Communication Silos: Everything B2C Marketers Need to Know | Fueled Guest Post

  • UPDATED: 07 June 2024
  • 8 min read
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Reading Time: 8 minutes

Have you ever encountered a situation where your experience with a brand is disjointed and inconsistent across various touch points?

A fragmented experience like this can lead to dissatisfaction and have a negative impact on customer loyalty.

The culprit? Internal communication silos leading to misalignments that wreak havoc on the customer’s experience.

In this three-part blog series, we’ll explore how communication silos lead to disconnects in the customer journey and guide you through practical steps to building a multi-moment customer engagement framework.

In part 1 of the series, we’ll look at how disconnected marketing can damage a business and how to identify siloed communications within your organization.

Let’s get to it.

 

Part 1 – Siloed Struggles: How Disconnected Marketing Hurts Your Business 

Siloed Struggles: How Disconnected Marketing Hurts Your Business section header

Many businesses struggle with a fragmented customer experience in today’s complex marketing landscape. Imagine you’re scrolling your Instagram feed, and BAM – you see an ad for the latest {insert cool product here!}. 

So you click the ad (knowing all too well that the performance marketer on the other end will have the best day ever if you decide to buy today) expecting to get more details about {the neat thing}. 

However, to your dismay, when you land on the site, the experience is totally different from what you were expecting based on the ad. 

The messaging is off. 

The branding is completely different. 

You’re Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz and are not in Kansas anymore. 😵‍💫 💫

It’s a symptom of a much larger problem: siloed messaging and communication strategies within, oftentimes, disconnected teams. 

 

The Siloed Communications Problem

Siloed communication journeys happen when messages sent lack the context of where the customer is in their journey with the brand.

The result? A jarring and disorienting customer journey that feels impersonal and undermines your brand’s overall presence. 

But how does this happen? 

It can be caused by a lack of shared goals amongst teams, a lack of connected platforms, or a lack of integrated technology. For example, engineering is in charge of push notifications, while email and SMS are under the marketing team’s purview. 

Each team has different goals for their messaging strategies. This results in teams that cannot share data seamlessly and are likely unable to track a customer’s behavior through various touch points. 

These discrepancies can often force teams to adopt outdated and generic messaging approaches, such as batch and blast emails, redundant messages on multiple channels, or triggered messaging to urge customers to complete an action. 

Siloed communication strategies can deliver irrelevant and disconnected messages, leading to a poor customer experience, creating data challenges, and furthering the gaps between internal teams.

 

Customer Experience Issues: A Broken Journey

The most devastating consequence of siloed operations is a disjointed customer experience. Here’s how it can negatively impact your brand:

  • Inconsistent Brand Messaging: For good reason, customers don’t connect with brands (or people) that appear untrustworthy. Imagine a customer encountering a playful and informal brand voice on social media, followed by a dry and technical tone in an email. This inconsistency creates confusion and undermines brand trust. 
  • Irrelevant Communications: When messages don’t align with customer needs or interests, they annoy. Customers who have already purchased a product shouldn’t be bombarded with emails promoting the same item. Irrelevant communication leads to frustration and can damage brand perception. An unsubscribe rate, while an obvious marker, won’t account for those who have tuned out or developed negative brand associations and not hit unsubscribe. 
  • Missed Opportunities: Siloed structures make it challenging to nurture customer relationships and drive conversions. Using the previous example, imagine a potential customer who has shown interest in your product on social media but receives no personalized follow-up. This missed opportunity weakens the customer connection and makes it less likely they’ll convert or become a repeat buyer. Silos hinder the ability to nurture leads and build long-term two-way customer relationships, ultimately impacting your profitability.

 

Marketing and Data Challenges: A House Without a Blueprint

Communication silos don’t just create customer experience issues; they also make marketing efforts less effective and hinder data-driven decision-making. The following are challenges that can occur as a result of messaging siloes. 

Fragmented Customer Data:

Valuable customer insights like purchase history, browsing behavior, and preferences are scattered across disparate platforms within different teams. This fragmented data makes it challenging to gain a holistic view of the customer and effectively personalize marketing efforts. 

For example, your customer browsed shoes on the website and abandons their cart. Without a unified view of customer touch points, the marketing team may have missed an opportunity to send a targeted email with a discount code to nudge them toward completing the purchase. 

Limited Personalization Capabilities:

Tailoring messages to individual needs and preferences becomes challenging without a unified view of the customer. Customers expect the brand to understand their unique needs and interests. 

Generic messaging with a one-size-fits-all approach lands flat and is often not delivered on the correct device or at the most opportune time, rendering your efforts far less fruitful than they could be. 

This is the biggest loss to siloed messaging because the results are in a well-connected environment where personalization becomes genuinely magical for you and your customers. 

 

Disparate Analytics and Reporting:

Measuring the success of marketing campaigns becomes complex when data lives in separate systems. 

For example, it’s difficult to understand the impact of an email campaign if web analytics data isn’t integrated with email insights. You are flying blind, spending money on marketing initiatives without understanding their return on investment.

This also makes it difficult to optimize campaigns and allocate resources effectively. 

 

Internal Team Silos: A Broken Chain

Behind every communication silo, you will likely find a myriad of internal team silos. When teams work in isolation, it can lead to feelings of disconnection and a lack of ownership. 

Internal team dynamics are like a party planning committee without a plan. 

If we each tell guests parts of the necessary information or conflicting information, how many guests do you think we will need to invite to get at least 50 to the party? How many of us are enjoying ourselves when we all get to the party? Very few. 

Just imagine the frustration when all of you show up with a different number of cupcakes… 

Like the lack of communication in the planning committee spills over into the guest experience, internal team silos can cause limited collaboration, inefficient operations, difficulty measuring success, and poor customer satisfaction. 

Here are some additional problems that occur due to siloed internal teams.

Limited Collaboration:

When teams are vertically aligned but horizontally fragmented, it hinders providing a seamless customer experience. Your team may be concentrating on increasing cart conversions. 

At the same time, another is focusing on growing registrations this quarter. While you can move toward two goals simultaneously without understanding where the targeted messages are landing in the customer journey, it can be hard to land meaningful messages at the right time. 

When marketing, product, and data teams operate with limited information, it leads to miscommunication and missed opportunities to work together to achieve your goals. 

Inefficient Operations:

Miscommunication can then lead to duplicated efforts and wasted resources. Imagine the marketing team creating content the product team is already developing, or vice versa. 

This redundancy slows down processes and increases marketing costs. In a world where resourcing and budgets are closely monitored, the last thing you want to do is double up on something already handled and potentially sent out to the customer. Efforts become muddied, and it can prove challenging to attribute success or failure. 

Difficulty Measuring Success:

When two or more teams are running campaigns from two or more platforms with two or more sources of truth, measuring marketing efforts’ impact becomes as complex as finding a needle in a haystack. 

Without a unified view of the customer journey, it’s challenging to determine which marketing activities are driving the most conversions. 

It can also be hard to tell if you are sending the right message at the right time and on the right channel, but moving to one customer engagement platform can help solve this. 

 

The Cost of Disconnection: An Empty Piggy Bank

The consequences of siloed operations go beyond customer dissatisfaction and team breakdowns and quickly affect your bottom line.

First of all, dissatisfied customers who experience a disjointed brand journey are more likely to defect to competitors. Imagine a customer frustrated by irrelevant emails and inconsistent brand communications. They’re less likely to remain loyal to your brand and far less likely to be a brand advocate. 

Second, disjointed experiences that lack personalization cause customers to have a negative brand experience. According to Statista, 72% of consumers say they have received irrelevant marketing messages from companies they have done business with.

If customers feel like they are interacting with multiple companies and not one cohesive brand, they will consider shopping elsewhere. This lack of brand consistency weakens brand recognition and makes it difficult to build customer loyalty.

Finally, fragmented data creates a fractured view of customer behavior and campaign performance.

Making decisions based on incomplete information or inaccurate data goes beyond marketing; it could also lead product development, sales, and engineering teams in the wrong direction. This hinders innovation and limits your ability to develop creative solutions. 

 

So, Are Your Marketing Communications Suffering from a Silo Problem?

Here are some red flags that might indicate your team is ready for a unified ecosystem: 

  • Disconnected Teams, Disconnected Messages: Do different departments handle your social media, email marketing, and website content? Siloed teams often create isolated messages, leading to brand voice, tone, and messaging inconsistencies.
  • Hinder Visibility Due to Digital Silos: Did you recently launch a new app or online store? If you can’t track whether customers have interacted with both your website and app, it’s a sign of siloed data. This lack of visibility makes it difficult to understand the complete customer journey.
  • Missing Channels, Missing Opportunities: Are you neglecting email marketing or social media altogether? Every channel offers a unique way to connect with customers. Silos can lead to missed opportunities to reach your audience on their preferred platforms.
  • A Tower of Babel of Platforms: Do you use a different platform to manage each communication channel? A jumble of platforms makes it difficult to maintain consistency and creates challenges in scheduling and content creation.
  • Fragmented Reporting, Fragmented View: Do you struggle to gather data and reporting from multiple channels to understand your customer journey? Siloed data makes getting a holistic view of campaign performance and customer behavior difficult.
  • Brick-and-Mortar Blindspot: Do you lack data on customer interactions at physical stores or events? A siloed marketing strategy often neglects offline touchpoints, creating a disconnect between the online and offline customer experience.
  • One-Way Street Communication: Is two-way communication with your customers limited or non-existent? Silos can prevent you from effectively responding to customer inquiries and feedback, hindering relationship building.

The Value of Breaking Down Communication Silos

As we’ve discussed, there are many negative impacts caused by organizational siloes. However, by investing in breaking down those silos, you will reap the benefits of having a more tightly connected customer journey. 

With regard to your messaging strategy, you are now creating a unified experience, a seamless continuation of the story you began on social media. You are building website messaging that complements the ad, welcoming the customer with a familiar voice, not a stranger from a different world. 

Unsiloing your messaging isn’t just about efficiency; it’s about creating a customer experience that feels and looks magical. It’s about empowering your teams to work together, see the bigger picture, and craft a seamless journey for every customer, like winding your way down the yellow brick road toward home. 

It’s about creating loyal brand advocates, happy customers, who want to share your brand with others. It’s about leveraging data to understand your audience and deliver timely messages that resonate deeply. It’s about fostering innovation and creativity and building a solid brand that stands out in a crowded marketplace. 

By unsiloing your messaging, you’re creating a more effective marketing strategy, a loyal customer base, and a thriving business. So, ditch the fragmented and disoriented experience of waking up in Oz and embrace the power of unified communication. 

Welcome your customers home. 

 


 

Part 2 Coming Soon!