Over the past ten years, technological developments have had a considerable impact on communication in general and that of companies in particular. An interview with Jérôme Bloch, founder of 360Crossmedia in 2000.
How has the evolution of technology impacted business communication?
I’m going to tell you about an anecdote from yesterday morning: a friend of mine had been working since the beginning of the year on the redesign of his website with a very reputable Parisian agency. He found the project still mediocre after 9 months and the bill too high: he ended the contract and published the site of his dreams in 5 days, thanks to Wix, which was carried out 100% in-house! In general, I think we must distinguish three main impacts related to technologies: autonomy, speed, and power. Let’s come back to autonomy: 10 years ago, you needed a communications agency for everything: website, press release, Google adwords campaign, brochure. Today, customers who want to can do it all on their own or in “co-design” mode. This is a revolution because it calls into question the “Agency-Client” relationship based on the premise: “The client knows nothing. The agency knows everything “. The reality is that the client knows their business much better than the agency. With talented employees and software like WIX, Mailchimp, Hubspot or Malt, customers who want to can internalize up to 100% of their communication. Speed is the second driver of change, not by choice but by obligation. To stay “up to date” today, a business must be able to produce a lot of content, update its website in real time and respond to most requests in less than an hour. Communication becomes a convenience and prices drop dramatically. Finally, the impact plays a central role: Google has allowed the whole world to shed an old tradition in advertising which consisted of spending a lot by measuring return on investment very roughly. Today, every euro invested can be tracked in terms of acquiring qualified contacts, visitors to a specific web page, prospects who have filled out a form or customers who have spent a certain amount. This is a paradigm shift that many agencies do not understand the depth of: Agencies that do not adapt will often disappear.
Luxembourg is one of the few countries where it is more difficult to find an employee than a customer
How does an agency like 360Crossmedia cope with these developments?
I often compare 360Crossmedia with a butcher shop. For 21 years we have been building the loyalty of people who want to know what they are eating and who are reassured by the fact that we eat the same meat. For 14 years, we have sold sites created with complicated software such as Dreamweaver or WordPress. It was long, expensive, and complicated. When Wix came of age, around 2014, we adopted it for 360Crossmedia sites and offered it to our customers for one-third the price of our WordPress sites. We probably lost some money, but we increased our trust capital, especially since all our competitors swore that Wix was a hoax! Money saved by our customers is often reinvested in other products: magazines produced in three hours, the www.360-box.com or the implementation of a tool to facilitate the recruitment of new employees. In fact, this is the irony of Luxembourg: I think it is one of the few countries where it is more difficult to find an employee than a client! I find it very interesting to see that 360Crossmedia has many solutions that make it easier to recruit and train staff. As a communications agency, this illustrates the virtue of a model based on trust and not growth at all costs: your customers guide the evolution of your products.