• Olivier Cardini

In search of the influences …

#influence #stratégic

Along with monitoring and protection of assets, influence is the third component of the economic intelligence approach. Traditionally, this means lobbying decision-makers at different levels: regional, national, European and even international. It is a question of influencing in order to act in one direction or another, in order to anticipate developments, to influence them, to provoke them, or to protect oneself against decisions having a potentially harmful impact on one's activity or development, whether they are ideological "so law" or legislative "hard law ».

The complexity of the business world requires constant vigilance, a proactive search for information in order to be ever more competitive and to have a fine-tuned understanding of the various influences at work. "There is what we call the attitude during a storm. When you are caught in a sudden downpour, you can either run as fast as you can, or you can take shelter under the roofs of the houses along the way. Either way, you will get wet. If one prepares oneself mentally beforehand for the idea of getting wet, one will not be upset when the rain arrives. This principle can be applied profitably in any situation". Jocho Yamamoto (1659-1719) The Sacred Book of the Samurai

The information must be organized and synthesized to be usable within the framework of an influence approach.

The different phases of collecting, putting into perspective, and sharing information must provide the entity with an accurate reading of its strategic environment as well as the ability to anticipate its evolution.

This does not exclude the last phase, where the actions to be taken to achieve success are analyzed.

This capacity of influence is not only the prerogative of governments, large entities or ideological or economic interest groups, SMEs must also act in this sense, to exert their influence in an increasingly competitive environment.

"Chance only favors the prepared mind". Pasteur (1822-1895)

The company must communicate while protecting its interests, decipher and manage the informational processes capable of affecting its image.

Social media in the first place, where we find consumers reacting on Twitter, YouTubers and bloggers communities... Opinions published on e-commerce forums have completely changed the approach of companies in their communication strategy.

Consumers trust their peers more than brand reviews and brochures.

Through monitoring, the company will show itself to be proactive and anticipatory, which will allow it to react quickly in case of an attack, for example, that challenges its reputation. To determine the action to be taken, it will be necessary to qualify the nature of the attack. Monitoring will allow you to be prepared and not to be caught off guard, and thus to be able to respond.

Conceiving and conducting an influence policy can be a complex exercise. In fact, the processes used have existed for centuries, but new #information and #communication technologies have changed their modality, their form and their implementation.

Developing a communication of influence on its #environment is more than an obligation, it is a #strategic investment that must be carried out with sense, method and efficiency.

As we have seen, a brand can quickly increase its notoriety and a product its ability to be purchased, if it is recommended by another consumer who becomes an influencer on social media, rather than by "traditional" marketing techniques.

Today, the customer has often done his research beforehand by comparing different prices and consulting the opinions of other consumers. When he is face to face with the seller. He often knows what he wants. The last pending question is about delays and discounts. The salesman is no longer the sole referent of expertise that he was in other times.

The good news about this evolution is that companies can benefit greatly from it, by using the right communication.

A company can use the influence of an individual to promote a new product, by promoting the credibility of the company rather than the product itself, for example.

The idea is to design a coherent influence strategy, targeted in a process that transforms the balance of power to one's advantage.

#Influence uses different registers, the first of which is undoubtedly on the human factor and notably the appeal to psychology. Thus, in the image of what was done in ancient history, the rhetoric which aims at persuading an audience, following the example of the Greeks on the register of the persuasion and the Romans for the eloquence.

In "Oratore", the work of Cicero (106-43 with), the latter exposes the 5 principles of eloquence: "inventio" which rests on creativity and innovation, "dipositio" which corresponds to argumentation and logic, "elocutio" on the choice of the words and the work of the voice, "actio" on the good gesture and "memoria" which one could describe as the mnemonics. "To persuade is to lead someone to believe, to think, to want, to do something, by a complete adhesion... For the ancient Greeks, Peitho, persuasion, when it is an action, is an art, a technique... " Revue de l'histoire des religions year 1991 Vol.208 N° 4 Vinciane Pirenne-Delforge

The 3 fundamentals of rhetoric will be used in a public intervention for example: "Ethos" for credibility, values and ethics, "Pathos" for passion, emotion and empathy and "logos" for rationality, logic, quantified arguments and real and verifiable facts.

Rhetoric will be a tool for the means of action that are #lobbying, think tank, communication ...

Lobbying will act on public decision processes to stop them, to influence them, to help them, or even to provoke them through the number of actors it represents or the weight of the latter.

NGOs will base their actions and communications on values, symbols and convictions in relation to opinion.

An excellent definition of a think tank by Thierry de Montbrial: "I call a think tank any open organization built around a permanent base of researchers, whose mission is to develop on objective bases ideas relating to the conduct of private or public policies and strategies in the general interest.

The think tank, is an interesting practice, also called "reservoir of thought", seeking to be influential in its field of expertise.

Apart from the think tank, there is the Do tank which is not only a laboratory of ideas but above all a source of actions...

An idea, in order to exist, needs to be named. Therefore, naming a concept and making others adopt this name is to give an abstract idea an existence and a reality in the mind of the person influenced. By adopting the name chosen by the influencer, the opponents become its promoters by contributing to disseminate it and give it a meaning. In addition to the idea, the question of the "context" of diffusion, also participates in the impact of the message, which can influence the message itself

Influence must combine a great knowledge of the environment with creativity in terms of approaches but also more visual, more pragmatic in its relationship with the various entities.

The new modes of communication have widened the networks and made actions and reactions immediate.

The influencer no longer has a territory, or rather only one, the one towards whom he expresses himself, you.

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