DSL Marketing Myrlte Beach

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Twelve Attributes of a Truly Great Place to Work

Where does your company measure up?

More than 100 studies have now found that the most engaged employees — those who report they're fully invested in their jobs and committed to their employers — are significantly more productive, drive higher customer satisfaction and outperform those who are less engaged.

But only 20 per cent of employees around the world report that they're fully engaged at work.

It's a disconnect that serves no one well. So what's the solution? Where is the win-win for employers and employees?

The answer is that great employers must shift the focus from trying to get more out of people, to investing more in them by addressing their four core needs — physical, emotional, mental and spiritual — so they're freed, fueled and inspired to bring the best of themselves to work every day.

It's common sense. Fuel people on a diet that lacks essential nutrients and it's no surprise that they'll end up undernourished, disengaged and unable to perform at their best.

Our first need is enough money to live decently, but even at that, we cannot live by bread alone.

Think for a moment about what would make you feel most excited to get to work in the morning, and most loyal to your employer. The sort of company I have in mind would:

Commit to paying every employee a living wage. To see examples of how much that is, depending on where you live, go to this site. Many companies do not meet that standard for many of their jobs. It's nothing short of obscene to pay a CEO millions of dollars a year while paying any employee a sum for full time work that falls below the poverty line.

Give all employees a stake in the company's success, in the form of profit sharing, or stock options, or bonuses tied to performance. If the company does well, all employees should share in the success, in meaningful ways.

Design working environments that are safe, comfortable and appealing to work in. In offices, include a range of physical spaces that allow for privacy, collaboration, and simply hanging out.
Provide healthy, high quality food, at the lowest possible prices, including in vending machines.

Create places for employees to rest and renew during the course of the working day and encourage them to take intermittent breaks. Ideally, leaders would permit afternoon naps, which fuel higher productivity in the several hours that follow.

Offer a well equipped gym and other facilities that encourage employees to move physically and stay fit. Provide incentives for employees to use the facilities, including during the work day as a source of renewal.

Define clear and specific expectations for what success looks like in any given job. Then, treat employees as adults by giving them as much autonomy as possible to choose when they work, where they do their work, and how best to get it accomplished.

Institute two-way performance reviews, so that employees not only receive regular feedback about how they're doing, in ways that support their growth, but are also given the opportunity to provide feedback to their supervisors, anonymously if they so choose, to avoid recrimination.

Hold leaders and managers accountable for treating all employees with respect and care, all of the time, and encourage them to regularly recognize those they supervise for the positive contributions they make.

Create policies that encourage employees to set aside time to focus without interruption on their most important priorities, including long-term projects and more strategic and creative thinking. Ideally, give them a designated amount of time to pursue projects they're especially passionate about and which have the potential to add value to the company.

Provide employees with ongoing opportunities and incentives to learn, develop and grow, both in establishing new job-specific hard skills, as well as softer skills that serve them well as individuals, and as managers and leaders.

Stand for something beyond simply increasing profits. Create products or provide services or serve causes that clearly add value in the world, making it possible for employees to derive a sense of meaning from their work, and to feel good about the companies for which they work.

In more than a decade of working with Fortune 500 companies, I've yet to come across a company that meets the full range of their people's needs in all the ways I've described above. The one that comes closest is Google. I'm convinced it's a key to their success.

How does your company measure up? What's the impact on your performance? Which needs would your company have to meet for you to be more fully engaged?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Quick Guide to Google Resources, Products, and Applications

Have questions about any one of the numerous Google products and services
that are on the market (and available to the general public)? Some are tried and true services that have been around for years (and are even out of Beta!!), and some have just hit within the last few months. So here's a run down of 32 of Google's most used and newest applications:


Have you wondered “How can Google+ help my business?” If so, then this guide is for you.

Google+ is rapidly becoming a mainstream social media platform. We covered how to get started with Google+. But what can it do for your business?

Below are the resources you need to ramp up your Google+ social media marketing. But first, a few navigation tips…

Read the entire article Here.

Friday, September 9, 2011

A priest, a donkey, and a cheerleader walk into a bar...


Now that I have your attention, I'd like to discuss the importance of enticing viewers to click on your content (from opening emails to clicking on your ads and everything in between) by putting a little something special in your headlines or images.

Barring the argument that it borders on the old "bait and switch" routine - there are techniques that you can use that will get you clicks and achieve the search or content gratification that viewers so desperately seek.

Rule 1) Be cautious of the misalignment of your headlines and images with the actual intent of your article or content. I think my headline in this case gets away with it because it was an obvious tongue and cheek way of illustrating a point. I say "cautious" rather than "avoid completely" because there are instances were companies have gotten away with it. For example, some months ago, a popular humor website ran a Facebook ad with the purpose of gathering Facebook fans. The content of the site itself was sports related. The image they used in the Facebook ad was a cute kitten. Boom. They received 10,000 fans in just a handful of days.

Particularly in the case of choosing images for PPC ads or banner ads, its exactly the same rationale behind why storefront owners venture to put a crazy, waving arm tubular man (that's the actual name of that product...seriously) in front of their stores. It GRABS the eye, and gets the attention of the viewer (the driver, the reader, the web surfer). Once they're turned your way, then you have a few precious seconds to hook them on your intent. Think out of the box...but again...be cautious.

Rule 2) Once you've gotten their attention, make sure you explain the connection in some way between what grabbed their attention and what your intent is. Don't belabor the point, but provide at least a nod to your decision making process. Or you could easily anger your audience. Or worse...drive a large quantity of unqualified, uninterested customers to your website. After all, a mattress company can get a bunch of people in their store by offering free ice cream...but how many of those ice cream lovers were in the market for better sleeping arrangements? Exactly. Don't rely on chance. Make it make sense, because you want your customers reaching for their wallets, not scratching their heads.

Rule 3) Crude, Rude, and Controversial can get you a lot of response...but so can wearing a pink chicken suit running down main street. My advice would be - your company, brand, services, and products can't afford to play with that kind of fire.

Rule 4) There are exceptions to every rule. (See Godaddy for the perfect example. What do attractive race car drivers and exercise professionals have to do with URLs and web hosting? No idea. But obviously...people don't care.)

Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Death of Yahoo? Board Cans CEO and Hires Bankers

Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz was fired on Tuesday, as the deep internal problems at Yahoo spilled out into public view.

Bartz’s firing was not surprising – it is a well-known fact in the industry that Yahoo is mismanaged.

This was most obvious in Search, where Bartz gave up Yahoo’s most valuable asset (Search market share) because it couldn’t stomach a fight with Google. Instead, she entered into an ill-conceived Alliance with Microsoft.

To determine the fate of that Alliance, it helps to understand what a mess Yahoo is right now.

The incompetence at Yahoo goes to the Board-level, as shown by the way they handled Bartz’s termination.

The timing and method were amateurish. Bartz emailed the company on Tuesday to say she had been fired via phone. A well-executed succession would have been handled quietly and professionally last week, while everyone was on vacation.

Instead, all of the stories today are about how Yahoo is hiring bankers to carve it up into pieces and sell it off. This is one step removed from holding an auction on the courthouse steps.

So what does this mean for the Search Alliance with Microsoft?

The Microsoft-Yahoo Alliance will end. Either Yahoo will sell Search to Microsoft, or someone else will step in and break the Alliance. Either way, this quasi-Joint Venture he-said-she-said BS will end. In the long run, this is good for the Search industry.

In the short term though, the Alliance is stuck in purgatory.

If you are an advertiser or publisher, how can you justify investing time and effort into a platform that may not be around in three months?

If you are a Yahoo employee, are you worried about managing publisher relationships – or are you working on your resume and meeting with recruiters?

Resolution will not come until 2012 at the earliest. And in the meantime, there are publishers and advertisers that need to build their Pay Per Click businesses in Q4 2011. And there are Yahoo employees who need to think about their families.

My Take: If you want to get out of purgatory, consider joining the leading platform exclusively dedicated to search syndication. Look us up when you are in town next week for the Yahoo Partner Summit (we’re guessing that Bartz won’t be speaking at 9:40 on Tuesday).

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Twitter and Bing relationship lasts beyond honeymoon

Two years ago, Bing partnered with Twitter to include tweets next to search results. Now, Microsoft’s search engine has extended its partnership with Twitter and publicized it in an odd but fitting: via Twitter.

You can see the entire conversation in the image below. The details of the renewed deal were not disclosed, except for the fact that the two companies will “stick together”.

Google and Twitter had a similar deal in place, but after the initial success of Google’s social network Google+, the company decided not to renew the contract with Twitter, instead opting to launch a new real-time search product in the near future.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Google Does Some Spring Cleaning: Fixes, Changes, Additions, and More

Technology improves, people’s needs change, some bets pay off and others don’t. So, as Larry previewed on our last earnings call, today we’re having a fall spring-clean at Google.

Over the next few months we’ll be shutting down a number of products and merging others into existing products as features. The list is below. This will make things much simpler for our users, improving the overall Google experience. It will also mean we can devote more resources to high impact products—the ones that improve the lives of billions of people. All the Googlers working on these projects will be moved over to higher-impact products. As for our users, we’ll communicate directly with them as we make these changes, giving sufficient time to make the transition and enabling them to take their data with them.

Here’s a quick overview of where a number of products and features are headed:
  • Aardvark: Aardvark was a start-up we acquired in 2010. An experiment in a new kind of social search, it helped people answer each other’s questions. While Aardvark will be closing, we’ll continue to work on tools that enable people to connect and discover richer knowledge about the world.
  • Desktop: In the last few years, there’s been a huge shift from local to cloud-based storage and computing, as well as the integration of search and gadget functionality into most modern operating systems. People now have instant access to their data, whether online or offline. As this was the goal of Google Desktop, the product will be discontinued on September 14, including all the associated APIs, services, plugins, gadgets and support.
  • Fast Flip: Fast Flip was started to help pioneer news content browsing and reading experiences for the web and mobile devices. For the past two years, in collaboration with publishers, the Fast Flip experiment has fueled a new approach to faster, richer content display on the web. This approach will live on in our other display and delivery tools.
  • Google Maps API for Flash: The Google Maps API for Flash was launched to provide ActionScript developers a way to integrate Google Maps into their applications. Although we’re deprecating the API, we’ll keep supporting existing Google Maps API Premier customers using the Google Maps API for Flash and we’ll focus our attention on the JavaScript Maps API v3 going forward.
  • Google Pack: Due to the rapidly decreasing demand for downloadable software in favor of web apps, we will discontinue Google Pack today. People will still be able to access Google’s and our partners’ software quickly and easily through direct links on the Google Pack website.
  • Google Web Security: Google Web Security came to Google as part of the Postini acquisition in 2007, and since then we've integrated much of the web security functionality directly into existing Google products, such as safe browsing in Chrome. Although we will discontinue new sales of Google Web Security, we’ll continue to support our existing customers.
  • Image Labeler: We began Google Image Labeler as a fun game to help people explore and label the images on the web. Although it will be discontinued, a wide variety of online games from Google are still available.
  • Notebook: Google Notebook enabled people to combine clipped URLs from the web and free-form notes into documents they could share and publish. We’ll be shutting down Google Notebook in the coming months, but we’ll automatically export all notebook data to Google Docs.
  • Sidewiki: Over the past few years, we’ve seen extraordinary innovation in terms of making the web collaborative. So we’ve decided to discontinue Sidewiki and focus instead on our broader social initiatives. Sidewiki authors will be given more details about this closure in the weeks ahead, and they’ll have a number of months to download their content.
  • Subscribed Links: Subscribed Links enabled developers to create specialized search results that were added to the normal Google search results on relevant queries for subscribed users. Although we'll be discontinuing Subscribed Links, developers will be able to access and download their data until September 15, at which point subscribed links will no longer appear in people's search results.
We’ve never been afraid to try big, bold things, and that won’t change. We’ll continue to take risks on interesting new technologies with a lot of potential. But by targeting our resources more effectively, we can focus on building world-changing products with a truly beautiful user experience.