3 Types of Silos Holding Back Your Marketing Team Productivity

Each day, your marketing team is hard at work—checking off social media tasks, building workflows, writing landing pages, managing data, and creating reports, but it feels like real progress toward reaching marketing campaign goals moves too slowly, with some projects stalling out completely.

3 Types of Silos Holding Back Your Marketing Team Productivity
3 Types of Silos Holding Back Your Marketing Team Productivity. Photo by Mateus Campos Felipe on Unsplash

Not only do marketing teams struggle to get a handle on their day-to-day tasks, but they increasingly look to marketing operations to transform the way they work—from team structures to workflows, to the technology they use. The marketing operations teams that will shine are the ones able to advise and assist the CMO in strategically changing the nature of marketing work.

The disconnect between hard work and outcomes occurs because each team uses different tools, follows different practices, and strains to work without access to the information they need. These silos prevent true productivity from happening and keep marketers from seeing the big picture.

Read the article to learn how to break down silos and boost your team’s productivity on the right work. This article keys in on three types of silos that keep marketers from seeing the big picture of their work, as well as steps you can take to free your teams and transform them into a connected, high-performing marketing department.

Table of contents

Is marketing evolving faster than your team?
Challenge #1: Teams are disconnected.
Challenge #2: Work processes are disjointed.
Challenge #3: Your data is trapped.
Solution #1: Connect teams with unified solutions.
Solution #2: Standardize workflows and processes.
Solution #3: Make data easily accessible with an integrated martech stack.

Is marketing evolving faster than your team?

Each day, your marketing team is hard at work—checking off social media tasks, building workflows, writing landing pages, creating reports—but it feels like progress toward reaching campaign goals is slow, with some projects stalling out completely. The disconnect between hard work and outcomes occurs because each team uses different tools, follows different practices, and can’t always access the information they need.

If the social media team doesn’t know what to promote because they can’t see what the website team is doing, or the content team isn’t able to optimize assets because they can’t access performance data in the tools used by the analytics team, they’re not able to deliver their best work. Silos give team members a myopic view of work and severely limit their ability to collaborate, move work forward, improve marketing outcomes, and demonstrate their value to the enterprise.

Marketing has become a complex field, with evolving technologies, fast-paced processes, and data that must be analyzed, interpreted and shared so you can continuously optimize those processes for better results. Not only do marketing teams struggle to get a handle on their day-to-day tasks, but they increasingly look to marketing operations to transform the way they work—from team structures to workflows, to the technology they use. The marketing operations teams that will shine are the ones able to advise and assist the CMO in strategically changing the nature of marketing work.

Read on to learn about three kinds of silos that keep marketers from seeing the big picture of their work, as well as steps you can take to free your teams and transform them into a connected, high-performing marketing department.

Challenge #1: Teams are disconnected.

Professionals report that “lack of cross-departmental collaboration” is the second greatest challenge (after budgets) to their digital transformation efforts. When teams are disconnected, and communication is in disarray, it’s hard to get a handle on resource availability—though everyone agrees there are never enough team members to complete all the work on time. If you choose to outsource to solve the resource deficit, you may face new challenges—difficulty tracking projects, disappearing revisions, deadlines that keep getting pushed back, and budget overruns—that only worsen the confusion.

Disconnected teams also struggle to understand priorities for their team and for the department as a whole. And no one wants to bug the boss—who is also overwhelmed—to get direction. Because many teams have competing goals or work styles, they choose tools based on what suits their own team’s needs, and they’re not executing work as a cohesive department. If marketers had a clear view of each other’s tasks and priorities, they could better plan and align resources to more easily complete projects.

40% of employees say they don’t receive adequate support from other teams because of differing agendas.

Challenge #2: Work processes are disjointed.

Workflows and processes vary by team. The flow at different paces, especially depending on how digitized they are. Some teams still rely heavily on analogue and outdated processes, like email and face-to-face communication, and even hard copy reviews. Though you may have tried to implement new technologies, some teams are reluctant to adopt them. Other teams may try out too many technology solutions in an attempt to fix broken processes.

Without the right technologies, teams revert to the old ways of working, or they fragment broken processes even more because some team members go back to the old tools while others continue to work with the new ones. Regardless of the technologies being used, no one has documented or shared processes, so as pressure mounts to complete more work in less time, no one knows how to do that. Teams dread the increasing pressure to work faster with tighter deadlines because internal customers don’t understand your marketing processes and timelines. However, you can’t share your processes because they’re either undocumented, too chaotic, or both.

Disjointed and incompatible tools and processes make it difficult to work efficiently, impacting how quickly work gets done and how much stress teams feel.

86% of top-performing marketing teams say their tech stack is “extremely” or “very” effective at improving productivity.

Challenge #3: Your data is trapped.

Data generated through marketing efforts can be stored in many different locations—in folders on the network, in the cloud, or within a specific application—making it difficult for your teams to understand what is available, let alone access it. The tools you’ve been implementing to make work easier can actually be making it harder by trapping exabytes of artefacts and data in silos. Instead of gaining full visibility into the impact of all marketing work, you may be limited to a snapshot view of a single aspect of your team’s work.

A top challenge for marketers is “leveraging data from different sources.” They need a comprehensive view of all marketing efforts to reveal valuable insights that could improve future work as well as to prove the value of the marketing department.

28.4% of professionals say their organization’s top workplace challenge is siloed systems and data.

Solution #1: Connect teams with unified solutions.

Connect your marketing teams by adopting a system that allows everyone to easily see information, communications, priorities, and assignments—all in one place. Each team can focus on the most important work and know their role and timing in helping to achieve strategic business goals. This level of clarity and transparency gives teams the agility to adapt to the constantly changing market and helps them accomplish day-to-day tasks while also creating time to focus on innovation.

A collaborative solution—accessible to everyone and providing full visibility into work—not only prevents silos but eliminates competitive rivalry and frustration between teams. Better collaboration and unity results in more efficient work and better results.

Top marketing teams are 3.7x more likely than their underperforming peers to say they are “extremely” or “very satisfied” with collaboration with other departments.

Solution #2: Standardize workflows and processes.

Eliminate disjointed work processes by standardizing workflows and processes. Though technology should not be viewed as a cure-all, the right solution is necessary to optimize processes in modern marketing departments. Choosing a centralized technology solution—where everyone can see all aspects of a project in one place—will better facilitate the documentation of (and adherence to) processes and the elimination of gaps that impede productivity.

By connecting workflows and processes, you’ll enable teams to complete projects on time and on budget. With centralized visibility, marketing teams will be able to increase the speed of work because they can see all parts of a project as well as identify precisely where work stalls and determine what can be done to get it moving again. Anyone can see the status of work, and you are able to determine how to improve processes for future projects.

Standardizing workflows will improve your teams’ work efficiency, but by automating workflows you will maximize productivity. Setting up dependencies that trigger the next step prevents team members from dropping the ball as work moves from one team or state to the next. Teams will be able to launch amazing products to market with speed and confidence, making your internal customers—and the CMO—happy.

Top marketing teams are 14x more likely to be heavy technology users than their underperforming counterparts.

Solution #3: Make data easily accessible with an integrated martech stack.

Martech budgets increased from 22% of the marketing budget in 2017 to 29% in 2018, meaning technology takes the biggest bite out of marketing resources—even more than goes to labour, agencies, or paid media. Ultimately, executives expect that investment to pay off in dollars and outcomes, so it’s important that teams can easily use those tools to access and interpret real-time, dependable data.

The best way to ensure a happy CMO—and results that prove your team’s value—is to strategically build a martech stack that is easily integrated with enterprise-wide tools and existing processes. It’s important that everyone in marketing use the same marketing technology tools so all work lives in one place, and everyone can use the same technology to plan, execute, and report on work.

With the right solutions, your teams’ repetitive, administrative, and time-sucking work will be automated so marketers will finally have time to focus on the work that matters most, as well as the time and ability to test new channels and technology that could deliver better customer experiences. With the necessary insights at their disposal, marketing teams will be able to easily demonstrate their value to the enterprise, and you will be able to quantify the need for optimized marketing operations to your boss and executives.

81% of high-growth companies surpassed their counterparts in use of data and analytics.

Source: workfront

Published by Silvia Emma

, helps boost confidence, impact, communication and presentation skills and image to create positive change in your business and life.