Simon Talvard-Balland is a Millennial French Citizen living in Tokyo and Singapore and a true Digital Nomad.
He works for some of the top global brands, loves to travel and knows the world. During the last two years he has visited more than 40 countries, sled down volcanoes in Chili, cycled through Myanmar, couch surfed in Iran and skied the highest European mountains in Georgia. I have worked together with Simon in NYC and Singapore and he represents the global consumer of the future.

image001To keep me updated on the latest digital trends and to acquire some tips and tricks, I asked Simon a couple of short questions.
Let’s start with a simple question Simon.

What exactly is Digital Marketing as opposed to Regular Marketing in today’s world?

There is no real opposition: the digital space is just a continuation of what we do in real life, talking, sharing, giving, buying, selling… what differs is the technology, which is confusing for a lot of people as it evolves rapidly.

What are the latest mega trends in Digital and Social Marketing?
People are talking intensively about retail this year: physical shops can’t compete with online platform for logistic reasons but they still are crucial for most businesses, so everyone if trying to imagine how to integrate digital elements in those places. It can be as simple as a website showing the store, mobile apps that create an experience, connected objects and many more things that doesn’t exist yet, like a tool to virtually try clothes or a system that delivers the things you buy directly at your home so you can keep shopping without big bags.

What is the hottest digital/social trend or movement which will have the most impact for marketers in the next couple of years?
I think digital and social components are going to be more and more integrated in every businesses and marketers will have to adapt too: there are no “digital experts” anymore because learning how to use the technology is never very complicated, so ideas and creativity are back on the front line.

image010Is multichannel marketing a must for every enterprise?
Yes. I strongly believe in it, at multiple level. Every enterprise is part of a global ecosystem and as a role to play, economically, socially, intellectually… It will always be possible to hack a niche but it is not what I want to do with my life. Multichannel marketing is a first step “out of the comfort zone”.

What percentage of a marketing budget should be dedicated to providing digital marketing and web services to your customers in the B2B space?
Well, it depends what you resources are and where you stand in the process. I have been working with clients who were only starting with paid search for example and my advice was always to start very small, as a test, before increasing the investment. Basically, if it is under 20% of your total marketing budget you are very much likely to miss the point. If it is over 70%, then you are an online start up or you are not paying enough attention to your customers.

Many companies say Google AdWords is a waste of money. True or false and why?
False. Everything starts with a search and Google is the leader by far. What is important is to find the line between “investing” and “wasting money”: marketing tests matter!

image005Simon now I need a couple of tricks and tips who make an impact in my daily marketing activities. Any advice?

How do you get a lot of Twitter and Facebook followers?
Why do you need a lot of Twitter and Facebook followers? You should start by having a conversation with your small community, then it will grow naturally if you are interesting.

Tell me about best practices for tagging people and pages?
Use your brain and use relevant keywords for tagging or hashtags, don’t spam, don’t fake, be genuine and nice to people.

How to get your customers more involved and engaged with  digital platforms?
Simplicity, transparency and tests are the key concepts that would help you with this. I like to see digital platforms as bars: if you don’t talk to people and stay in a corner sipping a beer you will never get lucky. If you nicely and start conversations with strangers you will get a lot of pleasant surprises. Of course once in a while you will be disappointed, but this is life!

Either                                              Or
Paris St.Germain                 Olympique Marseille 
Snowboarding                    Formula 1
Bordeaux                            Sake
Red Bull                               Coke
Big Mac                               Sushi
Design                                 Art
Cara Delevingne                  Laetitia Casta
CNN                                     BBC
Uber                                    Taxi
Uniqlo                                  H&M
French Fries                       Powerbar
Flip Flops                            Ballys
Scooter                               Bike
Movies                                Concerts
Tintin                                  Asterix and Obelix