Empresa

Facebook launches Workplace, a business version of Facebook

You probably already use Facebook at work. Now, Facebook is creating a separate version aimed at helping you do actual work instead of catching up on baby photos and campaign chatter.

Facebook is launching a communications tool on Monday for businesses, nonprofits and other organizations. Called Workplace, the platform is ad-free and not connected to users’ existing Facebook accounts. Instead, businesses sign up as an organization and pay a monthly fee based on the number of users. It’s free for nonprofits and educational institutions.

Julien Codorniou, head of Workplace at Facebook, said in an interview that the tool’s aim is to “connect everyone” in all sorts of workplaces — from desk-bound professionals to on-the-go employees who don’t have email or a computer. Think baristas at a coffee shop, field workers for a disaster-aid charity, salespeople at a clothing store or people making electronics at a factory.

Besides group chats and video calls, Workplace has live video and a news feed, much like the regular Facebook. In a departure from Facebook, the background is grey, not blue. Users can build profiles and see updates from co-workers on their news feed. As with the regular Facebook, the company will display posts that are more relevant based on its own formula. The idea is that because more than 1.7 billion people already know how to use Facebook, Workplace, which works much in the same way, will be easy to learn and use.

Organizations have used Workplace, previously called Facebook at Work, on an invite-only basis for the past 18 months. Facebook says more than 1,000 places use it, up from 450 six months ago. They include the non-profit Oxfam, the Royal Bank of Scotland, the soup maker Campbell’s and the vacation rental site Booking.com. The tool itself, though, has been in the works for much longer; it’s based on an internal service that the company’s own employees have been using for almost as long as Facebook has existed.

tec-facebook-workplace

Facebook says the top five countries now using Workplace are India, Norway, the U.S., U.K. and France. Workplace is available worldwide. About 85 per cent Facebook’s user base is outside of the U.S. and Canada.

For one to 1,000 active users, Workplace will cost $3 US per user per month. The cost declines with more users, so for 1,001 to 10,000, it’ll cost $2 US, and $1 US for more than 10,000 monthly users. Facebook says it won’t charge for inactive users.

By comparison, Slack, a messaging and group call service, costs $6.67 per user per month for a standard version. Slack is also available for free to try out, and an enterprise version, aimed at entire organizations rather than smaller teams, is in the works. There won’t be an unlimited free version of Facebook’s Workplace for businesses, though the company is offering a 3-month free trial.

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Todo lo que tienes que tener en cuenta para lanzar una campaña de marketing

Lanzar una campaña de marketing no es una cuestión trivial, sino que es un proyecto complejo que requiere la ejecución de diversos procesos y la coordinación de diferentes medios y equipos para lograr un resultado de éxito. Si vas a lanzar una campaña, esto es todo lo que tienes que tener en cuenta:

1 Definir los objetivos

Una campaña necesita definir objetivos a alcanzar y cuantificarlos. Al menos se necesita concretar un logro que se quiere conseguir, como puede ser ganar un 10% de cuota de mercado, vender 10.000 unidades de producto, elevar la puntuación que los clientes le dan a la marca un punto sobre diez, etc.

Es importante definir objetivos concretos, sin andarse con rodeos o dejar abierta la puerta de la interpretación y que a la hora de evaluar resultados o tomar decisiones, puedan surgir diferentes interpretaciones. A esto ayuda la cuantificación de los objetivos, que sirve para concretar hasta donde se quiere llegar exactamente. Esto es necesario porque es fácil decir que se quiere mejorar la imagen de la marca o se quiere vender más pero, ¿cuánta mejora de imagen y cuántas unidades más se quieren vender?

2 Realizar un análisis estratégico

El análisis estratégico previo al lanzamiento de cualquier campaña de marketing es necesario para tener claro a qué se está enfrentando la empresa en el reto que se presenta. Se trata de un análisis del entorno, de la competencia, del producto y de la situación interna y externa que lleva a que se consigan los resultados actuales, así como las tendencias esperadas en los próximos períodos.

Para realizar este análisis se puede recurrir a fuentes internas, basadas en la experiencia de la empresa, o a fuentes externas, como información disponible en Internet, empresas expertas en estudios de mercado, encuestas, entre otras. Una vez procesada toda esta información, se tendrán unas conclusiones del análisis estratégico de la campaña.

3 Diagnóstico

Una vez se tiene el análisis estratégico, el diagnóstico de la situación actual permite poner encima de la mesa información sobre las debilidades, amenazas, oportunidades y fortalezas del objeto de la campaña. Presentando esta información como una matriz DAFO, se puede ver claramente la situación y plantear soluciones para poder transformar las debilidades en fortalezas y las amenazas en oportunidades.

4 Planificación estratégica

Basándose en toda la información anterior, llega el momento de la verdad, es decir, de definir los objetivos comerciales y de ventas, de rentabilidad y otros (de satisfacción del cliente, impacto imagen de marca, etc.). A continuación, se necesita determinar qué estrategias comerciales se llevarán a cabo para lograrlos, así como los segmentos a atacar, el posicionamiento frente a la competencia, las estrategias de producto y marca, precio, canal y de comunicación. Esto es lo que se llama el marketing mix.

5 Plan de acción

En base a la información definida, se traza un plan de acción para conseguir los objetivos propuestos. Este plan debe concretar de forma realista los pasos a dar para lograr los resultados, detallando los hitos necesarios en el tiempo, el presupuesto y los equipos necesarios para llevarlos a cabo. A la hora de planificar siempre hay que huir de los dos extremos más peligrosos, como son la búsqueda permanente del óptimo y la parálisis por el análisis.

6 Ejecución

El plan de una campaña de marketing es algo vivo, dado que a medida que se vayan ejecutando tareas se irán necesitando ajustes y nuevas versiones de la planificación. Lo importante es intentar mantener una coherencia con la línea base, para tratar de garantizar que se cumplen los objetivos, al mismo tiempo que se van tomando decisiones con la mejor información disponible en cada momento.

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Marketing: Investment or Expense?

Every business lives or dies by its brand. Few owners, however, invest the time and money it takes to support their own with a thoughtful marketing strategy

Picture this scene: You’re sitting in your office, getting some routine paperwork done, when the phone rings. It’s your company’s law firm. After exchanging a few nervous pleasantries, your attorney gets right to the point.

"I hate to tell you this, but you’ve been subpoenaed."

"What?! What for?"

"It’s kind of complicated, and I’ll get to that in a moment. But you should know it’s a pretty big deal. Potentially a long and drawn-out affair, too—which will get very expensive. And it will be very public."

"Public?"

"Unfortunately, yes—you can expect to see yourself on TV and in the newspaper, and …"

"And …?"

"And if you don’t handle this well, it could have dramatic and dire consequences for the company, not to mention you personally."

"Omigosh. What do we do? Where do we start? How do we get out of this?"

"All good questions, each of which we’ll address in turn. But I’m going to need your attention on this one, and it’s going to take a lot of your time. I can’t imagine anything being more important than this."

"Neither can I. What time can you be here? I’ll clear my calendar …"

Not a pretty picture, is it? But probably not too far from what might really happen if you received that type of unfortunate call. You would realize that the consequences of inaction (or an improper or unprepared reaction) would be so significant that you would be willing to invest the time and treasure necessary to properly respond.

Brand Management

Believe it or not, your company is already facing just that type of situation. Oh, you may not have realized it, and if that’s the case you probably haven’t been responding as you should. The challenge you’re facing, like the one above, is complicated. It, too, has long-term implications. It’s also expensive, and it’s public—very public. Worse, if you’re mishandling things, you’re already damaging the health of your company. What is it? It’s your branding program.

Don’t roll your eyes. Think about it. Companies often mismanage their brands by neglect, and doing so harms their top lines, their bottom lines, and their prospects for long-term success. Just because someone hasn’t dropped a bombshell on you in a breathless phone call doesn’t make it any less true. Like the subtle movement of the hands of a clock, brand neglect happens slowly, almost imperceptibly, which makes it even more sinister.

What makes it so nonsensical is that your brand is the ultimate asset—or should be. Your brand, unlike a building, inventory, or furniture, fixtures, and equipment, needs never depreciate. Quite the contrary—brands can increase in value indefinitely as long as they’re well-managed. Consulting firm Interbrand estimates the market value of Coca-Cola (KO)—not the secret formula, not the factories, not the trucks, but the brand alone—to be more than $70 billion. The McDonald’s (MCD) brand is worth more than $33 billion. Disney (DIS), $28 billion. Your own brand is unlikely to be worth an amount that staggering, but if you ran it through the same analysis you’d find it to be worth hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars. Isn’t that an asset worth protecting?

Tough Questions

Ask some tough questions of your branding efforts. Do you have clear objectives? Have you developed a relevant, differentiated, and credible strategic positioning? Are you faithful to that positioning in everything you do? Are you certain your tactical plan represents the best approach, and have you effectively integrated all of its elements—online, offline, in-store, etc.? Are you investing enough in the program? Are you proud of how your company is represented on TV, in the newspaper, or wherever it is you go public?

No plan is perfect, and there’s sure to be room for improvement in all of these areas. If you did (heaven forbid) have to face a daunting day in court, you would never allow your legal defense to be compromised by weak strategy, inconsistent arguments, poor articulation, and lame visual aids. They don’t work in the courtroom, and they won’t work in the court of public opinion.

Marketing may be considered an expense on your P&L, but the brand it supports is your greatest asset. If you had to go before a jury and prove that your branding plan was smart, strategic, creative, and effective, could you? If not, you might want to consider what you’re reading a call from your trusted adviser to clear your desk, make the time, and do what it takes to come out on top.

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Talent Alone Does Not Make a Leader

By using individual achievement as the only criterion for choosing managers, you might just be setting them up for failure

Talent and leadership are separate attributes, but people too often regard them as one and the same. Talent is what you do well. Leadership is your ability to bring others to common cause.

ESPN sports-talk host Colin Cowherd talked about the subject on a recent show. He made the point with two names: Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez. Of the two, Rodriguez is the better player. Jeter is the more respected one. Jeter is the Yankee captain; Rodriguez is barely tolerated by his teammates.

Anyone in a position to hire should heed the difference. Hiring managers promote or recruit people for their ability to produce results. That’s good hiring. But they need to carefully evaluate candidates’ leadership abilities.

For example, super sales pros make ideal solo performers but not always team players. A leader has to understand the nature of team and be willing to step forward to pull people together for common purpose. Team members, on the other hand, motivate themselves with the goal of individual achievement.

When considering a star for promotion, ask three questions:

How does the candidate measure success? Individual contributors view success as something they have earned by themselves. Leaders regard success as something achieved by working through others. Make no mistake: Individual success is a cornerstone of organizational success. Leaders take pride in their personal contributions—but they must concentrate on getting others to produce, too.

How can this person make others better? Solo performers focus on what they do. Leaders focus on helping the team succeed. Companies need stars to produce and thereby enable organizational success. Companies also need leaders who can engage the talents of many to achieve intended results. Good leaders also work with individuals to draw out their talents through coaching, so that they grow and develop their skills.

How has he or she earned others’ respect? Organizations hold star performers in high regard but if you want to know how people feel about them, you need to ask their co-workers. Solo stars work for personal glory. Team leaders put team first. This is not to say that leaders are altruists; they enjoy the fruits of their success. As leaders, however, they make sure to accept responsibility for the team’s good and bad results.

This is not to say that individual contributors cannot be leaders. Leadership calls for people who take initiative and have a willingness to make things happen—those who demonstrate a sense of autonomy and initiative and take responsibility for their actions. Not everyone who excels individually wants to lead or manage others.

Most organizations push people into management as a means of recognizing achievement and increasing compensation levels. That is not sufficient. Your leaders need the ability to step back from the action in order to let others do their jobs.

Legendary football coach Bear Bryant once said this about coaching: "You must learn how to hold a team together. You must lift some men up, calm others down, until finally they’ve got one heartbeat. Then you’ve got yourself a team." The same would apply to successful leadership.

A leader’s true talent lies in helping others achieve more than what they might have on their own. This is a leader’s reward. It is not a reward that everyone seeks—or can deliver.

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Save Your Company By Firing Your Customers

Well, not all of your customers—just the ones who ask for more than they give, compelling your employees to start checking job boards

A wake-up call is speeding your way. If you trust the stats, the recovery is lurching forward. Customers are tentatively opening their wallets. The question is: Does this translate to profits or just revenue offset by costs? Sure, it’s hard to earn a buck these days. But when was the last time you looked closely at your book of business? No, I’m not talking about account growth and targets.

I’m talking about the three Ps. Is the customer profitable? Are you still proficient at the work? Do both still rank as a priority?

Dropping clients is never easy. And right-sizing afterward is even harder. Nevertheless, you can’t ignore facts: Some clients’ best days have long passed. To position yourself for a recovery, you must align your structure and expenses. So which clients should stay and which should go? Ask yourself if the troublesome customers are affecting your business in the following adverse ways.

1) Cultivating misery: You know who they are—the clients who drive your employees to drink with their tirades, snarky jabs, and threats. They’re always complaining that the work isn’t good enough, bullying you with minute contract terms at 2 a.m. Your people dread returning their calls or e-mails. The result—employee fatigue, cynicism, and antipathy—inevitably spills into relationships with other customers. Don’t let it. Provide proper notice to bad clients and help them land elsewhere, but dump them nonetheless. The time, energy, and morale improvement you gain will inevitably offset the loss. Who knows? Their experiences elsewhere may just steer them back to you … with humble hearts and better terms.

2) Exceeding Scope: Sure, you want to stretch. Your employees crave challenging and meaningful work that sharpens their skills. But do you really want to stray so far from your mission and capabilities? You know the end result: greater infrastructure, complexity, costs, and risk for failure. The question: Are these competencies attracting lucrative work? If not, you’re just stealing from Peter to pay Judas.

3) Not Producing Growth: You’re streamlining, focusing on core competencies and clients with the highest return on investment. That’s what good businesses do. Here’s another thing they do: provide ideas to help customers leverage technology, identify new markets, and better serve existing customers. If you’ve helped your client tap all available revenue streams, there’s nothing more you can do. For whatever reason, that customer is just circling the drain. Don’t get sucked down, too.

4) Failing Your Customers: You can’t be good at everything. For whatever reason, you’re falling short of client standards. You’ve tried everything, but it’s just not working. Despite this, they’re still willing to give you another chance. But the truth is obvious: You’re not doing them any good continuing this charade. Be merciful and do what they can’t. They’ll eventually find satisfaction elsewhere.

5) Siphoning Too Much Time: They have good intentions. But they’re always calling, looking to experiment with this or that variable. That’s welcome when it’s part of the work statement. But indecisiveness, constant requests, improvising, and revisions cost plenty. Set expectations to pacify them. Say "no" or charge extra to get their attention. Exercise your out clause to save yourself the headaches.

6) Sticking with a Dying Partnership: What do you think of when you hear "partner?" I’m guessing that you’ll list such terms as shared values, vision, and compromise. In some cases, you won’t feel like you’re "in this together." Instead you’re haggling and stepping on each other’s toes. Maybe you’re holding on because you’ve invested so much in each other—or are afraid to move on. But those are the wrong reasons to continue a partnership. If you know deep inside that it won’t improve, just let it go.

7) Tolerating Payment Issues: Net 30 became Net 60, which begot Net 90. The check is in the mail, they always say, and prepay is never an option. But you have bills, too. The client may have cash flow issues. Don’t let them take you down, too.

8) Driving Down Price: Someone is squeezing your customers, so they turn around and do the same to you. In reality, they’re just using you, playing you against your competitors, cutting into your margins. Know what? They’ll be dropping you for a lower price soon enough. Beat them to the punch before they soak up too much of your billable.

By Jeff Schmitt

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No todos los clientes son rentables

En estas páginas he hablado mucho de la importancia de cuidar a clientes e, incluso, de recuperar a clientes perdidos ya que, en general, es más barato mantener a un cliente establecido que gastar (¿invertir?) en conseguir un cliente nuevo. Clientes existentes, bien tratados, tienen la posibilidad de impactar positivamente en el crecimiento del negocio
comprando más de los productos y servicios que compran ahora pero, también, pueden amplíar los productos y servicios que compran de la empresa.

No obstante, está claro que algunos clientes son más problemáticos de lo que merecen comparado con el negocio que traen y algunos generan más gastos que ingresos, como nos dijo mi compañero Javier en su comentario en un anterior artículo mío sobre el tratamiento de clientes. Si estos impactos negativos son continuados, es el momento de pensar de desprenderse de un cliente. Por supuesto que la estructura, empleados y recursos, también se tiene que ajustar para hacer frente a la nueva situación.

Por eso me interesaron las razones que nos dieron de los impactos negativos de algunos clientes como razones para desprenderse de un cliente, que explican en el artículo vinculado, y que son los siguientes:

  1. Los que siempre protestan y critican.
  2. Los que exigen demasiados recursos.
  3. Los que no generan crecimiento.
  4. Se ve que no puedes cumplir con todo lo que el cliente sigue demandando.
  5. El tratamiento con el cliente toma demasiado tiempo.
  6. Todos los contactos con el cliente resultan ser problemáticos.
  7. El cliente es mal pagador, siempre retrasando e incumpliendo.
  8. El cliente siempre está exigiendo reducciones en los precios.

No obstante, aunque se decida que un cliente ya no interesa, la forma de desprendernos de el es importante, ya que, si es posible, aconseja hacerlo de una forma que no resulte en que todos sus amigos, relaciones y contactos reciban comunicaciones negativas. Como ya he hablado en estas páginas, empresas deben tener cuidado a qué clientes molestan.

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