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digitalNow
Exploring leadership, management, innovation, and technology issues and trends; impacting associations & non-profit organizations in the digital age.
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Salesforce is facing competition from an unexpected place: Amazon

Salesforce is facing competition from an unexpected place: Amazon | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Salesforce could face competition from a surprising new place: Amazon.

According to new investment research from Jefferies, Salesforce partners picked Amazon as the 3rd biggest threat to Salesforce, trailing only Oracle and Microsoft. 

Amazon doesn't sell any customer relationship management products itself. But it has a bunch of partners who sell CRM solutions through its AWS Marketplace. Apparently, some customers are choosing these apps to piggyback along with AWS services such as data storage and compute power, rather than buying a CRM system separately.

The survey should be taken with a grain of salt — it only asked 85 Salesforce partners that mostly target medium-sized businesses. Salesforce and Microsoft play in this space, but most customers of the bigger CRM players like Oracle and SAP are large enterprises.

Still, it's another sign of how powerful AWS is becoming in the enterprise.
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How Leaders Can Make their Messaging Meaningful

How Leaders Can Make their Messaging Meaningful | digitalNow | Scoop.it
People may not remember exactly what you did,
or what you said, but they will always remember how you made them feel. ~ Maya Angelou
 

More than one CEO has said, “Leadership is 90 percent communication,” and research bears them out by showing that the way in which managers communicate with employees is one of the most important factors in driving employee engagement. The late Maya Angelou pinpoints the key to communication that engages and makes meaning: make people feel something. Inspire a felt sense of confidence. Build certainty and community. It makes the difference between compliance and commitment, meaningless work and meaningful work.
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Why You Should Care About Your Worst Employees

Increase workplace happiness, boost employee engagement.

Why bother? Ah, because a lot of unfortunate things will happen if you don't. According to Eisenhauer, there are at least 15 fundamental problems linked to employee disengagement.

Dissatisfied Employees: Few people are eager to work in a boring, stagnant and disengaged workplace. If you don't have a good bond with your employees, they won't have a good bond with their work.
High Turnover: People who don't feel connected to their work have little reason to stick around. If offered a position elsewhere, they're going to take it.
Money, Money, Money: According to Deloitte, federal agencies lose $65 billion a year as a result of employee disengagement. How much are you losing?
Low Productivity: Managers often use productivity as a benchmark when evaluating employees. But productivity suffers if employee engagement falls apart.
One Disengaged Employee Breeds Another: Bad attitudes rub off on people, and things will get worse if you don't address the issue immediately.
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Enrollment in online courses rises, but their importance to academic chiefs wanes

Enrollment in online courses rises, but their importance to academic chiefs wanes | digitalNow | Scoop.it
About 63 percent of chief academic officers consider the likes of massive open online courses, or MOOCS, to be critical to their institutions’ long-term strategies, down from 71 percent last year, the survey, by the Babson Survey Research Group, found.
Twenty-nine percent say the outcomes are inferior to those of face-to-face instruction, up from 26 percent the year before.
Nor are faculty growing more persuaded of the worth of online education. Only 29 percent of academic leaders say their faculty accept the “value and legitimacy” of online courses, a figure that has remained generally flat.
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Five Strategies to Map Out Your SEO

To increase your ranking in search results, check out these five rank-boosting tips.

"Navigate your way to the top with blogs," suggests Spark Pay in the following infographic. "Blogging is a fantastic way to build up your power ranking."

Blogging also increases your SEO footprint, lets you optimize specific keywords, and attracts social shares and inbound links.

Another tip is to "explore the social media landscape," recommends Spark Pay. "Social shares are arguably more important than 'follows.' Be as visible as possible by sharing social gems and becoming a social gem."
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8 Obstacles to Technology Innovation

Senior management is increasingly pushing technology organizations to innovate, but IT teams are perpetually saddled with other, more immediate responsibilities that keep them from focusing on innovative projects, according to a recent survey from Ipswitch. The resulting report, "The 8 Issues Derailing IT Team Innovation," ranks these distracting demands based on which ones create the most time-consuming, frustrating challenges that stand in the way of innovation. Given the wealth of high-profile breaches in recent years, it's not surprising that cyber-security tops the list. But other concerns also loom large, including budget constraints and customer issues. "IT teams work valiantly behind the scenes every day to make sure their digital businesses stay connected," according to the report. "With challenges like dealing with cyber-threats and new technology—or even just the sheer volume of day-to-day work—it is getting harder and harder for IT teams to keep necessary innovation from going off the rails. … These are the true front lines of IT, where decisions need to be made quickly, and business operations depend on systems functioning properly." A total of 2,685 global IT professionals took part in the research
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Enterprise Architecture Planning 2.0

Enterprise Architecture Planning 2.0 | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Today, companies can proceed in a more strategic way — with something close to EA in scope, but more ambitious in spirit and pragmatic in achieving results. We call this approach capabilities architecture planning (CAP). It involves redesigning IT and organizational practices together, in service of a company’s most distinctive strengths. Unlike most enterprise architecture projects, CAP starts with strategy. It marshals digital technology to develop the company’s capabilities — the combination of processes, tools, knowledge, skills, and organization — that give it a competitive advantage.
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What to Do When Rewards and Incentives Don’t Work

What to Do When Rewards and Incentives Don’t Work | digitalNow | Scoop.it
When the reason for motivation is suboptimal such as the promise of a reward, the hope of gaining power or status, or acquiescing to pressure, there is no way people can experience the positive energy, sustained vitality and sense of well-being that comes from satisfying ARC.

You can wean your employees off carrots and hang up your stick by adapting motivation best practices that support people’s autonomy, relatedness and competence:

1. Encourage autonomy.
Frame deadlines as useful information critical for achieving important goals rather than sticks for applying pressure.

2. Deepen relatedness.
Reframe metrics that have no emotional meaning. Conduct motivational outlook conversations with employees to help them attribute their own sense of meaning to critical organizational goals and outcomes. You cannot impose your values or feelings on others, but you can guide their exploration of values and sense of purpose they find compelling.

3. Develop people's competence.
Focus on setting learning goals, not just output goals. Shift your focus from accomplishment to building competence. Instead of just asking, “What did you get done today?” try asking, "What did you learn today?"
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Why Formal Performance Reviews Won’t Disappear

Why Formal Performance Reviews Won’t Disappear | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Be honest with us: Are there times when you'd rather go to the dentist than give another performance review? It's never easy, after all, to come up with a comprehensive summary of an employee's valued contributions, outstanding work qualities and "improvement areas." And then there are review sessions that can get emotionally charged—especially when the staffer in question strongly disagrees with your assessment. Given these and other factors, some organizations are moving toward dispensing with this tradition. But a recent survey from Eagle Hill Consulting sends a "not-so-fast" message to managers who are considering such a step. The report, titled "The Annual Performance Review: Old-School or Timeless Tool?" reveals that—while they're collectively on the fence about chucking annual reviews—most professionals say their last one was a pleasing experience that accurately appraised their contributions. They say these sessions are helpful in benchmarking accomplishments for the past year, while setting expectations for the year ahead. The upshot: CIOs and other managers should seek feedback from their teams as to whether to replace the annual review—or simply give it a slight tweaking. "You must have an established system that gives your people an opportunity to discuss their areas of achievement as well as those in which they need improvement or seek growth," according to the report. An estimated 1,600 professionals took part in the research.
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If the Customer Really was King

In many organizations, the current customer is so disrespected that support is outsourced. You outsource the things that matter least to you. You outsource to save money. You outsource because you don’t care. You outsource because you don’t think something is a core competence.

For many organizations, looking after their current customers is not seen as a core competence. Some way to treat a king!

That’s all going to change, at least for those organizations that want to remain relevant in the digital economy. The customer isn’t just king in a digital economy; the customer is dictator. Those organizations that deliver an excellent experience to current customers will thrive. Those that don’t will wither. It’s as simple as that.

This will require a radical strategic and cultural shift for most organizations. This is what digital transformation is about: transforming from organization-centric to customer-centric.
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Collaborative Tech Boosts Flexibility & Efficiency

Collaborative Tech Boosts Flexibility & Efficiency | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Communication and collaboration are at the center of today's enterprise, but building an effective strategy and putting the right technology and solutions in place can be challenging.

 One company that recently addressed this challenge is Mimeo, a privately held firm that handles online managed content distribution and printing for upward of 6,000 companies in 140 countries. "We offer a way for companies to distribute content digitally or through print with a lot of controls over the way they go about it," Doug Bohaboy, vice president of marketing

During the last couple of years, the New York City-based company has expanded through growth and acquisitions. It now operates offices in New Jersey, Tennessee and Washington state, as well as in the United Kingdom, Germany and India.

"We have expanded greatly," Bohaboy reports, "and, as our size and scale have increased, the challenges around how we communicate have grown. We have a growing number of remote employees and teams that need to collaborate on projects."
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The price of poor listening

The price of poor listening | digitalNow | Scoop.it
The problem is that everyone wants to be heard first. Think about it: When people are striving to be heard and understood first, it's pretty hard for listening to occur.

Poor listening leads to assumptions and misunderstandings. These lead to errors, ineffective decisions, and/or costly mistakes. On a personal level, poor listening leads to hurt feelings and a loss of team cohesion. This deteriorates trust and weakens communication even further.

By connecting the dots, you can see that poor listening leads to lower profits.

The definition of listening
Hearing is one thing, listening is another. Before we continue, let's look at some definitions:

Hearing: The act of perceiving a sound by ear
Listening: Truly trying to understand another person's point of view
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Leadership in context

Leadership in context | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Even the best scripts can ring hollow in the wrong settings. Our research suggests that the most effective leadership behavior reflects the state of a company’s organizational health. Top-management teams that are serious about developing vibrant businesses and effective leaders must be prepared to look inward, assess the organization’s health objectively, and ask themselves frankly whether their leadership behavior is strong enough in the ways that matter most at the time. This question has implications not just for developing but also for assessing a company’s leaders. However much an executive may seem to have a leadership “it” factor, the organization’s health, not the claims of individuals, should come first when companies determine which kinds of behavior will be most effective for them. In short, they should spotlight different sets of actions in different situations. Fortunately for aspiring leaders, they don’t have to do everything at once.
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Toward a value-creating board

Toward a value-creating board | digitalNow | Scoop.it
The amount of time board directors spend on their work and commit to strategy is rising. But in a new survey, few respondents rate their boards as effective at most tasks or report good feedback or training practices.
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Success! 7 Ways Knowing Your Communication Style Will Help You Be More Successful

About Others

Once you begin to understand your style as well as some other styles that aren’t your natural tendencies, you can be better equipped to communicate and work with others more effectively. Here are three initial advantages you can gain.

See Tendencies in Others. Your assessment results will tell you much about you – but they will also help you understand the other styles too. To get the most from the whole exercise, spend at least as much time understanding the other styles as understanding your own. Why? Because you are communicating with and influencing others, not yourself!

Have a Framework to Adjust Your Approach. The Assessment tool, whichever one you use, gives you a framework to understand human behavior in new ways. And since you are interacting with others (who don’t all share your tendencies), you have some guidelines and ideas to more effectively adjust your approach to better match theirs. This may seem like a lot of work (it is), but if you want to be a more effective communicator and influencer, this is at the heart of your success.
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Do Your Events Create a Measurable Digital Trail?

About 79 percent of marketers are measuring their event and experiential programs — an amazing 21 percent are not — but what are they measuring for? Marketers announced they were measuring success by total attendance figures, leads and social media activity.

With that latter metric, perhaps there is hope.

The State of the B2B Event Marketing report from Regalix bolsters it a bit. Beyond lead generation and sales figures, registration and attendance, the respondents at least said they measured ROI in terms of social media reach and positive customer attitude toward brand. A little math seems involved in that, perhaps even fueling future decision-making around event marketing.

Real Time Insights
But what Coburn is talking about is a step ahead of that: collecting data at an event, analyzing it and applying it in real time as the event is still taking place.

“With insights that demonstrate what content is resonating, event marketers have the ability to pull the right triggers (leveraging promoted posts, push notifications and more) at the right time, and delivered to the right people,” he said.
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The 25 Most In-Demand Skills on LinkedIn

The 25 Most In-Demand Skills on LinkedIn | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Statistical analysis and data mining was the second most sought-after skillset on LinkedIn in 2015, followed by marketing campaign management and SEO/SEM marketing.

Below is the list of the top 25 in-demand skills last year globally. Trends (up, down, flat) reflect changes in ranking from the 2014 list.
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Why Millennials Block Ads, In Their Own Words

Do you find other ways to support sites you like? I try to donate -- I'm in a decent spot in my life where I can afford to give to Web sites, so I definitely make an effort for the Web sites who I know rely on that ad money. In general, I've tried in the last few months to be more cognizant of which sites are showing me ads to be obtrusive versus showing me ads to support a valuable, but free, service. I like a free Internet, and if that means putting up with ads that aren't intentionally misleading or potentially damaging, then so be it.

For the majority of the time I've used ad blockers, I really didn't think at all about how I might be negatively impacting the sites I valued most. I think recently there's been more of a push for "ethical" ad blocking, if that can really exist, and I like the recognition of service that comes with that for Web sites.
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Why We Love Tough-Love Managers

Why We Love Tough-Love Managers | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Spoiler alert: This isn’t a racy tell-all about office romance. Rather, it’s an appreciation inspired by some recent sessions with young people just starting their careers. They had questions about specific companies and industries. But I found myself responding by talking the most about specific managers who had shaped me in the various jobs I had over the years.

I’ve worked in positions ranging from the mundane to the relatively glamorous. And the places where I thrived were not the most obvious. Looking back, it’s clear to me that it was often the person, not the position, that mattered most. And so my advice to these young people was to find a manager you love.
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What Marketers Need to Know About Snapchat

What Marketers Need to Know About Snapchat | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Snapchat has emerged from its murky roots to become a popular app with 100 million daily active users. So, should marketers now consider having a strategy for this video messaging app?

Check out these stats about Snapchat users from by NewsCred and Column Five.

Some 54% of users are on Snapchat daily; 32% users engage with the app 2-5 times a week.

"Even though Snapchat users are engaging with the app on a daily basis, most users aren't interacting with branded features, such as Snap Live Stories, Snap Discover Stories, or branded filters," states the infographic.
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How High Performers Pursue Digital Innovation

How High Performers Pursue Digital Innovation | digitalNow | Scoop.it
The speed of digital advancements is separating companies into the haves and have nots: High performers are much better at creating a digital-friendly work culture with cutting-edge project opportunities, while establishing strong tech leadership teams, according to a recent survey from McKinsey and Co. The accompanying report, titled "Cracking the Digital Code," indicates that most survey respondents expect innovative initiatives to increase top-line revenues and overall profit margins over the next three years. The improved engagement of customers will drive much of the financial success here. However, many organizations face formidable challenges, including a lack of needed internal leadership and talent, as well as the failure to adapt a required "experimentation" mindset. "Companies must increasingly adjust their approaches to corporate strategy to align with (and get the most out of) their digital agendas," according to the report. "What's more, they must build stronger test-and-learn capabilities to move fast and learn as they go. Greater speed, continuous experimentation and data-based feedback loops will allow businesses to evolve strategies more rapidly, make bigger changes faster, execute and build competitive advantages and stay in tune with external change." Nearly 990 C-level execs took part in the research.
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Falling Into the Digital Divide

Falling Into the Digital Divide | digitalNow | Scoop.it
While 94 percent of the U.S. public is connected and 91 percent of the poor have Internet access, the researchers conclude that there's a growing problem with citizens being "under-connected." In many cases, this translates into a single Internet-connected computer or smartphone in the household or slow service.

All of this makes it more difficult for adults to conduct business or obtain health and medical information. Yet it also impacts children and their ability to learn. Vikki Katz, a Rutgers University scholar and co-author of the study, notes that poor connectivity impacts "the kinds of things that help families get by and the kinds of things that help families get ahead."

Although many initially viewed the Internet as a way to span the so-called digital divide and raise education and income levels, it's increasingly clear that today's broadband is more like a frayed rope bridge straddling a deep canyon. Knowledge and skills shortages are now a chronic problem for U.S. businesses looking to compete in the digital economy -- and IT is often at the center of this troubling equation.
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Strategy, Staffing, Budgets: Your Content Marketing Checklist

Strategy, Staffing, Budgets: Your Content Marketing Checklist | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Developing a Content Strategy
Less than half of B2B and B2C companies have a documented strategy or a clear understanding of successful content outcomes. Unsurprisingly, the top performers across all industries are those who align content strategy and KPIs to business goals.

A useful content strategy outlines goals and objectives, defines success metrics, incorporates buyer personas and buying stages, and assigns responsibility for planning and execution. It acts as your team’s foundation for a strong editorial calendar and helps focus their efforts. Most importantly for new teams, a strategy ensures they start strong with the right content.

Hiring the Right People
How do you know you have the right talent and skills on your content-focused marketing team? Mike Volpe, who served as CMO for a little software company that practically invented inbound marketing, has spoken extensively on what it takes to build and scale a stellar marketing team.
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A productivity expert says there's one huge myth about how to get more stuff done during the day

A productivity expert says there's one huge myth about how to get more stuff done during the day | digitalNow | Scoop.it
You don't necessarily have to wake up early to be more productive.
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Why Distinctive Customer Targeting Is a Smart Strategy

Why Distinctive Customer Targeting Is a Smart Strategy | digitalNow | Scoop.it
The best strategies always include a sharp definition of the target customer. And the more unique it is, the better. For example, if your competitors define their target customers by where they are — say, in certain parts of the world or in particular parts of town — you could instead define them by one or more of the following:

The best strategies always include a sharp definition of the target customer.

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How they buy (perhaps through specific channels)
Who they are (their particular demographics and other innate characteristics)
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