Two Farm SilosWhy Marketing Fails: The Silo Effect

By Karyn Greenstreet

copyright © 2007, by Karyn Greenstreet. All rights reserved.


When you think of a silo, you think of the kind that are found on farms, full of grain. Full grain, full harvest -- it sounds like a perfect metaphor of a successful business marketing campaign.

So how can a silo be a bad thing?

The Silo Effect in business refers to the lack of communication and cross-departmental support often found in large companies. Teams work only on their own goals, often ignoring the needs of others, and information (and customers) get lost in the middle.

Nowhere is this phenomenon more apparent in small business than in your own marketing efforts. You give a speech to tell people about your topic, but you fail to mention your own services. You go to a networking meeting, but don't follow-up. You post a advertisement in the local paper but don't list your website address.

The Silo Effect in small business marketing is this: the lack of coordination and integration of all your marketing techniques so that they support each other and continue to move the prospective client through your marketing system. Instead of simply doing one marketing technique then walking away, consider creating a marketing "network" of techniques where one technique encourages the prospective customer to participate in another marketing technique.

Some examples of integrated marketing techniques:

  • When giving a speech, ask the audience to sign up for your free newsletter.
  • On the back of your business card, offer a free report and give them the web site address where they can download it.
  • At a networking event, refer people to your web site to pick up an article on solves a problem they're having.
  • When doing a radio interview, remind people that you offer a free initial consultation and tell them how they can sign up for one.
  • On your website, place a big advertisement that tells visitors about your free monthly teleclass.

Never ask your marketing techniques to stand all alone like silos in a field. Connect them together and show that path to your prospective customer so that she can walk the path through the marketing techniques to your door.

Karyn GreenstreetIncrease Revenue and Reach
Without Feeling Overwhelmed

Karyn Greenstreet is a small business coach and consultant. She shares tips, techniques and strategies with self-employed people to increase revenue and reach, create a clear business vision and plan, and implement it without feeling overwhelmed. Visit her website at

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