Interview with Arnaud Berberian, Justonimo.com, Paris

iTechnology.am: You are a top marketing specialist with more than 14 years experience and a successful career. Can you please tell us where you started and what was a key turning point in your career path?
Arnaud Berberian: After my BBA in marketing management I entered Hewlett-Packard as a key account manager in charge of new technology. I continue my carreer in marketing and sales management in different company and in 2007 a friend of mine aske me to help him with his buzz video for its start-up. The start-up was Mymajorcompany.com, one of the first crowdfunding platforms in France, and my friend is Simon Istolainen. It was a success, and that was a key turning point in my career, I realize more than ever the power of new technology in changing business models but also in my way of understanding marketing management. From that point I start to cooperate in different project regarding new technology, social networks and more Enterprise 2.0. I am now launching my own Start Up, justonimo.com a real estate crowdfunding platform.
iTechnology.am: Today’s marketing world is quite different from the one we had 10 years ago. Now people focus on digital marketing using new technologies, social media and online platforms. What are the most important changes you have seen so far and is the traditional marketing dead? What are your predictions for the future of marketing?
Arnaud Berberian: We have to be very careful, Marketing principle did not change so far, however tools we have to apply our marketing strategy have evolved in order to be more effective and proactive. What is really changing with new technologies is business models, We are facing a strong revolution that is modifying our way to do business and management. Such as in 19th century and the industrial revolution, The Digital revolution will bring new companies, change world order and bring marketing and innovation to a new level. I am not a man of prediction, but what I can say is that connected object, 3D printer, Big Data, Cloud services and crowdfunding will be more and more our everyday life, That start up will change our way of defining enterprises and that we will see in a very close future more new stuff that will change our every day life.
iTechnology.am: In Armenia, we are witnessing the birth of the first marketing firms in recent years and our universities just began offering courses for marketing. What is your advice for Armenian marketing specialists and people interested in the field for gaining advanced training?
Arnaud Berberian: Be open minded! Marketing is a key component of a company, it is the link between each services of a busines from management to all employees, from production to sales. Marketing specialist have to be strategic and operational, they have to look on long term as well as a short term.
So my advice : Be curious, open minded, listen and watch carefully, and be innovative.
Arnaud Berberian’s predictions on the marketing evolution

 
iTechnology.am: What are the top skills that make a great marketer? Is it helpful to have a special type of personality or is it a skill which can be learned?
Arnaud Berberian: The top skills to be a great marketer are, according to me Curiosity, and Listening,
 
I do not think that you need to have a certain type of personality, but passion and hard work are key to success. My mojo is simple : Be the First, Be the best or be different.
iTechnology.am: Crowdfunding has become a powerful tool for a lot of people all over the world, including Armenia related projects. Could you share your views about crowdfunding? What are your tips to create a better crowdfunding campaign?
Arnaud Berberian: Crowdfunding is probably what will change massively our way of doing business. It is business to people, for the people and by the people and this is what really change everything. Bank are no longer the unique way of finding money.
My tips for a good crowdfunding campaign are quite simple:
  • In order to be successful in crowdfunding, you need to have social network. A lot of people cannot imagine the network they have before they really think of it. So take time to think about it, it will be helpfull to spread the word when you will need it. 
  • Be short, your idea or your project has to be understood in one sentence. If you cannot resume it in one sentence, then you are not ready.
  • Be clear. if a six year old child cannot understand it, than work again.
  • Have a clear business plan. The investors needs to know what happened to their money answer the question : if I invest 1$ how much I will gain and when? Be clear and transparent.
  • Before launching your campaign do not forget to activate your networks, online and offline. Your baker is sometimes more important than your facebook friends.
  • Once your launch your campaign, take care of your investors, communicate. Do not hesitate to ask them tips, or to explain your choice.
  • Do not forget to thank them, a gift, a party whatever you decide, never forget to say thank you!
iTechnology.am: Are you involved in the Armenian community in France? What kind of activities does the community organize to connect and support young Armenian professionals?
Arnaud Berberian: I am in the Young Professional network and The CPA (Armenian professional circle). For me, in France thre are not so much activities to connect young Armenian professionals. Mostly it is single actions, meetups, ….
iTechnology.am: One of the major constraints of Armenian tech companies and startups is marketing. From product development to sales, marketing could be a big growth booster. In 2012, the Armenian government opened a representative office in Silicon Valley to help address this issue. What are your thoughts on how Armenian tech companies can develop and execute a successful marketing strategy to reach larger audiences?
Arnaud Berberian: Firstly, a good marketing strategy is based on a good product or service, if you want to reach a larger audience, the promises you make with your product and/ or services should be real.
And Secondly, we have to stop thinking of us as a closed community. People have a positive image of the Armenian community (especially in France) It is a real chance. But it is not sufficient. Armenian tech companies can develop there strategy by working with the diaspora and develop social networks. We have communities all around the world that can spread the word of our work but only if we use them carefully. But be careful being Armenian is a good way but it is not the only way