Are You Still Doing Your Digital Marketing In Silos?

by Mike Moran November 19, 2015
November 19, 2015

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Unless you are a farmer, silos are never good. Yes, I am asking you about the dreaded “s” word when it comes to your digital marketing.


What I see when I talk to most marketers is that they have separated digital marketing very neatly:



  • Website
  • Organic search
  • Paid search
  • Social media
  • Display advertising
  • Email marketing
  • Mobile

It’s possible that this makes sense sometimes; I don’t claim to know everything about marketing. But I am talking to clients about a new way to think about their marketing. A way that not only breaks down these silos, but also allows you to break down the silos of digital vs. traditional marketing.


Here is what I am suggesting:



  • Customer research. This includes all the traditional means of offline market research, but also brings in online methods, such as surveys and communities. Most importantly, it integrates social media listening and mining search keywords for what customers really want. Most companies “doing” search and social are not doing this.
  • Content marketing. Developing content is too important to allow its haphazard spread across websites and social media and even offline marketing communications. Where you put the content is not its most important quality. What the content is and who it helps is what to focus on.
  • Promotion. After you know what the customers want, it makes sense to then promote both your offerings and your content-using search, social, ads, email, mobile, and any other method you desire (online or offline). But each of these methods must be checked against the others, so it makes no sense to have separate teams optimizing each one. One team with one budget allocating credit and spending across all channels makes the most sense.

Some agree with where I am going, but argue that analytics must be a separate area. I don’t agree. Each of these areas are dripping with analytics and each should be perfectly capable of setting their Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and judging how they are doing.


I know that I am merely creating three new silos here. But in large organizations, you do at some point need to organize. I am claiming that these new silos make more sense right now than the ones that most of us have. What do you think?

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