The Digital Silo

Sometimes I think of marketing like the three blind men and the elephant. Each person had their own perspective of what they were looking at: one felt a leg and thought it was a tree, the other felt the tail and thought it was a piece of rope and the third one felt the trunk and thought it was a snake. So it is with marketing where the traditionalist is used to engaging the customer from a broadcast perspective, the digital marketer looks at the user experience online and the social marketer looks in terms of emerging tools to manage influence and network effects. It’s not uncommon to have a marketer ask for a social media project just because we need something in this emerging social field or a digital marketer propose a digital tactic in a silo without understanding the other components of the campaign. It takes a conscious effort to make sure we look at the marketing strategy as a whole and see how the various components fit together to support your goals.

This week, Forbes.com posted an article on Getting Big in the YouTube Age, where they talk about using effective strategies for marketing through social sites such as YouTube. Many companies take a plug and pray approach to viral videos  and social media and hope that the efforts will be an instant path to marketing riches. On the contrary, many of the successful viral marketing campaigns like the Old Spice Guy took an integrated approach using traditional, digital and social.

Jeremiah Owyang from the Altimeter Group made an excellent post on how marketers should look at a horizontal integration of their various marketing efforts: “As an industry, we should dispel notions that social marketing and it’s subsequent tools should operate in a silo, but instead sit horizontally in the marketing organization as they impact so many different forms of marketing tactics, approaches, and mindsets.”

Some thoughts:

  • What is my overall marketing strategy? How can I leverage the various components using traditional, digital and social marketing to accomplish my goals?
  • If we already have campaigns in market are they in silos or tied together with our other marketing efforts?
  • How can we create synergies between our various programs so they enhance each other?

About Scott Lum

Disruptive digital, social & content marketer with a passion for customer experience. Formerly with Microsoft.
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