Big Companies and Social Media – Interview with Guillaume Bouchard (SES Toronto)

As you may know, I’m speaking at Search Engine Strategies Toronto next week (June 8 – 10) at the panel “Social Media: Do big companies get it?”.  I’ve been doing social media work with P&G, so I’m really excited to be speaking on this panel (plus it is in Toronto – YAY).

guillaume_bouchardGuillaume Bouchard, CEO of NVI will also be on the panel.  I met him at pubcon south back in March (we ate crabs together), and he is not only a fun guy, but  really smart too.  In anticipation for Toronto next week I’ve done a short  interview with Guillaume -but you’ll have to go to the conference to see him dance.

1. Tell me a bit about your role at NVI and what you do there.

I’m the CEO and co-founder of NVI. I steer the company in a direction that makes sense in order to grow and take on bigger and bigger challenges. I let my team deliver the results, but I do also take part in consultation and strategy for our clients. Outside our company walls, I build relationships with future clients and partners, extending NVI’s philosophy. And I like to dance short dances.

2. Which brands do you think really *get* social media?

While I wouldn’t call Electronic Arts a company that necessarily gets making video games anymore, I think at least someone there gets social media as far as social content. In Spore, users were able to make and upload YouTube videos of the creatures they created. This gave great buzz to the game as user creativity took advantage of a great sharing platform. While I think there is a large sense in which someone can *get* social media, I think each brand needs its own strategies, and the EA case is a good particular example.

3. Which brands are struggling in the space?  Who doesn’t get it?

Major TV broadcasting networks have been terrible, for the most part. They should have been at the forefront, guiding the ways the new media are used and content is disseminated. Instead, we’ve seen Viacom fighting YouTube, crappy streaming video interfaces, and valuable community engagement with content taking place predominantly on non-brand-owned platforms. Playing defense while playing catch-up, not realizing the social role of entertainment and how well it can be harnessed online, missing the point and complaining just like the music industry.

4. What 3 tips do you have for brands who want to engage in social media

Be ready to adapt. By that I mean that putting out fires has reached a new level, and you have to be on your toes to respond to a crisis quickly and with intuition. Secondly, be ready to adapt. By that I mean understand that social media encompasses a variety of areas and potential strategies that should be considered and prioritized in different ways, and that the best strategy could very well be one that has never been done before. Finally, be ready to adapt. The available platforms and opportunities change quickly, and you have to pay attention to know which bandwagons to get on and which to avoid. While a lot of the general vibe of social media might not change much for a while, the tools, platforms, and techniques will.

5. On our Panel at SES Toronto, will you find a way to incorporate a short dance into your presentation?  I bet you have mad dance skills.

Of course I will incorporate a short dance into my presentation. See question 1.
I’m looking forward to a great panel at SES Toronto – and can’t wait to see Guillame’s mad dance skillz.


  1. Adapting to the latest marketing tools is the only way to beat the competition in today’s market. Social media networking is the one of the major tool for marketing nowadays. I liked your post Krista. I liked the way you have put it down clearly.

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