The Catalyst to Break Siloes

The best place to start unifying marketing and communications is via integrated intelligence and analytics in smaller markets, departments and projects.

Siloes happen. Teams get busy and focused on what’s in front of them, and it’s easy to forget there’s another team doing different things that would help them achieve their goals (and vice versa). Corporate communications and marketing departments know they need each other to raise brand and reputation, engage consumers and stakeholders, and lift business performance and shareholder value. And yet our clients tell us that siloed, cross-functional inefficiencies, redundant and even competing initiatives are their biggest frustrations, a drain on performance and morale.

 

We see possibility and opportunity — in solutions you can use to work better together, and where you can use them. By starting with shared intelligence and analytics informing joint KPIs, you can connect joint communications and marketing performance to business performance when data is your catalyst. And by piloting in smaller markets, departments or on more focused projects, teams can master new ways to collaborate and then scale big.

Integrated solutions for media and marketing data intelligence are a great unifier, bringing external and enterprise data together, engaging across audiences, and monitoring live performance against common KPIs. Our experience in integrating media monitoring, multi-platform digital and social analytics, visualization and reporting improves teamwork, while maintaining individual focus and agility.

Convergence is already happening. Collaboration is the accelerator.

Before the pandemic changed everyone’s priorities to ‘keep up and running’, marketers and communicators were already anticipating the need to unify. In the University of Southern California Annenberg Center’s 2019 Global Communications Report, 90% of professionals predicted greater comms/marketing integration, 51% a lot more.

Integration of comms and marketing was the #2 motivator to use more technology, behind ROI pressure.

Once the pandemic came, unification took a back seat to just keeping people working. A year later, we’ve all figured out remote working enough to have leaders start to revisit the question: ‘how do we work together better, more efficiently, on shared information, with shared purpose?’

 

From siloes to synergies: performance comms + marketing

Siloes aren’t all bad. Breaking teams into smaller units improves speed, focus and accountability. But as communications and marketing functions are tasked with attributable performance, a bigger data pool is needed, combining external media, data intelligence, enterprise digital and CRM analytics.

Together, comms and marketing specialists can use shared data on combined outcomes, for example, paid/earned/owned/shared synchronicity, influencer and stakeholder engagement, brand and reputation health, focused and predictive KPIs, or customer journey continuity. So where might a large, diverse marketing and comms team get started?

 

Outside-in best practice – from those who do it naturally

In high performance organizations, the most creative marketers and communicators make a lot happen with very little, wear multiple hats and switch them naturally, and exploit the data they have to the maximum. And they’re often found in smaller markets, with hybrid titles and roles: Marketing + PR, digital + performance, media + investor relations. They often have more hands-on knowledge of different data resources with a ‘whatever works’ mentality, often with hands-on experience building their own CRM or media databases.

Richard Monturo, former VP Global Marketing at Volvo Cars, notes how the carmaker used smaller markets as comms + marketing incubators. “Our biggest markets had more resource, but I was impressed with how we could innovate and perform so efficiently on more fronts in markets like Norway in mobile app services, South Africa in diverse customer segmentation, and Turkey in CRM and media relations. Typically, we had combined heads of Marketing and Comms, and well-rounded people rotating between PR and marketing jobs. They made the most of available external data, combined with enterprise CRM and analytics, before they went off searching for more. And they punched above their weight across corporate, brand, and sales. We brought their best practices into the center and pushed them back out to other markets, with great success over time.”

 

If not small market, smaller project. Go where your experimentation is.

Back in the company center, there are also pockets of small and ‘intrapreneurial’. Enterprising managers know that having ownership and ability to take risks often comes with less glamorous but lucrative smaller projects. Managers and teams can create marketing/comms pilots, like social selling or experimenting with only non-paid media.  Google calls it ‘scrappy’ versus ‘epic’, and rather than scale down from epic, scaling-up the scrappy has a better innovation to performance hit rate.

“We put together teams with lateral comms, marketing, product, sales and service skills for Volvo’s electric car launches in the early 2010s,” recalls Monturo. “And while we did well by cobbling together our own single data pool, we would have loved a solution that captured and integrated live data across media, social & digital, and brand.”

 

What you can do:

Somewhere in your global footprint, a clever team is working together, wearing multiple hats, and getting more done with less. That’s where you can start with integration on a data level. Let us show you how. First, we’ll help you create a global diagnostic of the state of you company, mapped against your internal plans and resources. Learning country-by-country, externally and internally, the state of your profile, brand, and performance can help you migrate best practices faster, from outside-in and inside-out, with more success in more places.

 

To break the biggest siloes in your team, there’s no better time and place to start than right now, where there aren’t as many: in smaller markets and projects, using integrated data intelligence and analytics.


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