work. So then we iterate again, and we try something else and we do that, we get that cycle going in a very effective way.

Value number three: Testing and data over opinions and conventions

Here, again, the importance is that we’re not following the highest-paid person’s opinion. No HiPPOs. It’s all about: “Did we test it? Do we have data? Do we have the right metrics?” It’s important to select the right metrics and not vanity metrics, which make us feel good, but don’t really result in an improvement to the business.

Value number four: Many small experiments over a few big bets

And I like to talk about here the 70:20:10 rule. The idea behind the 70:20:10 rule is that we spend 70% of our budget and 50% of our time on the things that we know that work. We do it broadly across all our audiences.

We then spend 20% of our budget and 25% of our time modifying the things that we know that work and trying to improve them. Maybe we distribute it in a little different way or we modify the content, we modify what the page looks like. But, anyways, we’re trying to improve that content.

And the last 10% of our budget and 25% of our time, we spend on wild ideas, things where we fully expect that only about 2 or 3 out of 10 ideas is really going to work, and we focus those things on those creative, wild ideas that are going to be the future 70% and 20%.

Value number five: Individuals and interactions over one-size-fits-all

Now, I like to think about this in terms of one of the experiences that I have with SEO. I get a lot of requests for link building, and a lot of the requests that I get are form requests. They write me a little message that they’re writing to hundreds of other people, and I don’t pay any attention to those requests.

I’m looking for somebody who really knows that I’m writing a blog about agile marketing, who’s interacting with me, who maybe says something about a post that I put on Agile Marketing, and those people are the ones that I’m going to give my business to, in effect, and I’m going to do some link building with them. Same thing applies to all of our marketing.

Value number six: Collaboration over hierarchy and silos

One of the key things in many marketing organizations is that different silos of the organization don’t seem to talk to each other. Maybe marketing isn’t talking to sales, or marketing hasn’t got the ear of senior management.

Well, one of the things we do in agile marketing is we put some processes in place to make sure that all of those groups are collaborating. They’re setting the priorities together, and they’re reviewing the results together.

4 Benefits of Agile Marketing

As a result of these six values, there are four important benefits to agile marketing.

I. The first is that you can get more done

I’ve taught a lot of teams agile marketing, and, as a whole, they tell me that they get about 30% to 40% more done with agile marketing. I had one team tell me they got 400% more done, but that’s not typical. So they’re getting more done, and they’re getting more done because they’re not doing rework and they’re working on the right priorities.

II. Getting the right things done

Because you’re working with sales, you’re working with senior management to set the priorities, you’re making sure with agile marketing that you’re getting the right things done, and that’s important.

III. Adapting to change

Part of our life today in marketing is that things change. We know that Google is going to change their PageRank algorithm in 2017. We don’t know exactly how, but we know it’s going to happen, and we need to be able to adapt to that change quickly and accurately, and we put processes in place in agile marketing to make sure that happens.

IV. Improved communications

Improved communications both within the marketing team and, probably even more important, outside the marketing team to sales and senior management.

By representing what we’re getting done on something like a Kanban board, everybody can see exactly what marketing is working on, where it’s at, and what they’re getting done.

So that’s agile marketing in a nutshell. I’d love to hear your comments, and thanks for watching.

Video transcription by Speechpad.com

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The 5 Cornerstone Values that Build an Authoritative Online Presence

Authority

You’ve seen us talking a lot about authority — authority with your audience, with search engines, with colleagues, with other web publishers.

Why do you want it? Because given the noisy, cluttered state of the web right now, it’s the authoritative site that earns the business.

  • It’s the site that delivers credible, effective solutions to customer problems.
  • It’s the site that attracts links from other authoritative publishers.
  • It’s the site that earns plenty of social sharing from an audience that wants to share high-quality, user-friendly content.
  • And it’s the site with a confident, ethical sales process that converts attention into business.

There are a lot of components to authority — site design, intelligent SEO, strategic content promotion.

But behind all of these is a single, non-negotiable element that every authoritative site needs. You’ll find a clue in the graphic that accompanies this post.

The “secret sauce” — the magic ingredient that makes the others work — is the intelligence and skill set of a talented, well-trained author.

In other words, the secret sauce is you.

Why the author is at the heart of authority

The web, for all of the automated stock trading and spambots, is made of people. It’s made of readers and writers, connectors and curators, mavens and clowns, teachers and trolls.

Creating a site that people trust and turn to can only happen when smart, informed authors make a concerted effort to create something worth reading.

That’s why “spun” content and anonymous content farms were never going to amount to anything. They might have managed to fool search engines for a short while, but they never fooled readers into thinking that their content was useful or interesting — and they never will.

After observing hundreds of authors with hundreds of different business and audience types, here are my thoughts on what makes the difference between a run-of-the-mill web publisher and a true authority. Remember, like all business values, these are important because of how they affect your audience and your customers. They come first, you come second.

#1: Authorities serve their audiences

Your worth as an authority, in my excruciatingly humble opinion, comes from the number of people you help and how profoundly you help them.

A “guru” whose advice doesn’t solve real problems in the real world isn’t an authority — she’s a con artist.

Any train wreck who gets a million site hits a month for being an idiot isn’t an authority — he’s just an attention-craving jackass.

Authorities help others. They serve their audience first.

That doesn’t mean you don’t get to put your own needs into the equation. As my favorite Zig Ziglar quote says,

You will get all you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want.

#2: Authorities genuinely know their stuff

In order to help people, you have to actually know something.

In fact, we look for credible authorities precisely because there’s so much downright bad information available on the web.

Authorities take the time to really understand their topics. They sift out misinformation. They ask a lot of critical questions … including of themselves. They stay on top of their topics and make sure their advice is as good as it can possibly be.

That doesn’t mean that an authority is always the world’s foremost expert in a topic. Often, the most valued authority is the one who can take useful information and turn it into interesting, digestible, user-friendly content.

#3: Authorities give a damn

When you stop caring about your audience, it starts to show. Quickly.

Authority can bring tremendous satisfaction with it — from the good you do for the people you serve. The energy you bring to your site and your business comes from that satisfaction.

#4: Authorities are strategic

All of this may sound very kumbaya — but to be a valued author who’s getting recognized on the web and elsewhere, you need a strong grasp of strategy.

You need to understand things like site design and SEO and content promotion. You need to understand how to put your great message into the world so it will be heard.

And if your authoritative site supports a business, you need to make money. Consistently. You need your expertise and authority to translate into paying customers, or all of it is just a time-consuming hobby.

#5: Authorities take the long view

We live in an “instant results” society, but a true authority knows that the riches go to the one who can successfully play the long game.

As I like to tell my students, Don’t take shortcuts, they take too long.

Fortunately, the web itself is such a powerful accelerator that we don’t have to wait 10 or 20 years for our hard work to pay off. But we’re not going to build thriving businesses in 10 days, we’re not going to triple our audience in a month, and we’re not going to double our revenue this year without plenty of hard work and smart strategy.

Patience, integrity, and hard work — combined with some smart business education to make sure you’re making the best use of your time — are what works. They always have been, they always will be. Put these at the heart of your business strategy and you’ll see real results that last.

About the Author: Sonia Simone is co-founder and CMO of Copyblogger Media. Get more from Sonia on Twitter and .

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