Posts Tagged ‘Google’

Is it evil to avoid tax?

Posted on: June 7th, 2013 by admin-kablooey 1 Comment

Devil business manGoogle famously has the slogan “don’t be evil”. They are however embroiled in a worldwide issue – is tax avoidance evil? Not only have Google been dragged into the fray,  but Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft, Starbucks and even famous individuals such as Jimmy Carr have come under the spotlight for not paying their fair share of tax

Tax evasion is illegal, but avoidance is not. It is recognised that the more money you have, the more likely you are to be able to afford expensive accountants and lawyers to reduce tax. Apple, according to a study conducted by Millward Brown Optimar, for WPP is the most valuable brand on the planet, with Google second.

So how have Google only paid £10 million in corporation tax on revenues of nearly £12 billion, when they openly claim to make 25% profit? They carry out something called “Double Irish”. Their business is registered in Ireland where corporation tax is a lot lower and is allowed to move their profit offshore. In Google’s case this is the British Overseas Territory of The Cayman Islands, which has no income, capital gains or corporation tax. They end up with an effective tax rate of 2.4%. This obviously makes great business sense and if the British Government wants to change this arrangement they can obviously change the status of the Cayman Islands.

Google does indirectly pay tax though. All their employees in the country that they are working from pay income tax on their earnings, state taxes, national insurance and VAT. Google are also making a huge investment in the UK by building a massive HQ at Kings Cross in London, reputedly costing £300 million that will give much needed work for the construction sector. Once built it will directly provide jobs and indirectly give a boost to services such as bars, restaurants, shops, gyms, transport etc., in the local area.

Tax evasion is not illegal, so why all the fuss? At TomorrowToday we believe they are missing the point and are not taking notice of a major disruptive force; the opinions and power of the people within Generation X and Y. Even though Google was very famously founded by Gen Xer’s Larry Page and Sergey Brin they looked to a classic Baby Boomer in the form of Eric Schmidt to be the CEO of Google from 2001 to 2011 He was recruited to run the company under the guidance of Venture Capitalists that are in turn Baby Boomers. He went about his task to make the business more productive, more efficient and more profitable, because that’s what is expected; companies are there to make money and deliver returns to shareholders. As the CEO, it is his duty to reduce costs and if tax can be reduced, so be it. His systems are still in place even though Larry Page took over the reigns in April 2011. Ironically Eric Schmidt is part of Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron’s Business Advisory Group. At Apple the CEO is Tim Cook, Microsoft is Steve Bulmer, Starbucks Howard Schultz, the list goes on of household names that are CEO’s of businesses that are not paying their taxes. All of these Baby Boomers might be great business people to increase productivity and decrease costs, but are they in touch with the values of the younger generations? The days are over of having only your shareholders to answer to. Today’s younger generations are more attuned to the creation of a fairer world that looks after the whole, not just the individual. If you want them to buy from you, you need to show how you care for the world and its people. People will vote with their feet (Starbucks) or more likely their fingers in today’s connected world if businesses are not trusted and do not contribute to society. Generation X and Y are not brand loyal; they will find another service or product that suits their needs and values.

Superstar businesses of today, be wary. Back in 2000 Apple wasn’t even in the top 20 companies and you had probably never even heard of Google. Already both Apple and Google have fallen out of the top 20 Most Trusted Businesses in the USA according to the Ponema Institute. Huge companies and famous brands such as Cisco, Yahoo, Myspace, AOL, Dell and Nokia have fallen from lofty heights. You are never too big or famous to fail (unless you are a bank of course, but that’s another story). Plug into the values of today’s people and ignore them at your peril. It would be a shame that worthwhile projects that are being progressed by Google co-founder Sergey Brin, to try and solve the worlds energy and climate problems were cut short because they were not in touch with the very people they are trying to help be rid of evils such as pollution, famine and poverty.

Three reasons to get into Google+

Posted on: February 29th, 2012 by admin-kablooey No Comments

Google+ is taking the world by storm and just may become the social network with enough clout to give Facebook a run for its money. After joining Google+ a few months ago (you can see my profile here) I have had various conversations with social media peers and everyone seems to have differing views on whether Google+ is worth investing your marketing time in. This has caused me to do a fair amount of research and to once again present my own view point. There are three reasons why you should be seriously looking at creating a Google+ Profile

SEO Benefit

This is by far the main benefit. SEOMoz, a respected international search engine optimisation firm have run multiple tests and have found that companies with Google+ profiles are being prioritised inn search engines based on their social connection with the searcher. This means that your company can getter better search engine exposure simply by creating a good Google+ page. SEOMoz created a great video to explain this in more detail if you would like to know more.

Google+ is full of influencers


A big part of social media marketing is building relationships with key influencers in your marketplace who have the Internet savvy to take your brand to his or her networks (and hopefully viral). Google+ is full of (over 100 million) people who are early adopters of social media technology and who have extensive networks, followers and fans. Due to the fact that Google+ is not too saturated with many people yet it provides a great opportunity to find those key influencers who can take your message to their networks on other popular platforms as well.

It’s always good to be the first

Getting into something first always presents an opportunity to capture a marketplace before your competitors. Providing an excellent competitive advantage. We would recommend getting into Google+ early in order to build good, engaging and trusted networks for your industry before your competition

Retaining Talent – a lesson for the Tech Industry [infographic]

Posted on: July 21st, 2011 by admin-kablooey 1 Comment

Retaining talent has always been an interesting challenge in business. This infographic about the Technology Industry showed this very cleary, albeit not what the graphic was initialy created for.

Take a careful look and see that most of the top new technology companies were founded by key people inside the bigger technollogy companies. What would Microsoft shares look like if it actually owned the companies that were started by past employees? How would Google look if it owned Foursquare, Twitter and Instagram?

This talent challege that TomorrowToday has been looking at in detail over the past few years. The training divison has two training programmes that helps businesses get a grip on these “talented individuals” and create an environment that brings the best out of them within the walls of the comapny they work for.

The two programmes are ideas and innovation and Mentor and Mentee. The first looks into becoming aware of why innovation is an imperative and an on-going process in the new world of work and  creating and environment where innovative ideas can flourish and be appreciated.

The Mentor and Mentee programme is a personal favourite that helps business couple the experience of older generations in business with the younger generations knowledge of the new world of work. I like this programme because it is one of the most effective ways that business can adopt social media strategies onto their organisations.

We hope you enjoy the inforgraphic

mashable_infographic_interconnected-tech-companies

Infographic design by Nick Sigler

 

WTF, Google?

Posted on: October 9th, 2009 by admin-kablooey No Comments

FastCompany has a great post, with the same title as this post, on some of Google’s glitches. Of course, as they point out, when you’re processing the volume of stuff they are, they’re bound to make a few glitches. They mostly relate to attempts to return searches and ads that are in line with what the user has requested, and then royally messed up. And a couple of them are royal.

My fave of the bunch they showcase is this one. It’s a Google Ad within an article someone’s written. Certainly not the kind of ad you want period, and definitely not at the beginning of an article like this:

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I’m sure there are some that love that Google doesn’t get it right every time (Microsoft and Yahoo!! come to mind) but I like that technology isn’t perfect and that it creates some humour for us every now and then : )

The emergence of Neuromarketing

Posted on: September 22nd, 2009 by admin-kablooey No Comments

Traditional market research has it’s limitations when one considers the influence of the ‘observer’ on the ‘observed’ when attempting to understand people’s true thoughts and feelings on the product/brand/service being researched. If we could just get into their heads to withdraw a pure brain impulse without the constraints traditional market research introduces in the mechanisms it uses. Enter Neuromarketing…

Neuromarketing is the practice of using technology to measure brain activity in consumer subjects in order to inform the development of products and communications–really to inform the brand’s 4Ps. The premise is that consumer buying decisions are made in split seconds in the subconscious, emotional part of the brain and that by understanding what we like, don’t like, want, fear, are bored by, etc. as indicated by our brain’s reactions to brand stimuli, marketers can design products and communications to better meet “unmet” market needs, connect and drive “the buy”.

FastCompany posted an article recently that explores the issue and the companies that are using this new ‘science’. It also suggests a few shortcomings and some interesting ethical concerns.

Neuromarketing is only poised to grow in use and influence. But as the practice makes its way out of the lab and into the real world, at the grocery aisle, onto your computer perhaps…a debate, well beyond marketing, will rage.