E-commerce advertisers, on average, spent 20 percent more money on Facebook ads in the third quarter of 2017 than they did in the same period last year, according to a report published on Tuesday by Nanigans, a company that provides software for brands to automate their Facebook ad buys and that is a part of Facebook’s Marketing Developers program. A Nanigans spokesperson declined to say how many advertisers were included in the study.
While e-commerce brands are pushing more money into the social network in general, they are particularly purchasing more mobile video ads and retargeted ads from Facebook. These marketers spent, on average, 40 percent more money on Facebook’s mobile video ads in Q3 2017 than in Q3 2016. And the share of their ad spend that went to Facebook’s Dynamic Ads — its product catalog-promoting ad format that retargets the people who browsed a brand’s site or app — increased by 284 percent year over year.
While the share of e-commerce brands’ budgets going to Dynamic Ads grew, it’s unclear how big (or small) a piece of those budgets the ad format accounts for. The Nanigans spokesperson declined to say what was the actual share of e-commerce brands’ budgets spent on Dynamic Ads.
Interestingly, e-commerce advertisers increased their spending on Facebook despite an increase in the social network’s ad rates and a decrease in its ads’ performance for these brands.
E-commerce advertisers typically paid $8.40 for every thousand times their ads were served across Facebook and its Audience Network ad network of third-party sites and apps (Nanigans’ study did not include Instagram campaigns). That’s a 69 percent higher CPM than e-commerce brands paid a year ago and corresponds with a 57 percent year-over-year increase among all advertisers to $9.31.
While e-commerce brands paid a premium for impressions, clicks were significantly cheaper at $0.46 on average. That CPC has similarly swelled over the past year, but e-commerce brands also pay less money per click than the average Facebook advertiser that paid $0.55 per click in Q3 2017, a 54 percent increase year over year.
At the same time Facebook’s ad rates have risen, its ads’ performance has dipped. In Q3 2017, people clicked on e-commerce brands’ Facebook ads about 1.84 percent of the time, down 4 percent compared to a year ago. However, that’s still a better click-through rate than the average advertiser saw on Facebook. In Q3, Facebook’s worldwide click-through rate averaged 1.69 percent, up 2 percent compared to a year ago but down 4 percent compared to the previous quarter. That marked the first time Facebook’s average global click-through rate declined from Q2 to Q3, according to Nanigans, though the company’s spokesperson said that shift “is unlikely to be indicative of a larger directional change in the market.”
At Skylab, we have a growing, but tight-nit group of core members. Its immensely important (both for your professional development, and the increasing value of Skylab as a company) that every day, and every week, each individual team member is accomplishing definitive tasks, and producing valuable assets.
By having clear goals, and understanding perfectly the Vision and Expectations of your daily task or project, you can ensure that you stay productive.
You might think that productive just means “doing a lot of work” or “working really hard all day”. Its far more than that, as this video should demonstrate to you:
Here at Skylab we want to help you create explosive productivity so you get big things done (and make your life matter).
That’s why we use the VEAC : VEAC is at the heart of Skylab‘s Culture. It is the process we use to go about our work day, start a new project, and communicate with each other. Read each part of the VEAC carefully. Incorporate these terms into your daily communication with the team and it will increases your productivity as a team and as an individual! Skylab supports all of its clients to use the VEAC model.
V – VISION : Communicate and understand the scope and nature of the task or project. (Use ‘Active Listening’ skills)
E – EXPECTATION : Understand the timelines that your team lead is expecting this task to be done, and any required support/resources. (What will be delivered when)
A – ADJUSTMENT : If there is anything that effects the vision, expectation, or timeline while you are completing your task you will need to notify your team leader or teammates affected by this ASAP
C – CLOSE THE LOOP : When you feel the task is complete you must get a sign off from your team lead, and inform the other teammates involved with this accomplishment. (NOTE: Communication is not considered communicated until you have verbal or written acknowledgement or response. We operate in a fast paced situation emails, text or slack messages that are not responded to DO NOT COUNT as communication)
Here are 21 tips to get you to your best productivity from a leader in the self development world, Robin Sharma :
Check email in the afternoon so you protect the peak energy hours of your mornings for your best work.
Stop waiting for perfect conditions to launch a great project. Immediate action fuels a positive feedback loop that drives even more action.
Remember that big, brave goals release energy. So set them clearly and then revisit them every morning for 5 minutes.
Mess creates stress (I learned this from tennis icon Andre Agassi who said he wouldn’t let anyone touch his tennis bag because if it got disorganized, he’d get distracted). So clean out the clutter in your office to get more done.
“The only thing to do with good advice is to pass it on. It is never of any use to oneself.”
Sell your TV. You’re just watching other people get successful versus doing the things that will get you to your dreams.
Say goodbye to the energy vampires in your life (the negative souls who steal your enthusiasm).
Run routines. When I studied the creative lives of massively productive people like Stephen King, John Grisham and Thomas Edison, I discovered they follow strict daily routines. (i.e., when they would get up, when they would start work, when they would exercise and when they would relax). Peak productivity’s not about luck. It’s about devotion.
Get up at 5 am. Win the battle of the bed. Put mind over mattress. This habit alone will strengthen your willpower so it serves you more dutifully in the key areas of your life.
Don’t do so many meetings. Having the few meetings you now do standing up – and it’s created breakthrough results.
Don’t say yes to every request. Most of us have a deep need to be liked. That translates into us saying yes to everything – which is the end of your elite productivity.
“We all naturally want to become successful… we also want to take shortcuts. And it’s easy to do so, but you can never take away the effort of hard work and discipline and sacrifice.”
Outsource everything you can’t be BIW (Best in the World) at. Focus only on activities within what I call “Your Picasso Zone”.
Stop multi-tasking. New research confirms that all the distractions invading our lives are rewiring the way our brains work (and drop our IQ by 5 points!). Be one of the rare-air few who develops the mental and physical discipline to have a mono-maniacal focus on one thing for many hours. (It’s all about practice).
Get fit like Madonna. Getting to your absolute best physical condition will create explosive energy, renew your focus and multiply your creativity.
Workout 2X a day. This is just one of the little-known productivity tactics. Here’s the key: exercise is one of the greatest productivity tools in the world. So do 20 minutes first thing in the morning and then another workout around 6 or 7 pm to set you up for wow in the evening.
Drink more water. When you’re dehydrated, you’ll have far less energy. And get less done.
Work in 90 minute blocks with 10 minute intervals to recover and refuel.
Write a Stop Doing List. Every productive person obsessively sets To Do Lists. But those who play at world-class also record what they commit to stop doing. Steve Jobs said that what made Apple Apple was not so much what they chose to build but all the projects they chose to ignore.
Use your commute time. If you’re commuting 30 minutes each way every day – get this: at the end of a year, you’ve spent 6 weeks of 8 hour days in your car. I encourage you to use that time to listen to fantastic books on audio + excellent podcasts and valuable learning programs. Remember, the fastest way to double your income is to triple your rate of learning.
Be a contrarian. Why buy your groceries at the time the store is busiest? Why go to movies on the most popular nights? Why hit the gym when the gym’s completely full? Do things at off-peak hours and you’ll save so many of them.
Get things right the first time. Most people are wildly distracted these days. And so they make mistakes. To unleash your productivity, become one of the special performers who have the mindset of doing what it takes to get it flawless first. This saves you days of having to fix problems.
Get lost. Don’t be so available to everyone. I often spend hours at a time in the cafeteria of a university close to our headquarters. I turn off my devices and think, create, plan and write. Zero interruptions. Pure focus. Massive results.
I truly hope these 21 productivity tips have been valuable to you. And that I’ve been of service. Your productivity is your life made visible. Please protect it.
The Future of Work is changing. Are you ready?
Working Nation is one Skylab’s Client. Through the Channels section, you can access to content about leadership and productivity directly on the app. Each Skylab app provides great training and learning section related to the particular business sector.
Here are a few coping mechanism and 8-step process for maximizing efficacy (doing the right things) from Tim Ferriss, author of the 4-Hour Workweek
Wake up at least 1 hour before you have to be at a computer screen. E-mail is the mind killer.
Make a cup of tea (I like pu-erh) and sit down with a pen/pencil and paper.
Write down the 3-5 things — and no more — that are making you most anxious or uncomfortable. They’re often things that have been punted from one day’s to-do list to the next, to the next, to the next, and so on. Most important usually = most uncomfortable, with some chance of rejection or conflict.
For each item, ask yourself:
“If this were the only thing I accomplished today, would I be satisfied with my day?”
“Will moving this forward make all the other to-do’s unimportant or easier to knock off later?”
Look only at the items you’ve answered “yes” to for at least one of these questions.
Block out at 2-3 hours to focus on ONE of them for today. Let the rest of the urgent but less important stuff slide. It will still be there tomorrow.
TO BE CLEAR: Block out at 2-3 HOURS to focus on ONE of them for today. This is ONE BLOCK OF TIME. Cobbling together 10 minutes here and there to add up to 120 minutes does not work.
If you get distracted or start procrastinating, don’t freak out and downward spiral; just gently come back to your ONE to-do.
“The Role of a great leader is not to give greatness to human beings, but to help them extract the greatness they already have inside them.”
A Leader’s quote
As we rise into leadership roles, it’s not always easy to walk the talk. Of course, we want to be wise sages, counseling our charges and inspiring them to greatness. But that’s easier said than done. The challenge was particularly acute for Karl Allen, co-founder and CEO of Planet Jockey, a company that creates management courses in the form of online games. He knew it would be a sad irony if the head of a company selling leadership games wasn’t much of a leader, himself. So he vowed to step up – and here are the lessons he learned through playing his company’s games and vowing to become the right kind of CEO.
Recognize where you’re starting.
Planet Jockey’s game teaches the principles of “buoyant leadership” – what Allen describes as “a concept whereby, as a leader, you float [on top] because the people you lead believe you deserve it.” (The concept is discussed in depth in a book called The Case of the Missing Cutlery by Kevin Allen, Karl’s partner in business and life.) But Karl recognizes that while buoyancy is the goal, he won’t always be perfect. “I can do it at times,” he says. “But sometimes [negative] instinct takes over, and it takes over really fast.” These days, he can recognize when he feels his temper rising at work, and can guide himself back into a more inspirational mode of leadership.
Say what you mean.
In evaluating his leadership style, Karl Allen recognized that sometimes in the past, he’s prioritized being ‘nice’ – which has driven him to avoid saying what he really means. That doesn’t serve anyone, he’s concluded. He recalls one incident where he felt one of Planet Jockey’s Udemy classes wasn’t gaining traction fast enough. The best possible reaction, he says, would have been to tell his staffer, “You’re doing an amazing job, and I’ve got a great idea for all the ways” we can grow further. He also could have directly discussed the critiques he had of the marketing. Instead, he recalls, “I phoned her up and said, ‘I think we’re really dropping the ball.’ It’s passive-aggressive, because when I say ‘we,’ I mean ‘you.’ And that’s terrible and destructive.” Planet Jockey’s games have helped him to realize where he went wrong.
Meetings are critical. One of the areas where Allen knows he fell short initially was in running staff meetings. “Before, I’d just get everyone into a meeting and start chatting and people would shout at me and I’d shout back at them,” he recalls. “What I learned after playing the game is that you need some rules. It’s not just about inspiring people; meetings need to be structured. For instance, you need smaller meetings, so you should try to limit it to 6-8 people. That way you know you can get to hear everybody’s point of view and everyone gets a chance to talk.” Overall, he says, “You need to know what needs to come out of the meeting, and have a clear sense of who’s there and why they’re there.”
Early on, says Allen, he would sometimes take too narrow a view of what others could contribute. “The game taught me that people within your team have a lot more to offer than sometimes you realize,” he says. As a result, he started a team practice in which staffers sit down and share what they’re doing outside of work. That’s how he learned about one employee’s side calligraphy business, which she was pursuing with a friend who worked at a company Allen was targeting. Allen had always thought of his staffer as being expert in “digital marketing, not face-to-face sales.” But with a little coaching, she was able to persuade her friend to make an introduction at her company. “I realized she has an amazing sales persona,” says Allen. “She built that skill and we got a huge piece of business.”
The conversation is what matters. When it comes to a topic like leadership, there will never be 100% agreement about the best approach to a given situation. That’s how Allen came to realize that the real value of the game is in the conversation it sparks. “The learning from the game wasn’t even so much from the game itself,” he says. “The learning is from the reflection on the game – how well you did, or thought you did…You learn because you have to fight it out and discuss it [with colleagues]. The answers are ambiguous and part of a learning process.”
MindMovies is one Skylab’s Client. Through the Channels section, you can access to great content about leadership and entrepreneurship directly on the app. Each Skylab app provides great training and learning section related to the appropriate business sector.
Becoming a great leader isn’t easy. It’s especially challenging when you’re running a company that’s predicated on teaching others how to lead. As Karl Allen shows, opening up about your mistakes and the learning process along the way is part of what it takes to truly succeed. You win or you learn !
Now Is The Perfect Time To Be A Women Entrepreneur
“Women who walks with purpose doesn’t have to chase people or opportunities. Her light causes people and opportunities to pursue her.”
Dr. Farrah Gray
In Silicon Valley, the percentage of women entrepreneur starting technology companies is astronomically low, at a rate around 3 percent. Of privately held companies, only 6.5 percent have a female CEO, and 1.3 percent have a female founder. How is this the case, when women are earning more than half of all bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate degrees for the first time in history?
Despite these disappointing numbers and the gender issues, there is good news too. Women who are in tech are doing well and getting noticed. Recent data has shown that women-led technology companies are more capital-efficient, achieving 35 percent higher return on investment. Companies founded by women also represented a record 13 percent of venture capital deals through the first half of 2013, up from only 4 percent in 2004. In other words, investors are starting to notice that it pays to have a woman in charge.
As a women entrepreneur and sole founder and CEO of a venture-backed digital healthcarestartup, I’ve experienced a positive shift in how I’m treated as a woman in tech compared to the horror stories of women who came before me. This leads me to believe that now is the perfect time to make the leap into entrepreneurship as a women.
Women entrepreneur are being recognized as powerful leaders
Heavy-hitting women such as Marissa Mayer, Sheryl Sandberg and GinniRometty are in C-suite roles, running major Fortune 500 companies. Their leadership, and the headlines they garner, have popularized the image of women in high-level roles and opened the door for a conversation about the need for more female leadership in tech and beyond.
Fortunately, women outside of the spotlight are also excelling and being recognized for their outstanding leadership skills. A 2011 study in the Harvard Business Review evaluating men and women in the workplace found that:
“At every level, more women were rated by their peers, their bosses, their direct reports, and their other associates as better overall leaders than their male counterparts — and the higher the level, the wider that gap grows. Specifically, at all levels, women are rated higher in fully 12 of the 16 competencies that go into outstanding leadership. And two of the traits where women outscored men to the highest degree — taking initiative and driving for results — have long been thought of as particularly male strengths.”
Considering it wasn’t very long ago that women were relegated to the home and shunned from the boardroom, that is a pretty amazing and inspiring update. And for enterprising female entrepreneurs, the timing of this shift couldn’t be better.
With strong women entrepreneur at the helm, something interesting (but unsurprising) is happening to their businesses: They are growing at a higher rate than their traditional, male-led counterparts. Over the past 10 years, the growth in the number of women-owned firms with $10 million or more in revenues has increased by 56.6 percent, a rate 47 percent faster than the rate of growth of all $10 million-plus firms.
Women in leadership roles also seem to be key in driving the success of an enterprise. The failure rate of startups with two or fewer female executives is 50.3 percent, but with five or more women in high-level positions, the success rate jumps to 61 percent.
In particular, women are emerging as key players in healthcare, both on the ground and in the C-suite. Women entrepreneur account for 73 percent of medical and health services managers, making them the face of healthcare to the general population. And over the last decade, not only has the number of high-revenue, women-owned healthcare and social assistance firms nearly tripled, but those companies are growing at an impressive rate – 54.9 percent across all healthcare and social assistance firms, and nearly 183 percent for firms with over $10 million in revenue.
With healthcare in the national spotlight, women are emerging as successful leaders capable of shepherding America into a new era of health and wellness. Skylab Apps recognizes this trend and has partnered with healthcare professionals creating “Skylab Medical” a Skylab Apps incubator partner company. See more about this here.
The VC snowball effect
Women entrepreneur firms are succeeding and in turn, attracting more venture capital investment, leading to even higher growth. During the height of the dot-com bubble, venture capital investments in women-led businesses lagged pathetically, receiving less than 6 percent of total funds invested in the U.S. between 1997 and 2000. But between 2000 and 2011, that number shot up to 41 percent.
Combine that with the fact that when venture-backed, women-led technology companies bring in 12 percent higher revenue than male-owned tech companies and you have a Pandora’s box of potential.
As VC firms continue to be positively rewarded for investing in women-led companies, they will be more open to future investments. I’d be hard-pressed – and reluctant – to stop this snowball from reaching warp speed.
The women-supporting-women movement is just starting
There are more women entrepreneurs supporting younger and less-experienced female entrepreneurs today than ever before. For example, I had a mentor who had a huge impact on my growth and success, so I’m paying it forward.
Over the past year, I’ve been mentoring a young female entrepreneur who recently raised $1 million for her own startup and was named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 List. The great thing is, 80 percent of female tech entrepreneurs reported having mentors and, in my experience, that bodes well for their future success.
There are more women investors looking for women-led companies, or great companies to invest in and add women to their leadership teams or advisory boards because the numbers don’t lie — the odds of success with women calling the shots.
“It is important to take an active role in shaping our personal and professional networks in order to live the most fulfilling lives possible.”