Working in a Silo

It happens all the time. In my work with clients through the Partnership Group – Sponsorship Specialists™, I see it almost every day. We are in the communication business in sponsorship marketing. Whether we are assisting buyers or sellers of sponsorship, it is about building and delivering a message. But those who seem to do this work, work in silos rather than collaboratively.

On the corporate sponsor side, I see the sponsorship marketing folks failing to communicate with the community investment people, the investor relations folks, the public or government relations folks, or even the web and digital media, and traditional marketing and advertising leaders in their companies. Most often, these little silos seems to work most often in their “own little world” and fail to leverage the other departments. These companies often run simultaneous campaigns diametrically opposed to the messaging from another. Even worse, they invest in the same sponsorship property.

Yes, I saw this once. It was a major financial institution. The community investment department, the sponsorship marketing department, and the new financial services products roll-out team all invested in the same regional event. All three departments spent tens of thousands of dollars to participate. And all the assets acquired (including booth space that was needed by new product roll-out folks and the branding exposure desired by the community investment folks) were available from the sponsorship marketing department. Some of the assets (such as the booth space) went unused from the sponsorship department’s contract, while the new product team purchased that same asset for the event. This is crazy. It is one example. But it happens all the time.

It is critical that we break down the silos in our organizations. We need to collaborate effectively with all departments and divisions to ensure that maximum ROI is achieved. When we work in silos and run “our own programs,” we fail to make good investments.

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