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Visionary Marketing publishes interviews with experts, marketers, innovators, Web and business experts on the subjects of innovation and marketing

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Visionary Marketing publishes interviews with experts, marketers, innovators, Web and business experts on the subjects of innovation and marketing

    European consumers are concerned about how brands are using their data

    European consumers are concerned about how brands are using their data

    Companies have been driving a wedge between them and their customers by misusing the personal consumer data they’ve collected. This generates a level of mistrust and has even caused many consumers to avoid these brands. To give us a better understanding of this situation, we look into the Adobe Trust Report* and an interview conducted with Claudia Senik, a professor at the Paris School of Economics.

    European consumers are concerned about how brands are using their data



    * Disclosure, Adobe is a client of Visionary Marketing



    The Data Concern of the European Consumer

    The Adobe Trust Report EMEA research study focuses on seven countries including Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Netherlands, Sweden, and the UK. Evidently, 75% of consumers are concerned with the personal data that is being collected and how their data is being used.

    Claudia Senik The study found that most European consumers worry about how brands will use their data and care even more about having the ability to control how the data is being used by these companies.

    71% of European consumers are concerned with how their data is being used

    78% of European consumers say it is important to be able to choose how companies use their data

    Are Consumers Giving Consent Too Quickly?

    Claudia Senik The fact of the matter is that most consumers care about how their data will be used, but when it comes to taking action, they tend to simply click “I agree” without much forethought. In contrast, unconsciously giving up that care when entering a site.

    The cost imposed by frequently checking the conditions attached to the data usage of a site is less than the time saved by blindly accepting it

    This is a phenomenon that behavioural economics has highlighted. In fact, people tend to take the path of least resistance especially when there are time or cognitive restraints. In this case, most people tend to blindly enter sites rather than reading through the allowances to select which data they are willing to share beforehand.

    Is Consumer Data Privacy a Concern for Companies?

    Great trust is granted by the consumer. Companies are expected to keep the collected data secure and private and treated with great importance.

    The study found that only 43% of executives declare that having strong data privacy is a top priority for their company

    66% of these executives believe that the benefits the consumers will receive will outweigh the potential risks.

    Consumers don’t feel the same.











    Only 25% of consumers agree that the potential benefits will outweigh the potential risks











    When I got started in my dorm room at Harvard, the question a lot of people asked was ‘why would I want to put any information on the Internet at all? Why would I want to have a website?’

    And then in the last 5 or 6 years, blogging has taken off in a huge way and all these different services that have people sharing all this information. People have really gotten comfortable not only sharing more information and different kinds, but more openly and with more people. That social norm is just something that has evolved over time.



    * Mark Zuckerberg







    * “Zuckerberg declares the end of the era of private data” New York Times (2010)



    The Price of Trust

    • 4 min
    Brands and social media: facing up to new challenges in 2022

    Brands and social media: facing up to new challenges in 2022

    In 2022, brands are finding themselves in a long-term and increasingly complicated love-hate relationship with social media, due to the many challenges facing the sector. We are at a pivotal point in the future of these ‘new’ platforms, whose pioneers will celebrate their 20th anniversary. As TikTok is in full swing and the uses of the platforms are diversifying, businesses are feeling the heat. But solutions exist. That’s what Romina Gonzalez Galetto, managing director of Hootsuite France told us [disclosure, Hootsuite has been our client on several occasions, as part of the social network barometer].

    Brands and social media: rising up to the TikTok and UGC challenge

    Brands and the evolution of the social media landscape

    TikTok is constantly gaining new users (see chart below). Its use is very much in the hands of content creators. And in the face of this, “brands on this network are still trying to find the answer”, Romina explains.

    At the same time, Facebook and Instagram are losing revenue for the first time, but these media platforms are still essential for businesses, the French head of the Canadian company told us.

    “We found out after the pandemic that users needed to interact with brands,” Romina points out. “Consumers were keen on these ‘one-to-one’ exchanges on Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp or Instagram.”

    With WhatsApp, for example, a company can send notifications to its customers and nurture more personalised relationships. Companies are increasingly resorting to these techniques.

    There is a shift in the number of active users, but new use cases are emerging, making a certain balance in network usage possible

    There is also a change in the age of Facebook users. “The youngest give priority to TikTok, while older subscribers are increasingly present on Facebook.”

    But connection volumes and, above all, conversations and customer engagement continue to be important, especially with Messenger.

    A change in perception

    While the use of social media is shifting towards conversations – between subscribers and with brands – its importance is not diminishing according to Romina.

    There are also differences in usage between services, and even silos, as we had pointed out back in 2018.

    Nope, social media isn’t bound to disappear

    Despite numerous pleas for the deletion of one’s social media accounts, “for the time being, the disappearance of social networks is not on the agenda. On the contrary, we highlighted the amazing vitality of these platforms in the trends 2022 report,” Romina added.

    Turn to the right platforms for your audiences

    The conclusion to be drawn from this observation is that brands must select the networks that suit them best. And above all those that are most in tune with their audiences.

    The time of frantic all-out social presence is well and truly over.

    While TikTok is widely used, it may not be the right platform for all brands

    “Brands therefore need to consider whether they are able, depending on their DNA,

    • 8 min
    Dark Social marketing: the elephant in the room

    Dark Social marketing: the elephant in the room

    When Elliot Boucher, co-founder of Paris-based start-up Edusign, contacted me last July to talk about Dark Social marketing, I thought I’d heard “Darth Social” and that he wanted to tell me about a new Star Wars episode. Then he explained to me what it was all about and it seemed to me I’d known everything about it even though I had never heard the name before. Here are a few sound and useful concepts that will be instrumental in designing better B2B content marketing strategies.

    Dark Social marketing: the elephant in the room

    Rest assured, Dark Social has nothing to do with Darth Vader.

    Dark social marketing is about finding all these hard-to-track weak signals. It’s like being in a room with the lights turned off and trying to find the elephant in there, that you cannot see

    Tentative definition of Dark Social Marketing

    The term “dark social” was coined by American journalist Alexis C. Madrigal as part of his work for The Atlantic. Dark social consists of recommendations through Internet content that are not made public on social networks. These recommendations can be considered “dark” because on the one hand they are not visible on social media, and on the other hand, they are not always tracked.

    Dark Social under the microscope

    Dark Social marketing, therefore is made of things like:



    * an exchange on a Facebook group,

    * a WhatsApp conversation,

    * a LinkedIn message,

    * an email,

    * and all those signals that you can’t track even though they are very significant.



    At the end of the day, social media exchanges are just the tip of the marketing iceberg, Elliot told me.

    A feeling I already had intuitively when I designed my word-of-mouth marketing course years ago.

    Dark social marketing tip: do not optimise your content solely for the sake of visible metrics

    This concept of Dark social is not as trivial as it sounds. Somewhere along the line, it is even the foundation of (good) content marketing.

    Optimising your content solely to generate leads misses out on Dark Social and its huge impact

    As a result, according to Elliot :

    You have to transform your metrics and stop optimising your content for the sake of vanity metrics.

    A content strategy should not seek an immediate and direct impact on sales

    Refrain from creating content just for the sake of capturing someone’s email, Elliot tells us. Do it for the sake of creating good content in order to make a big impact on dark social.

    All things being considered, Dark social marketing, one might think is just good old word of mouth, but Elliot contradicts me on this.

    Being obsessed with metrics will lead you nowhere

    ‘You can’t measure dark social directly,” says Elliot. You can’t advertise on someone’s WhatsApp, or quantify conversations, for example.

    On the other hand, when someone comes to you, feel free to ask where they’ve heard about you or your business

    That would have been music to Andy Sernovitz‘s ears.

    Elliot also sends a clear warning against the infamous last-click attribut...

    • 5 min
    Commodity Markets Disrupted for the Sake of Fairness

    Commodity Markets Disrupted for the Sake of Fairness

    Wheat prices are spiking. Because of the present structure of commodity markets, hedging intermediaries benefit the most. To find out why, Yann Gourvennec, CEO of Visionary Marketing, asks Noah Healy, founder of Coordisc, to shed light on this topic. 

    Disrupting Commodity Markets  for the Sake of Fairness

    The price of wheat had a steep spike and is continually fluctuating. Inflation and supply restrictions are to blame.



    However, the farmers do not gain from this spike. Hedging middlemen are the ones lining their pockets because of the current commodity market structure.

    Noah Healy, the founder of Coordisc, seeks to disrupt this commodity market and provide a fairer solution.

    What are Commodity Markets?

    Commodity markets link producers to consumers. A commodity market is typically a virtual marketplace where one can sell, trade, or buy different commodities immediately or at a future date.

    The primary customer base is hedge funds and other internal traders. This is a financial system similar to a brokerage or a bank.

    You go in and make bets on where you think prices are going to be in the future. If somebody exists that is willing to take the other side of your wager, then the system writes that up and publishes the fact that somebody made this bet

    Next, within a millionth of a second later, this happens all over again with all the people that showed up in that microsecond to make those deals.

    Each deal has an expiration date on it. On that date, all the bets that have not yet been sold off and liquidated settle. About 97% will settle out and 3% deliver.

    This is referred to as “futures.” An agreement to buy or sell a specific commodity at a future date and price.

    Commodity Markets and Farmworkers

    The farmers engage in the commodity market to work out the value they will be able to get for their crops.

    Most farmers operate on credit and borrow money every season. They must be assured of their revenue streams so that after a regular season, the loan can be paid off.

    With good credit history, farmers can continue receiving loans. Thus, farmers are forced to accept the prices the market offers, locking themselves into these future situations.

    Ukrainian Crisis Raises Wheat Prices

    With the Ukrainian crisis, fields have been destroyed and Russia may stay under sanctions. There seems to be a “durable supply contraction.”

    Other parts of the world should increase production to offset the loss of wheat in Ukraine.  However, because farmers’ incomes have been contractually agreed upon, they are not sensitive to price increases.

    The price increases do not affect farmworkers because they have already agreed to a specific price. The people that offered the farmers those hedges receive the windfall.

    However, Russia recently struck a deal with Ukraine to allow grain exportation. Due to the war, the supply had been previously staying in Black Sea ports.

    Russia will allow Ukraine to export 22 million tons of grain and other agriculture. It is unpredictable as to how the deal will affect wheat prices or if Russia might retract this agreement in the future.

    [Note: the long term trend can be seen above,

    • 19 min
    B2B vs B2C: why B2B matters and deserves more media coverage

    B2B vs B2C: why B2B matters and deserves more media coverage

    The media tends to focus on catchy and digestible stories for readers, which leads to disproportionate coverage of B2B vs B2C, namely in the high-tech sector. To find out why, Yann Gourvennec, CEO of Visionary Marketing, asked Dave Sobel, host of the Business of Tech podcast and a leading voice in the delivery of IT Services, to shed light on this topic. 

    B2B vs B2C: Why B2B matters and deserves more media coverage

    I am currently a university student about to graduate and the clock is ticking to find a job in an industry that is lucrative. All students eventually face this plight and I cannot be the only one feeling stressed.



    This is all that I have been working toward. I see my older friends landing jobs with companies such as Apple and Facebook. I will undeniably admit that saying you work for a large tech giant has a nice ring to it and will turn heads.

    But a recent podcast on B2B vs B2C services made me conduct further research and question what many of us have been indoctrinated to focus on when it comes to job search.

    B2B vs. B2C: why is everyone focusing on B2C?

    Throughout my business studies, I was taught to think solely about the consumer.

    What do they want? What do they need? This business model is commonly known as Business-to-Consumer (B2C) or Direct-to-Consumer where a business focuses on selling products directly to customers.

    I had previously not thought about the transactional services established among businesses, especially in the tech sector. Business-to-Business (B2B) is when one business makes a commercial transaction with another business, whether it is a service, product, or collaboration. Below are key differences between both models.

    Why is there less media attention on B2B in the High-Tech Sector?

    I remember a professor mentioned the name “B2B” briefly in a passing sentence and then moved along with the lesson. He did not establish B2B’s significance so how could anyone else in that classroom care?

    Yes, students learn about how businesses source materials for their output or outsource production… But this seems as sort of the prologue for a product. I along with my peers are encouraged to step in at the climax of the product’s story and market and sell and deliver to the consumer.

    There is little discussion about B2B services after the product is manufactured and no emphasis on actual B2B opportunities.

    There is also not a lot of popular media on this topic.

    I believe that perhaps I was not taught in-depth about B2B because there is a lack of attention to it in the media. The media tends to focus on B2C and since that is given more attention, there is the misconception that B2C is driving more commerce, gaining more revenue, and is thus more important.

    Dave Sobel: B2B takes a good deal of attention and research

    Dave Sobel, the host of the Business of Tech and a leading voice in the delivery of IT Services, makes his living off of this disparity. In a podcast with Yann Gourvennec, Sobel explains, in short, that it is because “it’s hard.” Understanding niches within B2B is very complex. There is also the added challenge of making those topics digestible for a general audience.

    So it’s hard. It takes a good deal of time and attention and research. That’s not necessarily a broad engagement when you’re thinking about news and journalism. You’re trying to make it really broad.

    • 17 min
    Business Development Outsourcing as a tool against modern slavery

    Business Development Outsourcing as a tool against modern slavery

    According to the Global Slavery Index (2018), there are more than 610,000 victims of human trafficking in Thailand. Today’s head speaker Mat Boyle, a seasoned sales professional, shared his journey of creating a Business Development Outsourcing company Onlinetooffline (O2O) for former victims of human trafficking. Mat has opened one BPO center in the Philippines with a goal of growing it to 10,000 employees by 2023. 

    Business Development Outsourcing as a tool against modern slavery

    How did you step foot in developing career opportunities for the victims of human trafficking?

    “I was in the automotive industry, in late 2006. I happened to meet a gentleman that works in Thailand with the Thai immigration police for anti-human trafficking. He was rescuing kids and women out of horrible situations where they have been forced into prostitution and slavery.”



    “He started to share stories about his job, the more he shared the more it opened my heart strings. I eventually convinced him to take me over to Thailand so I could see with my own eyes what his team was doing.”

    I spent three weeks working with them on the front lines involved in rescues. I am a father of six and at the time, the youngest being 13.  I was walking around the streets and seeing kids the same age as my son being forced into prostitution and situations that no kid should ever experience.”

    “The victims got their bodies taken advantage of as well as got promised jobs that did not exist. When I got back to Australia, I was thinking, I have got this massively profitable business where I’m making a really good income. How can I make an impact on these kids’ lives?”

    “I went back to my job, in the boardroom training salesmen. All of a sudden I had this light-bulb moment. I was thinking all of these people over in Thailand got exploited because they needed a job.”

    I thought that if I could take all the systems and strategies which were already proven to be successful in my business, I could find ways of resting these people. Instead of businesses paying me to train their sales teams for them not to follow the repeatable tasks, I could build an Outsourced team to do the work. If I could create jobs for them I will become an ethical employer that is giving these people great job opportunities. That is how I could make an impact.”

    “I found an employment model that contains a powerful value proposition for clients because we are helping them with the issues that really affect them. it happens to be a very strong impact center where we can create jobs that improve communities.”



    How did you build O2O?

    “We currently have a center in the Philippines. The centre consists of franchised sales to hedge funds, making investments to logistics companies as well as multi-million dollar enterprise solutions right down to consulting programs. We really had to build that sustainability into the business model to make sure the service was actually delivered.”

    “The model we have created can be used anywhere in the world. At the moment, we have not got fixed plans beyond our next center, but we know the next goal is to open a center in Thailand. These centers would create jobs to educate and improve the community”.

    How many jobs did you create? 

    “My goal by 2030 is to have 10,000 jobs created. We have one center operational in the Philippines. Although the employment center is on a steep curve of operations, we have done a lot of hard work over the last couple of years in building sustainability into our product to make sure w...

    • 26 min