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4 tips for removing information siloes

12th Jul 2017
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The success of a company depends heavily on having a marketing organisation that shares information seamlessly across functions and channels. This is especially true in our digital economy, where marketers must react to trends that can come and go in what seems like the blink of an eye. Such alignment allows for the creation of campaigns that are timely, and can become synonymous with not only a brand, but an entire industry.

When you are a customer or a prospect, brand experience is everything. Buyers and prospects expect an integrated, consistent experience from your brand. And yet it’s immensely difficult to achieve. This is partially because marketers are overworked, with 24% of respondents in Wrike’s Agile Marketing report saying “doing more with less” is their biggest challenge. And partly because marketing organizations are fragmented, and don’t have enough visibility into what their cross-channel counterparts are working on.

Such fragmented marketing efforts have a negative impact on the customer experience, and they can also cause problems internally within your marketing organisation. Insufficient coordination leads to redundant work, conflicting messaging, and botched timing. Imagine if your email marketing team is planning to launch a campaign on a Monday, and the copywriters and designers aren’t aware the job has a deadline approaching. This is a simple example of a complex problem.

The more integrated your team is, the more impactful and consistent your work will be. To eliminate internal siloes, begin by identifying your marketing team’s shared vision and determine how this vision fits into the company’s top priorities. From there, you can implement these tactical strategies for tearing down silos and building a team in which transparency is a core value.

To break down marketing information siloes for long-term success, don’t overlook these four steps:

  1. Get your management team on board. Forbes lists “conflicted leadership” as the main reason why siloes exist. The ones with the power to eliminate information siloes across your business are leaders themselves. They can set the norm by communicating with visibility, setting and sharing top company goals and progress, and collaborating effectively with each other and their contributors. In this regard, if leaders are serious about eliminating silos, they must practice what they preach.
  2. Establish a culture of sharing and trust. Shari Harley, the founder and president of Candid Culture, has five communication tips that may help deal with a breakdown in teamwork that can lead to redundant work. Ultimately, you want to create a culture where sharing, collaborating and working as a team feel second nature. Harley suggests communicating openly to your colleagues about what you’re doing, and asking people you don’t typically work with for their ideas and feedback. Be open to help, implementing these new ideas and sharing projects.
  3. Bridge the technology gap between departments. A key step in changing culture towards one of transparency is implementing technology that fosters such transparency and collaborations between workers and teams. Tools such as work management, file sharing, and messaging apps can bring important updates out of your email inbox, and into a shared platform that everyone can access. Look for ways to integrate various solutions so information can flow freely and easily between collaborators, whether in the same department or across your team.
  4. Share goals, vision, and progress. It’s important for workers to know the higher goals of their companies, and see where their work fits into it. These goals not only keep teams aligned, but also helps make them more autonomous by serving as a north-star for their decision making. Transparency, like most cultural cornerstones, starts with strong leaders.

Information siloes are detrimental to your productivity as marketers and to the brand experience of your customers, who expect a consistency across all channels. Marketing teams that adopt 360-degree visibility as a core value can eliminate the siloes that might otherwise create barriers to success. Executing on a shared vision requires true cultural change - every person on your team should feel comfortable and supported when sharing, collaborating and working with each other.

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