Ever been to a farm? If you have (or even if you’ve just seen a picture of one), there’s no way to miss the silos. Each silo is a discrete place to store a given crop. There’s a silo for wheat, a silo for barley, a silo for oats, a silo for beans… Everything stays organized and there’s no cross-over.

Silos are great for farms. For marketing? Not so much.

Beware Silo Marketing

As you start to ramp up your marketing efforts, it might make sense to assign certain people or agencies to certain channels. However, specialization can come with a cost.

When departments or agents operate independently, their end results may conflict. Your customers end up hearing conflicting messages, creating a disjointed and inauthentic experience. Silo marketing also keeps you from clearly seeing your customer’s behavior across channels, limiting your ability to make informed decisions.

What is silo busting?

Imagine what would happen if you took a wrecking ball to a row of silos on a farm. Aside from an angry (and possibly litigious) farmer, you’d find yourself with a clear view of each silo’s contents. Wheat would mix with barley and beans, and you’d clearly see the resources available.

While you can’t take a wrecking ball to your marketing department, you can take steps to break down silos and share tactics and information.

Busting silos is less about destruction and more about creation. Creating a centralized idea is the key. Each campaign is a story that your brand is telling your customers. Each marketing channel is a different tool for getting that theme across. Everyone listening hears the same message regardless of how they access your business, building trust and loyalty.

Marketing silos are often built around specific processes. Focusing on a specific channel-centric KPI may give certain departments a boost, but not one that necessarily helps the entire organization. Reframing your approach to a customer’s experience instead of focusing on a certain channel or product leads to unity. Define each step in your customer’s journey and understand how each process contributes to their experience.

When you bust your marketing silos, you also wreak havoc on your reporting routines. When silos are at play, each department or channel creates and distributes their own report using their own analytic tools. There’s plenty of data there, but very little actionable insight. Removing silos and creating a unified dashboard gives you access to all of your data in an easy to analyze way, allowing you to look at your business as a whole and move forward more easily.

Whether you continue to manage marketing internally or enlist the help of a creative boutique agency to unify and align your channels, busting marketing silos is a crucial step to creating an authentic experience for your customers.