territorial marketing communication bordeaux

Territorial marketing market: at the heart of territorial communication

In Nouvelle-Aquitaine, beyond territorial marketing, the communication sector in 2017 was close to a volume of activity equivalent to €846 million. On the other hand, 829 million euros in 2015, according to the latest figures from APACOM, presented at the end of March. However, Nouvelle-Aquitaine comes after Occitanie (€943 million) and Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes (€3 billion).

Nouvelle-Aquitaine, a large region but very small market for communication

These figures are still significantly lower than those in the Ile-de-France region in 2017. In fact, the region comprises 54% of the companies in the sector with a turnover of 43 million euros. In France, only 3% of companies in the communication sector are based in Nouvelle-Aquitaine. This represents 507 companies, 1% of national turnover and 6.5% of national employees.

In this communication market, territorial marketing occupies a prominent place. Although it does not have the largest number of projects, the amounts invested are often much higher than those planned by VSEs, SMEs, or even mid-caps.

Territorial marketing is thus a benchmark in a sector where competition can be fierce. Especially since it does not only concern institutions such as regions or cities. Indeed, depending on the region, the terroir is the favorite playground of territorial marketing. As such, all companies based on local products or benefiting from them by ricochet can integrate territorial marketing mechanisms. They use territorial marketing to promote their services and know-how. At the same time, institutions use it to promote the territory and its attractiveness.

Territorial marketing, an ultra-competitive sector

Certainly, in view of the figures of the Ile-de-France, the communication sector welcomes large companies that succeed. However, it is a relatively slow and delicate business model. Indeed, the survival rate of a communication consulting company beyond the first 5 years is only 48.1%. This figure is also lower than the average survival rate for all sectors (51.9%).

The communication sector is indeed suffering from a decline in its profitability. Regarding the profits of communication agencies, the figures are down. They posted -8% in 2007 and -3% in 2015. Indeed, profitability decreased by 4.9% on average over the period. According to INSEE,sales of advertising agencies are growing slowly. There is indeed a growth of 1.8% per year between 2009 and 2019 in volume. On the price side, however, they are not growing while inflation and investment imperatives continue to intensify. In question, strong competition and therefore a consequent tariff pressure.

These figures testify to the low profitability of communication agencies. The effects of the 2008 crisis are reflected in the contrition of communication budgets,with a certain concentration of the sector.

Territorial marketing, communication and Covid-19

Today, in 2020, the situation has not changed so much. Firstly for reasons related to fund trends: consumers are turning to the consumption of local products in short circuit; secondly, for cyclical reasons linked to the Covid 19 health crisis: communication budgets are the first slashed to make rapid savings.

Thus, although the official figures have not yet been published, the agencies agree that the new turnover has fallen by 80% since the beginning of the crisis. Some can count on the regularity of recurring customers to preserve a little cash flow. However, in most cases, projects and therefore budgets are staggered and planed.

The same goes for institutions that are struggling to focus on territorial marketing at this time. For good reason, significant investments are already underway to support the local and national economy; and health measures do not allow us to project a return to normal allowing the resumption of tourism.

Specialization and added value, the renewal of the business model of territorial marketing

Among the communicators who are doing well, in addition to the leaders of the sector, we find those who have particular expertise. This is particularly the case for consultants specializing in territorial marketing… According to a study conducted by EY in 2017, 2.1% of French GDP comes from the communication sector. Including more than 46 billion euros invested in 2015 in France to ensure institutional communication.

Thus, at a time when the means of communication are integrating a growing diversification, the selection of adapted communication channels is now a key issue. Indeed, this is the sine qua non condition in order to effectively reach its audience on the territory.

Territorial marketing can thus be defined as an approach that makes it possible to “adapt a constrained territorial offer”. It relies on knowledge of its environment, to meet objectives of attractiveness and hospitality. An image management tool, leading to strengthen theterritorial attractiveness and ensure the development of the territory.

In the Bordeaux region, there are some agencies specializing in territorial marketing. Neorama, for example, counts among its clients institutions such as the Gironde department, Bordeaux Métropole, Keolis Bordeaux… The Seppa agency, based in Floirac and Paris, works for the Bassin d’Arcachon brand or the COBAN.

Other firms are less specialized in territorial marketing but put their expertise in digital at the service of institutional players. This is particularly the case of Lexan,a firm specialized in Digital Business. Based in Bordeaux and Paris, he has been supporting COBAS since around 2015.

From Brittany to B’A, brand and belonging strategy

The territorial brand “Bretagne” set the tone in 2011. This project required nearly 320,000 euros of investment at launch. Like the territorial brand of the Bassin d’Arcachon (B’A), launched on February 15, 2017. Which represented for its creation alone 80,000 euros of investment on the part of the Syndicat Intercommunal du Bassin d’Arcachon.

For Michel SAMARCELLI, President of SIBA and Mayor of Lège-Cap-Ferret, the purpose of the creation of this identity was to “bring together under one banner all the activities of the territory in order to enhance existing businesses and attract new ones”.

The constitution of a territorial brand is indeed intended to affirm thestrong identity of a territory. In addition to giving rise to many investments in communication – happy those who won subsequent contracts… These are all levers that make it possible to promote, beyond the pure brand, a product, a know-how, and especially a destination. A strong symbol of the terroir, of the regional heritage.

Especially since with the COVID-19 crisis, consumers are gathering more around local products. Promote the image of a producer, a local product and above all a brand well established in its territory.

“Osez Bordeaux” an interesting but aborted initiative

On Bordeaux, Alain Juppé had already launched the “Osez Bordeaux” initiative in 2013. The brand aimed to increase the attractiveness of the city nationally and internationally. If the appropriation of the term, with mixed results, probably by too much anticipation, did not allow to keep the project, the initiative has laid the foundations of the territorial mark of magnetism in Bordeaux,witness of the urban dynamics.

Since 2016, Magnetic Bordeaux / Bordeaux Magnétique has been the symbol of the Bordeaux renaissance. Under the leadership of Virginie CALMELS, then Vice-President of Bordeaux Métropole, many actors participated in this collective dynamic. Among them: Invest in Bordeaux, Bordeaux Congress and Exhibitions of Bordeaux, Bordeaux Euratlantique, the Tourist Office, Bordeaux Airport, the CCI Bordeaux Gironde, the CIVB, the Cité du Vin, the Grand Port Maritime de Bordeaux or the University of Bordeaux and the University Hospital of Bordeaux…

The goal of the collective? “Reveal and develop the economic dynamics, the vitality of ecosystems and more broadly to co-build the overall attractiveness of the Bordeaux territory”. A territorial marketing strategy with a unifying and economic scope.

Thus, in an increasingly concentrated, volatile, even precarious communication market, the path of specialization and intention seems to be more relevant than the mere recourse to sacrosanct digitalization.

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