Communication of tomorrow, what changes?

Influence, commitments, creative sobriety, technology…. Communication is changing, our jobs and our challenges too!

To find out more, the We Are COM team and ISCOM, the Higher School of Communication and Advertising, carried out a unique survey* among communication students and professionals. So, was our business expertise in the hands of AI? Has TikTok replaced TV? There CSR is it the only and real issue? or all at once and more?

Changing communication

Notoriety, image, sales? In 2023, the objectives of communicators are more specific than that. And above all they gravitate massively around relationships – lasting, committed – between companies and their audiences. Thus, for 36% of those questioned, the priority objective is to create commitment and preference. Only 3% cite direct sales generation as their primary goal.

The areas of communication to prioritize for communicators are environmental commitment (81%) ahead of societal commitment (71%), transparency (41%) and innovation (39%), major signs of a paradigm shift.

In this context, on the communication channel side, le in digital takes the lion's share. In fact, 45% of communicators believe that it is necessary to invest first in social media, ahead of content marketing (23%), events (9%), press relations (8%) and sponsorship. (5%). Offline advertising is only a priority for 1% of respondents.

Please note, however, and despite the increase in the number of communication channels to invest, communications budgets are stagnating. Only 19% of communicators surveyed reported an increase in their investments in 2023 compared to 2022.

The sketch of the communicator in 2023

The communicator today is a jack of all trades! Both a data analyst and a literary analyst with a sharp pen, he must be innovative, connected and proactive. Their commitment can also have significant consequences on their way of working: 65% of communicators consider themselves more “worried” than “light”. A strong trend which marks a real empowerment of communication professionals, and a real point of attention for all businesses.

Influence for everything and everyone

While the French parliament recently regulated influence activities, brands have long used opinion leaders on the Internet to promote their activities, with success.

Thus, for 82% of those questioned, using influencers is a beneficial practice for commercial communication. New fact, influence is also popular for other aspects of the brand, such as CSR (39%) or the employer brand (53%).

However, setting up influence campaigns in business is not always simple. In question : credibility and trust in these personalities who sometimes respond to codes very far from those of the brands.

And tomorrow, what future forinfluence ? These obstacles do not hinder the development of these partnerships. In addition, 81% of the communicators questioned think that there will be even more of them and 48% even believe that they will be more credible.

Companies facing their (multiple) responsibilities

Carbon footprint, employee well-being, diversity and inclusion, production processes... There is no shortage of topics for business engagement in 2023. Faced with this diversity, companies are judged to be very pragmatic by communicators. According to them, if organizations communicate today about their commitments, it is above all for the sake of reputation (28% of respondents cite this criterion first) then to promote their actions (1%) and give meaning to their values. (26%).

However, companies act with great care Prudence when it comes to communicating their commitments. The fear of accusations of greenwashing/wokewashing is at the top of the list for 78% of those questioned, just ahead of the lack of concrete evidence (75%).

Key figures: 51% of communicators think that companies do not (yet) know how to deal with this complex subject. A figure which rises to 65% in companies with fewer than 50 employees.

Creative sobriety, gradually a reality

In this context of societal changes, a concept is emerging among communicators: creative sobriety. Defined by 58% of them as the fact of “do less voluntarily to do better”, it summarizes the tension between communication objectives and the reality of targets and organizations.

This new sobriety is already having concrete consequences on the daily lives of communicators : 79% declare an impact on a personal level (restriction, modification of their individual behavior) and 74% on a professional level (company policy).

To go even further, those interviewed note that it is consumers who are calling the shots. Moreover, 49% of them think that it is the final audiences who will be decisive in changing the behavior of companies compared to only 16% for technological advances!

Artificial Intelligence VS. ecological sobriety?

While Chat GPT is on everyone's lips, communicators judge that it is above all ecological sobriety which will be the major theme of communication tomorrow (78%), ahead of AI (69%), data (47%) and influence (34%).

A result to be related to the characteristics of the brands which will matter the most in the months to come for the people questioned. Indeed, if innovation is cited “only” by 55% of respondents, responsibility (87%), commitment (86%) and transparency (74%) constitute, according to the communicators, the core values ​​of organizations anchored in French society in 2023.

In short

*Survey carried out online by We Are COM between January 25 and March 1, 2023 – Base of 330 respondents divided between students and working professionals, working in mainland France and the French Overseas Territories.

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