To survive and achieve marketing nirvana, marketers must embrace an omnichannel approach that aligns all silos into a harmonious, navigable path. By doing so, brands will create an enhanced identity, increase market share and reduce costs.

Brian Bell, senior vice president at Viant Technology

The longstanding goals of companies have not changed in 2020, but the path to get there has dramatically. The pandemic and associated economic climate are rewriting legacy rules, and these changes have left only one choice: Adapt rapidly or fall behind.

Adaptation is not a new concept; it is a fundamental characteristic of good business. Few periods have required the level of organizational fluidity that is necessary today. Consumer behavior has accelerated to dimensions that brands were not prepared to consider, let alone rapidly embrace.

Brands face surpluses of product, lack of demand, overwhelmed liquidation channels, and limited marketing and commercial production. Couple all of that with the changing local market health mandates, it becomes clear that successful brand positioning can come only by staying on your toes.

If it wasn’t clear before, it should be now: Silos are harmful to brands. To survive, organizations must embrace an omnichannel approach that aligns all silos into a harmonious, navigable path. By doing so, brands will create an enhanced identity, increase market share and reduce costs.

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Identifying the barriers

Silos are entrenchments in a business model. In a perfect world, they exist to unify and maximize efficiencies by department and increase accountability. However, in today’s more complex business environments, they create a great deal of inefficiency, and thus overall brand strategy suffers. This is because they focus the internal and external divisions of the business solely on their primary roles, often to the detriment of other groups and channels.

Silos create a false narrative of progress and misalignment of goals. Brand marketers who do not consolidate their media strategies with one or two agencies often run into this issue. They have multiple voices jostling for rank, with competitive and conflicting agendas often coming at the expense of the coordination towards the common goal.

The misalignment of goals becomes even more pronounced when looking at the division between traditional and integrated digital teams. As media budgets have shifted to programmatic and integrated investments, they have formed “turf wars” with traditional TV buying teams that create unnecessary tension. This makes allocating media dollars a win or loss for the team, rather than the brand itself. The internal competition means the goal of the effort gets lost.

Without coordination and clear communication, questions over who is leading strategy and investment can arise and rot the strategic approach’s foundations. This disjointed media channel weighting methodology and measuring internal team performance can quickly become the biggest impediment to brands achieving sales volume goals, gaining competitive share, and increasing brand awareness. To address this, companies must create a cross-pollination culture between teams and, ultimately, measure everyone’s success against the advancement of the brand’s key goals.

How to reach marketing nirvana

Agility is paramount, especially in this “new normal.”

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Strategic omnichannel approaches enable brands to be appropriately responsive at local and national levels. As consumer behaviors shift and media consumption hops between media channels, organizational priorities and investments need omnichannel pathways that keep pace with consumer demand and create the best experience for the consumer.

Embracing true omnichannel strategies across the enterprise will centralize silo costs. Marketing leaders who properly structure and incentivize their stakeholders to mesh together will have the strategic data to identify in-market trends, insights into the most efficient channels, and knowledge of the purchase triggers for individual consumer groups. By deploying this approach, teams can unify audience datasets, enable more focused commercial messaging, and reduce unnecessary vendor redundancies.

Companies that excel in tearing down silos and empowering cross-functional roles become the model of emulation for their competitors. They gain a competitive advantage that creates stronger brand perception and increases their share of the consumer’s wallet. Their brand messages resonate more by ensuring their agencies are strategically aligned, allowing them to serve the right message at the right time to their true target audience.

None of this is achievable without a brand vision that is known and reinforced by the company itself. Brand visions should not change dramatically due to external upheavals, but companies must find the best way to embody and communicate that vision during these periods.

By aligning stakeholders, agencies and vendors, companies create a robust internal structure streamlined in the direction of solutions rather than competing voices. Through these omnichannel approaches, companies can face the day’s disruptions with full confidence that no strategy was left on the table and, ultimately, present the message that best exemplifies the brand and resonates with the audience.

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Viant is an advertising technology company. It offers a cloud-based platform designed to enable ad buyers to plan, create, execute and measure their digital advertising spending.

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