The “communication catch 22”

Losing customers to the competiton. No new customers in the pipeline. Sales are down. All possible events in the current economic climat. If our communication fails us, this is the most likely time to show.


Ever wondered what your communication is really worth? Taking a simplefied approach: If we can not think of  any communication activities that we perceive to create tangible value to our business (i.e. making a positive contribution to the P&L), the chance is that it doesn’t…


The moment that insight sinks in our most likely reaction will be to cut the marketing budget in order to improve our P&L through saving cost. Though it appears to be a logical step at first sight, it does it address the real problem long-term. Cutting the communication budget does not do anything to create future income. Nor does it improve our sales situation.  We are reducing cost, but we are not doing anything to actively create income.

Most likely this is not the way to total “business bliss”.



What does our communication need to help build the “business buzz” we want? Above all solid foundations. Clarity, consistency and continuity.

Here is quick look into what this actually means. Clarity refers to our messages being clear, comprehensive and unambiguous. Consistency means that we communicate the same ideas or messages without contradicting or altering the meaning. Something that happens surprisingly often. J And finally continuity – meaning that we do communicate regularly and from every part of our business -  provides the exposure and visibility necessary to create a lasting impact in our target groups.


The vehicle to make those features work is what I call in “marketing speak”  Corporate Messages. Not bunch of funky-sounding taglines – corporate messages are a set of carefully crafted messages connected to the essence of our business and in line with how we want our customers to perceive us. They make us stand out over our competidors, state what we can do and what we aspire to indicating how we add value. Their ultimate job is to give our customers clues why they should opt for us.


Communication providing clear and tangible benefits, aligned with the business, make it easier for our customers to differentiate us from the competition and gives them the reason to chose us. Then it will make a difference to our business and our bottom-line. 


(More detail on how corporate messages are structured and developed in another post. J)



Sinopsis en español: El circulo vicioso de la comunicación


Descenso de ventas, pérdida de clientes…si nuestra comunicación tiene debilidades es probable que la crisis actual las va exponer.

Simplificando, podemos decir que si no percibimos que nuestra comunicación cree valor para nuestro negocio, lo más probable es que no genere ninguno. Entonces nuestra reacción típica es cortar el presupuesto de marketing, con el objetivo de reducir costes, pero igualmente no hacemos nada para generar nuevos ingresos.


Para que la la comunicación sea un verdadero apoyo para nuestro negocio debe basarse en tres principios fundamentales: claridad (mensajes claros sin ambigüedad), consistencia (mensajes sin contradicciones) y continuidad (comunicación con frecuencia). El vehículo para ponerlo en marcha son los “mensajes corporativos”. Ellos conectan con la escencia de nuestro negocio, están alineados con lo que queremos que nuestros clientes perciban de nosotros y nos hacen destacar sobre nuestra competencia.


Un comunicación que transmite beneficios claros y tangibles les da las claves a nuestros clientes de porqué deberían elegirnos. En fin, si nuestra comunicación consiguiera eso sí supondría una diferencia muy importante para nuestro negocio.



One Response to “The “communication catch 22””

  1. palomapbravo says:

    francamente interesante articulo. La teoría parece fácil pero es cierto que hoy en día las organizaciones están fomentando la inquietud con la falta de claridad de sus mensajes – quizás por miedo a la trascendencia extena -, la falta de consistencia – con verdades a medias – y la falta de contiunidad – cuando no se que decir, dejo de comunicar…..y no comunicar, también comunica.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.