The top business-killing habit: silos

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If there’s been one overarching theme I’ve heard in dozens of discussions with people the past few months at various conferences, it’s this: so many businesses have put various marketing components in silos that never communicate. Marketing runs email, but public relations runs social media, and the website is handled by IT. The ad agency doesn’t talk to any of them. The result? Brand shear, as the experience a customer gets on different media properties varies wildly. No one’s talking. No one’s collaborating.

Do you want to drastically improve your marketing performance and ROI? Make sure that the team handling execution of marketing programs is sitting as close to the team handling social media and the team handling the website, if they’re not the same people. Make sure that IT, marketing, advertising, and PR all sit down for lunch or beers or coffee twice a month or even weekly, so that everyone’s on the same page and knows what’s going on in other parts of the organization. Give equal billing to each media channel, because different audience members will prefer different methods of hearing from you.

Want to get the most juice for the squeeze? Share data liberally inside your organization. Marketing should have access to web analytics (I’m astonished how many don’t!). Sales should have access to marketing data. Customer service should have access to the sales CRM so that they know what experiences the customer has had already. Put everyone on as few systems as possible, discourage fiefdoms of data, and you’ll win far more than you’ll lose.

The alternative? Incongruous communications that confuse the customer and deter the prospect from doing business with you. Avoid this by putting collaboration and communication as a top organizational priority!

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