Editor's Take: Rethinking Those Silos
Bass said e-commerce needed one person to turn to if business wasn’t good. “But if you’re completely integrated,” he said, “you can’t do that.”
Other notable differences between channels, such as making online checkout easy and search better, “don’t fall into stores or catalogs,” he said. “There are other important duties that don’t fall within any one area.”
Then, there’s the background of the marketing people to consider. Retail marketing departments aren’t necessarily as sophisticated as catalog or e-commerce departments, because they’re often all about coordinating with TV ads or sale flyers. And the back-end systems differ greatly.
As for Fair Indigo, complete silo integration leads to things not getting done, “and you end up underserving customers,” according to Bass. “Customers want you to be best-in-class in every channel, and you start losing that even if you’re seamlessly integrated.”
All that said, if a partial or complete rebooting of silos gets tricky at your company, “When in doubt,” Bass said, “have them report to the CEO.”