I have decided to write an article on e business. But this time, it's a little bit different!
First of all, it's not my own experience or the experience of a person from IT but the experience of someone from business, marketing to be more precise.
Moreover, this person is not French but an Anglophone who has previous work experience in the US and Africa and has been living in France for the past 4 years. She holds an MBA from a French business school and she is currently in e business for a pure player.
So, let's start the interview!!!

Could you explain to me what your company does and what is the business model?
I am currently working for a French company that is involved in what is known as interactive marketing. In fact, it is the first online community for consumers here in France. The community is comprised of over 5000 consumers who review and rate a wide variety of products and brands to help other consumers in their buying decisions.
My company offers brand management and promotion, community management services, online advertising, as well as conducting, surveys and product testing on behalf of our business customers. We also offer consulting services to advice companies on how to grow and manage a community around a brand or cause.

How the staff is composed?
The staff is comprised of four engineers/web developers who oversee the functioning and maintenance of the website on a daily basis. This is a very important role as our business revolves around our website. We also have two full time sales executives and 4 or 5 free lances sales consultants. The marketing team is made up 6 members who are responsible for traffic acquisition, promoting our clients’ brands, reputation management and overseeing the community.

What is your job?
My job is quite versatile. I am an E-marketing Project Manager. I am responsible for promoting three brands on our website. I also play the role of community manager to ensure that each brand continues to get visibility among its clients. A community manager is the voice of the brand helping to humanize the institution. I monitor online conversations and participate in them to build brand visibility and thought leadership. I also write and publish articles for each of my three groups in order to animate the community.

IT is very important in your business, could you explain me the organization you have?
We have the CEO driving the vision and direction of the company; he also doubles up filling in as a Sales Executive. Reporting directly to him we have another Sales Executive, the Marketing Director and an Administrative Assistant. Reporting to the Marketing Director are; myself, another E-marketing project Manager as well as the Head Information Systems Manager who is in charge of three engineers/web developers. To complete the team we have the rest of the marketing and sales team and interns.

I guess Marketing and IT are very close. How do you work together?
Marketing has evolved so much over the years to incorporate new technologies. In our line of business, use of the web is at the heart of our activity. As a result we need to stay up to date on the latest technologies that the consumers are using. For example, we are present on most Social networks such as Facebook, twitter and youtube. In order to continue to capture the consumers’ interest as well as to enhance our interactions with them, we also try to stay ahead of the game by incorporating different innovations. For this we rely a lot on our IT team to develop the necessary applications. The developers are there to guide us and let us know if our creative projects are feasible or not.

You have an international experience, what are the pros and cons of working with the French?
Well it has been quite a challenge for me working with the French mostly because French is a language that I am still learning. The frustration comes from not being able to communicate easily and not always understanding the French business protocole. As far as management styles, I cannot really say that I have noticed significant differences. I work for a young start up that works with international brands so I have not really been immersed in a typical French company. Our CEOhas significant work experience working for an American multi-national so his style of management is very much influenced by the American work ethic and style. We have quite an informal work environment and I work with a very young team. I have however had the opportunity to observe certain differences of management especially when we are working with some of our French clients. There is a lot of formality involved especially in the decision making process as we have to pass through several hierarchies. I guess it is safe to say that these differences are also dependent on the sector of activity. In certain industries or domains there are a lot of similarities and not so much in others. Apart from that I am enjoying the experience and the challenge. I work with a very young and dynamic team so I have the pleasure of expanding my horizons while learning new things every day

Thanks for your answers !