Silo – A mind-set in some organisations when certain departments or sectors do not wish to share information with others in the same organisation. This type of mentality will reduce efficiency and morale and may contribute to the demise of a productive culture.
During my time in Council Chambers, I recall members were concerned that a silo mentality in the organisational structure of the council hampered the capacity of the local authority to deliver quality and efficient services to the tax payers. One of the ways to help included calling departments service areas, objectors became stakeholders, and so forth in the pursuit of breaking down barriers by adopting words that were inclusive and did not evoke a psychological division.
The term ‘silo mentality’ develops after ‘focus’ and ‘blinkered views’ and is as true today as ever before, in particular when businesses big and small increasingly discuss digital marketing as if it is a separate function to other marketing activities. 98% of marketing is digital in some form or another and insights from media gurus cite digital activities only as a specialist separate function in order to direct focus. Marketing PRojects has only ever mentioned it twice on the web site.
As Jeff Dodds, Chief Executive of Tele 2 Netherlands and previously CMO for Virgin Media said: “To talk about digital as some kind of separate entity is to not understand it. Our lives ARE digital. It is simply a more flexible, response and efficient way to do business.”
Managers often blame department inefficiencies and lack of cross-functional knowledge on behaviours which are as a result of silo mentality but they are not the root cause. The leadership team needs to recognise this is happening and raise expectations with realistic, doable solutions that can be adopted throughout the business and which become intrinsic and integral across the organisation. Knocking down the silos, requires more than mere words.
Digital marketing activities are sweeping across all marketing activities. The process of digitisation, and where ‘digital’ is fully integrated into your communications and marketing strategy, investment and campaigns will serve to create greater efficiency offer opportunities to be applied across all media, and thus produce effective long term marketing solutions.
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