Corporate Structure That Prevents Success

public-domain-images-eiffel-tower-construction-1800s-0007 smallThe interesting and unique fact about the search marketing is that 9 out of 10 times, the success, effectiveness, and efficiency of your work is up to someone else. Even the companies who do everything related to website, advertising, and marketing in-house, the collaboration or cooperation among multiple departments seems to be more difficult than it should. While it’s not necessarily a new challenge, I still see this especially with larger companies, and that’s not because they have more people. There are multiple reasons why this is still the case, and here are some of the common reasons that are preventing the collaborations and cooperation between the departments.

  1. A company was established “before-Internet”, when each department could function without depending on another to achieve the department’s business goals. They understand that the digital marketing has become very important channel to reach out to the target audience to grow business, but they view it as a different/new department rather than to make it a part of existing marketing channel. As a result, you have online and off-line marketing channels doing its own thing. Everyone is working silo and not sharing any valuable information.
  2. IT and website management departments are only responsible for website functionality. Their job is done when their website displays on a browser and the security requirements are met. The performance of the website is not a part of their job descriptions. Unfortunately, all of your SEO requests are handled as low priority items in this case.
  3. The budget is setup for each department rather than for each project. As we often see in the market reports, it is viewed as the digital marketing is “stealing” the budget from prints and other traditional marketing medias. This set up is also damaging the relationship within the digital marketing department. For example, the digital marketing budget has been shifted to social media in recent years.
  4. The company reports are still reporting the performance by the departments. When you look at the reports, it seems that search marketing is competing with social media, and digital marketing is competing with offline marketing departments.

These are some of the reasons why the company structures, cultures, and the project planning need to be re-designed and updated. The search engine optimization related performance such as number of web pages indexed by the main search engines, page download speed, and the number of errors (both 5xx and 4xx) should all be parts of IT/Web department’s responsibilities, and they need to be encouraged to work with the SEO team.

The fact is that in order for a company to succeed, each department has its place. It’s not offline marketing against online marketing. We shouldn’t be choosing between social media and search engine marketing. It would be great if each project is carried out by a team that includes someone from each key department. The budget can be allocated for each project rather than for departments. The performance would be reported by project, too. This would change the culture within the company. The departments would be working together rather than to compete. This would also promote healthy competitions based on the projects. I’d like to see more companies shifting the structure to make the changes.