<trp-post-container data-trp-post-id='25551'>Les developments from Marketing, by Jean-Félix Biosse Duplan

Interview with the Vice-President of Adetem

Jean-Félix, you're leaving the Essilor group, where you've spent a large part of your career. How do you see the changes in marketing over the last few years?

Marketing plays a much larger role: on the one hand, it is much further upstream in projects; on the other, it takes better account of product marketing.
In fact, we are increasingly moving from a 'function' to a 'spirit': marketing fertilises the whole company, providing the customer vision that other divisions often lack; in this sense, it plays a key role in breaking down the silos in which far too many companies are locked.
Digital technology is also making a major contribution to this decompartmentalisation, while at the same time overturning well-established processes.
For example, the sales force used to get feedback from distributors, and marketing used to carry out satisfaction surveys to take the pulse of consumers. Today, consumers are reacting in real time on social media, and we need to be able to respond in kind.
Which is not to say that we should stop questioning them, but in a different way, to gain a deeper understanding of the epidermal reactions on the social web.


In B2B, innovation processes are complicated: you have to win over both direct customers, such as opticians, and end customers, the consumers: how do you do that in a medical field?

In our field, innovations in product aesthetics and mechanical qualities are no longer the only issues at stake: we are now at the stage of scientific innovations covering eye protection and damage prevention. Consumer tests, validated by laboratories and doctors, are being imposed on direct customers.
Here again, we applied design thinking before it became 'fashionable': in fact, engineers, researchers, marketers, even salespeople, doctors and direct customers not only have to talk to each other, but they have to be able to go back and forth, combining analytical and scientific rigour on the one hand, and intuition and consumer sensitivity on the other; anticipating the reactions of our distributors is also vital.


With Essilor, you've been involved in projects in countries with very low purchasing power, such as India, working with underprivileged populations: can you tell me a bit more about this?

The main difficulty in developing sales is not purchasing power but access to the product. There are 30,000 opticians' shops in China compared with 12,000 in France, and in India they're all in the big cities, whereas 70% of the population lives in rural areas! So we need to reach out to potential customers, and we have developed original models for both sales and screening for visual defects. Once met, these customers are demanding and will refuse a low-end product offer for their first pair of glasses. Marketing has to be creative to invent new forms of distribution and propose a relevant offer in terms of Price/Performance/Product/Range/Image.


Finally, you've just chaired the B2B jury for Adetem's Marketing Excellence Awards: a good vintage, this 2016 edition.

For a number of years now, the BtoB sector has had no hang-ups, and we have been rewarding creative, bold and effective campaigns. It's also worth noting the great diversity of the campaigns nominated for the ADETEM Awards. Gone are the days when BtoB campaigns all looked the same. Let's not forget that more than 50% of CAC 40 companies are involved in BtoB.
With social media, BtoB has taken on a new dimension in recent years, because the social dimension was inherent to the discipline: BtoB has always favoured interpersonal dialogue, and today online discussion groups are the perfect complement to meetings at conferences.
As a meeting place for professionals, ADETEM is a testing ground for the new collegialities specific to B2B: our members chat online on LinkedIn or Twitter... and yet there have never been so many of them taking part in our events.

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