Tips for defending your COM budget

« Aaarrrggghhh Is the noise your COM budget would make if it could talk? Yes, companies tend, in times of crisis, to skimp on the budgets of their communication campaigns. 😱 But let's not kid ourselves: for the company, this amounts to missing out on an indisputable lever, when it is currently facing unprecedented situations. As Thomas Jefferson said:

Someone who stops advertising to save money is like someone who stops a clock to save time. 

So, let our CFO and our managers understand the importance of investments in communication and do not let them give in to a hasty decision. The We Are COM team comes to the aid of your Communication budget by showing you its best arguments and tips. 🚀

A downward trend in communication investments in 2021

We probed our community loyal readers in 2020 on budgetary issues, in this economically troubled period. 126 communicators confided in last June: 

  • > For 49% of communicators, the communication budget would be reduced
  • > For 33% of communicators, the communication budget would be maintained
  • > And for 8% of communicators, the communication budget would be increased

According to a survey by another group of communicators, our friends from APACOM : 24% of advertisers will carry over part of their communication budget from 2020 to 2021

Communication: an investment, not an expense

Advertising is selling drafts, but it is these currents that keep the mill going.

Marcel Bleustein-Blanchet, founder of Publicis

Communication is sometimes mistakenly viewed as a cost center. 💰 Now, it is considerably more expensive to come back to the market than to stay there. The older ones say it: reducing your communication budget can sometimes have dramatic consequences. So, don't get out of the game.

A study ofIPA (Institute of Advertising Practitioners in UK) shows that if you reduce your communication budget by 50% over one year, it then takes 3 years to regain the level of your competitors, who have maintained their communication and marketing budget at iso. As you will have understood, it is in times of crisis that it is most important to be present with your public. Especially since your competitors will also tend to lower their budget. 😉 So stay ahead by maintaining your investments! And do not forget that "what cannot be measured, does not exist", especially in Cartesian minds. Even if the results are not always visible or measurable immediately, share your detailed reports of the last months and make projections on the coming months.

Keep in mind that communication is fundamental work that takes place in the medium term, relying on the duration and repetition of messages. Caution is sometimes about being daring, building on your own success. Last but not least, communicate in times of crisis also means to prepare the recovery. More than ever, it is necessary to rethink its strategy upstream, to adapt it to the context, to be in the starting blocks at the right time. 💥 

Internal communication: an essential issue in this context

Why should you never neglect your internal communication ? It is first of all directly linked to the motivation of each employee, and indirectly to the production of the teams. It is therefore necessary to remind employees that they are the primary players in the company, to value their involvement and to re-give meaning to their missions. 💪 After all, employee motivation is what drives a business! Then, let us always consider the collaborators as the first relays of the company, in particular through the ambassadorate. 

Tomorrow's communication will require many more computers than computers. 

Jacques Seguela, Havas advertising

While informing and federating is essential in normal times, we must be extra vigilant in times of instability or in a context of anxiety. Let's think back to the maslow pyramid : the answers in matters of security, belonging and esteem are prerequisites to be able to be accomplished. And this is also true in everyone's professional environment! Internally, the Communication team is now mobilizing around a major issue: adopting a genuine listening posture to proactively meet increasingly stringent requirements. Moreover, we cannot consider the collaborators as one and the same. audience. Expectations are different from one person to another, from one group to another, and deserve multiple communications, sometimes differentiated: young recruits, teams in peak or production site, teams of support functions, managers, etc. 

Concretely, internal communicators have to deal with crucial issues: accessibility of information, involvement of managers, awareness of managers, reinsurance, training in new working methods, content educational, Loyalty talents, close links between professional and personal environments… And beyond that: bringing that lighter informal touch, which allows us to preserve or recreate the social bond which makes the salt of a unique corporate culture. 🍻

External communication: be extra vigilant

We are not born a brand, we become it gradually, we can also cease to be so. 

Jean-Noël Kapferer, brands expert

In terms of customer communication, we can summarize the situation as follows: “out of sight, out of heart”. Indeed, we all easily understand that our external audiences struggle to identify us and forget us relatively quickly, if we are not visible! Who goes hunting loses their place, right? 🐗 If you neglect your prospects and your customers, they will abandon you in favor of more attractive competitors. So investing in good visibility means securing a real ROI. To Dawkins et Reichheld, the authors of Customer Retention as a Competitive Weapon, “Retaining a client would cost up to 5 times less than recruiting a new one”. In this way, constantly cultivate your brand preference, 😍 by strengthening your presence on relational channels. 

It takes 20 years to build a reputation and 5 minutes to destroy it. If you keep this in mind, you will do things differently! 

Warren Buffett, businessman

Also, continue to maintain regular and solid contact with the press. In times of crisis media relations are essential, even an opportunity to strengthen relationships by becoming a reliable source of information in a noise of pseudo experts. Your brand watches must be meticulous and your content scrupulously checked before publication. Nothing should be left to chance. 🔮

Not anticipating and not reacting quickly enough constitute real dangers for the company and its image. Today the fake news spread so quickly and vastly, that responsiveness is the best way you can counter them. For this you need a team that watches and monitors at all times, thus positioning itself as a guarantor of your reputation. The eyes and ears of a brand are its communicators. A figure that does not deceive: 47% of French people have already given up buying a product or service from a brand following damage to its reputation *. To neglect its communication is to neglect the link that you have with all the stakeholders of the company. 

Your plan of attack to defend your Communication budget? 

Communication, like war, is a simple art, and very executable.

Luc Ferry, philosopher

The goal is to do as well as before, with not only a smaller budget but also moving issues; even downright croissants. From now on, the constraints will no longer be the same and the needs of consumers will evolve even more in the coming years. And it is for this reason that communicating is not an option.

1 - A serious retrospection 🔎 

Start by going back to your previous performances! What are your quantified results, your feedbacks? The impact of your past communication campaigns is your best asset to optimize your communication strategy, with an empirical angle. And you have the right to make mistakes: cut actions whose ROI is not satisfied, to reallocate your budget.

2 - Concrete conclusions 📊

Take stock of the figures and don't forget to " market your com ' ". Reporting on your results allows you to show your managers the budgets that must be maintained, those that can be optimized. You must value your successes and your good budget management.

3 - A fully developed strategy

Thanks to this real retrospective and professional introspection on your roadmap for the coming months, you will be able to propose even more relevant communication actions that meet the requirements of the moment: crisis, audience and portfolio. Don't hesitate to involve the experts on your team!

Our tips to optimize your budget 🚀

  • > Adapt your communication plan to the new context of your business, in close collaboration with marketing and sales (new offers, company mission, commitments, new remote distribution methods, etc.)
  • > Review the balance between average traditional and digital communication, by favoring less expensive and more responsive channels. Your approach becomes tactical!
  • > Internalize essential skills, activate continuing professional training and outsource ad hoc expertise jobs. 
  • > Be the conductor of transparent communication, with tangible and intelligible evidence.
  • > Maintain your databases and invest in personalization for an ever more authentic relationship, then retarget when the time comes.
  • > Bet on SEO and Ads! After all, you only pay per click and your campaigns cost you less (since your competitors invest less!)
  • > Strengthen your presence on Social networks. They allow a continuous and interactive link. Do not hesitate to play on humor, empathy and proximity to animate your communities and engage them.

* The e-reputation of companies. Ifop study for Havas Paris. Survey conducted with a sample of 1 people, representative of the French population aged 008 and over. » 

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