Nobody is Talking to Each Other: The Twelve Informational Silos of Automotive Marketing

silosSituation:  As a keen daily observer, participant, reporter, and publisher of automotive marketing communications & information, it appeared to me initially that there were at least ten informational silos functioning at present in the automotive marketing communications infrastructure – silos that simply aren’t communicating with one another.

But now it appears to me that there are actually as many as 12. [See List Below]

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 Definition: “The expression is typically applied to management [or in this case, marketing communications networks, systems, and organizations] where the focus is inward and information communication is vertical.  Critics of silos contend 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.”

So what are these Informational Silos?  Here’s the New List of Twelve  

  • Public Relations Agencies
  • Company Marketing Departments
  • Company Advertising Departments
  • Advertising Agencies
  • Company Sales Departments
  • Company Management
  • Social Media Managers & Messengers
  • Media or Publishing Companies
  • Media Buying Companies
  • Industry Consultants & Trainers
  • OEM Management
  • Industry Associations

Some Examples of How & Where Silos are not talking to each other:  PR people will tell you that they have nothing to do with advertising; Company and dealer 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 an ad agency;  Those designated to “do” social media are 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 and having weekly conferences calls with the client;  Lead generation reports feed to company advertising department 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 to bring all or at least some of these “Silo-ed Twelve” into the same room to brainstorm, plan, brief, coordinate, share, trust, and communicate to develop a fully integrated business and marketing plan that includes the company or dealers’ business objectives, strategies, target markets, expectations, needs, and marketing communications resources, plans, and 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 search – all working together so define,  deliver, and direct a totally integrated message to the target audience and decision makers whether dealers, OEMs, or consumers.

Take down these silos and see what can happen in the dealership, industry providers and the OEMs:  You will see increased sales conversions,  reduced and re-allocated ad budgets, real advertising accountability, increased client & dealer revenue and profits,  new business development,  media-client content planning,  production of impactful video streaming and more lower sales and marketing costs because of communications efficiencies.

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