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Marketing Strategy: Abolish Those Marketing Silos

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By Georgie Gallagher

Is marketing regarded as a strategic partner for growth in your business? 

Marketing can often sit as a silo in a business but it shouldn't.

A brand is ultimately delivered by every member of an organisation so this comes as no surprise to me, or I'm sure, many of you. The amount of information and customer knowledge at our fingertips means that marketing can now be a powerhouse of information for your business.

I can hear the sighs. I know I'm a marketer and this may seem like some type of self promotion but results from 10,000 international companies may make you think a little differently. 

Harvard Business Review reported a study conducted by Marc De Swaan, Frank van den Driest, and Keith Weed called Marketing 2020 surveying more than 10,000 marketing executives globally. It compared the responses of high performing and low performing  companies. 

In a nutshelll, the over performers viewed marketing a strategic partner for business growth - and had the results to prove it. 

Marketing has become too important to be left just to the marketers of the company. We say this not to disparage marketers but to underscore how holistic marketing now is. To deliver a seamless experience, one informed by data and imbued with brand purpose, all employees in the company, from store clerk to IT specialists and marketing team itself, must share a common vision
— The Ultimate Marketing Machine by Marc de Swaan Arons, Frank van den Dreist, and Keith Weed. Harvard Business Review - July - August 2014

They suggested five drivers of organisational effectiveness. I've interpreted and summarised these drivers for you as I see them working for organisations I work with.

  1. Connect marketing strategy to the rest of the organisation - Continually gather data and information about opportunities and threats. Conduct in-depth research into opportunities. Help define future strategy and direction as part of the leadership team. Ensure marketing goals direct and support company goals.
  2. Inspire the rest of the organisation with brand purpose - What does your company mean to clients? What do you want it to mean? How can everyone deliver on this brand promise? Now go about getting everyone excited and inspired about your business - market your brand internally and make it mean something. And make it fun!
  3. Focus on a few key priorities - Focus on a  few key indicators that everyone can relate to. Revenue and growth profit are the two most cited priorities (and they should be). I'd also throw into the mix a customer satisfaction measure like the Net Promotor Score - iinet do this with outstanding results.
  4. Organise agile, cross functional teams - Marketing and IT are now on the same team. Marketing and customer service are on the same team too. And critically, marketing and sales are an extension of each other. End of story.  So how does this work for you? What could this look like in your organisation? How agile and responsive can this collective team be?
  5. Build internal capabilities needed for success - Train your staff for marketing functions you want kept internally and outsource to trusted suppliers for functions you do not wish to carry in house.

So how would you change what your doing to get marketing integral in your business? Do you need help linking your marketing strategy with your business strategy? Do your staff really know what you stand for? How could your team be delivering better consumer insights and data to other decision makers who would find this information valuable?

I would like your views on this.

Happy Marketing

Georgie Gallagher is the founder of Wildmoon, a specialist consultancy focussing on brand development, marketing strategy, marketing communications and strategic content marketing for SMB's.