Breaking Marketing Operations Silos: Why You Need a Unified Marketing Ops Strategy

The marketing landscape’s rapid change over the past few decades has diversified marketing roles perhaps more than ever. It’s also helped create and maintain silos across marketing teams.

While marketing operations silos–dedicated teams focusing on one area of your marketing ops–might seem like a great idea on paper, in general it can create unintended consequences for your marketing performance. 

Why marketing operations silos are bad for business

It’s not that you can’t get some results when you have siloed marketing teams. It’s just that it can make it harder for no reason. 

One of the biggest problems is that silos create barriers for overall vision. Siloed teams are often working on the same goals or project, but when hyperfocused on their piece of the work, it becomes harder to understand how all parts work together. This can lead to disjointed parts of the same campaign, unnecessary replication of work across various silos, and inconsistent messaging.

For example, if paid ads specialists and content marketers approach campaigns with varying visions and tones, it creates a confusing user experience. Asking one team to fix the messaging in order to align slows progress. 

How silos impact data

No modern marketing leader should be without data at their fingertips. Marketing ops silos, however, often mean data silos and lack of a streamlined reporting experience.

If different teams own or access different data at different points in time–all while relying on clunky spreadsheets or other ineffective solutions to collect that data–it can wreak havoc on even the most solid of marketing strategies. 

Data silos can create false confidence and inaccurate analysis because they’re isolated from the big picture view. Without an easily accessible central data hub and key reports, it can also mean leaders are making decisions on out-of-date information. This directly impacts the effectiveness of marketing campaigns. 

Why a unified marketing ops team is more effective

A unified marketing ops team doesn’t mean favoring generalists over specialists. Instead it means embracing a holistic approach. 

Today’s marketing has countless moving parts. When marketing is unified, communications are smoother, resources are more efficiently spread, and outcomes can be more easily tracked. 

It also means everyone is working toward the same business goal and they have better understanding of their role in the proces. This can often drive faster results.

The most common silos we see are found with those managing budgeting and expense tracking, strategy and project management, and creative. But enterprise level companies can often have even more silos across marketing, creating an environment with increased risk of breakdowns of communication and inability to easily report key metrics. 

How to break marketing silos

Developing a unified marketing ops approach doesn’t just happen overnight. Here are just a few of the steps to consider as you embark on the journey to bring your marketing team to its full unified potential.

Build a plan

Every organization is unique. This means there’s no clear-cut journey for building your unified marketing ops solution. Start with a review of your goals or development of new ones. From there, start building a strategy that aligns, including the KPIs that make the most sense for your organization.

Work on garnering buy-in

Every plan should also consider change management. A big piece of this? Garnering buy-in from leadership and those impacted by the changes. 

It may feel like leadership are the biggest players from whom to get buy-in, but team members living out the day-to-day are more critical for success because they’re the players implementing it.

Being transparent and upfront about your plans is a key way to set yourself up for success as you navigate the transition. 

Foster collaboration over competition

If marketing has long been siloed, teams have likely grown accustomed to a competitive approach, especially when it comes to vying for marketing budget dollars. 

As you work on your transition, consider ways to foster increased collaboration to bring teams together.

Assess the data experience

How are team members accessing your data currently? Where are your silos and hold-ups? Is the data experience easy and accessible, or does it require hobbling together solutions? 

Data and reporting is perhaps one of the most critical pieces of a unified marketing ops team. Marketing leaders need  streamlined data and reporting that puts the key metrics and KPIs you most rely on front and center–all in a timely manner with up-to-the-minute and meaningful data. 

Invest in a marketing ops solution

Mid-level to enterprise marketing leaders need digital transformation to unify teams and get the birds-eye view of all marketing projects. 

A marketing work management tool like Aprimo is designed to provide a 360 view of content development and spend, brand interaction, and the data teams need most. 

Investing in a work management solution can help teams:

  • Collaborate and communicate in an accessible, central location
  • Track project progress and approvals
  • Manage campaign budgets
  • Prove marketing ROI 

Work management tools also become the main marketing data hub. Many can also integrate with powerful tools like Power BI and Tableau for even greater data and reporting capabilities.

Is your team ready for the future?

A siloed marketing approach can hold back even the best marketing leaders. Moving toward a unified future will set you up for success. 

At Solutions Plus, we help clients along their unified marketing ops transformation when it comes to creating a centralized, tailored data and reporting solution for marketing leaders. Learn more about how we can help you on your Data and Integration and Reporting and Visualization journeys.



Originally published November 17, 2023 2:19 PM, updated February 26, 2024

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Advisory & Consulting Aprimo