David Remaud, an ex-engineer turned marketer, reflects on the nature of marketing in France.
I was originally an engineer with a technology background in software, cloud systems, hardware and telecoms, and worked primarily in R&D. Then I moved to sales positions where my customers were mostly telecoms and media companies. I was initially involved in a company called Nextenso, a mobile technology company which was a spin-off of Alcatel, the major French telecoms equipment provider. After a stint in the larger corporate I founded and managed a startup called PlugnSurf, which had designed a new type of wifi router and which I sold after five years to Netgem, a major set-top box vendor. Since then I have become a marketing consultant working with a range of companies who are trying to launch innovative new technology products.
My lead into marketing was more by necessity than by choice as particularly in the startup you have no choice but to market and sell what you are creating. It is pretty unusual in France to find someone who can combine the technical experience with the awareness that marketing demands, which I think is a very valuable combination.