How To Break Down the 4 Most Damaging Marketing Silos

More than 80 percent of marketers in Teradata’s latest Data-Driven Marketing survey believe marketing silos prevent them from having a comprehensive view of campaigns and customers across channels.

Marketers are challenged by functional and technical roadblocks. More than 80 percent of marketers in Teradata’s latest Data-Driven Marketing survey believe marketing silos prevent them from having a comprehensive view of campaigns and customers across channels. That’s up from the 65 percent in Teradata’s 2013 study.

This trend shows that marketers are growing increasingly concerned that their myopia, when it comes to clearly seeing customer behavior across channels, is inhibiting their success.

“Silos cause redundancy,” says Bryan Yeager, an analyst with eMarketer. “They don’t allow you to get a single view of the customer. From the [consumer’s] perspective, that can cause disjointed experiences.”

Silos are a problem that most marketers acknowledge but few have been able to crack. “In the back of their minds, marketers know it’s what they should be doing,” says Natalie Staines, director of marketing at r2i, an integrated marketing and technology agency. “It’s not so much of an aha moment – it’s more of a sigh or a shrug. They wish they could do it, but it’s hard.”

Hard, but not impossible. Yeager says marketers are taking a more mature approach to solving these problems. “They’re becoming more strategic with their acquisition and implementation of technology and data,” he says. “I feel like we’re finally making some progress.”

For that progress to continue, marketers must continue to break down the many forms of silos that have grown within marketing and across the organization. There are four of the key areas that often create silos. They include:

Cultural Silos

Probe into an organizational silo of any type and you’re likely to find barriers built from concerns over job security, says Steve Navarro, VP of market development at r2i.

“When you start talking about new technology, especially enterprise technology that touts efficiency, automation, cost savings, etc., people fear their place in the organization and that their skill set could be in jeopardy,” he says.

Clear communication and proper retraining programs will help break down the cultural resistance.

Process Silos

Too many marketers focus on product- or channel-centric KPIs designed to boost their own function or department – which doesn’t always benefit the entire organization. A customer-centric approach can help eliminate those barriers by connecting the dots between processes and departments.

“Get everyone in a room to define an end-to-end customer experience management process,” Staines suggests. “Departments can still own their processes, but they will learn not only how they affect other parts of the customer journey, they will also know what role it played in the final outcome.”

Data Silos

One of the more daunting silo-busting challenges is bringing together the many disparate sources of marketing and customer data that exist across an organization.

The Teradata survey shows improvement on this front: 43 percent of respondents said they have achieved fully integrated data across teams, compared with just 18 percent in 2013. But technology challenges persist.

“Marketers buy into the vision of the marketing cloud,” says Yeager. “But it’s not that easy to tie all the pieces together.” An open platform that enables integration with existing tools can help mitigate some of those challenges, while ensuring that marketers stay nimble enough to adopt new tools quickly as customer needs – and the technology to serve them – evolve.

Reporting Silos

Creating and distributing 20 reports from 20 different analytics tools is counterproductive. They give decision-makers plenty of information but few actionable insights.

In the Teradata study, 87 percent of marketers said data was the most underutilized asset in their organization. A unified dashboard, which looks across all tools to extract critical insights and present them in an easy-to-consume fashion, will help marketers make better allocation decisions to improve their interactions with customers – and move the needle on the business.

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