Situation: As a keen daily observer, participant, reporter and publisher of automotive marketing communications and information, it appears that there are at least ten informational silos functioning at present in the automotive marketing communications infrastructure.
What is an “informational silo?” According to Wikipedia — “An informational silo is a management or communications system that is incapable of reciprocal operation with other, related information systems. For example, a bank’s management system is considered a silo if it cannot exchange information with other related systems within its own organization, or with the management systems of its customers, vendors, or business partners. Derived variants are “silo thinking,” “silo vision,” and “silo mentality.”
More Wikipedia definitions: “The expression is typically applied to management [or in this case, marketing communications systems] where the focus is inward and information communication is vertical. Critics of silos argue that managers serve as information gatekeepers, making timely coordination and communication among departments difficult to achieve, and seamless interoperability with external parties impractical.”
Here is why this is impacting Automotive MarComm results: Although much has been written about them, information silos are becoming far more recognized as the major reason why organizations are unable to take full advantage of the Internet‘s power to deliver, account for, and interconnect business processes or what we call “conversions.”
What or who are these informational silos? Here’s the list of ten:
- Public Relations Agencies
- Marketing Departments
- Company Advertising Departments
- Advertising Agencies
- Company Sales Departments
- Company Management
- Social Media
- Media or Publishing Companies
- Media Buying Companies
- Industry Consultants and Trainers
Some examples of how and where silos are not talking to each other: PR people will tell you that they have nothing to do with advertising. Marketing does not seem to talk to sales. Media buyers are concerned about placing print or banner ads fed to them by the creatives in ad agencies. Social media is out there tweeting mixed messages with only some coordination with sales or marketing. Sales managers rarely are brought into marketing strategy or planned campaign initiatives. Ad agencies are across town or in another city and seem obsessed with having a cool site that is populated with buzz words and the latest data trends in addition to weekly conferences calls with clients.
Lead generation reports fed to company’s advertising departments by media are not shared with or reviewed by sales management or the troops in the field. Management seems to be worried about budgets and seeing flashy company print ads in industry trade publications. Industry magazine and Internet publishers are regarded as “ad sales people” and are generally a big pain because they are always calling and emailing to confirm the next ad campaign.
Integrated Marketing Communications is the Answer: What needs to be done is to bring all of these “Silo-ed Ten” into the same room to brainstorm, plan, brief, coordinate, share, trust and communicate to develop a fully integrated business and marketing plan. The plans should include the company’s business objectives, strategies, target markets, expectations, needs and marketing communications resources to achieve sought after results.
The “Internal Silos of Media” are long gone: Editorial and advertising are no longer separate in automotive marketing communications or trade publications. The integrated marketing communications tools, channels and resources offered by automotive media publishers consist of video, editorial content, advertorial messaging, banner advertising, conference marketing, press release marketing, social media and research. The aforementioned are all working together to define, deliver and direct a totally integrated message to the target audience and decision makers whether they are dealers, OEMs or consumers.
Tear down these silos and see what can happen: Increased sales conversions, reduced and re-allocating ad budgets, advertising accountability, increased client revenue and profits, new business development, media-client content planning, impactful video streaming and lower sales and marketing costs because of communications efficiencies.