SILOS AND SYCAMORES
Updated: Feb 19
COLIN MASON B.SC., CMO, PRACTICE PARTNER, MARKETING
In a simplified business model, Marketing is one of four management responsibilities. The others are Operations, Finance, and Labour (or Human Resource). Ironically, graphic representations of this classic four-silo model tends to promote the mistaken perception that each management area operates in isolation, without a lot of involvement with the other management functions. So this popular and classic representation, though useful as a teaching model or textbook illustration, could not be further from the realities of a functioning business environment.
From the marketing managers perspective, this means that the other three divisions of the firm not only have immense impact on marketing plans and strategies, but they in fact have responsibilities for certain marketing functions. New product development and packaging cannot proceed without Operations. Post-sale customer interaction cannot exclude the Finance-managed activity of invoicing and collection. A sales strategy cannot deny the input of HR in growing a solid sales team.
For the novice marketing manager this means a steep on-the-job learning curve in the arts of collaboration, cooperation and compromise; subjects that are not usually inherent in an MBA curriculum.
To contrast with the four silo model of business management, a more exact portrayal of the management roles might be found in the image of trees in a grove, with root systems that intertwine and share resources in order to prosper together, and that create a single beautiful canopy.