€ 1 invested in Product Communication € 7,85 in GDP

In France, 1 euro invested in media advertising generates 7,85 euros in Gross Domestic Product (GDP), according to the firm Deloitte. Communication is indeed a fundamental lever for recovery and economic development, provided it is carried out smoothly. 💪 To learn more and more, and to be able to provide you with tips and best practices in the sector, the team We Are COM was invited to the second edition of the Estates General of Communication. This round table, organized by our friends from the magazine strategies, was most enriching. It's up to you to dig into our cheat sheets to find out where to invest! 🤓

???? A little booster shot? 

We are currently living in a unique period, in which the health, economic and social crises have been added. These upheavals are prompting us to rethink our models. Another challenge for us communicators! Yes, we have to respond to changing expectations and seize opportunities that have hitherto been unseen. Brands are at the heart of people's lives, and therefore at the heart of all issues. More than ever, they must claim their history and their know-how. 

So, how do you defend the value of your brand? How to highlight its qualities? And finally, how can consumer confidence be increased? It is up to us to take care of our profession which fascinates us so much. Here are our 6 tips!

#1 - Invest in media communication ????

It is essential not to sever the link with our public by cutting our investments medias. They are the guarantors of our visibility and this investment contributes to the creation of societal values ​​by supporting the press, the media, opinions. In a world where information flows so quickly, where badbuzz starts as quickly as fake-news, part of the responsibility lies with advertisers.

So let's continue to invest in accordance with the brand's values ​​to make media communication a powerful lever demonstrating the company's commitment to the City and its sustainability. Today, it is not uncommon to observe that social and environmental actions of a company generate positive spinoffs, in the same way as the actions of the public authorities. Yes, companies are making a commitment and must make it known, because this is expected by consumers! Selecting your partners carefully is, in this sense, a prerequisite for engaging stakeholders and actively developing your brand image. 

according to Axel Dauchez, President of the citizen platform Make.org, three major upheavals have marked the past five years:

  1. The "value" has changed into "virtuous behavior" to finally become "contributory responsibility",
  2. Humility has more than ever become the key word in communication. Also, you have to know how to delegate and put your brand at the service of a cause that goes beyond it,
  3. Inclusion is essential. There is no lack of causes to defend: environment, disability, violence, youth, etc.

Communication thus constitutes the intermediate path between a problem and a positive impact. 

If the actions taken are above all constructive, if sincerity and transparency are essential, our brands have everything to gain. Beyond the cause, the story deserves to be told with care. The communicator is a director capable of making a social initiative truly intelligible. For this, the media is its ultimate weapon, its territory of expression. Let's re-enchant communication, a real lever for these worrying societal issues.

#2 - Invest in talent 💡

The President of Publicis France, Agatha Bousquet, tells us that a drop in investment inevitably leads to a drop in talent. However, communication is an intellectual sector where it is necessary to combine both creation and logistics production. In recent years, the budgets allocated to the transformation digital and the reduction of the impact on the environment have increased considerably. Inevitably, agency / advertiser contracts are negotiated with greater pressure. Yet talent is a unique individual, creating specific value that it is unthinkable to skimp on. For a agency, the loyalty of an advertiser is obtained on the condition of standing out and this comes at a certain cost. 

Indeed, in an agency / advertiser relationship, it is sustainability that pays the most, confirms David Leclabart, President of the Australia agency. the digital has revolutionized our approaches and more and more, agencies are entrusted with ad hoc tasks and therefore more discontinuous. The other side of the coin: flexibility often turns out to be synonymous with precariousness. Should the risks be borne only by freelancers and agencies? Adequate contracts have a definite interest in offering guarantees to talents and thus avoid a phenomenon of impoverishment of part of our sector of activity. On the advertiser side, our role as communicator is also to constantly remind general management and financial management that communication is not an expense but an investment; cutting that investment is to forgo profits and fall behind the competition. In short, never cut off communication at the risk of breaking off the relationship with consumers. 

#3 - Invest in technology 🛠

Investing in innovative solutions, a thousand times yes! No one can neglect the advantages of the digital revolution on the move, offering tools that are already essential to our businesses. Yet technology without human competence would be a regrettable way of squandering one's budget. Doesn't data hold information on condition of analysis by a human being like you and me?

We practice the best job in the world, understanding the challenges of our changing society on a daily basis. And every day, communicators are challenged to come up with powerful new ideas. Stephane Distinguin, founder and President of the Fabernovel agency, affirms that the power of digital technology obliges us more than ever to reinvent ourselves and recompose ourselves with a variety of talents. It is essential to find the optimal mix between technology and skills; in agency as at the advertiser.

Most agencies are struggling to amortize their participation in calls for tenders. The more agency employees mobilize in this exercise, the less likely they are to create value for their clients. It is true that more and more advertisers are compensating pitches, but is it enough? Should we rethink the margin model and the provision lines for calls for tenders in the agencies' annual budget? According to Cecile Lejeune, Director of VMLY & R Paris, extending the durations of agency contracts would be a first avenue for optimization. 

We practice the best job in the world, understanding the challenges of our changing society on a daily basis.

#4 - Invest in content 📦

Aurora Domont, President of FigaroMédias shares a paradox with us: the media are increasingly investing in technology and digital, the quality of ads is a growing issue. However, the interest in the media suffers and their value diminishes in the eyes of the public versus the growth of the audience of the media. influencers, from nano to macro. The challenge is therefore to recreate a bond of trust and a meeting place between audiences and brands. The appetite of audiences depends directly on the quality of content editorials. 

For Magali Florens, Vice-President of Udecam, it would be advisable to delay the sometimes disproportionate investments in technology, digital, data, etc. The human must be put back at the center of all concerns. While the job of the media is to effectively craft content that is both interesting and consistent, it cannot come from artificial intelligence alone. Also, the race for productivity should not obscure this precious emotional connection with the public.

#5 - Invest across the entire value chain ⚙️

It is now crucial to strengthen the deep relationship between agencies and advertisers, according to Stephanie Rismont, SNCF Group Communication and Brand Director and member of Club We Are COM, accelerator of communicators in business. These links should lead to a long-term “win-win” exchange. Bringing agencies back to competition by advertisers is obviously essential. However, it must be done with a certain parsimony, she recalls. Brands must be aware of the work of agencies, which mobilize resources and expertise. So, yes let's pay the pitches! The challenge for the advertiser, where the internal pressure is real, is to prove that the associated cost is indeed an investment that creates value for the company. 

But is there a miracle recipe for this problem? For Nicholas Gondeau, co-founder of The Observatory International Paris, the response revolves mainly around two axes. On the one hand, it is important to work on the state of mind of advertisers. We must both recognize the work of agencies and be proud to invest in this unparalleled expertise. France also suffers from a slight delay in this area vis-à-vis other countries, such as the United States. On the other hand, the budget must be re-arbitrated between internal teams, the media and the agencies. Investment in digital continues to grow and, despite this, the overall budget pie chart remains immobile. 

This represents long-term work, which must be initiated during the formative years. Communicators belong to a vast sector of activity and must support each other, with respect and kindness, to defend the added value of their professions. 

Investment in digital continues to grow and, despite this, the overall budget pie chart remains immobile. 

#6 - Invest in the life of the brand ????

The brand is the bearer of a formidable and invaluable asset. So, how do you keep a brand alive and lasting? How to project it towards new audiences and make it cross all the time? Like a person, the brand must be nurtured, from collaborations and partnerships. The strength of communication lies in the emotional, and therefore human, relationship that it manages to establish with its audiences. Thereby, its value depends directly on the sensitivity of the communication teams that drive it and on their convictions. Let's develop our culture of branding ! Advertising campaigns should no longer be seen as outrageous consumer incentives, but more as a affinity discourse both with theinternal as with theexternal.

For Anne-Marie Gaultier, Marketing & Communication Director of the Intermarché and Netto brands, it is essential to thank our employees as well as their service providers and partners. Making your commitment visible means, above all, cultivating a certain proximity with the French, and meeting their expectations as best as possible. This can only be done through regular speaking out. 

Let's recap? 

The We Are COM team gives you the inspiring conclusion ofHerve Navellou, CEO of L'Oréal France, who shares with us his four key words in communication: 

  1. Transparency : never forget that the sincerity is your greatest ally. It protects you and also gives you the right to make mistakes.
  2. Meaning : each brand must be the bearer of meaning, of a resonant purpose, of positive generosity. 
  3. Innovation : it is more than ever necessary to learn to combine creativity and new technologies. It's up to you to create your differentiating factor. 
  4. Responsibility : It is urgent to take action !

Finally, let us remember that we, as communicators, must defend the usefulness of our professions. We tackle this on a daily basis within We Are COM. Communication highlights brands, intangible heritage that contributes to the development of each company in many aspects. 

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