André Duval is a true marketeer. In 1996 he started, together with Guillaume Van der Stighelen, the advertising company Duval Guillaume, that was taken over after fifteen years. Since a couple of years he supports and advises start-ups with Duval Union. “Today the data you generate allows for very direct and efficient communication.”
Old advertising model
“Advertising used to be dominant in determining consumer behaviour. Advertising makes the brand and the product's promise known. ‘More advertising, more consumption.’ Today there is a disruption. Technology creates real fundamental changes and we still can't predict the fallout. I don't want to be too negative, but some are bound to bite the dust before the storm is over.”
“Within the advertising company Duval Guillaume we adopted the model of communication that sends out messages to target groups, in order to get those people to behave in a certain way. It's fairly inefficient, because you need to send out many messages frequently to be able to influence people's behaviour. Today the data you generate allows for very direct and efficient communication.”
“After Duval Guillaume, I went to Sweden to take a masterclass at Hyper Island. There, I came to realise that the old model was broken. At that moment, there were several companies starting in digital communication, digital marketing, websites, but also SEO and SEA. I decided to jump in the deep end as an investor in new companies in digital marketing, communication. I also was being asked more and more to introduce companies to major brands and advertisers. That business model is now Duval Union, in which I coach new businesses, I mentor or even invest sometimes. It's a way of getting companies to work together without having one dominant party that's the owner, as is often the case with holdings. Clients want to be given advice and guidances with the changes we're facing today.”
“The buzz word is: digital transformation. That's technology seeping into companies, making the president or CEO suddenly realise: ‘It's no use to keep approaching the consumer this way. Can our service or product still be relevant? Shouldn't we change it?’ Companies are reinventing themselves, and that's a very difficult exercise. How do I continue to make money, keep my shareholders happy and get returns from the old model, which is still doing relatively well, but is gradually caving in? And how do I let the new technology take over, to use it and make it efficient?
“Something important I keep noticing is: it's still the creative minds that are important contributors. In my old job, I worked with account people and creative people such as visual artists and copywriters, that were really seen as creative minds. Today I'm again surrounded by creative minds, writing code, designing applications and solutions, and strategising: how can we reach the consumer through technology? It's still a creative world.”
This video has been realised in collaboration with video production company Sputnik.