V. Klingbeil (EDG): “Our group embodies a European ambition, but already has strategic global headquarters”

DECISTERS. At its inception, EDG operated halfway between an investment fund and a corporate holding company. And today?
Vincent Klingbeil. We are not an investment fund, but a group of related companies in which all entrepreneurs are shareholders of each other. Unprecedented in France, this cross-interest model has been able to grow with specific agility for our two years of existence. To facilitate synergies between our different structures, we ask for cohesion, where each one perfectly masters their own models and works in harmony with the others. Therefore, dedicated positions work to centralize resources.

These unifying teams decide the distribution of resources on a customer basis in order to standardize the response at the group level. Specifically, the representatives of structures whose skills complement each other participate together in the calls, such as Ad’s up Consulting and Axome, respectively, a consultancy company for digital performance and an e-commerce specialist. The same goes for Orès, a creative agency, both independent and integrated, which often collaborates with Follow, the specialist in influence marketing. For our interlocutors this corresponds to an important contribution both in terms of service and in terms of business.

Our group embodies a European ambition, but already has strategic global offices, as Orès is present in Asia as well as Canada. Although each national institution contributes to broadening our offer and responding to greater opportunities, it is the performance, as well as the culture of the partner companies, that constitute the true criteria of compatibility, so that each new membership is part of the long-term “galaxy” EDG.

“In line with our commitment to the digital promise, our member companies have experienced organic growth of approximately 50% on average.”

Despite the difficult circumstances of spring 2020, EDG got off to a great start. What were the challenges of this overgrowth?
In the shadow of the pandemic, digital acceleration has been a priority for CAC 40 companies. In line with our commitment to the digital promise, our member companies have seen organic growth averaging around 50%. Both for the size of our group and for our speed of development, we know which channels to favor to facilitate exchanges between ultra-specialized professions. Good intra-company tools, but also relations with the press, ensure this necessary communication.

For the management of hypergrowth, the cornerstone of success lies in the HR function. It is she who supports development. It’s not enough to hire more salespeople, general managers and other experts. We need to hire human resources, who will be able to fill open positions, retain existing talents, increase their skills. EDG stands out for its “feel good in management”. To do this, we have organized team building exercises, conferences and other events, which contribute to the employee’s well-being. Inside and outside the company, different monthly meeting formats are organized for commercial teams to share their expertise, but also to gain a greater understanding of EDG’s global offering.

And there has always been a focus on employee training – hence the establishment of academies in most companies in the EDG ecosystem. In addition to talent training, these industries open career prospects, specific advancements within the hierarchy, such as managing larger teams. We are proud to see that career acceleration within EDG is three times faster than in a traditional company. Currently, EDG brings together more than 1,700 people spread across a dozen companies. This number will grow in the coming months. The development prospects are therefore important.

“EDG currently brings together no less than 1,700 people spread over a dozen companies, the number of which is expected to grow in the coming months”

EDG bases its offer on a network of ultra-specialists in the digital world. Can you explain the mechanics of your business digital acceleration model?
Through our ecosystem of companies, we have a cross-functional digital offering, the implementation of which depends on the degree of maturity of the company. In the development of digital identity, we focus on the coherence of on-line and off-line communication, user interfaces, to increase the conversion rate, but also CRM & PRM [“Prospect Relationship Manager”, Ndlr]as well as cyber security.

Some companies do not use enough levers at their disposal. In terms of community management, for example, they sometimes drop certain relays in favor of a single favorite social network. In addition to the fundamentals of generating more traffic and programmatic marketing, our experience includes detecting some forgotten networks. Experts in Follow influence or digital performance like Ad’s up Consulting know the benefits of every network, like Pinterest, which has huge SEO potential [“Search Engine Optimization“, en français l’optimisation pour les moteurs de recherche, Ndlr] and SEA [“Search Engine Advertising“, qui correspond à la publicité ponctuelle sur les moteurs de recherche, Ndlr]. Finally, we support companies on the most promising formats, with a tested and approved ROI, such as “happy snack“from the TikTok platform.

How is your support to companies carried out, in particular in relation to technological trends: the metaverse and NFTs (the “Non-fungible tokens“)?
In physics as in digital, we contribute to the monitoring work of companies on high-potential issues. To this end, we produce a monthly program, the Tech Show, where we invite leaders to discuss key topics in the Tech and Digital industry. It offers a glimpse of the intimacy of great leaders, where they share their way of thinking, how they have learned certain challenges. On networks like LinkedIn and TikTok, we insert display information, as well as excerpts, to convey the fundamentals of the competency in question. Accessible on YouTube, these videos complete the dedicated days we organize face to face.

Very early on, we positioned ourselves on Web 3 related issues [Ndlr: l’ensemble des technologies dédiées à un partage d’information décentralisé, telles que la blockchain]. We created the Metaverse Club with Wold, the first private club that brings together the best French and international Web 3.0 experts every month, with the aim of increasing overall skills. During these events, our guests were able to meet leading figures from the digital world, including Sébastien Badault, VP of Ledger, a leading French start-up in physical cryptocurrency portfolios, or Teddy Pahagbia, one of the 30 biggest influencers in the metaverse. until today .

For us, these initiatives contribute to EDG’s unique model. The gender of our specialists is a guarantee not only of knowledge of current growth levers, but also of future dynamics favorable to digital growth. It is thanks to this collaboration that we will be able to support more and more facets of companies’ digital acceleration, and therefore their performance.

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