Vox takes $46.5 million in funding as media investments stay hot

Bankoff

Vox Media has closed a funding round of $46.5 million, putting it among other digital media companies, including BuzzFeed and Vice, that have attracted major recent investments at sizable valuations


The Series E round values the company at $380 million, according to the New York Times . The investment came from only one firm: General Atlantic. Since the company's first major funding round in 2009, it has raised about $107 million



Content companies have not traditionally attracted much in the way of venture capital. VC firms tend to hunt for companies that have the potential to return investments many times over. Content companies, even very successful ones, don't usually yield the kinds of enormous investment returns software companies, for example, have delivered in recent years Read more...


More about Digital Media, Vox, Business, Media, and Startups





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Amazon's secret to getting through the holidays: Seniors doing manual labor

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Those holiday gifts you’re expecting this year will come from Santa’s workshop, if you still believe in that kind of thing. More than likely, though, you realize they’re shipping out from Amazon


But what you may not know is there’s a dead ringer for Mrs. Claus packing the boxes.


Amazon, which recently fell behind Alibaba to become the world’s second-largest e-commerce company, is in the throes of its annual temporary seasonal worker program that includes a few thousand graying retirees in its giant warehouse facilities around the U.S


The employees live full-time in recreational vehicles, following mostly low-paying, strenuous jobs around the country instead of enjoying those golden years on the golf course. Read more...


More about Amazon, Business, Jobs, and Holiday Season 2014





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The Power of Transparency and Transformation: BSR Has it Right

"How do we know which companies are serious about sustainability, and not simply paying lip service?" This is the question I'm asked by graduate business and law students, employees at multinational corporations, and audiences of business and NGO leaders. The research for my book showed that companies that find solutions to global problems -- in order to profit while building a better world -- do three things well: effective board governance, NGO/nonprofit partnerships, and stakeholder engagement. They also make information readily available about all three, so these companies are also good at disclosure.



Yet, one might still look at a list of companies that rate rather well in all four areas and still have concerns about their social impacts.



Aron Cramer, President & CEO for BSR, went to the heart of the matter in addressing BSR's annual conference earlier this month. The greatest challenge is the context in which companies operate. "Without changed market rules, it's very hard for long-term thinking to get embedded in what companies do."



A vital force that will drive long-term thinking is integrated reporting. Three organizations -- the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), the Integrated International Reporting Council (IIRC), and the Sustainable Accounting Standards Board (SASB) -- joined together with business leaders at BSR's conference to discuss integrated business reports that address non-financial risks and opportunities (sustainability issues) that affect corporations' ability to create long term value.



BSR plays a vital role in convening 275 member companies and establishing a multitude of business collaborations and multistakeholder initiatives to help advance new business models and transform markets. Read more here about BSR's work and how your company can become involved.



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Les Brown Network Marketing Speakers Academy – NMPRO #1,151

Here is Les Brown’s entire presentation at our recent Go Pro Recruiting Mastery event. IMPORTANT: Even if you don’t have time to watch the whole thing right now, make sure to watch the first two minutes. There is a time sensitive message.


If you’d like to register for the upcoming Les Brown Network Marketing Speakers Academy CLICK HERE



If you’d like to register for the upcoming Les Brown Network Marketing Speakers Academy CLICK HERE






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Five Reasons Why Virality is Just About All That Matters

I'm not saying 10,000 likes is more important than a New Yorker review. But virality is very important and figuring out how to do it will define what being online really means.

















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Doesn't Cortana Know That Disparaging Siri Reflects Negatively on Her Parents?

Instead of communicating the unique benefits of the Windows Phone, the latest Microsoft ads focus on disparaging the iPhone. The ads are "cute" and use the Windows Phone's digital assistant, Cortana, to diminish her iPhone counterpart, Siri. Hey Microsoft, do you really think that putting down a significant segment of the smartphone market is the way to sell your products? More importantly, do you think this tactic is new or effective? If you do, here are some headlines from companies that have disparaged Apple products.








What were the results of these campaigns?



Since it is using these tactics, one might presume that Microsoft has data that indicates they work. In fact, the opposite is true. They have not been effective, but they have done wonders for Apple.



Apple's record of success



Since these campaigns have been implemented, just about every successive introduction of the iPhone sets a new sales record. And what about Apple stock? Over the past year, it split 7 for 1, and Apple's market capitalization recently moved north of $700 billion. While it is far from perfect, Apple seems to be firing on all cylinders. Even though Apple produces only high-end smartphones, it is gaining an increasing share of the smartphone market. More importantly, it now commands a whopping 86 percent of smartphone profits. And, Apple is not standing still. It has the culture, momentum, manufacturing and design systems in place to continue succeeding. As of today, Apple reigns as the world's most valuable brand.



Microsoft is looking foolish



Good marketers know that when a company "badmouths" a competitor, it is (more often than not) a big mistake -- especially when the company being disparaged has Apple's track record of success. What's more, at last count, the Windows Phone share of the smartphone market is a disappointing 2.5 percent.



Why is it a big mistake?



There are so many reasons why "knocking" the competition is ineffective. Here are just a few.


  • Free advertising. When companies disparage leaders by name, it just confirms that they are the ones to buy. It also makes "free" positive brand impressions for them in the minds of prospective buyers.



  • No reasons to buy your product. Disparaging the competition does nothing to give buyers reasons to buy yours. In fact, many presume you are knocking successful competitors because you want to ride on their coattails.



  • Makes you look bad. When you disparage competitors, many in the target audience think negatively about you.



  • When you badmouth popular products, you are putting down the people that like them. Those you insult will not be inclined to buy your products, and they will spread the negative word about you to their friends -- resulting in a negative word-of-mouth pyramid that makes unflattering statements about your company and products.



  • Makes you look arrogant and insecure at the same time. Consumers learn at an early age that good companies don't "bad-mouth" competitors. Leading companies know their products are good and have no reason to talk negatively about competitors.



  • Puts a target on your back. When you tell the marketplace that your products are better than popular competitors, you are putting a target on your own back. Many will go out of their way to find defects and prove you wrong.






What should Microsoft and other companies do?



When faced with formidable competitors such as Apple, what should companies do if they really believe their products are better? They should focus on the benefits and advantages of their own products. A successful approach is to use the "elephant's trunk" strategy. It goes something like this, "We give you what the other popular smartphones give you (this neutralizes the competition) plus we give you "this" (you would replace the word "this" with the unique advantages of your product)." Whatever you do, do not mention competitors by name, and do not disparage them. This only backfires as we have seen with RIM (now Blackberry), Hewlett-Packard, Nokia (its handset business is now owned by Microsoft), and others. Apple should send a thank-you note to them for running, and paying for, ads that continue to help Apple's sales and profits grow.



Business Feed :


Black Friday Was The Second-Biggest Day Ever For Background Checks: Report

The FBI dealt with more background checks this Black Friday than ever before on the annual shopping day, according to a CNN report on Saturday.



Only once in its history has the agency had to handle a larger number of background checks in a single day: Friday, Dec. 21, 2012, exactly one week after the Sandy Hook school shooting.



All told, the FBI's National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) ran more than 175,000 background checks on Friday. The agency typically handles about one-third of that on a more normal day, according to CNN.



The record number of requests for background checks isn't surprising. In fact, it's perfectly in line with recent trends. As HuffPost reporter Kim Bhasin wrote last year:



Gun-buying after Thanksgiving is becoming something of a holiday tradition. In each of the past two years, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has reported a record number of calls for background checks for gun purchases on the Friday after Thanksgiving. A flood of 154,873 calls on Black Friday in 2012, nearly three times the daily average that year, caused outages at some of the National Instant Criminal Background Check System's call centers.





But the growing number of Black Friday requests does present a challenge for the agency. By law, NICS has only three business days to complete a background check. After that, the decision to sell a firearm rests with the dealer.



As a result of that small window, the agency had roughly 600 of its employees logging long hours to make sure it completed as many background checks as possible on Friday. "No one is allowed to take leave today," Kimberly Del Greco, an FBI manager with NICS, told NPR on Friday. The FBI even asked some former employees to help with the workload, FBI spokesman Stephen Fischer told CNN.



As Philip Bump at The Washington Post notes, background checks are "an imperfect metric for approximating total gun sales." That's primarily because of two reasons: One background check can lead to the purchase of multiple firearms by a single individual, and certain individuals are able to purchase guns without a background check ever being completed because of the aforementioned three-days rule.



Nevertheless, the number of background checks being requested can be a useful indicator of general gun ownership trends. And according to the FBI website, all 10 of the top 10 highest weeks for background checks since 1998 have occurred in the past couple of years.



More than 12,000 people in the U.S. died as a result of gun violence in 2013. The FBI was not immediately available for comment.



Business Feed :


Boko Halal: Slate





It's about what you do with it, not where it comes from. Knowledge should never be banned.



Over 200 days ago, over 250 schoolgirls were kidnapped by Boko Haram, the deadly Islamist terrorists who proclaim that WESTERN EDUCATION IS FORBIDDEN. To debunk this fallacy, we explored the evolution of tools they hold dear, like the islamic writing slate and fountain pen and how it evolved to the tablet and stylus. Stressing that their premise for bloodshed is faulty.


Advertising Agency: Noah’s Ark, Lagos, Nigeria

Executive Creative Director: Lanre Adisa

Creative Director: Abolaji Alausa

Associate Creative Director: Yemi Arawore

Deputy Creative Director: Ariyo Bamidele

Art Directors: Damola Shonubi, Ariyo Bamidele

Copywriter: Elizabeth Oghale Ughoro

3D: Olumaiye Aladeniji

Published: November 2014







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Boko Halal: Pen





It's about what you do with it, not where it comes from. Knowledge should never be banned.



Over 200 days ago, over 250 schoolgirls were kidnapped by Boko Haram, the deadly Islamist terrorists who proclaim that WESTERN EDUCATION IS FORBIDDEN. To debunk this fallacy, we explored the evolution of tools they hold dear, like the islamic writing slate and fountain pen and how it evolved to the tablet and stylus. Stressing that their premise for bloodshed is faulty.


Advertising Agency: Noah’s Ark, Lagos, Nigeria

Executive Creative Director: Lanre Adisa

Creative Director: Abolaji Alausa

Associate Creative Director: Yemi Arawore

Deputy Creative Director: Ariyo Bamidele

Art Directors: Damola Shonubi, Ariyo Bamidele

Copywriter: Elizabeth Oghale Ughoro

3D: Olumaiye Aladeniji

Published: November 2014







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OTTO.de: Handmade


















Advertising Agency: HEIMAT Berlin, Germany

Production: MJZ / Sterntag

Director: The Perlorian Brothers







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Yoga Tjatur Studio: Stiff like a box




Advertising Agency: DM Pratama Communications, Jakarta, Indonesia

Executive Creative Director: Maria Sum

Creative Director: Teddy Ichsan Arifin

Creative Group Head: Hari Priyanto

Copywriter: Agus Trianto

Graphic Designers: Donny Istiawan, Yulianto

Account Service: Madra Maharani, Gabby Leonita

Published: August 2014







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Vanichi Magazine: What if girls were internet browsers




Recent fashion photo shoot produced for Vanichi magazine's social platform promotion.


Creative Director / Photographer: Viktorija Pashuta







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Vanichi Magazine: What if guys were social networks




Recent fashion photo shoot produced for Vanichi magazine's social platform promotion.


Creative Director / Photographer: Viktorija Pashuta

Wardrobe Stylist: Jordan Anthony Swain

Grooming & Hair: Barbara Yniguez

Models: Vu Nguyen, Jordan Anthony Swain, Mazlow Petosa, Taejung Lee, Daniel Gibson, Adam Lee, Kenny Dean, Skyler Yeast

Published: November 2014







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Black Friday Spending Drops 11 Percent

Nolan Feeney

Black Friday is starting to lose its luster.


A survey of shoppers from a national retail trade group shows that fewer people are shopping on the Black Friday weekend that historically marks the beginning of the holiday shopping season, the Associated Press reports.


The number of people shopping in stores and online this weekend was 133.7 million, a 5.2 percent drop from last year, according to a National Retail Federation survey of 4,631 consumers.


The total amount of spending for the weekend is expected to fall from $57.4 billion to $50.9 billion, an 11 percent decline from last year. Per-person spending is expected to hit $380.95 for the weekend, a 6.4 drop from last year’s $407.02.


[AP ]






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Pro-Natura: Wolf





Destruction of forests is a destruction of life.



Advertising Agency: Alazraki Network, Mexico

Creative Director / Copywriter: Angel Iglesias

Art Director: Alonso Lozano







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Pro-Natura: Eagle





Destruction of forests is a destruction of life.



Advertising Agency: Alazraki Network, Mexico

Creative Director / Copywriter: Angel Iglesias

Art Director: Alonso Lozano







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Pro-Natura: Jaguar





Destruction of forests is a destruction of life.



Advertising Agency: Alazraki Network, Mexico

Creative Director / Copywriter: Angel Iglesias

Art Director: Alonso Lozano







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Creative Closets: Range of Accessories





Different people. Different needs.



Advertising Agency: Bold Creative Boutique, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Creative Director: Mohamad Baalbaki

Account Director: Abeer Alesia

Account Manager: Mahmoud Nasab

Art Directors: Syed Rizvi, Aljoharah Al Rasheed

Copywriters: Jihane Habchy, Hessah Al Sudairy

Photographer: Charbel Boez

Published: November 2014







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Creative Closets: Customized Storage





Different people. Different needs.



Advertising Agency: Bold Creative Boutique, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Creative Director: Mohamad Baalbaki

Account Director: Abeer Alesia

Account Manager: Mahmoud Nasab

Art Directors: Syed Rizvi, Aljoharah Al Rasheed

Copywriters: Jihane Habchy, Hessah Al Sudairy

Photographer: Charbel Boez

Published: November 2014







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Creative Closets: Money Back Guarantee





Different people. Different needs.



Advertising Agency: Bold Creative Boutique, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Creative Director: Mohamad Baalbaki

Account Director: Abeer Alesia

Account Manager: Mahmoud Nasab

Art Directors: Syed Rizvi, Aljoharah Al Rasheed

Copywriters: Jihane Habchy, Hessah Al Sudairy

Photographer: Charbel Boez

Published: November 2014







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Creative Closets: Space Management





Different people. Different needs.



Advertising Agency: Bold Creative Boutique, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Creative Director: Mohamad Baalbaki

Account Director: Abeer Alesia

Account Manager: Mahmoud Nasab

Art Directors: Syed Rizvi, Aljoharah Al Rasheed

Copywriters: Jihane Habchy, Hessah Al Sudairy

Photographer: Charbel Boez

Published: November 2014







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Sveta Vladar: Zlatko


















Advertising Agency: Pristop, Slovenia







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Sushi Market: Playing with food


















Advertising Agency: Creamos, Medellín, Colombia

Creative Director: Jorge Montoya E

Art Directors: Ricardo Cardona, Wendy Giraldo

Copywriters: Diego Roldán, Alejandro Metaute

Published: November 2014







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Transat Holidays: Cuban Taxi surprise


















Advertising Agency: DentsuBos, Toronto, Canada

Creative Director: Roger Gariépy

Art Director: Simon Rufiange

Copywriter: Xavier Blais

Production: 1One







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Chase Apple Pay: Rollercoaster


















Advertising Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi, New York, USA

Chief Creative Officer: Jay Benjamin

Creative Director: Doug Pippin

Associate Creative Director: Katie Kuni

Senior Copywriter: Kasey Foster

Chief Production Officer: Tanya LeSieur

Director of Content Production: John Doris

Executive Producer: Bruce Andreini

Producer: Ian Kelly

Music Producer: Christine Hunt

Director of Talent: Tina Sperber

Director of Licensing: Rosemarie Jacques

Business Manager: Alan Zucker

Group Account Director: Kim Bealle

Account Director: Rebecca Robertson

Assistant Account Executive: Kim Yih

Production Company: Iconoclast

Director: Gustav Johansson

Director of Photography: Chayse Irvin

Executive Producer: Charles-Marie Anthonioz

Line Producer: Brigitte Pugh

Edit: Cut & Run

Editor: Sam Ostrove

Assistant Editor: Ryan Harrington

Producer: Jean Lane

Executive Producer: Rana Martin

Color Grading: Company 3

Colorist: Sofie Borup

Audio: Sonic Union

Mix Engineer: Steve Rosen

VFX/Post: Cut & Run

Flame Artist: Joseph Grosso

Graphic Artist: Matthew Dolven

Producer: Julia Williams







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7 Daily Habits of Exceptionally Productive Leaders

You don't have to be a born leader to be a great leader. Just focus on doing a few things very well.

















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