Two of my current clients are start-ups. They’re small but getting bigger. Although there are a number of challenges in this environment one big challenge that I used to see all the time in the “big” corporate world is missing and it’s a wonderful thing.
Big companies tend to breed silos and possessiveness. You don’t really get that in a start-up since everyone is overlapping and helping with almost everyone else. Those silos are a huge problem, as is the possessive nature of the executives involved since that fosters them. Want an example?
I saw an article yesterday which reported on a study conducted for Yes Lifestyle Marketing. This is some of what was in the study:
A sizable chunk of marketers are having trouble coordinating efforts between divisions, and well over half think their marketing departments don’t even share common goals. Generally, oversight under one group seems to be lacking at a lot of companies with 68% of respondents saying enterprise marketing executives lack central ownership of programs across channels.
According to the study, poor data practices appear to be one of the biggest reasons for the failure of multichannel marketing programs. Only 37 percent of enterprise organizations and 29 percent of mid-market companies have a central repository for customer data. Less than a third of marketing executives overall said their companies centralize customer data into a single record across channels.
That data division and lack of coordination seems not to be an oversight. In other words, turf wars are derailing marketing, and that is having a negative effect. One could also look to the other types of conflicts (read turf battles) between sales and marketing, IT and marketing, and even business analysts (the dreaded “strat planning” department) and everyone else in some companies. How can we fix this? In the words of my Mom: “Oh grow up.”
The start-up mentality of interdependence is visible every day when the entire company is in a small space. Out of sight, out of mind might just hold in bigger companies. Maybe it’s easier to vilify the group on the other floor. There is no “mine” other than accountability for the goals the entire group is trying to achieve. You can’t win if other members of the team lose, not in the long-term anyway.
Those are my thoughts. Yours?