I’ve always been a big advocate for the “un-siloing” of organisations in the era of the social web.

The rise and rise of content marketing, aided and abetted by social media omnipotence, a fragmented media scene and Google’s pro-content algorithm shifts, has caught many organisations unsure of what to do next.

The analogy I use with clients and those I train is to think of a five-a-side football team. All the players are playing interdependent roles and none can work effectively alone.

Companies who continue to silo these disciplines limit their own effectiveness and potential, thus wasting budget.

So, let’s take a look at the starting line-up.


Search engine optimization. In between the posts to catch all those relevant search terms – both paid and organic – it’s SEO. Depending on how the user found you the ‘keeper will bowl the ball to either player on your side to build the engagement further.


Public Relations. In defence, we have PR acting as a Beckenbauer-esque libero. PR plays a dual role here: Firstly, a defensive role to stop or defuse any negative buzz around your brand online.

Secondly, an offensive role, bringing the ball out and create awareness, drawing people to your content, social networks or website, building links and influencer relations.


Social media. The luxury player, ever so talked up and hard to make work, social media can deepen the engagement but needs to cover both defence (social customer relationship management) and attack (content outreach and engagement).


Content. The real creator, content has developed a good relationship with SEO, PR and social media to maximise their potential on the pitch and draw people to the website.


User experience (UX). Once the rest of the team has done its job in getting people to the brand’s website by drawing traffic in, it’s UX’s job to drive the conversion (i.e. score).

So, is your site a Messi or just a mess?


The player-coach on the sub’s bench is the veteran Analytics and Measurement, making tactical switches and coming on from time to time to improve things.

In a nutshell, digital marketing is a team effort, so all departments should be talking to each other and pulling in the same direction if they’re not doing so already.

Anyone for a kick about?