Report: Sales and marketing must break down silos to drive growth

There is a disconnect between brand promise and brand experience

Australian organisations that integrate marketing and sales will be better positioned to take advantage of business growth, according to a new report.

According to Zenith’s Five Commerce Imperatives for Marketers, many brands are missing out on driving growth through new commerce platforms, as their marketing and sales teams are too siloed.

The report states brands have had separate sales and marketing teams, often with different objectives. While marketing teams need to reach the right customer at the right moment and are measured by awareness and reach metrics, sales teams need to meet ‘sell-through’ targets and are often assessed on short-term sales metrics. 

But in order to embrace end-to-end consumer journey planning, brands need to close the gap between sales and marketing in order to maximise returns from e-commerce.

"In my view marketing and sales are still too siloed, but more importantly there is not enough connection of consumer experience on paid and earned channels, and customer experience (CX) on owned channels e.g. website, customer service, sales, retail, e-comms etc,” Zenith Australia CEO, Nickie Scriven, told CMO.

“Often responsibility for consumer marketing and customer communications operate in separate silos and what we see is a disconnected 'brand promise' to what is actually delivered in the 'brand experience'.

“The opportunity is to connect consumer data and insights with customer data and insights to power the whole CX strategy and plan. But to fully achieve the potential of this we need to break down the silos across marketing, sales, service and data. 

“In Australia, ecommerce is really just starting to gain the broader attention of marketers, with the long anticipated arrival of Amazon on our shores. 

“Organisations that move to integrate marketing, sales and service functions and truly adopt an end-to-end consumer and customer experience approach will be the ones that position themselves for long term business growth. 

“This requires the right balance of brand building and retail-focused messaging in order to build brand appeal and relevance with consumers, as well as incentives to move them along the path to purchase. E-commerce provides the potential to connect the consumer and customer experience and gain invaluable data and insight along the way.”

Zenith recommends five key areas of focus that will help brands maximise ROI from commerce: 

Break Down Silos

The growth of online and digital platforms has meant that no two consumer journeys are the same. In order to connect consumer experiences all the way through to sales, brands must break down their silos and understand category differences in journey planning. Specialists from a brand’s marketing and sales functions must inform commerce strategies, and cross-functional models must be developed to ensure the right strategic and investment decisions are made. 

Leverage the Retail Experience

Retailers are now acting more like publishers, so brands must approach retail in the way they would media, working collaboratively to plan and activate all the right placements. Consumers expect seamless, connected shopping experiences, so brands must work on joint plans with their retail partners in line with consumer expectations. 

Identify Sources of Growth

As e-commerce ‘pure players’, such as Amazon, gain share and grow their customer base, brands to need to rethink the distribution of their products. Shoppers are notoriously loyal to where they purchase, so brands need to focus their partnerships on a core set of retailers that offer the most growth potential. 

Exploit Retailer Media

Amazon has been effective in creating self-serve marketing solutions to help brands promote their products on its platform. Many traditional retailers are behind the curve on this and so brands need to push them to quickly develop digital marketing solutions. It is important that digital trade investments are optimised in a similar way to digital marketing. 

Enhance Partnerships

Advances in data and technology solutions present an opportunity for seamless integration between brands and retailers. In order to leverage these opportunities, brands need to connect communications to commerce. One way of doing this is to use retail e-commerce data to optimise a brand’s digital marketing.

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia, or check us out on Google+:google.com/+CmoAu 

 

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