Coronavirus created a dictator and emboldens authoritarians worldwide – Business Insider – Business Insider

  • On Monday, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban effectively became the world’s newest dictator when the country’s parliament voted to suspend elections and granted him the power to rule by decree with no time limit.
  • “At this point, Hungary is a full-on dictatorship – no if, ands, or buts. This was simply the last step in the process,” Sheri Berman, a political scientist at Barnard College, told Insider.
  • But experts on authoritarianism say that while Hungary presents a particularly concerning case in terms of leaders exploiting the crisis, it is not unique.
  • “Authoritarian leaders, whether in authoritarian regimes (e.g. China and Venezuela) or in (nominal) democracies (e.g. Israel and UK), are using the coronavirus crisis, like most crises, to strengthen their grip on power and weaken dissent and opposition,” Cas Mudde, a political scientist at the University of Georgia, told Insider.

The coronavirus pandemic has morphed Hungary into a full-blown authoritarian state, as autocratic leaders around the world are exploiting panic and fear surrounding the virus to consolidate power and dismantle democracy, according to experts.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban on Monday was granted sweeping emergency powers by the country’s parliament to combat the coronavirus, giving him the right to rule by decree indefinitely (the power to bypass the national assembly) and suspend existing laws. The European Union member has also suspended future elections, effectively eradicating democracy in the country and making Orban the world’s newest dictator.

Orban, one of Europe’s most controversial leaders who’s garnered a reputation for Islamophobia, xenophobia, and anti-Semitism, was already widely considered to be a populist authoritarian and an enemy to democratic values.

“At this point, Hungary is a full-on dictatorship. No if, ands, or buts. This was simply the last step in the process,” Sheri Berman, a professor of political science at Barnard College and author of “Democracy and Dictatorship in Europe,” told Insider.

Hungary’s new law also includes harsh penalties – up to five years in prison – for anyone the Hungarian government decides has disseminated “false” information.

Human-rights groups and top European officials have expressed grave concern about Orban’s new powers.

“This bill creates an indefinite and uncontrolled state of emergency and give Viktor Orban and his government carte blanche to restrict human rights,” David Vig, Amnesty International’s Hungary Director, said in a statement. “This is not the way to address the very real crisis that has been caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

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Meanwhile, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen told Hungary it’s “of utmost importance that emergency measures are not at the expense of our fundamental principles and values … democracy cannot work without free and independent media.”

The global coronavirus power grab

Orban is hardly unique in terms of using the coronavirus crisis as a means of extending or expanding his rule.

“Authoritarian leaders, whether in authoritarian regimes (e.g. China and Venezuela) or in (nominal) democracies (e.g Israel and UK), are using the coronavirus crisis, like most crises, to strengthen their grip on power and weaken dissent and opposition,” Cas Mudde, a political scientist at the University of Georgia who’s an expert on populism, extremism, and democracy, told Insider.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu looks on as he delivers a statement during his visit at the Health Ministry national hotline, in Kiryat Malachi, Israel March 1, 2020. REUTERS/Amir Cohen

Foto: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Source: Reuters

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been accused of conducting a “coronavirus coup.” Netanyahu, who’s been indicted on corruption charges, has seen his trial delayed and rule of the country extended amid the pandemic.

“In Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu has tried to use the coronavirus to extend his power, and thereby stay out of prison, but he still has to depend on alliances with independent parties and politicians,” Mudde, author of “The Far Right Today,” said.

“Hungary is particularly problematic, as the government has virtually no counterpower and liberal democracy had been largely dismantled in the past decade. Consequently, as Orban now rules by decree, and most courts have already been under his rule, Hungary has become truly an authoritarian state, despite its nominal democratic facade,” Mudde added.

Echoing this perspective, Berman said the most striking instance of a leader using coronavirus panic as a power grab is Hungary. But she added that “other dictatorial minded leaders,” such as Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, are also “exploiting the crisis and people’s fears to attempt to consolidate power and undermine their opponents.”

From Brazil to Belarus, authoritarian-minded leaders are are “using fear to consolidate their power while at the same time peddling untruths about the causes and nature of the crisis,” Berman said.

The pandemic could lead to an erosion of democracy worldwide

Bolsonaro, who has misleadingly called the novel coronavirus a “measly cold,” has been attacking the media and accusing it of attempting to spark hysteria over the pandemic to undermine his government. The Brazilian leader has ignored science and remained obstinate over adopting measures, such as lockdowns, to quell the spread of the virus.

Similarly, Erdogan’s government in recent days has detained people, including a trucker driver who shared a video that trended on social media, who have been critical of its response to the virus.

In the Philippines, President Rodrigo Duterte has been granted broad emergency powers and has warned he’s ordered the police and military to shoot anyone who “creates trouble.”

“Let this be a warning to all. Follow the government at this time because it is critical that we have order,” Duterte said on Wednesday. “And do not harm the health workers, the doctors…because that is a serious crime. My orders to the police and the military, if anyone creates trouble, and their lives are in danger: shoot them dead.”

Alexander Lukashenko, the president of Belarus, has rejected the science on coronavirus over what he refers to as the global “psychosis” surrounding the pandemic. Lukashenko, who has been in power for a quarter century and is known for brutal crackdowns on dissent, has encouraged citizens to drink vodka and visit the sauna to stay healthy.

Trump Bolsonaro

Foto: President Donald Trump with Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro on March 7 in Palm Beach, Florida. Source: Alex Brandon/AP

In many countries, including China and Israel, governments are engaging in invasive surveillance in the name of public health. Coronavirus has also seen governments worldwide, from Bolivia to Chile, postpone elections or important referendums.

Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump has blamed China for the spread of the virus, for a time referring to it as the “Chinese virus.” Though Trump has taken a more serious tone on the pandemic this week, the president and his political allies in both Congress and the media (Fox News) have suggested, without evidence, that Democrats hyperbolized the threat of coronavirus in order to hurt his reelection chances.

The trend of autocrats and would-be authoritarians downplaying the threat of coronavirus and scapegoating or blaming other groups could backfire as the pandemic worsens, but the emergency powers such leaders are being granted at present are also increasing fears among experts about the long-term erosion of democracy across the world.

“We could have a parallel epidemic of authoritarian and repressive measures following close if not on the heels of a health epidemic,” Fionnuala Ni Aolain, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on counterterrorism and human rights, told the New York Times on Monday.

“In times of crisis, checks and balances are often ignored in the name of executive power. The danger is that the temporary can become permanent,” Florian Bieber, a professor history and politics at the University of Graz, Austria, wrote in a recent op-ed for Foreign Policy. “If strongmen are threatened with a loss of legitimacy, they’re likely to double down on their authoritarian practices and take advantage of the state of emergency to consolidate power”

Ubersuggest is Now More Free

Please read the whole post as I have a few surprises for everyone and it affects all member types.

A month or so ago, I blogged about the future of Ubersuggest and how there will still be free plans along with paid ones.

But as you probably noticed, the free plan wasn’t as generous as you were hoping for.

And with Coronavirus growing at a rapid pace and affecting so many people and businesses, I thought I would do my part and help small businesses out.

Because if I help you grow a bit more without spending money, hopefully, you won’t have to lay off any people and, ideally, you will even be able to hire a few more people.

So today, I have made Ubersuggest “more free” and over the next week, it will become even more free.

What does that mean? Let me break it down for you…

You’ll have full access to historical data

First off, anytime you want to view graphs on historical data, you no longer have to pay.

For example, if you want to see how popular a keyword was over the last 12 months, all you have to do is type it in and you’ll see the data.

If you aren’t logged in, you only see 3 months’ worth of data (this is to help stop scrapers and reduce server expenses), but once you log in, which again is free, you’ll see historical data.

The same goes for traffic estimates. Anytime you look up a competitor, you’ll be able to see their search traffic over the last 12 months as well as how many keywords each site is ranking for during that time period.

As for backlinks, there is a historical link graph and a new and lost link graph.

Currently, it is blocked off for only paid members, but in the next 7 days I WILL BE OPENING IT UP FOR FREE.

Sorry for the delay, but it takes my developers a bit of time to make this change.

So, within the next week, this will also be available for free.

You also have access to more keywords

Have you performed keyword research recently?

If you haven’t tried, look up a domain and go to the “keywords” navigation item…

Once you land on that report, you will see a really long list of keywords. 🙂

If you aren’t logged in, you’ll be asked to do so, and this is also free. The reason being is this helps stops scrapers and reduces server costs.

The same goes for the keyword ideas report. This report gives you more keyword suggestions once you enter in a keyword.

In the navigation menu bar, click on “keyword ideas.”

Enter in a keyword and you’ll be given a list of other related terms.

Again, you may be asked to log in, which is free, but that is to reduce scrapers on our end to save on server costs.

More content ideas and top pages

Over the next 7 days, we are also going to make the content ideas report and the top pages a bit more generous.

We will probably provide four times more results for free on these two reports.

So when you are looking for ideas for your next blog post, you’ll see more recommendations.

Or if you are looking up a competitor to see which pages drive them the most traffic, you’ll want to go to the “top pages” report. In the navigation, click on “top pages.”

At the moment, you can see some for free, but again in the next week, you will be able to see roughly four times more without having to pay for it.

The changes with the content ideas report and the top pages may be rolled out sooner but by next Tuesday at the latest, they will be ready.

There’s also more good news

My goal with Ubersuggest isn’t to make money. It is honestly to break even as my costs are so high. It’s well over $200,000 a month. 🙁

These changes will probably make it take 12 months for me to break even instead of 6 months… but hey, that’s life. It’s the least I can do with all of the businesses out there struggling due to the Coronavirus and all of the people getting sick.

As paid members, you will still get access to more data, be able to create more projects, and crawl more pages to find SEO errors.

But I am going to sweeten the deal for you over the next 30 days as I am adding some stuff that is going to really help you grow your traffic.

Here’s what I am thinking:

  1. Bi-weekly training – every month, my team and I will be holding 2 group calls to help you grow your traffic. The first call will go over an SEO tactic that you need to implement and I will break down how you can do so. The second monthly call will be a QA where anyone can ask me and my team questions and we will answer them. And if you are wondering if I am going to be on the calls, I will. With my busy schedule, I probably will miss some, but I will be on many of the calls training you myself.
  2. Weekly action plan – I’m currently working on an SEO action plan. As a paid member, I will be giving you 12 things to implement (one each week for 12 weeks) to grow your SEO traffic. If you implement them, you’ll get more traffic. I know many of you are busy business owners, so I am trying to make things easy and help you get the most traffic with the least amount of work.
  3. On-demand help and support – we are adding live chat to Ubersuggest and the NeilPatel.com site. That way you can talk with my team of SEO experts, ask any questions related to your site or marketing, and we will help you. That way you can get customized one-on-one advice. This is what you’ll really need to grow.
  4. Ultimate SEO course – I’m working on an SEO course that teaches you everything about SEO. It’s looking like it will be over 20 hours of video training material as well as worksheets, cheat sheets, and templates for you to use to make it easier for you to get results.
  5. Private Facebook group – we have a pretty decent size community, so why not leverage it to help each other grow? We will be creating a private Facebook group or Slack group (not sure which one), were we all help each other grow our traffic.

You’ll start seeing this stuff rolled out within 30 days as well as the Chrome extension which is in the final round of testing.

I also have some cool new features that we are close to adding that I know you will be excited for. 😉

Conclusion

Over the next 30 days, if you are a paid member, you’ll be getting even more.

And if you are strapped for cash, no worries. I am making the free plan even more generous, as you can see above. Just give Ubersuggest a try and you’ll see it is already “more free.”

My goal has never been to make money with this tool. It’s to help small and medium business owners succeed.

I know times are tough right now but try to stay safe by staying indoors more often and practicing social distancing.

So, what do you think about the new Ubersuggest Free plan?

Digital Marketing News: Coronavirus’ Impact on Marketing Budgets & Social Media Usage, LinkedIn’s New Conversation Ads, & Instagram Story Changes

2020 March 27 MarketingCharts Chart

LinkedIn rolls out Conversation Ads, aimed at improving personalization in messaging
LinkedIn has begun launching its new Conversation Ads, with real-time engagement ad options that include multiple calls-to-action. Conversation Ads are rolling out to all LinkedIn (client) advertisers over the next several weeks, the firm recently announced. Marketing Land

Social Media Consumption Grows Amid Coronavirus
Social media usage has sharply increased in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Certain Instagram #ad campaign post likes have seen an increase of up to 76 percent during the past two weeks, as the majority of workers have shifted to temporary remote work. AList

CX in B2B Marketing: Top-of-Mind Strategy in 2020
54 percent of B2B marketers say their organizations are focusing most on customer experience and loyalty in their marketing efforts, according to newly-released report data examining global B2B customer experience priorities. MarketingProfs

Coronavirus: Emarketer lowers global ad spend projections for 2020
Worldwide ad spending will decrease due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with a previously expected $712 billion total being revised to $691 billion for 2020, a 3 percent decrease, according to newly-released forecast data, with many expecting even sharper forthcoming ad spend decreases. Marketing Land

B2B Senior Marketer Survey: The Most Effective Approaches for 2020 [Infographic]
LinkedIn (client) is tops among senior B2B marketers for nurturing leads, with some 84 percent saying the Microsoft-owned platform is the most effective social media channel, followed by Facebook at 43 percent and YouTube at 25 percent, according to recently-released survey data of interest to B2B marketers. MarketingProfs

Facebook Warns of Ad Approval Delays Amid Staff Changes Due to COVID-19 Impacts
Facebook was among the first social media platform to announce that the COVID-19 pandemic would affect how it reviews and approves certain content including ads, with a full slate of Facebook monetized content options being impacted. Social Media Today

2020 March 27 Statistics Image

Sales And Marketing Are Misaligned As Email Lags In B2B Nurture Mix: Study
While some 64 percent of marketing teams said that their organizations use account based marketing (ABM) for at least half of their marketing, 90 percent consider it challenging to successfully use it across multiple channels including sales — two of several findings of interest to digital marketers in recently-released survey data. MediaPost

Instagram’s Testing the Capability to Add Hashtags and Location to Stories Highlights
Marketers may soon be able to add location information and up to four hashtags to the Highlights option of Instagram Stories, which stay active beyond the usual 24-hour active period, according to recent test observations — changes that could eventually bring an array of new targeting options to digital marketers’ toolkits. Social Media Today

Amazon could win big in the post-coronavirus retail economy
Marketers may swivel more ad dollars to Amazon, which has seen sizable demand increases in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The firm announced that it was hiring more than 100,000 new workers, and a jump in ad revenue also appeared likely as some marketers have shifted more spend to the e-commerce giant. Marketing Land

Data Hub: Coronavirus and Marketing
28 percent of industrial marketers plan to shift marketing budgets from trade shows cancelled due to COVID-19 to digital advertising instead, while 14 percent will allot that spending to content marketing — one of several statistics of interest to digital marketers contained in newly-released report data from MarketingCharts. MarketingCharts

ON THE LIGHTER SIDE:

2020 March 27 Marketoonist Comic

A lighthearted look at how not to communicate right now by Marketoonist Tom Fishburne — Marketoonist

Diabolical Mailing List Admin Twirling Mustache and Cackling at Dead “Unsubscribe” Link — The Hard Times

TOPRANK MARKETING & CLIENTS IN THE NEWS:

  • SAP, Dell Technologies — 3 Tips For B2B Marketers When Your Big Trade Show Is Cancelled Due To Coronavirus — Forbes
  • SAP — Event industry and COVID-19: An insider’s point of view — The Future of Commerce
  • Lee Odden — Marketing During a Pandemic – Resources for Small Businesses in the Coronavirus Crisis [Roundup] — Simple Machines

Do you have your own top B2B content marketing or digital advertising stories from the past week? Please let us know in the comments below.

Thank you for taking the time to join us, and please return again next Friday for a new selection of the most relevant B2B and digital marketing industry news. In the meantime, you can follow us at @toprank on Twitter for even more timely daily news. Also, don’t miss the full video summary on our TopRank Marketing TV YouTube Channel.

A Well-Oiled Machine: Why Every B2B Marketing Team Needs Marketing Operations

Worker with tablet image.

What makes a B2B marketing campaign great?

Is it a creative theme that catches your attention? Is it the insightful expertise featured within? Is it the number of leads it produced?

Answer: it’s all of those things and more. Great B2B marketing campaigns have great ideas and great execution.

But great execution is hard to achieve. It demands excellent resourcing, swift approvals, streamlined processes, and more. And as you may have noticed, these aren’t marketing functions. They’re operational functions.

For your B2B marketing campaigns to truly be successful, you need someone leading the operational side of things. You need marketing operations.

What Is Marketing Operations?

According to MarketingProfs, marketing operations is “an emerging discipline that increases efficiency and drives consistent results in marketing-focused organizations. It builds a foundation for excellence by reinforcing marketing strategy with metrics, infrastructure, business processes, best practices, budgeting and reporting.”

Our translation? Marketing operations is the act of creating and enforcing processes, regularly assessing scope, allocating team resources, and introducing new martech tools to increase team efficiency and campaign results. It is the umbrella under which B2B marketing campaigns become more efficient and effective.

“For your B2B marketing campaigns to truly be successful, you need someone leading the operational side of things. You need marketing operations.” @annieleuman Click To Tweet

Why Do You Need Marketing Operations?

Marketing Operations Increases Efficiency

From martech tools to processes to best practices, there are a handful of ways B2B marketing teams can improve efficiency. However, the owner of those responsibilities is often unclear. Instead, teams tend to divide and conquer. One person is responsible for campaign best practices, another owns martech, and a third might own business processes. Or worse, no owner has been set. As you may have guessed, this is an inefficient way to battle inefficiencies.

An efficient way to correct course is to set ownership of those responsibilities to a marketing operations role or department. This is a more focused approach that makes accountability clear. Plus, with increasing efficiency as a primary responsibility of marketing operations, instead of a secondary one, you can be certain that efficiency is a priority, not a nice-to-have.

Want to make your marketing more productive? Check out these marketing productivity tips.

Marketing Operations Improves Clarity

There’s a process for everything. For communicating internally or externally. For creating a social image. For drafting a blog post. How many of your processes are documented? How many of them are followed step by step? With so many processes to juggle in B2B marketing, it’s understandable that not every process is going to have 100% adoption.

That changes with marketing operations woven into your organization.

As a function that is dedicated to making sure processes are defined, documented, followed, and iterated on, marketing teams have increased clarity into what needs to happen, when it needs to happen, and who is responsible. This enables your team to move at faster speeds with confidence that the best, most optimized process is being followed.

Marketing Operations Enables Scalability

Take a look across your past marketing campaigns. Are they consistently executed upon? Or does each campaign have slight deviations from the norm? Save that mental picture. Now, imagine what happens to your consistency when you topple on another 10 to 20 campaigns or projects. It could get chaotic.

But if you can do it once, you can do it a thousand times.

Marketing operations allows your organization to quickly scale across campaigns and projects. With proven, documented approaches to each project and campaign type, your team can quickly kick off and launch their campaigns. Marketing operations does this by consistently assessing campaign scope, performance, and lift and using those findings to create the optimal campaign or project.

“Marketing operations allows your organization to quickly scale across campaigns and projects. With proven, documented approaches to each project and campaign type, your team can quickly kick off and launch their campaigns.” @annieleuman Click To Tweet

Marketing Operations Optimizes Campaigns

Optimization is nothing new to a marketer.

From on page content and SEO to social images and digital advertising campaigns, there’s always something to optimize in the realm of marketing. But what about the campaigns themselves? Are you optimizing your workflows? And what about your scopes?

Part of the marketing operations role is to track and analyze marketing campaign budgets, burn rate, workflows, and results to find opportunities for optimization. Powered with this information, they can then optimize campaign structure, resources, and scope for maximum impact in minimal time. The end result is a campaign or project that drives great results, reduces costs, and increases profits. Talk about a big benefit.

For actionable tips on how to optimize your B2B campaigns, read this guide on how to maximize your B2B content marketing campaign investments.

Execute. Execute. Execute.

B2B marketing greatness requires both creative ideas and efficient execution. Do your B2B marketing campaigns have both?

Marketing operations leads to better campaigns, better workflows, and, ultimately, better results. If you’re lacking great execution that is timely, transparent, and repeatable, you need to make marketing operations a priority within your organization. Ensure there is someone at the helm of process management, martech tools, and resourcing, and your marketing machine will run better than ever.

For more operational tips for B2B marketers, check out our project management tips for B2B marketers.

What will we do when diseases reach space?

In an effort to mitigate damage from COVID-19 here on Earth, people worldwide are practicing social distancing, attempting to limit the spread of the disease. However, space is extremely tight on space stations, and the first lunar and Martian colonies are also likely to house occupants in close quarters. Disease in space has been affecting astronauts for decades. So, how will we respond to epidemics in space when they inevitably occur.

Since the dawn of the human exploration of space, illnesses and medical emergencies have stricken space travelers. The first missions to space took just a single occupant beyond the bounds of Earth. The number of people traveling on each mission went up to two, then three. Now, four to seven crew members typically take part in each flight, and the International Space Station (ISS) is usually home to six occupants. Lunar and Martian colonies would house hundreds to thousands of people.