Silos and Sandboxes…ideas from ShoppeSimple Network

Despite the fact that online sales for 2010 beat Holiday 2009 for many e-tailers, additional marketing is showing core weaknesses and at the heart of the cracks are the alignments organizations have made with their marketing channels.

Silos and Sandboxes

In many organizations: Silos are defined as distinct marketing channels. Sandboxes are the marketing strategies and tactics used to execute for a Silo.

So does your business have Silos and Sandboxes? Silos for e-mail marketing, Silos for search, Silos for affiliates, and Silos for direct mail etc.? Of course, each Silo has a defined Sandbox of strategies and tactics.

But how well do your Silos and Sandboxes work together? Will there be/is there room in these Silos for Social and Mobile Commerce? Unfortunately, in the Age of Social and Mobile, Silos and Sandboxes will not only prevent your Social and Mobile Commerce from thriving, they will kill it. Do you already feel this in your business?

And more to my point, why would you even want to Silo something as HUGE as Social and Mobile Commerce?

Is Your Business Having a Missiles Race?

§  Which Silo would have responsibility for Social/Mobile in your organization? Would search own it, direct mail, affiliate or e-mail marketing?

§  Which Sandbox takes the leadership role over Social/Mobile strategies and tactics?

As you can see it isn’t hard to visualize in the Age of Social and Mobile Commerce how these “Silos and Sandboxes” are at odds with each other and why you should be questioning that they should exist at all.

I hope you see the internal dilemma around why Social and Mobile Marketing has handcuffed organizations who deploy a Silo and Sandbox organizational alignment… and why these organizations are the ones that mention they have yet to see an ROI from Social and or Mobile.

A Business Case for Socializing Your Business…

First, let’s give you some metrics before a company started their social program with ShoppeSimple Network:

Their average order was $65, they traditionally received 1 order from their average 0-12 month customers, and daily order conversion was 3.5%. The company’s marketing channels were paid search, e-mail, affiliate and direct mail. They use both Google and Omniture Analytic packages. The company prior to adding Social Marketing does an order priority allocation of orders as follows. Orders which touch paid search get first priority, direct mail second, email third and affiliate fourth.

But even before we discuss Social, does this priority allocation make sense? I hope you can you see the cracks apparent in this allocation for traditional online marketing? Isn’t paid search weighted too heavily so it is destined to get more of the credit for multi-touch orders even though there is no clear reason it should other than it cost more to work in the paid search Silo. At the end of the day, you can actually say the same thing for every Silo over Social.

Now what do you think would happen when Social Marketing is started in this Company?

Almost Jumping the Social Ship…

How did the company allocate their Social program orders and how did they determine if they were getting an ROI?  Well, as you would expect, in conventional, traditional marketing they put Social at the bottom of the priority list because the other Silos insisted that Social prove itself. “Stay out of my Silo and Sandbox…Mr. Social!”

And of course, let’s not miss this major point, all the traditional Silos wanted to continue to receive the orders that they got prior to Social being added to the marketing mix. So what do you think the result was?

You guessed it… the priority allocation hurt Social with few orders being allocated to the Social channel.

Ahhh… making this worse…the Silos and Sandboxes then said, see no ROI from Social! So we need to just keep doing what we have been doing. Not rocket science . . . Social was almost jettisoned off the Company marketing ship.

But look at the interesting data that both Google Analytics and Omniture missed but the Company clearly saw through The ShoppeSimple Network analytics!

For all orders coming through The ShoppeSimple Network, average Social order value was up by 18%, average frequency of Social ordering increased to 1.5 orders within just the first 6 month period of the program and site conversion touched by Social climbed to 22%.

With the potential for Social and Mobile to generate significant new business revenue from any and all of your existing marketing channels it would be absolutely detrimental to your business to formulate a strategy that places Social under any specific Silo that uses one specific Sandbox.

Doing so would eliminate why Social and Mobile Commerce work in the first place… they work because Social and Mobile are open and viral. Silos are just the opposite. They are walled, rigid and hierarchical.

The power of Social and Mobile Commerce through The ShoppeSimple Network is that your consumers can Pull, Place, Buy and Share your offers and content and let it spread like a positive idea virus enabling your consumers to converse, listen and engage with your business.

Within the organization, the continued use of Push-N-Pray traditional marketing, along with the use of Silos and Sandboxes only stifles (or eliminates) these positive consumer conversations.

As the leader in the Social and Mobile space, The ShoppeSimple Network works with your organization to map out a strategy that will deliver Social and Mobile Commerce results. We guarantee it. We do that in a number of ways and it all starts with an assessment of your current Social/Mobile business plans.

Whether you’re a social pro or just getting started in the Social and Mobile space, The ShoppeSimple Network is your pick. Why? Because we offer simple-to-use Social and Mobile tools that are Plug-N-Play that will drive new revenue for your business in less than 30 days without any  IT resources needed or set up expense to deploy. This is all provided for an affordable, monthly subscription fee without additional commission, maintenance fees or tolls of any kind.

So why not give us a ping or call to get our conversation started. We are here to listen and ready to help you do Social and Mobile right.  Email me at or phone us at 612-349-2740