How Google’s Gmail / Docs & Spreadsheets Integration Directly Targets Microsoft

first_imgrichard macmanus Related Posts Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting In the Google Groups mailing list for D&S, one of the guides listed a couple of “caveats” to this:“- This feature is only available in Gmail.– And, at this time it only works with Microsoft Word documents (.doc).”It also works with Microsoft Excel files (.xls), which the guide clarified in a lattercomment.So, this new feature specifically targets Microsoft Office documents and spreadsheets— and it only works in Google’s email program. If I were a conspiracy theorist, I wouldbe a blindingly obvious one. Yes, Google is making it super easy for users to open upMicrosoft’s (proprietary) file formats in Google’s online version of Word and Excel. InJayFortner’s excellent SWOT analysis yesterday of Microsoft and the new threat of onlineoffice suites, he pointed out that competitors such as Google, Zoho, and AjaxWriter“could build critical mass through the installed base of former Microsoft users.” Andthis, in a tiny but significant way, is what this new integration between Gmail andGoogle D&S is about. Google is quietly compelling Gmail users to switch from Word andExcel to Google D&S.Granted, the main flaw in this strategy is that Google has mostly failed to get alarge user base in Gmail over the past couple of years, which gives them a smaller poolof potential Microsoft Office converts. Gmail is the leastused web email service amongst the Big 3 – Yahoo and MSN email services are farbigger. Imagine if Google had Yahoo Mail’s 250-odd million users! Now that would make thewebmail/D&S integration a major play…MiramarMike points out a slight flaw in the execution too – there’s no connection from theimported doc/spreadsheet back to the originating email, so it loses a bit ofcontext (more a missed opportunity than a glaring omission).ConclusionI don’t want to overstate the importance of this small feature in Gmail and D&S,or use it to proclaim the death of Microsoft Office. The battle between Microsoft andGoogle for office software market share is deep and complex, as Jay’s post and theexcellent comments to it show. But this new integration feature is another example of howthe desktop and online worlds are being munged together by Google, right underMicrosoft’s nose and directly threatening MS Office. A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Tags:#Google#Microsoft#news#web Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… On Monday Google released a relativelyminor, but useful, feature. It’s worth examining a bit more closely, because it’s yetanother signal that Google is quietly pecking away at Microsoft’s lunch in officesoftware. Now I know that Microsoft Office has a lot of advanced functionality that theonline office apps don’t have, but hear me out…The new feature is a one-click import feature for attachments in Gmail. The D&Steam explained:“Whenever those of you who use Gmail receive a spreadsheet or a document in an email,you will see a new link next to the “Download” link that says “Open as a Googledocument.” Click on that and the attachment will automatically be imported into Docs& Spreadsheets and added to your personal document list where you can make changes,invite collaborators and search for it later.” 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

How Zimbra Went From Web 2.0 Poster Child to $350M Yahoo! Acquisition, in 2 Years!

first_imgA Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Tags:#Analysis#web Last week Read/WriteWeb editor Richard MacManus interviewed Satish Dharmaraj, Zimbra co-founder and CEO. The result is a 30 minute podcast available on Read/WriteTalk (transcript included). The following post is highlights from the discussion, which focused on Zimbra’s journey from October 2005 Web 2.0 Conference launch to September 2007 acquisition by Yahoo! for $350M.In September 2007 Web Office startup Zimbra was acquired by Yahoo! for $350M. As I noted at the time, it seems like only yesterday that Zimbra was the buzz of the 2005 Web Conference (which incidentally was the first Silicon Valley conference I attended). Yet in just under 2 years from launching, Zimbra went from Web Office poster child (one of them at any rate) to a company worth $350 million. How did it happen? What lessons can aspiring entrepreneurs learn from Zimbra, as they attempt to create a multi-million dollar business too? For me there was only one way to find out: interview Satish Dharmaraj, Zimbra co-founder and CEO.The entire interview is up on our podcast show, Read/WriteWeb. Here are some of my favorite bits:Question: who came up with the idea for Zimbra and when did that happen?Satish: “While we were brainstorming on ideas – and we cycled through a lot of them – we always kept coming back to: What are the big things that people do on a computer? Well, they search and they web browse and they read email. We started believing that people spend more time on email than search or web browsing, and so we said, ‘Man, that’s huge.’ It seems so evident but that was basically the genesis. Well Google is tackling search and, obviously, Firefox and IE are tackling the web browsing issue, and then we have Outlook or Thunderbird or Entourage for email. Well, that seems really broken. […]Then at the same time, we were thinking about technologies and how the web browser is becoming the predominant platform of modern day computing. Do we really need to have a desktop app and can we do everything on the server side? That’s something to break into.”Question: […] What was the initial reaction to the product when you launched in October of 2005?Satish: “Peoples reactions to it was unanimously: ‘I can’t believe this is a web browser. I can’t believe that this can be done all inside of Ajax and all with a server that’s not hosted or with data that resided remotely.’ Our goal was to basically blow the pants away of Outlook or any other client in terms of user interactivity, even though it was inside of a web browser. I think when we launched, we successfully got that kind of a reaction from people who were just totally wowed with it. They were all extremely excited that somebody was putting up such a huge and competitive product in the mail landscape which people had thought had been written off.Then, for us, we knew in our hearts, and we didn’t want to be a web 2.0 company that’s just all hype and glam. We knew that we had planned all of this carefully with our board. We had always wanted to start making money. It has happened. As soon as we launched in October, back before we started making money, before we sold to Yahoo, we were handsomely cash flow positive. So we’re always proud of what we went through as a company: got a lot of bugs, got a great product but at the end of the day, we were making money. That was basically the difference that set us apart.”Question: One thing that web 2.0 critics often derive about the current generation of web apps is that they are features and not businesses. Also, the web 2.0 startups have too large a reliance on M&A as the end goal. This is something we constantly hear from critics of web 2.0. Zimbra was obviously a very successful buyout. Was that your plan from the start or did you start out with the aim of being a viable standalone business? Back in October of 2005, what was your end goal for Zimbra at that point?Satish: “Honestly, I can say this. We set out to build a great company with a real business behind it. That’s what I think people should do when they start a business. They [have] got to think about: How do I make this an independently successful cash flow self-sustaining business? Then, there’ll be very interesting M&A opportunities that will come and knock on the door. If instead we started a company thinking that there is going to be a quick flip, [in] 90% of the cases that does not work out because no one is interested in buying – or they want to buy you off really cheap. We were not thinking of an ideal nor were we thinking of an M&A. We were just thinking: Let’s go and create a compelling product and create some real business in specific markets. That’s what we started out to do and that’s what we did.”Listen to the full podcast for more insight into the growth of Zimbra and some of the tactics they employed to build their ultimately successful web 2.0 business. richard macmanus 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketcenter_img Related Posts Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hostinglast_img read more

How to keep PPC accounts healthy when using automation

first_img Posted on 5th February 2019Digital Marketing FacebookshareTwittertweetGoogle+share Related postsLytics now integrates with Google Marketing Platform to enable customer data-informed campaigns14th December 2019The California Consumer Privacy Act goes live in a few short weeks — Are you ready?14th December 2019ML 2019121313th December 2019Global email benchmark report finds email isn’t dead – it’s essential13th December 2019Keep your LinkedIn advertising strategy focused in 202012th December 20192019 benchmark report: brand vs. non-brand traffic in Google Shopping12th December 2019 HomeDigital MarketingHow to keep PPC accounts healthy when using automation How to keep PPC accounts healthy when using automationYou are here: Machine learning, artificial intelligence, Moore’s Law and ongoing automation by the big search engines are accelerating the evolution of PPC. So much so, the role of the PPC pro has to evolve just as rapidly.Optmyzr co-founder Fred Vallaeys recently encapsulated the new roles humans will play in an AI world to help PPC pros ride the wave of innovation to become PPC rockstars (as opposed to being PPC roadkill).In that blog post, Fred likens the role of the PPC pro to being an airplane pilot — the crucial professional who spends a lot of his or her time monitoring vital data and events to ensure things go according to plan. That pilot is in charge of a fast, complicated, and potentially dangerous machine and has to act decisively if trouble starts brewing.PPC pros today are much like that pilot, responsible for another type of fast and complicated system: machine learning-driven PPC. To do that job well the PPC pro requires three critical systems: Reports, Alerts, and Audits. Let’s look at how each of these solves some of the specific challenges associated with managing ads on Google or Bing.PPC ReportsVirtually all account managers have reports of some sort set up. Most of these reports focus on what has already happened, such as how many conversions happened last month, how conversions are trending and how data compares to the same period last year.These reports can inform the PPC Pilot whether their strategies are paying off, e.g. “Is that new bid management system improving the ROAS as expected?” These reports are also essential for keeping stakeholders appraised of the results of your work for them.Reporting can, and should, go much deeper. One particularly helpful report in the Optmyzr library, the Annual Performance Report, keeps clients much more informed about your total value as a PPC pro. With one click, advertisers can see a summary of their 2018 PPC performance and share it as a PDF, an Excel download, or as an interactive link.Reports are great for summarizing longer-term results and showing if management strategies delivered the expected results. (screenshot from Optmyzr)While reporting is one essential tool for PPC managers, it only goes so far to meet the needs of sophisticated search marketers. Because of the minute-by-minute PPC world in which we live today, many traditional reports are too static — too slow when decisions are being made instantaneously by ever-faster automated systems.Imagine if airline pilots functioned like old school PPC managers, relying primarily on static reports. After every flight, the pilot could generate a report summarizing how much fuel they burned and how many passengers were on board. Helpful information for the airline when it comes time to report earnings and helpful for the pilot to understand if a decision to burn a little more fuel actually paid off with a closer-to-on-time arrival. Unfortunately, that basic and necessary information doesn’t help at all when the unexpected happens.Enter the need for two other critical tools a pilot needs: automated alerts that flag performance anomalies, and indicators that show that systems are online and working. In PPC, these equate to dashboards with alerts and policy-based audits.PPC Dashboards and AlertsPPC is a fast-moving industry. Every search that happens on Bing or Google is a new auction with thousands of advertisers competing for a valuable top ranking. A static, scheduled report won’t be of much use when a competitor unexpectedly does a mid-month strategy shift. In this scenario, an immediate and timely interactive dashboard offers several benefits compared to a scheduled report:The data is updated almost instantaneously to reflect the current state of the business.Automated alerts draw quick attention to what the human PPC pilot needs to focus on.Interactive data lets the PPC pilot quickly investigate by zooming in and out of the data.In Optmyzr, the MCC dashboard (shown below) provides all of these capabilities. For example, advertisers automatically get alerts for things that seem out of the ordinary, such as a huge decline in impressions or a sudden spike in cost. An agile PPC pro can also set their own thresholds for alerts when they have specific goals in mind, like a target CPA, a minimum number of clicks or any other target.Dashboards can highlight problem areas in real-time and encourage account managers to take corrective action before issues spiral out of control. (screenshot: Optmyzr)Alerts can have drawbacks, however. False positives can cause the alert recipient to start ignoring them. In PPC, it’s fairly common to get false alerts about CPA, ROAS or conversions when not accounting for the typical conversion lag of a campaign. For example, you can’t have a real-time alert for declines in conversions when it takes half your audience more than 7 days to go from a click to a sale.To help reduce false alerts, advertisers can customize a date offset in Optmyzr so data from days where conversions have not yet been fully reported will be ignored. Finding out how long a typical conversion takes from click to conversion is now easy thanks to Google’s reporting metrics for “days to conversion.”Optmyzr even offers an automatic budget pacing capability that helps advertisers continuously stay on top of whether they are on target to hit their budget targets for the month (even if they run budgets on a custom monthly cycle, for example starting the 15th of every month and ending the 14th of the following month).Data visualizations like this budget spend projection can help account managers quickly investigate issues like a potential overspend issue in an ads account. (screenshot: Optmyzr)When an alert warrants a deeper investigation, rich data visualizations make it easier to understand what elements of an account are most responsible for a performance shift.Each metric is connected to the other metrics that influence it in this PPC data visualization, making it easier to understand why KPIs are shifting. (screenshot: Optmyzr)A good alert system must have advanced dismissal capability. Imagine if the alerts on your phone kept reappearing five seconds after you’d dismissed them. The alerts would quickly become completely useless. In Optmyzr, an alert that has been investigated and addressed can be snoozed so it will only trigger another alert if the detected problem persists after the snooze period has ended.AI is also changing how we interact with technology. Take the proliferation of Amazon Alexa devices which now number more than 100 million. Users are coming to expect to get all their answers by simply voicing their question. To allow PPC pros to get their account questions answered quickly, Optmyzr launched its Alexa skill in 2018, letting users interact with our PPC Investigator entirely by voice.PPC AuditsFinally, a PPC expert must have an audit tool to support their role as the PPC pilot. But what’s the difference between reports and audits?Reports tend to be heavy on metrics and show performance over time. Alerts tend to look at performance that is suddenly unexpected or, like a URL checker script, look for things that are broken.Audits, on the other hand, examine the structure of an account for the purpose of identifying things that, while not necessarily broken, could be improved upon. For example, if all campaigns had sitelinks, the CTR could likely be improved, which might boost conversions.Audits also help monitor account management policies. Many agencies and big advertisers have a preferred way for how accounts should be managed and those rules may encompass things like the maximum allowed number of keywords before an ad group should be split up, the minimum number of ad variants that should be active for A/B testing, what types of bid management is allowed to be deployed, etc.With Google’s recent announcement that its Complimentary Account Management service may involve changing account settings, serious advertisers would be well advised to put in place an audit and policy monitoring tool like the one from Optmyzr to ensure any elements managed by a 3rd party, whether Google or an agency, conform to the advertiser’s policies. Audits help you, the PPC pro, navigate and retain essential control.An audit can identify policy and structural account issues before they negatively impact account performance. (screenshot: Optmyzr)It’s also important to note that PPC professionals can benefit from an audit system to double check their own work. We’re all human — prone to mistakes. With the potential for different tools and multiple account managers to all be working on various aspects of one account, it is truly challenging to ensure all the elements work together in the intended fashion. A simple automated weekly audit can let advertisers know if the account structure is deviating from what is intended.Optmyzr is designed to be the tool that can take a PPC pro to PPC rockstar status. Our tools are designed to help search marketers build on the automations Google and Bing continue to roll out on a seemingly daily basis. Ironically, the more automation we see from the big engines and from AI and machine learning, the more PPC pros need advanced tools to become the essential strategist as opposed to day-to-day tactician. Check out our blog throughout this year for more context about PPC in the age of automation.The post How to keep PPC accounts healthy when using automation appeared first on Marketing Land.From our sponsors: How to keep PPC accounts healthy when using automationlast_img read more