When McKinsey asked over 2000 execs in 2016 to identify their biggest challenges, one of the top answers was silos, both functional and departmental. This likely doesn’t come as a surprise to anyone, but it shows that the problem is a significant business issue that top execs see holding back their business.
This has led us to find ways to reduce silos within businesses and increase integration as a core part of any client strategy. Many silos are built through a lack of understanding of what other people do or what their skillsets are, along with limited time to work together.
When it comes to breaking down silos and fostering better integration within a business, we believe a great place to start is training. This involves both the scope that people have to cover in their day-to-day and what each team needs from the other, as well as building processes to facilitate those needs.
We can look at this from the media industry perspective, where one of the biggest challenges is media buying and creative alignment. Media teams often don’t understand the extent to which creative teams are pulled and stretched across an entire business, which causes issues with timeframes and a lack of sympathy for the workload of the creative team.
On the other hand, however, creative teams don’t always understand the impact their work can have on campaign performance, and how not having something ready can affect business revenue. As we mentioned earlier in the Convert deep dive, a 10% increase in CTR increases site traffic by 10% for the same cost. If you’re missing the creative work that will help drive that change, you’ll have to spend 10% more for the same impact.
Taking the time to help each other understand how their contributions affect the business can really help break down silos and build better working relationships. This then leads into the process side of integration and ensuring that both sides understand their responsibilities, agreed-upon timeframes, and formats required for the process to work.
At Incubeta, we’ve used training to support clients, including a large investment management company that was looking to in-house all of their programmatic display activity from the agency world. We began working on a blended model, where we would assist with the media buying as the client team took on more responsibility. Between the two teams, we managed to reduce the CPM from the previous agency by 76%. The client team didn’t change, but they better understood how to use the platform and analyze data, showing that upskilling the team in more hands-on media had a significant impact on the business.
Time is another major factor. We all feel like we don’t have enough time to do our own work, let alone assist in other projects that add to the workload. In this instance, automation benefits everyone. There are multiple ways to build automation within teams, although they are often quite specific.
For example, we worked with a sports betting company to create a system that would integrate their live odds into paid search ad copy. Integrating dynamic live odds into the ad copy produced a 38% increase in conversion rate compared to static ads, driving them forward as a business. This automation solution also relieved pressure on the legal team that was required to approve every ad, as they could now sign off on the process and principle to allow hundreds of thousands of ad changes to happen automatically.
The final part to touch on when it comes to breaking down silos is understanding skillsets. As a business, we address this through developing cross-functional members of staff with skillsets across two teams that must work closely together. We do this a lot with our data scientists, hiring them from media backgrounds so they’re not just experts in data. They have an understanding of how media buying works and the impact data can have, as well as the formats that we need the data in.
We took this approach with a beauty reseller that was looking to gain more marketing dollars from co-funded campaigns with specific key brands. We increased the focus on these brands, seeing a 74% growth in revenue as the contribution from the co-op brands doubled. This has led to the media buying team from Incubeta being invited to the client’s supplier events. We help pitch the work being done, from a media standpoint, to upsell bigger budgets to additional suppliers, increasing the incremental marketing dollars available for the reseller.
These are just some examples, and as always, there are many more ways to build integration within your business, but every situation deserves a bespoke solution.
We’re over halfway through our CLIMB blog series, so check back tomorrow to learn about Measure.