Those sales, marketing and business silos: Can we break them down?

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silos
Are we trapped in a marketing department silo? If so, this could be a problem for our overall business success.
silos
Are we trapped in a marketing department silo? If so, this could be a problem for our overall business success.

The title of this Forbes.com posting (referenced on my Facebook feed by a friend who operates the marketing department of a major retail business) provides inspiration for the thoughts below:

The Evolution Of Marketing: It’s Not Limited To One Department Anymore

Writer John Hall says that the marketing department simply cannot produce the content required at the level of interaction and community required for an effective social media presence.

Bryan Kramer once wrote, “Communication shouldn’t be complicated. It should just be genuine and simple, with the humility and understanding that we’re all multi-dimensional humans, everyone of which has spent time in both the dark and delightful parts of life.”

Content is the key to this kind of communication and your company’s fuel for building connections with these multi-dimensional humans in your network — and that stems far from a marketing-only initiative.

One of the biggest mistakes I see companies continue to make is believing that quality content should be created, distributed, and used only by the marketing team. This belief is not only false, but it’s also a dangerous mentality that dramatically limits your long-term growth.

Content Marketing Institute reported this year that almost three in four B2B marketers still don’t believe their organizations are effective at content marketing. As I’ve discussed in a previous piece on content marketing trends, we’re starting to see new strategies emerge for utilizing content and improving its effectiveness. A trending strategy that brands need to take advantage of now is the use of content by teams outside the marketing department to accomplish more goals.

When you break down and take a closer look at what’s at the core of a successful content campaign, it’s the experiences, stories, and expertise of the company’s key employees — and that’s not limited to only marketing. Those ideas are the heart of your company, and they should be used across departments to communicate and influence the different audiences you want to develop relationships with.

Of course this makes sense. Effective content marketing often combines immediacy and granular social relevance both to the communicators and the people receiving the communication — and filtering this stuff through the corporate marketing/PR department into suitably massaged “business speak” usually results in distorted, delayed and ineffective communication.

However, there is a broader challenge, especially in AEC practices, where leadership in client relationships often comes from professional practitioners, and where business development (aka sales) specialists are discovering they can only hope to succeed if the individuals actually doing the work — that is the project managers, consultants, architects and engineers — have a major role in the client development process.

The suggestion is that marketing specialists (coupled with business development leaders) should be spending more of their time training rather than doing; supporting processes and systems developments to encourage participation and contributions by others in the organization to the processes.

This implies new skills — like sending ourselves to teachers’ college — and a much-less silo-based and specialized approach to our responsibilities. We’ll succeed when we can engage and achieve participation with non-marketers in our organizations. And this means we need to break down the silos.

Mark Buckshon can be reached at buckshon@constructionmarketingideas.com and welcomes comments below.

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