How Marketing Silos Jeopardize Your Team's Efforts (and How to Avoid Them)


Marketing Insights for ProfessionalsThe latest thought leadership for Marketing pros

Monday, October 10, 2022

Marketing silos are an inefficient way to work, so make sure all your teams are communicating with each other to drive your overall goals.

Article 4 Minutes
How Marketing Silos Jeopardize Your Team's Efforts (and How to Avoid Them)

Large marketing teams have the resources to make a huge difference to a company’s bottom line, but they need to be managed carefully to ensure they’re reaching their potential. Marketers working in silos can become inefficient as they duplicate tasks carried out by others and miss out on the sense of pushing towards unified goals.

Forbes Insights report found nearly 65% of marketers thought silos reduce the clarity of their campaigns. Not only does this make it harder for teams to produce the best results, but it can often be seen in the end product. Customers may experience a less-than-cohesive style of messaging when marketing teams have become siloed.

What are marketing silos?

When marketing teams become fragmented and factions are concentrating on specific areas without looking at the bigger picture they can be described as siloed. Despite all members being part of the same organization, they become reluctant to share information, impacting business revenue and growth.

Having individual responsibilities within marketing departments is necessary to develop specialist skills and ensure vital processes aren’t overlooked. It’s up to marketing managers to implement ways of aiding communication to prevent silos from forming and becoming entrenched.

The causes of marketing silos

Marketing silos often develop over time and can go unnoticed until they’ve created a far-reaching problem. The main causes of teams becoming siloed are differing approaches to completing work, contrasting tools and a tribalist attitude that prevents effective communication.

The challenge for marketing managers is to break down these obstacles without stifling the individualism of departments. While processes and tools used may be different on a day-to-day basis, there must be an overall unity that brings all elements together for a cohesive relationship.

The consequences of marketing silos

When tackling silos within your marketing department, it’s worth understanding exactly why they’re a problem. Some issues may have already started to present themselves, but having a comprehensive view of the situation and how it could unfold can help marketing managers explain to teams why a more collaborative approach is needed.

  • Fragmented customer experiences: A joined-up approach to customer experience is important to ensure your marketing messages are consistent, the tone remains the same throughout all communication and promises aren’t being made then left unfulfilled.
  • Inefficient practices: Marketing tasks often fall into multiple categories, making it easy for work to be duplicated without clear communication between teams. Too often materials are created more than once and it doesn’t become apparent until it’s too late.
  • Conflicting goals: Goals are vital in marketing, but they should be hierarchical. Those set by individual teams should feed into the wider department’s goals and then into the aims set by the business overall. Deviation from this could lead to resources being pulled in different directions.

Breaking down marketing silos

Tackling marketing silos isn’t a task that can be completed then ticked off your to do list. Instead, systems must be implemented to prevent silos forming, then must be regularly reviewed to ensure they’re working effectively. Sometimes small tweaks can have a big impact on outcomes, so it’s best to act as soon as a siloing issue is identified.

Establish transparent leadership

Marketing managers represent the best opportunity to avoid silos emerging in the first place. Not only must they establish systems that encourage collaborative working, but they also need to lead by example. Open communication from strong players between teams should influence everyone else.

Instigate clear lines of communication

There are so many ways to communicate in the modern workplace that they can become overcomplicated. Reduce barriers to sharing information and you’ll start seeing more collaboration. Also, don’t be afraid to try new methods and abandon them if they’re not serving your purpose.

Align your goals

Your goals are one area where you can’t afford teams to be going rogue. Whether you’re starting from scratch or trying to bring already established aims in line with each other, organize times to share information on metrics, targets and tactics that will help to inform goals. Create diagrams to demonstrate how different teams’ activities can feed into each other for optimum results.

Share documents

Simply sharing the documents used to plan and roll out campaigns with other teams can help to establish where there are any overlaps. Content calendars are intrinsic to operations and centralized access should mean nobody ends up creating the same landing page, blog post or social media announcement as a member of another team.

Schedule regular meetings

When it comes to collaboration, nothing really fosters cross-team cooperation as well as face-to-face meetings. Schedule these in regularly to allow members to create a shared vision by facilitating less formal communication and the chance to bounce ideas around. Breaking down the silos can lead to more innovation across the entire marketing department and a renewed sense of unity.

To learn more about how to break down silos between teams and departments, listen to our interview with Myriam Jessier on The Strategic Marketing Show:

Listen to the episode via your preferred pocast platform:

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