In farming, a silo is used to store the harvest. The traditional silo is an agricultural landmark of concrete towering into the sky. You have to be careful with silos because as the silage material sits there, it ferments and generates heat. Sometimes silage bursts into flame if not stored correctly. A silo fire can be limited to what’s inside the silo, but it still causes damage.
Lots Of Useless Heat
In business, it’s easy to silo operations like marketing into a single, separate function. This is like the farmer’s silo because the activity can generate heat and even burst into flame, but it doesn’t affect the rest of the business. Marketing that isn’t really integrated with the rest of the company is like this. No matter how much activity and heat is generated, it doesn’t do any good and sometimes causes damage.
The reason it causes damage is because there’s a disconnect — the customer comes to the business expecting something based on the marketing and gets a different experience than expected. This inconsistency damages a business reputation. In today’s easy social media platform, an irritated customer can vent online and the fire of their discontent spreads rapidly.
Successful online marketing doesn’t happen in a silo. A silo is great for storing stuff, but it’s lousy for spreading content of substance around so it can represent your business well. Since your online marketing strategy is to spread your message around, it needs to be out of the silo. Since it will bring people into contact with the business, marketing programs should be fully integrated with the rest of the company. That means everything from senior leaders and mission statements to customer service and policies.
If your marketing is in a silo, there’s a problem because it isn’t integrated and it isn’t effective. It might be generating lots of response, but the response is like the heat building up inside the farmer’s silo and will cause damage.