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  • November 20, 2013

8 Key Business Takeaways From Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer

Lauren Harper
Sr. Manager Social Marketing

This week Dreamforce 2013 is bringing buzz and excitement to the city of San Francisco. Expected to draw a whopping 135,000 attendees, the Salesforce.com annual annual event is focused on cloud, mobile, social, and connectivity.

A testament to the unorthodox “tradeshow” environment, famous faces already are popping up throughout the event — from actors Sean Penn and Petra Němcová to Prime Minster of Haiti Laurent Lamothe, and even Huey Lewis and the News — character cameos are alive and well.

One of the more business-oriented famous faces at this year’s event is keynote speaker, Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo!

Since her appointment to the role of CEO back in July 2012, Mayer has rebuilt Yahoo’s brand from the ground up. Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff hosted a keynote fireside chat with Mayer on Tuesday, during which she talked about leadership and work-life balance, as well as the opportunities to drive business innovation.

Here are my top 8 takeaways from their conversation:

1) Make a commitment to simplicity. Everyone uses your product in their own unique way, so ensure that the core functionality is something that can be used by everyone, or multiple target audiences.

2) Constantly think about what the experience with your product is for a customer, for a one time user or visitor, for an employee, etc. and adapt to provide them a delightful experience.

3) Distinguish Usable versus Useful. At the core, your product can be pretty and easy to use, but at the end of the day, your product needs to be useful and provide value to your customers.

4) Make the move to mobile. Mobile has caught a lot of people by surprise by how quickly it’s evolving, but your business needs to keep up with your customers who are on the go. Mobile is a wave large enough, Mayer said, you can ride it to reinvention.

5) Go back to the future. Take your products that have always been useful or popular and reinvent them to make them more user-friendly for mobile.

6) Empower your employees. Sometimes the best ideas come from your employees, but they have just never had the path cleared for them to share the ideas. Empower your employees to craft ideas and help them bring them to life. Employee transparency has realized Yahoo!’s greatness, according to Mayer.

7) It’s all about prioritization. Make your priorities clear from the get go. Create your 'To Do' list starting with the most important and cascade down to the least important tasks. If you’re done with your list that means you’ve been spending too much time on things that aren’t important.

8) Surround yourself with a team that’s so talented that anyone can step in to do any job at any time. This is especially important for marketing organizations that are increasingly challenged to embody agency models that can turn on a dime.

With two more days full of sessions and keynotes, we look forward to even more great takeaways. Be sure to stop by the Compendium booth (#2208) to chat with us about content marketing, marketing automation, and the Oracle Eloqua Marketing Cloud.

Share with us your top takeaways from Dreamforce thus far in the comments section, and follow the event discussion on Twitter with the hashtag #DF13. 

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