How Your Silos Are Holding You Back (and What to Do About It)

Written by: Jake Sussman on 1/7/16 3:58 PM


In a lot of ways, enterprise marketing departments are ahead of the game. You have access to better, more sophisticated technologies than your counterparts at smaller businesses, and you have a bigger budget and more resources to devote to your marketing efforts.

On the other hand, having more to work with presents a big and often hard to fix problem. The more people you have working for you, the more marketing initiatives you have going on at one time, and the harder it is to organize and connect everything going on.

If your content marketing people never talk to your PPC people, the team focused on marketing for product A is totally disconnected from the team that works on campaigns for product B, and to top it all off nobody is regularly communicating with sales – you’ve got a problem. Seeing the big picture becomes effectively impossible if everyone’s disconnected, and you’ll have a hard time pinning down how all those different efforts relate on the path to earning your company new sales.

The Benefits of Eliminating Silos

Most marketers are in agreement on the need to eliminate silos and enable more communication between different departments. 93% say an integrated approach to digital communications is important, and those working at businesses that have already achieved an integrated approach between departments are significantly more confident in their effectiveness and ROI.

That makes it sound like greater collaboration between teams should be an easy sell, yet only 38% of marketers feel they’re partners with their sales team. That’s bad for everyone.

It’s not too hard to imagine the difference that improved collaboration can make. If your content marketing people can learn the kind of questions and challenges your sales team hears about from clients, they can turn that into helpful content. If your PPC team shares their data on what keywords and headings people are clicking on, your other teams can work that information into building more effective campaigns.

You’re all working toward the same ultimate goal. Every team you manage has data and experience that others in your business can learn from. If you can use all that knowledge to consistently build an integrated marketing plan, you can count on seeing better results across the board.  

3 Ways to Break Those Silos Down

If pretty much all marketers are in agreement that silos are hurting them, then the primary thing left to figure out is how to bring the barriers down. It does take some work and effort, but if your business commits to encouraging and facilitating more collaboration between teams, you can absolutely pull it off.

  1. Unite teams through periodic alignment meetings

Nobody’s excited to hear a suggestion for more meetings, but talking with the members of other departments face-to-face from time to time can really pay off. The people on your different teams will come to know each other better and have the opportunity to hear directly from those in other departments what kind of issues they deal with and priorities they have.

Your marketers can come away with a better idea of who the best contact is in another department when they need help or have a useful idea. The collaboration can help inspire ideas for new campaigns or projects that take advantage of the strengths of team members that might never meet otherwise. And every marketer in your department will gain a clearer picture of the contribution other employees make to your larger efforts and the value everyone else provides.

  1. Make regular communication a breeze with a shared dashboard.

Now, those meetings can get the ball rolling, but you want to keep the communication lines open in between the occasional face-to-face gatherings. Email and project management tools can take care of some of that, but a shared marketing planning system that everyone has access to can enable communication in ways that make it easy to tie ideas and comments back to your larger marketing plan.

If your PPC team sees that a new keyword they’re bidding on is working out especially well, they can hop over to the marketing plan the SEO team is working on in real time and add a note to work the new term into their efforts. If everyone’s tuning into the marketing planning system every day to work out their own plans and priorities, then it can quickly become an effective way for teams to communicate in real time in a format that’s visible to everyone in the department that may benefit from seeing the communication.

  1. Ensure marketing leaders can see all of their teams’ marketing plans and campaigns in one place, to better make the connections between them.

Enabling easier and more frequent communication between your team members is crucial to eliminating silos, but marketing managers can play a more active role in bringing team members together as well. If you can view all the different departments, staff members, and campaigns in play at any given time within one sophisticated marketing plan and calendar that you slice and dice as needed, you’ll be able to make valuable connections between what different teams are working on and help facilitate more collaboration between them when it would benefit all parties.

There’s no benefit to your any of your marketers being disconnected from others in the company working toward the same goal. The right plan, with the help of the right technology to facilitate it, can help bring those silos down. Just wait until you see what your team can do when everyone has the means to not just work together, but plan together and see the impact of marketing on revenue together.

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Topics: Marketing Maturity, Hive9