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Why Busting Martech Silos is Worth the Effort
If you’ve been to a conference or read an industry pub in the last few years, you know what you’re supposed to do with silos: break them like a bad habit. And if you’ve ever tried to actually do that, you know that the habit-changing comparison is apt. Much like an annual resolution to get up an hour earlier and hit the gym every day, breaking down organizational silos is easy to start, and hard to stick with.
Any time you’re trying to change the way people are used to doing something, it’s going to be a challenge. Besides just the usual resistance to change (see: the backlash every time a popular website updates its layout), people can be understandably sensitive to change tied in with their livelihoods. And even if everyone is enthusiastic, old habits die hard. It’s easy to backslide into the way things have always been done, especially on a deadline.
But I’m not here to discourage you. I’m here to tell you to keep fighting the good fight. The reward is worth it.
Most companies really have two kinds of (often interrelated) silos: teams, and technology. To realize your marketing org’s full potential, you’ll need to deal with both. Starting with the technology silo, however, can make the team silo easier to tackle. When you already have information flowing between your different tools, it removes one of the visibility barriers that keeps team silos in place.
With that in mind, let’s look at why breaking down the technology silos and integrating your various martech tools delivers results.
You can work faster. Modern marketing is powered by data. And you know what’s a pain? Having to have multiple tools open at once to get the data you need – or worse, having to file requests with multiple different teams to have that data sent to you. With robust integrations between the various elements of your marketing tech stack, the data you need is already there and ready. No waiting for access, no manual uploads, no hunting for the right information.
You can make fewer mistakes. There are some things that all human beings have in common: we eat, we sleep, we make mistakes. Any time there’s a human element to a process, you can pretty much guarantee that at some point something will go wrong. Using integrations to automate data sharing between systems cuts down on that potential by eliminating manual data entry – you can’t have human error if the human isn’t even involved. What you do have is the data you need, in the system you need it in, that you can trust is accurate.
You can see what the other teams are doing. One of the ways that team and technology silos reinforce each other is that when every team is using a different tool or system, there’s no often visibility into what’s happening. People outside the tool don’t have access to it, and so each team naturally tends to stay focused on their own concerns. Breaking the technology silos by integrating the different tools in your martech stack suddenly opens up visibility across the organization. Not only does this remove some of the please-send-me-the-updated-asset-at-your-earliest-convenience tedium from your workflows, it opens up the exchange of ideas, and helps keep everyone aligned on the same page.
You can see how well it’s all working. The great challenge of marketing has always been knowing what’s delivering value, and what’s just burning budget. The last few years have seen a lot of innovation in martech around tracking results and ROI – largely possible through more having more data available, from more sources. Breaking down your martech silos allows for both more sophisticated analytics tools, and for the holistic, big-picture views that enable you to plan across all your channels and teams.
The best part? These aren’t just nice-to-haves – the benefits of no-silo martech set you up to succeed at your business goals. Changing the way your teams and tools work is a big hill to climb, but once you’re there? The view is totally worth it.