With the availability of data for analytics plus an aggressive push for thought-provoking and relevant content to help buyers, there is a dynamic change going on in marketing organizations causing a shift from a traditional marketing engine to a customer one. There are significant strides being made that sales and marketing lines are blurring for the good and this is helping to narrow the gap between an MQL (marketing qualified lead) and a sales lead. The time is ripe for Marketing and Sales to align once and for all. So, my #1 wish for marketers in 2014 is to be proactive and bust the silos.
I wrote a recent post on busting silos and what we can do to bust silos. That said, Marketing has an incredible opportunity to lead the charge to break silos down and be the heroes.
Silo-busting starts at the top
For silo busting to occur, it requires a change in mind-set and behavior which must start at the top and flow completely throughout the organization. The CMO is well-positioned to champion this effort especially since strides in Big Data analytics and inbound activities have earned Marketing credibility as it is now viewed as more of a profit center. That being the case, departments are taking their lead from Marketing and are willing to listen. So, the time to strike is now!
The customer is driving the bus
Since the customer is in control of the conversation, the old inside-outward looking style of growth is being replaced by an outside-inward looking style and organizations will only be successful at the customer experience if they make it a priority. The buyer has become much more intelligent that they are doing their own research, and if they don’t feel you are meeting their needs the way they want them to be met, they will go elsewhere. Marketing, through analytics, has been collecting valuable pieces of customer information. When Marketing shares this information with Sales and other departments, silo walls can be busted and the organization can band together to understand the customer, their journey, and create an extraordinary experience for buyers before and after they are customers. The goal is no longer only to win the customer but also to win them for life so they become fans and advocates. In fact, organizations should go further and treat customers more like partners, where they are developing solutions together.
Go forth and collaborate
For organizations to be successful, teams must be given the freedom and support to collaborate and innovate on solutions. Teams are made up of people with differing viewpoints and drivers. Ensuring that everyone’s needs and ideas are represented will ensure your success. Three immediate areas of opportunity for collaboration and innovation include
-Developing content across the organization – inclusion in the process results in more opportunities to deliver the best customer experience possible
-Working together to ensure an effective online community – delivering a consistent, relevant message that resonates with the audience will enable engagement
-Creating cross-functional teams to partner with customers to develop solutions – making customers partners leads to life-long advocates
Companies that bust silos and continue to evolve their frameworks through shifting their mind-set and behaviors, focusing on the customer experience and enabling collaboration and innovation will result in tremendous growth and customers who are life-long advocates.
What are your thoughts about silo busting? Let us know in the comments.
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