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Strategic Direction Conclusion

Published May 9, 2014 by Mayrbear's Lair
Google-Workspace

Google Headquarters

It is clear that the leaders of Google comprehend the importance of strategic management and the effects it has in a competitive environment. In fact, it is evident from the strategic direction they have been moving in that the firm has developed effective strategies to help them continue to achieve successful outcomes. Coulter (2010) explained that in a business arena, competition exists everywhere because every firm in business wants to succeed and earn a top position in their marketplace (Coulter, 2010). For example, when other search engines like Bing and Ask.com entered the marketplace, Google knew it had to work harder to maintain its position at the top and many agree they have done an impressive job to remain there.

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Needless to say, the Google story is a fascinating one. Rees-Mogg (2007) described the data technology firm as a $150 billion company that was developed to use powerful mathematical systems to search for information. They have been so successful that their site boasts a half a billion visitors every month. In fact, in 2007, CEO, Eric Schmidt, stated that from all the data they gather from consumers, the company will have accumulated enough information to give them the capacity to act as each individual’s intimate personal adviser (Rees-Mogg, 2007). That fact is both impressive and alarming. Google claims their mission is to organize the world’s information and make it globally useful and accessible. But many are concerned that the strategic direction they are headed in will rob citizens of something they value more than anything … their privacy.

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In conclusion, the findings of my research on the Google Company reveals substantial evidence of an effective management team who developed efficient operating systems to guide the strategic direction of the firm. In addition, they have achieved high performances, successful outcomes, and maintain a strong position in the global marketplace. Based on my analysis, the recommendations I would make for the firm is that they continue on the innovative trajectory they are on. However, I would also caution that with great power comes great responsibility. Because of all the personal data they collect from their users, without implementing a strategic direction that includes a strong ethical culture, this scenario sets a stage that is ripe for a gross abuse of power. In other words, under the management of leaders that engage in behavior of misconduct, acts of greed, and deception, their technological capabilities can also serve as a tool to cause destruction and harm to others. Let’s hope the leaders at Google do not sell out to the likes of those who aspire to achieve outcomes like a Lex Luthor.

That’s it for this week. Let’s have a great weekend everyone … and keep organized in the process!

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“When a person really desires something, all the universe conspires to help that person to realize his dream.” ― Paulo Coelho

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References:

Coulter, M. (2010). Strategic management in action (5th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc.

Rees-Mogg, W. (2007, Ma 27). How Google wll satisfy all our lives. Mail on Sunday, 63.

Strategic Direction (Part 1)

Published May 5, 2014 by Mayrbear's Lair

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This week the focus of my research work takes a look at the different methods successful organizations implement to manage a firm’s strategic direction. To illustrate this concept, I have chosen a Fortune 500 company and will identify the corporation’s strategic direction, as well as provide recommendations for changes that could be valuable in future endeavors. The organization I chose to focus on was Google. The reason I chose this firm is because I use many of their products and wanted to learn more about this company I have been supporting. Plus, I was fascinated to find out more about the business strategies they incorporate which have allowed them to achieve meteoric levels of success.

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Google was founded in 1998 and currently serves billions of consumers around the world. The firm provides a variety of services for individual people as well as for businesses. Larry Page, the organization’s co-founder and CEO, reveals that Google’s initial strategic direction was to provide the perfect search engine that understands exactly what the consumer needs and provide them exactly what they want (Google, 2013). Since that time, however, the firm has incorporated expansion tactics in the strategic direction process that has helped them grow by including other products and services that go beyond that of their search engine capabilities.

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Their expansion strategies, for example, have guided the firm to include the addition of technologies such as Gmail, Google Docs, Google Drive, and the internet browser Chrome. In addition, the firm has branched out and developed partnerships with other corporations like LEGO to create a collaboration that allows users access to 3D technology so they can develop and publish their own creations (Chrome + LEGO: You can build whatever you like, 2014).

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As if that weren’t enough, the firm also expanded their efforts into the mobile phone industry. For example, in 2012, Google purchased Motorola to help promote their smartphone brand Android. However, because of the high level of competition in the smartphone industry, the firm recently adjusted their strategic direction by selling Motorola to Lenovo for $2.91 billion dollars.

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The strategy behind this move was to provide better services to consumers. For instance, Google strategists believe that Lenovo has the ability and expertise to restore Motorola as the major industry player it once was using the Android ecosystem as a means to achieve this. This strategic decision was based on Lenovo’s impressive experience with hardware as well as their impressive level of global reach.

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Lenovo, in the meantime, will keep Motorola’s brand identity, while Google retains the vast majority of Motorola’s patents which they intend to use to support the Android system (Lenovo to acquire Motorola Mobility, 2014). In short, to expand the firm’s abilities and capabilities, Google’s partnering with LEGO, in addition to the sale of Motorola to Lenovo, were corporate strategic moves that were designed to move the organization forward by utilizing a horizontal integration growth strategy. In other words, rather than go up against their competitors, Google implemented a strategic direction that combined their operations with that of their competitors. This brilliant move served to help them both meet their goals and establish a competitive edge in the market place.

Wednesday’s post will take a closer look at other strategic moves that helped Google navigate their path as a leader in the global arena.

Until then … let’s continue to work on getting organized!

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“Truth is by nature self-evident. As soon as you remove the cobwebs of ignorance that surround it, it shines clear.” — Mahatma Gandhi

 

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References:

Chrome + LEGO: You can build whatever you like. (2014, January 28). Retrieved February 2, 2014, from googleblog.blogspot.com: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2014/01/chrome-lego-you-can-build-whatever-you.html

Google. (2013). Retrieved February 1, 2014, from Google.com: http://www.google.com/about/company

Lenovo to acquire Motorola Mobility. (2014, January 29). Retrieved February 2, 2014, from googleblog.blogspot.com: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2014/01/lenovo-to-acquire-motorola-mobility.html

 

Online Marketing

Published November 8, 2013 by Mayrbear's Lair

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Viral marketing is a very effective strategy in which advertisers spread their message digitally from one person to another. This strategy counts on individuals to get excited about something and share it with their friends and family through various social media outlets. There are many reasons why things like wristbands, nonfat Greek yogurt, low-fat diets, Atkins, South Beach, iPhones, and the Macarena caught on. Berger (2013) explains that these are all samples of social epidemics, situations where ideas, products, and behaviors became a part of public consciousness that was spread by word of mouth. There are three main reasons why products go viral: (a) innovative quality products or ideas that offer value, (b) discounted products or services that offer equal value as their pricey competitors, and (c) unique advertising efforts (Berger, 2013). Although it is fairly easy to identify samples of social contagion, it is actually much more difficult to get something new to actually go viral. One reason some products and ideas become sensations is because they are just better products. In other words, when items come along that function more efficiently, people tend to want to own them. For example, earlier models of television and computer monitors were large and weighed considerably. Flat screen sales skyrocketed because they offered larger screens and weighed less. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out why they became a sensation.

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In today’s world, the Web has transformed the way people interact with each other. A variety of services have been developed for instance, to help people keep in touch with whoever they want, whenever  and from where ever they choose with speed and ease. In other words, society is interconnected in a way that has improved our lives considerably just with a few keystrokes and clicks of their electronic devices. Adams (2013) asserts that although we can connect instantly, this same element has created a high level of deafening noise and clutter to penetrate. As a result of the bombardment of advertisers trying to reach consumers, people are only focused on what is relevant to them at that moment. Marketers are now beginning to comprehend that providing value alone is not enough to grab a viewer’s attention. If it doesn’t include an innovative idea or unique presentation, it will have a harder time getting through to the masses (Adams, 2013). To make an impact in the online marketing community, it helps to have an idea that is fresh, new, different, and remarkable. Most people would like to believe success will happen overnight. However, in most situations, that’s not the case. There is a tipping point that must occur. In other words, once the idea reaches a certain tipping point, the idea then causes a crescendo like a virus that goes on to produce an epidemic. This occurs faster now because of the interconnectedness within the global network.

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There are many examples of things that have gone viral like Google, Facebook, Twitter, Starbucks, and Harry Potter. They all went viral because they provided unique value and were innovative brands. The length of time varied from weeks, to months, to years but what set them apart from all the others was that they offered value in a unique way. Baack and Clow (2013) contend that the primary reason people are on social networks is to showcase their self. Successful corporations are now using this strategy to connect closer with consumers. Social media acts as a platform for advertisers reach prospects so that they will then share that information with those they care about (Baack & Clow, 2012). Marketers want their campaigns to go viral online and social networks allow them to create campaigns that will spread by word-of-mouth. This kind of strategy is more effective because word-of-mouth is more targeted and therefore, more persuasive. Companies are more successful when consumers spread the word about their brand because it is a genuine response from the users. To make an online marketing strategy effective, marketers develop their campaigns knowing that word-of-mouth strategies will help them connect to a relevant audience.

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A recent example of an advertising campaign that went viral was a promotional ad for the theatrical release of a very popular remake of the 1970s movie Carrie. The advertising company hired a professional film crew and worked in partnership with a small Manhattan café where the event took place (Telekinetic Woman Pranks Coffee Shop Customers!, 2013). The environment was secretly set up by the professional crew prior to the shop opening adding special effects components to make the reaction from the patrons more believable. Actors were hired to play out a short scene and cameras were strategically hidden to capture the event while  innocent patrons witnessed the action that transpired. Once the event was set in motion, the male performer began to agitate a young female patron at the cafe that was engaged in her studies. The young man deliberately spills her coffee on her computer workstation. This caused the young woman to react and lose her composure. Losing her temper created a chain reaction to where she became so angry she began to use what seemed like telekinetic powers to throw the man against the wall and with the wave of her hand, he starts elevating up while pressed against the wall to the full height of the ceiling. In the meantime, her anger has not subsided and she begins moving the café furniture, tables and chairs out of her way as well with the wave of her hand as if by magic. The expressions and genuine screams from the unsuspecting patrons was priceless. Afterwards they were advised it was all part of a hired crew to create a promotion for the upcoming movie Carrie. Needless to say, the video has gone viral. That was one very effective and cleverly unique way that brand communicated a their message.

This concludes my organizational management research work on the various components of marketing, advertising, and public relations. Thank you for sharing this journey with me so far. Next week we begin a new adventure as my research work for the next six weeks will focus on corporate financial decision making. Until then … have a great weekend everyone!

References:

Mayer, M. G. (Producer). (2013). Telekinetic Woman Pranks Coffee Shop Customers! [Motion Picture].

Adams, R. L. (2013). Viral – How to spread your ideas like a virus. Amazon Digital Services, Inc.

Baack, D., & Clow, K. (2012). Integrated advertising, promotion, and marketing communications (5th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NY: Pearson Education, Inc.

Berger, J. (2013). Contagious: Why things catch on. New York, NY: Simon and Schuster.

 

Fortune 500 Companies and CEO Ethics

Published December 23, 2012 by Mayrbear's Lair

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The news is littered with scandalous accounts of fallen heroes from all walks of life.  Recent deposed champions include Tiger Woods, Lance Armstrong and Arnold Schwarzenegger.  Public downfalls of heroic leaders are not isolated to men only.  In fact now that women are in prominent leadership roles, they too engage in unethical practices that often tempt an individual in a position of power.  Martha Stewart and Twilight Saga star Kristen Stewart (no relation) are examples of two such women that experienced public shame from their poor choices.  Scandals that emerge however within the corporate frame like those of Enron and AEI may have far greater impact on the public.  The effects of unethical practices from corporate leaders can reach beyond the scope of their employees and influence the well-being and safety of the populace as well as the environment.  A Fortune 500 Company CEO that illustrates ethical behavior is bound to lead that corporation to success.

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When a corporate leader of great magnitude illustrates unethical competence the damage can be irreparable to the company as well.  In addition, it can have a negative effect on that company’s productivity and public image.  It is in their best interest to respond quickly when a scandal emerges to keep damage to a minimum.  For example, former Yahoo CEO Scott Thompson showed ethical behavior when he stepped down from his position as CEO shortly after sources revealed his resume contained false information.

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The headlines at CNN Money read, “Yahoo confirms CEO is out after resume scandal!” (Pepitone, 2012).  Fox Business news reported, “It’s tough to regulate honesty among individuals; it often falls on the company to make sure the information presented to employers by potential hires is accurate – from mailroom staffers to chief executives” (Booton, 2012, para. 2).  The scandal created media frenzy.

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A resolution that displays integrity is necessary to protect a corporation’s trustworthy image.  Yahoo was desperate to find a solution.  Once an industry giant, they began to feel a shift in their market share and hired Thompson to turn the company around.  Their future was in question after competitors Google and Facebook joined the cyber scene and Co-Founder Jerry Yang resigned.  Yahoo tried to revive the troubled brand announcing a major shake-up replacing nearly half of the board members.  They were banking heavily on the former EBay CEO to bring them back to the forefront:

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Yahoo lost significant market share, reduced its staff multiple times, and its market cap continues to dive.  But chief executive Scott Thompson tried to re-hydrate what was his raisin of a company by killing off unnecessary products and restructuring the organization. (Kelly, 2012, para. 1). In his defense, Thompson alleged a lower level manager at a different firm created the resume.  He professed his error was not reviewing the document before it went public.

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Regardless of the claims, reaction from the public was stern because patrons want to conduct business with an ethical company.  Concerned about their global image, Yahoo handled the scandal quickly to limit damages.  The brand stood behind their CEO during the investigation.  Upon conclusion, Yahoo released a statement confirming Thompson had left the company (Pepitone, 2012).  The decision for the CEO to step down illustrated ethical competence.  Thompson was ousted after four months in his new position.  Speculation was he departed due to the resume scandal; however sources revealed he was diagnosed with cancer and stepped down to focus on his health.

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After enduring months of scrutiny from the scandalous uproar Yahoo seems to have weathered the storm.  In October 2012, with replacement CEO Marissa Mayer at the helm, Yahoo reported a slight rise in their third quarter net revenue.  Yahoo standing behind their executive during the impending investigation followed by Thompson’s resignation sent a clear message: Yahoo is an organization that practices good business ethics.  In conclusion, without ethical competence from corporate giants, these institutions, the public and the environment may face irreparable consequences.  A CEO from a Fortune 500 Company who displays ethical behavior illustrates noble character; an important leadership trait that is fundamental for corporate success.

References

Booton, J. (2012, May 08). Business Leaders. Retrieved October 21, 2012, from Fox Business News: http://www.foxbusiness.com/business-leaders/2012/05/08/is-ceo-vetting-tough-enough-yahoo-scandal-fuels-doubt/#ixzz2ALT0udW7

Kelly, M. (2012, April 25). Yahoo Needs Help: Market Cap Down, Stocks Down, Employee Count Down. Retrieved October 21, 2012, from Venturebeat.com: http://venturebeat.com/2012/04/25/yahoo-infographic/#DVooLSrEHerAEXyZ.99

Pepitone, J. (2012, May 14). Yahoo confirms CEO is out after resume scandal. Retrieved October 20, 2012, from CNN Money: http://money.cnn.com/2012/05/13/technology/yahoo-ceo-out/index.htm