Company Culture: Fixing Silos

Nov 28, 2016 | Other

The larger a company grows, the more silos it creates. Silos are not necessarily a bad thing, but when they interfere with your goals in a negative way they are. I wanted to share some insight on our journey here at Grand Apps and what we did to solve these challenges as a growing company.

Our company grew in under 4 years from just a mobile app development company with four full time people to a full marketing agency with 10 full time employees, 4 partners and one intern, servicing clients across the globe. We now create strategies and campaigns for clients and use the best methods & tools we have on the market (or we’ll build our own tools) and help clients meet their goals.

As our company grew we felt the growing pains and accidentally created silos, which actually hurt us so we decided to change it up!

The Silos We Created

Two years ago we really put a huge emphasis on social media marketing as we recognized this was the lowest CPM and most effect for many businesses. We went out, pitched clients and showed them the benefits of social first campaigns with their limited budgets. During this process we ended up with 30+ accounts and grew very fast. We also decided we wanted to create full campaigns with creative (not stock or client provided), which meant we needed to hire a creative to handle this work.

Back then we thought it would be great to create divisions “silos” in the company for different services; example, social media. With that mindset we ended up have one person handle all the creative for all 30+ accounts. In the meantime we also had designers who designed websites and mobile apps. So essentially we had social creatives and app / web creatives.

The Problem

A pretty big problem we faced was when clients would see different creative for their campaigns and be confused why the brand did not match across all forms of marketing we were doing. The reason was because of lack of communication from the silos we built. Simply put, people were not communicating on what they were doing enough to creative a cohesive approach for clients.

The Solution

After we noticed this we immediately put a plan in place to break up the silos. We decided to have a “creative pool” of resources we can pull from and have teams built out for clients as they come in. Now we offer multiple resources on client projects, while also increasing communication and producing way better results.

Learn From us, Avoid It – Tips

Tip 1: Recognize & Be Aware

The first tip I can give you is simply to be aware enough to understand these silos are hurting the company. Soon as you are aware, fix it. You can ask employees their feedback, observe, or even ask clients. But I suggest you find out sooner than later.

Tip 2: Communication

So when you break up the silos, that is just part one of the challenge. The second part is to make communication better. People have been so used to silos so they’re probably not in the habit of constant communication, it’s up to you to push this agenda and make it happen.

Again, silos are not the worst thing to have for organizational issues, but they do cause disrupt in many unforeseen ways. The sooner you can get your entire team on the same page, the better results you’ll see.