Social Insights from European Thought Leader, Yann Gourvennec


Meet Yann Gourvennec.

He is a Paris-based European expert on social business and the rise of the social enterprise. With over 25 years of international experience in marketing, sales and information systems, he has been perfecting and sharing his wealth of insight on the transformations taking place in the industry since the advent of the internet. At Orange telecommunications corporation, Yann managed the corporate website and microsites and built their digital media strategy and social media presence worldwide – from the ground up. He has been a member of since 2008 and co-founded Media Aces, the French Association for enterprises and social media.

As a “serial intrapreneur,” Yann challenges the status quo of businesses from the inside out. “You find intrapreneurs in large firms or complex organisations where they bring innovation through their change management skills,” says Yann Gourvennec. “To me, being an intrapreneur means a great deal in terms of philosophy, the way I see things, the way I work with colleagues and the way that I drive projects forward and implement innovation from within a business.”

“Managing Digital Marketing Like a Boss”

Yann Gourvennec’s first book “Social Media Taught To My Boss,” became the most influential digital book of 2012 in France. Since then, he and his colleague Hervé Kabla have released its sequel in French in Paris, broadening the scope to tackle digital marketing at large – not just social media (hence the working title, “Managing Digital Marketing Like a Boss”).

“To Hervé Kabla and I, social media is now part of the digital communications mix,” says Yann. “It’s no longer about whether or not to be present on social media. We’ve moved beyond that, with regard to how you make sense of it all, hone your objectives, polish your strategies, develop your presence and structure your governance. The issue of return on investment is no longer an option either. Social media is part of the mix, a broader issue that has to be grasped by each and everyone in the company, not just by the digital team.”

“If there is one takeaway from our books, it is that we are going through a paradox: digital media is ubiquitous, everybody has to and wants to join in. It looks simple, but it isn’t. It is a proper discipline that requires skills and experience. After all, would you follow through with a surgery done by a surgeon reading “surgery for dummies?” So why would you want your organisation’s entire digital strategy owned by a 2-follower Twitter account owner? While there is an urgent need for the widespread inclusion of all employees to be present online, employing seasoned, skilled professionals in digital media and social media strategy is equally as important.”

The Future of Digital Media and Communications

“What is ahead of us is a tremendous sea change throughout companies around the world,” says Yann. “And each at their own pace. We can truly expect the need for induction in digital matters to rocket up in the next 5 or so years, to ensure that each and every business, unit manager and team is able to understand, support and lead digital teams to success. These digital teams will likely not be central anymore, but devoted to each business stream in order to turn the internet into what it really should be: a remarkably efficient, all-encompassing business tool.”

“Digital media and digital transformation will be at the forefront for the next 5 to 10 years to such an extent, that, in the long run, we might actually no longer talk about digital media after this transformation has been made. We will see the maturation of everything that we have witnessed on the web over the past two decades – magnified and mastered by everybody around the globe. We have a long way to go, but the future and the challenge ahead is exciting.”

Thank you Yann Gourvennec for speaking with us!

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