Four Key Considerations for CCOs to Begin the CommsTech Journey

The pandemic has driven rapid, unrivaled digital adoption across consumers and businesses alike, a trend that is only set to accelerate in 2022 and beyond. As more and more activity moved online, the importance of data and analytics was enhanced by companies looking to optimize their efforts and measure their success in a remote-first environment. While marketing professionals have long understood the benefits of technology to improve outcomes and experiences via MarTech, the corporate communicator is now developing their own tools to stay ahead of the curve and drive measurable business ROI. 

CommsTech is ushering in a new era, and communication leaders are only now beginning to consider how best to leverage its value to precisely target, measure and shape behavior across a growing list of stakeholders. In fact, seventy percent of Chief Communicators Officers (CCOs) surveyed in Edelman’s Future of Corporate Communications report listed CommsTech as a top area of investment for the coming year. 

However, as CommsTech grows in strategic importance, communications leaders say they are struggling to develop their strategies and investment cases. In fact, although 70% of respondents report CommsTech is a top area of investment for the year an astounding 39% say this is just not a strategic priority for their CEO. From challenges navigating collaboration barriers or self-education around CommsTech, to tough decisions about platform investments and application, these technological tools require time, expertise, money, and commitment if they are to be used effectively.  

Here are the top four considerations for communicators looking to deploy CommsTech in 2022:  

  • Recognize and embrace the role of CommsTech in driving and proving your ROI. Digital tools, data, analytic capabilities, and technology can not only help you sharpen your message and better reach your audience, but can also help you prove the value and business impact of communications amongst internal stakeholders. Invest with a clear eye toward tying activity to business strategy and results.  
  • Start small and learn, then expand. Pick one or two low-risk areas where more effective use of data, analytics, and technology could measurably improve your impact. Use these as opportunities to develop confidence. Let them serve as a beachhead from which to expand and develop a more robust CommsTech-enabled function. 
  • Build the right processes to ensure results from technology adoption. CommsTech adoption doesn’t — and shouldn’t — stop at the purchase of a new tool or platform. Ensure you’ve designed the right processes, structures, and governance around the technology to manage and derive compelling insights and outcomes.  
  • Evolve your leadership style to manage a multidisciplinary team. Leading a modern Corporate Communications function built on data and insights requires new leadership skills. Embracing technology also means engaging new types of talent, collaboration, information-sharing, and strategic outcomes.  

Edelman’s research shows that the role of communications has become more materially important to the CEO than ever before, with 46% of today’s CCOs reporting directly to the chief executive. CCOs who embrace this shift and see themselves as full strategic partners to their CEO are more likely to track communications performance against business goals, invest in content publishing tools, and produce tailored content. CommsTech helps them achieve these goals, which solidifies their role as true value creators. From corporate and brand reputation to employee communications and beyond, do not overlook the benefits of quantifiable insights in a data-driven world.

Get in touch with David Whiting, Edelman’s U.S. Lead for CommsTech.