“Turning employees into brand ambassadors is a strategic priority”


“Turning employees into brand ambassadors is a strategic priority”

“Turning employees into brand ambassadors is a strategic priority”

Comments gathered by Alexandra Klinnik. Photos by Virginie de Galzain

Rémi Valade is Head of Online Marketing for SAP France, a world leader in business software. In this interview, he tells Story Jungle about the strategy adopted by the German group's French subsidiary, and shares his thoughts on the formats shaping today and those of tomorrow.

What is your role at SAP France? 

I am in charge of digital marketing in France. My job is to make sure the SAP brand is visible when organisations and companies have a need and are looking for an answer online. The aim is to guide them to one of our platforms so that they sign up and leave us their contact details. That data is then transferred to the telemarketing department, which goes about satisfying their requests. The general idea is to use a range of online methods to generate qualified leads for our sales teams.

What are your goals?

About 10% of our targets are about raising awareness of the SAP brand. The remaining 90% are about demand generation – creating sales opportunities with future customers. That ratio is down to the fact that the brand image is generally managed globally by the United States offices. In terms of pure awareness, SAP has launched a new, celebrity-fronted campaign revolving around experience management. The aim is for the experience the company offers to be more in sync with customers' expectations. By combining operational data (costs, revenues, sales, etc.) with experience-related data (product reviews, comments on the path to purchase, etc.), we enable businesses to better customise their experiences. Thanks to this strategy, SAP can claim to be the leading experience management solution, be it for the customer experience or the employee experience.

You say the current trend is to improve the customer experience. What practical steps are you taking to enhance that experience?

SAP offers many solutions to help our customers improve their customer experience. Today, companies are aggregating more and more data, but that data is not necessarily processed. Our goal is to help them find meaning in all that data about customers, leads and suppliers and use it to offer the best possible experience. 

Does this strategy have knock-on effects on social selling performance?

I hope so. It helps us offer great quality content. We're going to launch an experience management campaign in airports this summer. That will give us some material to create social media ads and small-scale campaigns that redirect web users to white papers, for example.

What channels do you use to target future customers?

On the digital front, we focus primarily on LinkedIn, which is very expensive but offers super-qualified leads. We can target precisely the audience we want, be it decision-makers or managers. Twitter is also a favoured channel for us, and a cheaper one. We post the majority of our content there, but it is harder to know who we are reaching. On Facebook, our page is still relatively new and we are still in the trial phase. Feedback has been mixed.

What are your preferred formats?

Mainly text and video. One of our favourite formats is webinars, which allow us to have a dialogue with the customer. We use one of two types, which work well: either a customer testimonial, or a series of webinars on the same subject. That recipe works a treat, and we have managed to establish a regular monthly contact with customers, without necessarily pushing our content very hard. Our audience is a mainly organic and they get their information via our homepage. This format enables us to educate web users and make them want to explore our solutions further. 

What is your mantra?

This will make me look terribly corporate, but the SAP mantra really does speak to me: “We help the world run better and improve people’s lives.”

Who is your guru?

The problem with gurus is that as soon as you dig a little deeper, you find fatal flaws that bring them crashing down from the pedestals you put them on. So, I would say I’m still looking for the perfect guru!

How do you keep your chakras balanced?

I go to the cinema. As long as the film is somewhere between average and excellent, I find it really clears my head!

Apart from webinars, what other formats have you tested?

We have just trialled Facebook Instant Experiences, previously known as Canvas Ads. It's an attractive format, as it keeps friction to a minimum and avoids shunting users from platform to platform. On LinkedIn, we are testing Lead Gen Forms, a feature that allows leads to fill out a questionnaire almost instantly and access a webinar or a white paper without leaving LinkedIn. In terms of pure content, apart from the videos, blogs and posts we share, we don't have any innovative formats, per se. We also carry out nurturing campaigns using email. These enable us to capture the customer's attention by sending them content (white papers, videos, etc.) about issues that are of interest to them. Few people unsubscribe, which is proof that the method is an effective one. 

We also tested live webcasts at VivaTech two years ago, with mixed results. We were rather dependent on an unreliable Internet connection. I would like to launch webinars that look more like TV interviews than classic corporate interviews. My aim is to add a human touch and not to have webinars that are just a procession of slides. I would also like to invest my time and budget in influencers and journalists. I think that could be useful, even though it might be difficult to set up.

Have you run ABM campaigns?

Yes. That is something we do jointly with the sales teams. Social selling is really important. A message shared by a former colleague or an acquaintance will always be more credible than a message shared by the brand itself. At SAP, we train our salespeople and staff members in social selling to spread a positive image of the brand. I'm just as interested in that strategy as I am in employee advocacy. Turning employees into brand ambassadors is a strategic priority and could boost employees' sense of belonging as well as bolstering the impact of the company itself. Getting employees involved will always amplify a message, no matter what the type of content: blog post, white paper, webinar... That is why I like to train them to use social media. Every week, we send out a newsletter with all the best content to share, and because, understandably, employee enthusiasm sometimes wanes, we send out little reminders from time to time.

Rémi Valade,
Head of Online Marketing, SAP France
With 10 years’ experience in the digital sector, from web marketing and e-commerce agencies, to consulting and publishing, Rémi Valade is an expert in optimising the customer experience to maximise lead conversion and customer retention. He is currently responsible for digital marketing at SAP France, managing the firm’s online presence and demand gen activities (SEM, paid social & media, webinars, email, etc.).
Find the right track
through the content jungle
Story Jungle is a leading independent content marketing agency, specialising in campaigns for premium and B2B target audiences.

With a comprehensive network of international correspondents, the Agency creates editorial strategies in multiple languages throughout EMEA, LATAM and Asia. We are experts in Thought Leadership, Influence, Inbound Marketing, Social Selling and Account-Based Marketing (ABM) campaigns.

Story Jungle was selected by LinkedIn to become one of only 10 certified global Content Partners.

Introducing Story Jungle Agency
The agency
We lead the fight
in the war on boring
We at Story Jungle powerfully believe that your convictions are your commercial weapons.

However: 71% of C-suite executives in Europe believe most branded content is... "boring*". And 64% of them expect a brand to adopt an authentic and original point of view.

That’s why we place such importance on creating content strategies that really make your target audience stop and think. Let’s lead the fight in the war on boring.

*Raconteur, 2017.
Turnover is
the new KPI
All our services are geared to helping you align your sales and marketing teams.

Our expertise? Create a distributed storytelling strategy custom-made for the most appropriate distribution channels (SEO, LinkedIn, Twitter, newsletter...) and produce content in the formats that resonate most powerfully with your audience (video opinion columns, long forms, nanographics...) with the single-minded purpose of enabling you to achieve your objectives: brand awareness, consideration and lead generation.

For us, turnover is the new KPI.
Editorial strategy and content production
Story Jungle covers the entire content creation cycle: from establishing editorial strategies (or Content Frameworks) using our unique methodology, to producing innovative, dynamic content using the latest, cutting-edge formats.

Our French and international editorial teams have worked for some of the world’s best-known media outlets and conceptualise and create high value-added editorial content that engages premium and/or B2B audiences.
Web platforms, social networks, LinkedIn, newsletters, podcasts, new media
With its expertise as a publisher, Story Jungle helps brands create their distribution strategy across all established and emerging channels to maximize the performance of their content.

Story Jungle is one of only 10 certified LinkedIn Content Partners worldwide.
Data and performance
A/B testing, optimization, lead review
Data is at the heart of any marketing strategy. Story Jungle monitors your campaign success throughout its lifecycle, ensuring you achieve your goals: detection of Weak Signals, A/B testing, top angle selection, optimization of content formats, evaluation of the quality of leads generated.
With more than 10,000 contributors worldwide and a network of correspondents built up during more than a decade’s experience, Story Jungle's international editorial team produces content on all topic themes, in all formats and in multiple languages for clients throughout the EMEA, LATAM and Asian regions. Our locally-based correspondents ensure content is in-step with local market styles and structures.
The war on
Accuracy at all
R&D is in
our DNA
Don’t bite off
more than you can chew
Audience is king
Do what you
say,and say
what you do
Time is quality
Save the Jungle!

The war on BORING!

Your convictions are your commercial weapons.
However: 71% of C-suite executives in Europe believe most branded content is... "boring".
And 64% of them expect a brand to adopt an authentic and original point of view.

And, be honest, who likes listening to so-called “experts” repeating the same tired old trends that went out of style years ago? That's why at Story Jungle, we pledged to lead the war on boring. That's our mission!

Accuracy at all costs

It’s our guiding star. Factual errors, inaccuracies, approximations... are all banned at Story Jungle. We believe: “Haste makes waste”! Our processes guarantee rigorous fact-checking of all our content.

R&D is in our DNA

Discovering new formats is our specialty. Story Jungle teams are on constant lookout for new formats and content approaches, scouring the Web to unearth innovative attention-grabbing storytelling styles from around the world. Want to find out more? Subscribe to our weekly newsletter.

Don’t bite off more than you can chew

Good creative ideas are worth their weight in gold, right? So don’t twist it out of shape just to make sure it hits every single goal of every single stakeholder. Stay focused! Prioritize. Make some tough choices. At Story Jungle our goal is simple: execute the creative idea, don’t kill it.

Audience is king

At the end of the day, it is the quality of audience engagement that allows you to achieve your campaign objectives, whatever they may be. Story Jungle always demands its content has a “real media” approach, making audience interest a top priority – if its too corporate, no one will read it. Our editors are all tried and tested frontline journalists from some of the world’s leading internationally renowned media titles.

Do what you say, and say what you do

At Story Jungle we try to give you maximum visibility throughout all stages of project development. When we commit to a deadline, we deliver on time, every time.

Time is quality

"All the success of an operation lies in its preparation" (The Art of War). There, I said it! Whether it's responding to a client brief, a call for tender, designing a content campaign or simply a single impactful asset, at Story Jungle, we agree with Sun Tzu. In the words of French poet Nicolas Boileau: "Hasten slowly, and without losing heart, Put your work twenty times upon the anvil: Polish it over and over again, and then polish it once more; sometimes add, and often erase."

Save the Jungle!

If we carry on like this, there will be no more jungle. So yes, the Story Jungle team all voted – yes, we actually sat down and voted – to make projects that promote environmental and social goals a priority. We want to make a real positive impact and play our part in saving the jungle
Contact us
Contact us
Have a project or question to discuss?
Just want to swing through the Jungle and grab a coffee? Drop us a message
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.
Story Jungle, 10 bis boulevard de la Bastille, 75012 Paris - Tel : +33 1 43 47 35 12