I have been working on changing the Marketing Silo mentality in automotive digital marketing circles to get people to focus on their marketing efforts as a whole. Too often I hear dealers AND agencies talking about the marketing efforts in terms of traditional marketing and digital marketing. What that has done is create different messages and confusion because one team (or silo) does not know what the other is doing.
What are Marketing Silos?
For example I spoke to a digital marketing manager for a mid size dealer group the other day. We were discussing how to reallocate some of his marketing dollars and immediately the marketing silo language came out. We were discussing the benefits of video pre-roll and possibly moving some of his marketing budget from cable over to this online video marketing product. When I asked him what cable spots he was running and how often were they running, he said that he did not know. He was not privy to that.
This brief exchange reinforced a symptom of marketing in automotive dealership in general. I have seen, in my time as CEO of PCG, a great many disjointed marketing efforts because offline is not in tune with online. Too many times marketing silos rule decisions. I believe this was an outgrowth of leadership having an ad agency that handled all their marketing needs previously and as Digital Marketing began to grow, it was not something this ad agency could handle. This led to hiring a new agency to market online or worse, just getting products and spending money without having a strategic partner to guide this marketing spend. Thus two marketing silos were created and thus no one exchanged information.
What is a Unified Marketing Approach?
My goal is to change this dialogue and get people to focus on Unified Marketing efforts by looking at their marketing in terms of offline and online efforts.
As my friend Darren Haygood of Dealer.com said, “What is the goal of almost all of your offline marketing today? To drive the viewer to your website where you have all of your online marketing efforts. So if both of your marketing teams are not communicating, then between offline and online how will that union work?”
I agree. As I said to this manager, where is the “Traditional” Marketing Silo sending the clicks? What is the message they are sharing? If it is not unified with your online efforts then the customer will receive a disjointed experience and you will lose potential sales.
What needs to happen beginning today is that all marketing partners have to have a seat at the unified marketing table.
Here are a few quick ideas on what should a Unified Marketing process look like?
- Think of the shopper path from stimulus (offline) and how/where it will drive interest online. (website, research etc.)
- Make sure messaging of all marketing efforts match in color and feel.
- Make sure that if offline marketing efforts is sending them to a specific page on the website or asking them to use a specific number to call that you can track the interaction back to the offline asset?
- Lastly, leadership has to treat both groups as a part of the whole marketing message. So if the path is offline (TV, radio, print) to online (website etc.) to onsite (banners, signs, posters) then you have a consistent path for the consumer to follow in order to do business with you
There is no other option for marketing success today. Take down the Marketing Silos or you will wonder next year why you are losing customers and revenue.
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