Businesses create silos in marketing to decentralize their operations and to encourage expertise in different areas. Silos have some benefits but also cause obstacles in a world where flexibility and being able to change matters.
For example, younger generations are keen to learn and grow in the workplace by developing various skills. Silos in an organization can stifle the ability to learn from other departments and functions. Removing silos can enable easier skill development and boost retention.
It makes sense, in a way, for traditional business structures to create silos for different functions. But doing so can create issues, as silos block lines of communication and prevent knowledge-sharing. Differing goals in silos and a lack of unified direction can lead to a competitive and demoralizing environment.
To remove these issues, marketers and business leads need to make a collaborative effort to break down marketing silos. To make this happen, it’s important for departments to have shared metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) and to use customer relationship management (CRM) tools. Reports, project updates and other measures of progress also need to be shared across functions.
Silos offer a few benefits, but the difficulties they bring about must lead you to question whether they're worth it. Here are just some of the reasons you should consider breaking down marketing silos:
They cause redundancy
When people work in silos, there’s no single view of the customer. You may have teams creating the same content and carrying out overlapping work. Silos prevent coordination and communication. They also create redundancy since people may carry out the same tasks without bringing any added value.
They can harm business
Data silos refer to customer data, campaign reports and other information that isn't shared across teams. This leads to an incomplete view of your customers, and team members will be unable to learn from the results of marketing campaigns. Silos make it hard to bring together disparate sources of marketing and customer data across the organization.
They cause a lack of cohesiveness
Marketing silos can create confusion since different teams create their campaigns and generate their results. There’s no clarity into your marketing campaigns, and they aren’t pulling in a unified direction. This will dilute your business’s ability to meet important goals and can lead to wasting valuable resources.
Silos lead to inconsistent customer experiences
A brand needs to have a consistent tone and message throughout the organization. Silos can lead to inconsistencies, which will negatively affect customers. A blog post and an email marketing message, for instance, need to match the tone and language used on social media. Having one team handle your blog while another creates emails or social media posts can cause issues.
It’s important to have a solid brand guideline in place or to create a common editorial calendar. Each team should have the same understanding of the brand, buyer personas and customer journey. Removing silos makes it easier to create such unified goals.
Cannibalization within the organization
Silo-centric goals can become a priority over larger business goals. When you have silos, you need to prioritize one over the other. It creates a thinking process where you miss out on looking at the broader picture by focusing on different teams with different goals. You may also neglect some of your teams to the detriment of the whole organization.
Remove silos to boost your marketing efforts
Now that we’ve looked at some of the problems silos can cause, it’s clear that your business needs a focus and a strong purpose that’s possible only by removing these silos. There are a couple of things to consider when breaking down silos:
• You need to create a cultural change.
• It has to happen from the top down.
The challenge you’ll face is to change how the business is seen internally. This is only possible by driving a change in the company culture, which needs to be led from the top.
Start by making shared objectives and KPIs to align your marketing teams. Create common resources for data to empower marketing decisions, and finally, reshape your team structure. With some effort, you’ll create a more unified organization that will help your business grow.