Posts tagged ‘business’

April 28th, 2011

Why Social Media ideas are still complicated to widespread in Europe

by Laurent François

We had a great conversation 2 days ago @ ESCP Europe with some students, who wanted to know if it was more relevant to implement their start-ups in France, or more generally in Europe, or to directly move to the US.

Some constraints are obvious in Europe, and the main difficulty is…leveraging critical mass:

  • you have more than 20 languages in the European Union stricto sensu
    – it means that if there’s one EU citizenship, you have hundreds of local cultures you need to handle as an entrepreneur
    – you not only need to translate your solution but also understand the local expectations
    – people can’t easily share ideas and games through conversations, as they don’t speak all English, for instance
  • there’s already a wide diversity of start-ups: how to be original?
  • there are legal constraints, thus

But hey, socializers, come on! 3 arguments to answer:

  • if it was all about getting enough people to be reached, just go in advertising, not marketing: many products are good for very few people: the critical mass to achieve can be a very low number, depending on your business
  • think “business”, not “social”: what do you want to sell, and to whom?
  • the local differences are also business opportunities: not many people know how to manage different groups of people, even in plain English: it’s time to grow it

Remember: Social Media is a practice; what are your core competences? who are the public you want to reach? What’s the value proposition?


Once you’ve solved that, you don’t care where you are: there are still people talking to other people. Be pervasive; and creative


August 19th, 2010

Foursquare for business: basics by Ogilvy Asia

by Laurent François
Ogilvy On: How To Use Foursquare for Business


A good deck to understand in a very easy way what marketers can do with Foursquare or Facebook places. Statements, case studies, strategic approach…

The presentation is obviously very American, so as it does not reveal if European populations are really ready for this kind of technology. And Scoble quotation is perticularly not relevant for French market.

Nonetheless, a must-read, and we should probably read what retail-marketers have to say in terms of activation.

June 14th, 2010

Why McKinsey & Nielsen JV is an expected trend in Social Media

by Laurent François


You’ve all read this breaking news:

“The Nielsen Company (Nielsen) and McKinsey & Company (McKinsey) today announced a global joint venture, NM Incite, created to help leading companies harness the power of social media intelligence to drive superior business performance.  NM Incite gives companies the capabilities to better understand, value and take advantage of the rich insights made possible by social media.”

It’s about to be a historical breakthrough in business. Social Media is not only about marketing anymore. It’s about the whole value chain of any enterprise.

Let’s have a look on Porter’s value chain:

There’s not any business function that is not concerned by Social Web. If we look at support activities for instance:

  • firm infrastructure: investor relations for instance are more and more influenced by online conversations. Look at Nestlé case; the bad buzz led to a break in the stock exchange
  • human resource management: talents are more and more pervasive; social networks make them become hunted and hunting. Some companies decided to block access to the Internet. Problem is that with any mobile device, this containment cannot work anymore
  • technology development: web-based applications, online networks, collaborative work are more and more increasing, which led to a new innovation management, for instance
  • procurement: to find materials, you can google the types of products you’re looking for

Why used to be considered as a communication trick at least, or a simple media loop, at worse, is now going to a new edge: information as the fluid of the economy.

It’s both a great opportunity and a great fear:

  • dramatic changes can happen inside the organization of the enterprise; your missions are impacted, the decision-chain also. You can imagine that you won’t be only evaluated as a good product manager but as a great connector in trans-departments. Suppose you’re in charge of iPod headphones: your value added can also be in how your knowledge can be used for another product, based on what people are discussing online (“I want a bathroom with iPod headphones in it“)
  • in the meantime, this issue is a very old business one: how to share knowledge? Maybe social web can be this great tool which was missing:

So as it’s not about marketing only. “It’s the economy, stupid“.

May 4th, 2010

Hellocoton: French can also enter US conversations’ market

by Laurent François


It’s such a big news:

“Paris-based HelloCotton (HelloCoton en Français), a French social platform for discovering and sharing women’s blog content, is launching in the US today.

Initially launch in France in April 2008, the platform counts roughly 3 million monthly unique visitors who use HelloCotton to discover and share lady-oriented blog content – about fashion, health, beauty, you-name-it. And oddly enough, despite being oriented towards women, this start-up was founded by two men – Hubert Michaux and Victor Cerutti – who were formerly part of the Netvibes team; the founding duo decided to launch the platform hoping to capitalize on the hyperactivity of the female blogosphere that seemed to be contrained by traditional and fragmented online distribution channel. Thus, with a bit of Netvibes sauce, the team developed a platform ressembling a mashup of women’s magazine content with web 2.0 social features: think Elle Magazine à la Twitter and Facebook.”

Why could it really work?

  • because it’s based on US conversations, not on imported contents
  • because it’s based on a big editorial work: filtering & selecting the best feeds, the best articles
  • because it’s also based on niche bloggers, who are trying to get some wider coverage and who are “paid” not by money but by reputation

To be followed