3 Strategies for Navigating Corporate Silos to Create Killer Global Content

Mar 15, 2017

Article ImageIn today’s evolving digital era, marketers’ quest toward stellar, customer experience-driven content is never ending. As much as organizations would love to discover the secret to global content marketing before their competitors do, this is easier said than done.

In the meantime, marketers can rely on IDG market research data for insight. A survey found that producing engaging content is the greatest challenge for 63% of tech marketers, while 80% struggle to locate high quality, credible information for their target audience. Naturally, marketing leaders have found themselves at a crossroads in determining which types of content will reach whom within a diverse global audience.

My own search for the underlying cause of content strategy setbacks has uncovered a recurrent theme: difficulty coordinating – or rather, nixing – organizational silos. Hand-in-hand with a global content strategy, is an integrated corporate structure. We dream of a day when every member of every team can sing from the same hymn sheet. However, what if we were to suggest that an integrated approach isn’t all it’s cracked up to be?

Creating quality global content across a compartmentalized corporate structure isn’t as frightening as it sounds. Here are three techniques that may leave marketers questioning everything they thought they knew about the silo taboo.

1. Open All Channels of Communication

One concept that will never come into question, is that communication is key. But, more often than not, regional teams raise hell with central teams for delivering off-target content. Central marketing teams may be set to permanent broadcast mode from headquarters, but wind up supplying content that doesn’t cater to the cultural nuances of regional markets. And so exists a disjointed relationship in which someone doesn’t feel heard.

To avoid a sticky “it’s not you, it’s me” ending, set up a brand war council with representatives from each region. This will give regional managers a platform to air any grievances, you a space to provide pragmatic oversight, and your brand guidelines the care and attention they deserve, too. Everyone’s a winner.

2. Leverage Each Silo’s Expertise

Most marketers have taken knocks from their markets on anything and everything – from translation quality and content relevance, to technology adoption and use of social media platforms. However, many fall short of looking upon these complaints as golden opportunities – that is, representations of each separate segment of the business. Each segment contains pockets of knowledge that are crucial for powering deep, authentic storytelling.

Your organization has great content creators, so put their capabilities to use in other teams. Create a centralized pool of resources and then partner up your best content creators with each silo. Sure, you won’t be breaking down silos completely. But bringing your people and their people together for fixed projects means permeating each silo with specialized content knowledge.

3. Create Guidance That Empowers

Brand guidelines: can’t live with them, can’t live without them. Of course, HQ and regional or product marketers rely on guidelines to provide the glue that holds storytelling together. But, another major challenge in navigating corporate silos is finding a balance somewhere between honoring the constrictions of brand standards, and acknowledging the cultural norms of individual global markets. 

To find the sweet spot, give silos the opportunity to develop regional brand guidelines. These allow for a certain amount of interpretation, but will keep the core brand identity intact.

Building a global brand is no easy task when considering the departmental interests of every team. However, organizations can get a lot closer to a unified business goal by using these divides to their advantage. To successfully navigate the uncharted waters of corporate silos, create high impact global content and provide an exceptional global customer experience, these strategies may be a good start.