In this case, I’m referring to the departmental “wall” that divides inbound marketing (i.e. SEO, banner ads, social media, call center...etc.) and outbound marketing (i.e. e-mail, direct mail, SMS…etc.). I suspect these departments are disconnected because:
- Skill sets tend to fall in the inbound domain OR the outbound domain. As such, it’s hard to find people that bridge both domains. This includes both marketing executives and marketing "worker bees."
- Technology and consulting vendors typically focus in one area versus another
- The value proposition of integrating both domains hasn't resonated enough with most senior executives to facilitate cross pollination between departments
Note: For more information on the differences between inbound and outbound marketing, see my previous blog post: Is Outbound Marketing On The Decline?
So why even bother integrating these departments? Here's the high level benefits (from my perspective):
- Ability to deliver intelligent, multi-step campaigns across channels. Check out my previous blog post (integrating inbound and outbound marketing) for a good example of this.
- Minimize duplication between departments
- Consistent customer experience, messaging and branding across all channels
How should Mr. or Ms. CMO go about integrating these departments? Here's some ideas:
- Be head cheerleader and evangelist for inbound and outbound channel integration. If this isn't "your thing," find someone else to wave the pompom's.
- Cross train marketing managers (and related IT counterparts) in areas they have limited experience with (i.e. teach the inbound folks about outbound and vice versa)
- Structure the organization in such a way that marketing managers manage campaigns across inbound and outbound channels
If all else fails, throw a "Tear Down This Wall" party complete with hard hats, sledge hammers and real walls to knock down. Make sure the company's liability insurance is current and active though. :-)