Blow Up Silos!
The real problem is much deeper. The company needs to recognize its customers, acknowledge what they've purchased in the past, determine their lifetime value, and work on new retention strategies so it will keep those customers for life.
The company should speak with one voice to customers, and project a powerful and compelling brand with a relevant personality.
It also needs a CRM program to guide ongoing communication with customers—treat the best ones really well, get the right offers into the right hands at the right time, earn the maximum share of the customers' spend, and increase loyalty and referrals, too.
I brought this issue to our CRM whiz, Dwain Jeworski. Dwain has a passion for applications that change the way things are done and has assembled a few, to create one that I call the "air traffic con-troller look at your business." He calls the program Engaging Your Customers.
So, I ask Dwain, "If you stepped into this company, how would you get those groups out of their silos?"
"Blow up the silos," he says, "just like the farmers did. They're expensive, inefficient, and they drive customers crazy.
"The only way out is to create a company-wide, long-term marketing strategy that isn't driven by each silo's short-term needs. It needs to be built from the customer's perspective.
"It sounds simple, but the reality is that each division is trying to sell more of its product line, and will do everything it needs to succeed. That can be good, but only when it's coordinated. The way [the silos] do it now, the poor customer gets all kinds of confusing and poorly executed communication too often. Most of the time, they're not sent to the right target audience.
"Turn it around. Talk to customers in a progression that makes sense as they get to know you. Nobody is going to buy all your services at once! Look at the top 20 percent of customers and you'll see the logical progression."