Talking Marketing and Startups

Let me offer some insights into my startup, marketing and social media journey; a journey of learning. I have recently had the privilege to be interviewed by Cloudways on these topics close to my heart. The occasion to reflect on an already fairly full life that, I feel, is only at its beginning. So, here are some takes and excerpts from that interview.

Q) Digital and social media marketing is already doing wonders. How do you see social media marketing in future? In your opinion, what would be the trends in social media next year?

There are a few obvious – and easy – takes like the continuing growth of digital. A lot of businesses still do not leverage digital marketing or social media and even more do actually have social accounts but with no defined purpose. There is still a learning curve and that will keep improving and growing.

Today, video is conquering the world and, in a similar way, has huge potential for growth – especially considering the progress of technology and what is coming with augmented reality offering new opportunities.

I also think that we may see an increasing trend leading to more personalized marketing. Even on social media, groups and communities are growing. There is also less dispersion over social platforms (people choosing some preferred ones, companies buying each other, some shiny new ones crashing, …). In a way, the social world is shrinking and it tends to get closer to what you would see in China with WeChat, one platform to do more or less everything.

We are not going to get to that point but Facebook are clearly aiming to build something similar by integrating their various platforms and new services (payment for instance).

One last question mark I have for now is about how smartphones are going to evolve (AR functionalities, new tech…) and the potential impact on digital.

Q) Failure is an essential part of success but not everyone is bold enough to admit! How do you see failures? What were the obstacles and hardships you faced while earning a name in the tech world?

Failure is part of our everyday. It is a learning process. We do all fail at some point. We all make mistakes. The main difference and a winning trait in people is to actually learn from these and not repeat mistakes. I faced so many hardships that it is difficult to pinpoint just a few. However, leaving everything behind and moving to Australia created a fairly big obstacle. I moved to the one part of the world where I did not have a network. Where I had far less “influence” than I did in Europe or, at a lower level, in the USA.

So I had to rebuild a network, and then, a reputation built on these foundations. Mind you, this is still work in progress. There is more to life than fame or money. That is life itself.

Q) Being an influential person in the digital fraternity, what would you advise beginners who want to make it big in the digital marketing industry?

Well, there are 2 paths. One is bullshit, vanity metrics, and cat pictures. That works very well looking at the amount of “influencers” out there.

The second path is actually the same as a brand’s. Build your personal brand on content. Show your skills, get out there and mingle with your peers. Our current world, and social media, have opened infinite horizons. You could talk to marketers in Japan, China or Peru and build your network and reputation. Grow your presence by focusing and delivering and, most importantly, keep growing your expertise and stay relevant.

Q) Startup culture is flourishing globally and Australia is on the verge of becoming a startup hub. What are your views on this proliferation of entrepreneurial energy? Which recent Australian startup grabbed your eye?

Australia, compared to other ecosystems, is only getting started. I launched and led IBM Global Entrepreneur in France 7 years ago and Australia, right now, reminds me of France’s situation at that time. The Australian startup world is only learning to walk on its two legs ?

And that is awesome to be part of it – again. I am in Brisbane and the notion of startup hub truly resonates here as the Government and the whole entrepreneurial community are joining forces to build solid foundations and launch the rocket that is the startup ecosystem.

The acceleration I have witnessed – and been part of – is incredible and it is only the beginning. Australia has a tactical position in the Asia-Pacific region and the opportunity to become a dominant force in the future when it comes to startups but it also needs to take action now to facilitate and enable that growth.

As far as the question about startups catching my eye, the likes of Maxwell MRI, Microba, Movus or Redback Technologies are doing amazing things and growing at an incredible pace. I should also add BOP, not the biggest of the bunch but that is Scott Millar’s startup and, if only for the founder, one to watch too.

Keep reading. The whole article is available on Cloudways’ website:


Also published on Medium.