Internet Pioneers Prague Meeting Highlights Need for ODR (Online Dispute Resolution) in E-commerce

These are my minutes from the discussions amongst the members of the private Youstice* meeting which took place in Prague on October 18-19, 2014 at the Aria hotel, right in the centre of the Czech capital, and barely a stone’s throw from the house where Franz Kafka used to live. Yet, our discussions were by no way Kafkian. On the opposite, they made it possible for us to link all the issues related to today’s e-commerce customer relationship management. The notions of trust and respect were at the centre of all debates, therefore highlighting the need for trusted third parties, mostly in Europe, even though the approach, as often, is different from country to country.

[*Disclosure: Youstice is my client]

Prague: at the far end of Na Poříčí Avenue, one can catch a glimpse of the Palladium shopping centre. Now, would you buy from them if you were based, say, in Belgium? Would their reputation be strong enough to reach your ears? And how could one tackle that issue?

Doc Searls in Prague: despite what the message in Czech on the screen says, a clear signal was sent by the co-author of the Cluetrain manifesto during our meeting: respect your clients!

E-commerce: it’s a matter of trust

Doc Searls’ initial title for this discussion was “terms and policies individuals assert”. The discussion started with a consensus around Doc’s introduction to the meeting: “freedom of contract was established a long time ago in order to do business but in 1943, in order to gain scale, the law was changed, which means that one party is issuing the contract and the other is forced to accept or reject it (as when we buy stuff from Websites and are forced to accept terms of conditions which keep changing)” Doc said. Doc Searls, for those who can’t remember, is a co-author of the Cluetrain manifesto, which is still available at http://cluetrain.com; a fundamental piece of Internet marketing literature which was already pinpointing the need to consider Web viewers not as “eyeballs”, but human beings(1). Continue reading “Internet Pioneers Prague Meeting Highlights Need for ODR (Online Dispute Resolution) in E-commerce”

6th Webit Congress 2014: a viral marketing campaign worthy of note

Webit CongressThe 6th Webit congress will take place in Istanbul on Oct 1-2, 2014. The congress launched an initiative which I found very interesting from a viral marketing point of view and I wished to tip my hat to them as well as make a bit of publicity for my application. After all, one should never leave such matters to others. The Webit congress organisers have indeed asked potential speakers to apply online and let their networks vote for them. Those with most votes will be invited to speak at the congress. Very shrewd indeed as most of these applicants are influencers who tend to share their applications with their numerous contact lists on the various social media platforms they are working with. There are a few bugs on the mobile version of the application and the service seems to be going in a loop I was told. The various desktop browser versions are more reliable. I found the idea so good that I couldn’t resist the urge to invite my readers to vote for me, if they so wish. Let them be thanked in anticipation for their kind help.

6th Webit Congress in Istanbul – October 1-2, 2014

My presentation title : 10 key success factors for successful digital content strategies

GWC event: Digital Marketing & Innovation Conference

Event stream: Content Strategy and Marketing (Brand Social Strategies Stream and Storytelling)

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Descriptif anglais de ma présentation : What has changed in the past 18 years in the area of digital content strategies? Is content marketing becoming mainstream? If so, are enterprises handling it properly and what are the critical success factors for good implementations of digital content strategies in the field? Yann Gourvennec has devised online content marketing strategies since the mid 1990s. He will use his field experience and the work he is now carrying for his clients to shed light on that question and to provide straightforward, easy to implement tips and tricks for businesses wanting to succeed online even when their budgets are very tight.

Personal bio: Yann Gourvennec has a long-standing experience in marketing, information systems and Web marketing. He created visionarymarketing.com in 1996 and since then, he has practiced Web strategy, e-business and Web communications in the field. He has been a member of socialmedia.org from 2008 till 2013 and he co-founded Media Aces, the French Association for enterprises and social media. He is a lecturer, a keynote speaker, an author and blogger. His upcoming book Mastering Digital Marketing Like A Boss will be published soon. In early 2014, he went from intrapreneur to entrepreneur when he founded his digital marketing agency Visionary Marketing, in partnership with Effiliation.

via Support Yann to become speaker of the 6th Global Webit Congress 2014 | @WebitCongress #webiit

Enterprise Social Networks: Enterprise 2.0 Summit in Paris Feb 10-14

enterprise social networksA few days ago, I had the opportunity to interview Bjön Negelmann, the creator and organiser of the enterprise 2.0 summit which is due to take place in Paris on the 10 – 12 February 2014. This event is the unmissable conference on the subject of enterprise social networks and will not only be the chance for the audience (100 – 200 professionals from the ESN market and clients) to listen to some of the most inspiring speakers on the subject, but also to interact with each other in some very exciting workshop sessions. Here are in a few bullet points, the most important takeaways from Bjorn’s interview:

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Enteprise 2.0 Summit: The Enterprise Socal Network Event

  • France is considered by Bjorn as the centre of Europe. The event is definitely international and moved away from Germany a few years ago in order to open up to the rest of Europe even better than it had done before
  • The European market is as usual very varied, if we except multinationals which tend to be pretty much the same throughout the continent. Bjorn however describes the SME market as a very local market for each of the countries involved, with 3 major hotspots being the usual suspects (UK, Germany and France).
  • Regarding enterprise social network adoption, Bjorn has established a 3 tier hierarchy of companies having embarked on enterprise social network projects:
    • first, the first generation projects, mostly in big companies, which tend to be “stuck in the Middle”. These accounts started off with management support and failed to gain momentum within a broader employee base,
    • Secondly, the new players, still mostly in big companies, with major examples like Solvay or Bosch, who are coming late in the game, but are better implementing enterprise social networks with a broader managerial vision,
    • Thirdly, SMEs all over Europe which are leapfrogging all the other types of clients because they tend to be more agile and more business focused.

Don’t miss the Enterprise 2.0 Summit of which Media Aces is a partner

Ballmer “everywhere I go I see paper and pencils; there is still room for innovation” #ebg

BallmerI attended an EBG (Electronic Business Group, an influential French e-business Think-Tank) conference on Nov 8 in Paris, at which Steve Ballmer was speaking. It has taken a while to process my notes but here they are at last, sometimes answering my questions about the future of Microsoft, sometimes not. However, undoubtedly, Ballmer has managed to captivate the massive audience in the small theatre room of the Espace Pierre Cardin at the Heart of Paris, France. Ballmer was interviewed by EBG’s founder and Secretary General, Pierre Reboul. Steve Ballmer is also a member of the board of directors of EBG.

There has been a great deal of questions asked about the future of Microsoft lately, with regard to their apparent inability to cope with the mobile market (even by Gates’s own admission). However, it would be wrong to think that Microsoft has lost the War even though it may have lost a few battles. As a matter of fact, the software giant from Redmond, Wash. is still very strong in many areas, including Business Cloud, enterprise collaboration (more than 70% market share with SharePoint, not to mention yammer), home gaming with the very successful Xbox platform, and of course, Microsoft office which is, like it or not, still broadly used, despite a flurry of free more or less open source office suites which are available from the Internet. Yet, Microsoft’s business models are challenged, Office is slowly turning into a pay per use model with Office 365 and Windows 8 is just about coming back to life after a much awaited 8.1 facelift a couple of weeks ago. So where is Microsoft headed? That is the question. Let us see what Steve Ballmer, the current CEO who is soon to retire, has to say about this, even though he has managed to evade quite a few questions…

Right after the introduction , Steve Ballmer answered a question about the newly released surface 2 tablet. “Surface 2, is the evidence that Microsoft is moving from regular PCs to becoming a device company” Steve Ballmer explained, therefore confirming the impression is that many analysts had had, after the announcement of the purchase of Nokia, or rather as part of Nokia as Mr Ballmer explained a few moments later.

Does that mean that Microsoft is going to stop working with OEMs? “I would say something different” Ballmer said. “We continue to work with OEMs, but we will produce more devices”. Microsoft is definitely choosing a different path from Apple, its model seems to be far more akin to Google’s, even though its business model is a lot different.

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Ballmer with EBG’s Reboul on stage in Paris Continue reading “Ballmer “everywhere I go I see paper and pencils; there is still room for innovation” #ebg”

Social Media in business today : SMI conference – Marrakech

I will take part in the forthcoming Social Media Impact conference due to take place in Marrakech, Morocco on October 11-12. Here is an interview I delivered a few weeks ago in order to introduce my pitch over there. I have included a video recording of the interview as well as an embed of my presentation.

What is social media’s place in the professional world today?

It’s actually quite different from what it used to be. We’re about eight years after the introduction of social media in the enterprise so my perspective in this SMI presentation in Marrakech will be that of somebody that manages social media in the enterprise and that has been doing so for the last five years. So obviously the kind of place we are in at the moment is that of the structuring of the initiative. We shall see three major phases in the project surrounding the presentation in social media within the enterprise:

  • the triggering of the project: proving the concept and that it is really worth doing.
  • the development phase: how one ramps up and scales.
  • the structuring phase: that’s where we’re at. The structuring of the organization, the processes and everything else.

With the constant growth and reach of these social networks, can a company survive without them today?

Obviously, certain companies can survive without social media, it depends what you do. If you deal in plastic for instance, there are very few chances that you’re going to be a major player in the collaborative web. Now, if you’re in a market like the telecoms, as we are, or in any CPG market, you’ll have to be where your customers are, and customers are there, online. Northern Africa has been absolutely booming in terms of social media usage and so yes, brands have to be where customers are, to initiate or engage in the conversation.

As a company, how do you know which social media fits best to the message you wish to pass along?

There are a number of things I will dwell on in this presentation. To start, I will change that notion of message, because this is not how social media is working. We’re not working with messages but with conversations which we may not have initiated, or at least not in a traditional way. I will also go through a number of business cases taken from Orange from all over the world (Spain, France, England, Romania), and I will go through all these examples and show some of these cases and their return on investments.

What are the major threats posed by the use of social media in a company?

Well, if you don’t handle social media very well then you could face a number of threats. I think threat number one is just not being there, thinking that the conversation doesn’t happen simply because you’re not listening to it. Threat number two is, once you’re actually there and have engaged in social media, letting things get out of hand. So you have to be there nurturing, every day, and be sure to respond to, if not everything, as much as you can. So there are loads of processes and organization: it’s probably easy to do social media for yourselves, but if you’re a large organization then it is very different.

How do you see the future of social media in the corporate world in the near future?

I think the landscape is going to change dramatically in the next few months and years. We’re going to see a lot more governance thrown in to social media and the way it is organized, or rather disorganized right now. There is going to be massive endeavours in terms of how we train people and get them up to speed with regards to social media, and not just the ‘experts’, or the ones in charge, but the entirety of the enterprise.

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xu04om_en-social-media-in-the-workplace-with-yann-gourvennec-smi-conference_tech

Video Interview: interview : SMI conference