How to plan your Internal Comms budget

Are you responsible for the Comms budget in your company? How do you plan and how do you measure what you do?

Today I have a guest post to help you know what other professional communicators are doing and an invitation to participate in a survey.

The article has been written by Anthony Bernard-Sasges, Specialist in Research at Gartner. I’ll hand you over…

Gartner Communications Budget Trends: Increased Focus on Measurement

As we approach the 2019 budgeting season, we at Gartner Communications wanted to take the opportunity to share one of the dominant trends we noticed last year.

Every year, Gartner provides communicators with the ability to strategically plan and defend their budget decisions with our Resource Allocation Benchmarking Survey. The survey also helps us identify key communications trends around the globe.

One of the most interesting findings from last year’s survey indicates that communicators are increasingly engaged in measurement of communications activities.

In 2018, 82.8% of communicators reported being responsible for measurement and monitoring, a 10% increase from 2017 and the highest ever reported (see Figure 1).

Easier to track metrics

In many cases, new technologies and digital capabilities have made it easier to track metrics communicators care about. As many organisations are capitalising on their increased ability to conduct measurement activities, we expect the percentage of communicators responsible for this activity to continue to grow.

(I should hope that is the case! See my recent article on How to make Internal Communications add up for more resources about measurement – Rachel).

Increased budget for measurement

Not only are more communicators engaging in measurement activities, many increased the percentage of their budget allocated to this activity. Spending on measurement and monitoring as a percentage of the communications budget has more than doubled in the past two years, from 1.6% in 2016 to 3.9% in 2018 (see Figure 2). In an already limited communications budgeting environment, this increase is significant.

Figure 2: Measurement and Monitoring Spend as a Percent of Communications Budget

Measuring in-house

Another reason this trend is significant is that fewer communicators are relying on outside vendors to conduct their measurement and monitoring activities. In 2017, communicators spent, on average, nearly half (48.3%) of their measurement budget on vendors.

In 2018, measurement vendor spending dropped to 34.3%. As technology enables more communications functions to take on measurement activities, many functions are realising the importance of this work, keeping the activity in-house and raising its share of the budget.

Have you experienced this trend in your organisation?

Are you looking to compare your budget and priorities to those of communicators at similar organisations? Whether you plan to defend your current budget or advocate for more resources for 2020, it’s always best to be armed with data.

When you take our 2019 Resource Allocation Benchmarking Survey, you’ll receive an individualised report that includes data on overall communications budgets, staffing, and scope of responsibility compared to peers in the same revenue band.

Because the survey requires detailed budget data, it should be taken by the head of the communications function (or their delegate). If you aren’t the head of your function, we encourage you to share the survey link with your head or with one of your team managers. Once all of the necessary budget data is collected, the survey should take only about 30 minutes to complete.

Take the 2019 Resource Allocation Benchmarking Survey, or email Anthony.Bernard-Sasges@gartner.com with any questions.

Photo by Adeolu Eletu on Unsplash

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