Introduction To Holistic Marketing
Are you wondering how to grow your business by integrating a more holistic marketing strategy? Maybe you've heard the term holistic marketing before, and you're simply curious.
What is holistic marketing exactly? How can this information improve your business? And how do the top-performing brands use holistic marketing? Let's find out.
Table of Contents
- Holistic Marketing
- Internal Marketing
- Relationship Marketing
- Socially Responsible Marketing
- Integrated Marketing
- Performance Marketing
- How does it apply to different departments?
- Benefits of Holistic Marketing
What is Holistic Marketing?
Holistic marketing takes a broad viewpoint and a long-term approach to several key marketing strategies—integrating these strategies into one cohesive marketing plan. Well-thought holistic marketing strategies promote a shared purpose to every activity and person interacting with and within your business.
Under this approach, a company with several departments unites under one cause. As a result, departments collaborate more effectively through short and long-term marketing efforts.
Our reference to holistic marketing shouldn't be confused with current or trending "marketing tactics." However, you can use these strategies and tactics hand-in-hand.
The ideas in this article cover more than simply ways to market a product or service, and we interpret holistic marketing through 5 distinct marketing types. Let's take a closer look.
Internal marketing is the pursuit and promotion of a company's values, goals, and culture. More specifically, the main idea behind internal marketing is that your employees believe in the same principles and values as the company. Moreover, they enthusiastically participate in company culture and actively support its mission, products, and services.
There's often conflict between departments, with each department's goal being cost-efficiency—unknowingly disregarding the customer-first approach envisioned by marketers. Let me explain.
Imagine the vice president of marketing for an airline company wants to increase the airline's traffic share. His strategy is to increase customer satisfaction by providing better food, cleaner cabins, employing well-trained cabin crews, and offering customers lower rates.
Without a proper holistic marketing strategy, he struggles to implement these initiatives because he has little control over how these departments operate.
The catering department chooses food that keeps food costs low; the maintenance department uses cleaning services that keep cleaning costs low. The human resource department hires people without regard to communication skills, and the finance department sets the fares.
The marketer can't unite the company on this holistic marketing approach because all these departments base their calculations on costs or production.
The marketer wants the company to be thinking about the customer. But the company's approach isn't promoting and implementing these practices well enough to achieve company-wide awareness. The goal of internal marketing is to get everyone on board with the true mission of the company. Be profitable by having a customer focus and watch the growth that follows.
By implementing internal marketing, businesses can promote a positive workplace, culture, and gain vital feedback on improving products and services.
Here are a few key ways to approach internal marketing:
- Encourage your employees to engage in company culture
- Create an environment that rewards innovation
- Encourage team members to focus on the company's mission and purpose
- Use company assets and signage to promote company values
- Promote individual growth and reward employees who attempt innovation
- Streamline communication protocols using modern communication software
- Host regular meetings with an emphasis on feedback and suggestions
- Encourage employees to become advocates for your brand
- Change top-down communication to inter-departmental communication
- Create a great onboarding experience
- Encourage cross-departmental collaboration and teamwork
The benefits of internal marketing have more impact than a simple bullet list gives credit for, and we understand that implementing internal marketing practices can be complicated and overwhelming.
Internal marketing creates team loyalty, understanding, and belief in your business.
— Mike Clark
The companies that successfully integrate these practices have a much easier time finding talented and qualified employees. They have a better workplace culture and happier employees—employees, partners, and customers who believe in the company's mission and participate in marketing efforts on and off the clock.
It's no wonder companies like Google, Netflix, Apple, Nike, and Disney understand and utilize these practices. They know the importance of internal marketing, and they make it a key part of their business.
Relationship marketing is a strategy based on building close relationships with your customers and relies primarily on direct communication, user experience, and customer service.
Subscription services (SaaS companies) and other companies that bill customers regularly benefit from a heavy focus on relationship marketing. It's easier to upsell and retain customers who already use your products and services than it is to acquire new customers.
Actually, it's a lot cheaper. Traditional sales and marketing tend to put the sale first and not the customer. Leading to more customers churning, and the truth is, these customers may never come back.
Putting sales first isn't only bad for business but can damage a brand's reputation for good. Companies that struggle with relationship marketing go out of business or get bought out (Sprint is a recent example). Understanding and implementing a good relationship marketing strategy can ensure your brand is putting quality communication and your customers first.
Marketing is not selling, it’s relationship building. Sales people sell, marketers open up relationships long-term. Long-term is the key.
— John Di Lemme
How to strengthen relationships with your customers
Loyalty programs, marketing campaigns, personalized services, and upselling are tactics many companies use to build a deeper connection with their customers, but these are examples of marketing tactics. Let's talk about seven key ways to build an authentic relationship with your customers and facilitate brand loyalty.
- Create an emotional connection with your customers
- Build trust by keeping your promises
- Show personality (brand-standing)
- Inspire confidence
- Deliver a great customer experience
- Establish a meaningful reason for being in business
- Build and leverage your community
The benefits of relationship marketing work even if your company doesn't bill customers regularly. Companies offering products and services that also employ relationship marketing strategies usually get the best result: Word-of-mouth (WOM), also known as FREE marketing.
Socially Responsible Marketing
Socially Responsible Marketing emphasizes social responsibilities. This strategy requires a company to promote success both for their customers and society.
Socially Responsible marketing aims to help brands connect with a higher purpose. They keep realistic expectations and promote societal advancements.
Many people call socially responsible marketing by different phrases—humanistic marketing, ecological marketing, green marketing, corporate social marketing, cause-related marketing.
The socially responsible marketing concept maintains that the organization's task is to determine the needs, wants, and interests of target markets and deliver the desired satisfaction more effectively and efficiently than competitors—preserving and enhancing the consumer's and society's well-being.
The socially responsible marketing initiative requires marketers to balance and juggle the conflicting criteria of company profit, consumer wants, customer satisfaction, and public interest.
A company may promote social issues by implementing the following:
- Donate to a specific cause based on revenue occurring during the announced period of support
- Gift money, goods, or time to help non-profit organizations, groups, or individuals
- Provide volunteer services for the community.
- Conduct business practices that protect the environment, human rights, and animal rights.
Many companies have achieved exceptional sales and profit gains by adopting and practicing a form of societal marketing concept Called "cause-related marketing." Cause-related marketing is an activity or set of actions by which a company with an image, product, or service builds a relationship or partnership with a’ cause' or number of 'causes' for mutual benefit.
Most companies see cause-related marketing as an opportunity to enhance their corporate reputation, raise brand awareness, increase customer loyalty, build sales, and increase press coverage.
They firmly believe that customers will increasingly look for signs of good corporate citizenship that go beyond supplying rational and emotional benefits. The cause and effects of marketing extend beyond the company and the consumer to society as a whole.
It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.
— Warren Buffet
Social responsibility also calls for marketers to consider their role in terms of social welfare carefully. The real question is whether all the companies that do an excellent job of satisfying consumer wants are acting in the best-long-run interests of consumers and society.
An example of socially responsible marketing is TOMS. TOMS is a shoe company with comfortable and stylish products, and they donate a pair of shoes to people in need every time they sell a product. However, TOMS is not into philanthropy just for brand recognition, it's a vital part of their business' core mission.
TOMS uses persuasion, over manipulation, in their marketing. They may appeal to your emotions, that's certain, but there is more to their marketing than emotion. There is social value.
TOMS gives to those less fortunate consistently. They deliver clean drinking water to those in need. Instead of convincing you that their shoes are the current fashion, TOMS uses socially responsible marketing to do something good for the world. In turn, their products receive overwhelming support.
The idea behind integrated marketing is simple—create a seamless and unified experience for your customers across your marketing channels. Implementing this type of strategy, however, requires an in-depth understanding of holistic marketing.
The essence of integrated marketing is to assemble fully integrated marketing programs to create, communicate, and deliver value to customers using the company's resources, partners, and employees holistically.
Integrated marketing communications is a way of looking at the whole marketing process from the viewpoint of the customer.
— Philip Kotler
By coordinating messages across channels, increasing brand awareness, familiarity, and favorability, purchase intent is far higher than when taking a less integrated approach that fails to blend these aspects.
The different types of an integrated marketing campaign include:
- Paid media (offline advertising, direct marketing, and online display and programmatic)
- Earned media (Organic search fuelled by content marketing, SEO, PR, and online influencer outreach)
- Owned media (including social media, on-site UX, customer service, and direct messaging through email and mobile)
Whether you're marketing through print media, radio, tv ads, or online, the goal is to keep a consistent design, message, and theme across marketing channels.
Many companies have seen successful campaigns by honing in on an exceptional content, direction and story. Simultaneously working their message across multiple marketing channels and finding their target market within and throughout these channels is key.
An integrated communication strategy involves communication options that reinforce and complement each other.
A marketer may employ television, radio, print advertising, public relations, events, and e-advertising so that each contributes on its own and improves the effectiveness of others. It has a synergic influence.
Performance Marketing is a broad term that refers to online marketing and advertising programs. Advertisers pay marketers and influencers through quantifiable metrics such as sales, leads, or clicks.
It also refers to the practice of looking at marketing metrics closely to ensure your company is taking the right approach and that the whole team is on board—ready and willing to make adjustments to the strategy based on metrics and data.
Performance marketing is all about results. Understanding the most commonly used strategies and the most frequently measured actions could help you find the right approach.
Here are the most common examples of performance marketing:
- Cost Per Impression (CPM): The amount an advertiser pays for every view.
- Cost Per Click (CPC): The amount an advertiser pays per click.
- Cost Per Sale (CPS): The amount an advertiser pays when an advertisement directly generates a sale.
- Cost Per Lead (CPL): The amount an advertiser pays per sign-up or form submission.
- Cost Per Acquisition (CPA): The amount an advertiser pays when a specific action, such as a sale, a form completion, or a click, occurs.
This results-driven approach can benefit both retailers and affiliates. Successful campaigns can facilitate that special double-thank-you moment we all look for in business relationships.
Performance marketing has overcome the traditional value proposition of advertising and allows for real-time ROI analytics.
Performance marketing suggests you focus on the performance aspect of marketing. Periodically look at the data and analyze your investments. By finding which tactics worked best and which tactics align with your company values, you can optimize, rinse, and repeat.
To be effective and yield results for your business, performance management must be a year-round process with no end.
— Teala Wilson
Applying holistic marketing to your internal departments
This table shows the importance of holistic marketing to each specific department. As you can see, all departments should be aware of the internal goals and mission of the company and retain that information as a primary focus.
Also, Each department has more responsibilities depending on which area of holistic marketing is being utilized. This table is a visual representation of how you can use that information to navigate this complex marketing system.
The better we understand the complexities of holistic marketing, the better the company.
Benefits of Holistic Marketing
Helps achieve focus & direction
To survive and thrive in today's hyper-competitive market, your company needs to unite by being consistent with the same focus and direction.
The marketing and sales departments can't be the only people focused on the end goal. The result is to create a great customer experience, champion a societal cause, have excellent workplace culture, a consistent design, message, or any combination of these aspects. Sounds easy, right?
There are many different forms of marketing, and if you ask 20 different marketers which is the best, you will probably get 20 different answers. Some will swear by content marketing, others will swear by celebrity marketing, Some will talk about brand marketing, and even others will swear by viral marketing.
By introducing a holistic marketing approach, you believe the whole is greater than its parts.
When you apply these holistic marketing methods to your marketing strategy, you gain the opportunity to strengthen your company's focus and direction.
Aligning your mission and goals by championing innovation and communication will help those natural leaders rise to the top. Sharing a sense of purpose and responsibility and balancing that with individual happiness can help a company move forward and keep everyone on the same page.
Keeps customers happy & satisfied
We are moving into a new era of marketing, one that benefits both the customer, society, and the company. As processes align and products and services become hyper-competitive, customer service and user experience take precedent—this means customers are choosing brands based on their attributes and characteristics rather than prices. We are moving towards marketing trends that put the customer and the community first.
Having a holistic marketing approach means you equally focus on customer retention and customer acquisition. Ensuring your brand facilitates customer satisfaction, loyalty, and brand awareness.
Attracts new business
A holistic marketing approach can give you an overview of what works best and what doesn't for your particular market. Testing different marketing strategies allow you to scale up and down your marketing resources accordingly.
Customer acquisition is more critical than ever. With attention spans becoming shorter and customers becoming more time conscious, you need to keep customers coming in, but you also need to keep them engaged. That means the sales team should be aware of the customer journey and what happens after closing the sale. His knowledge shouldn't end there, and the organization should consistently promote and understand the company's mission holistically.
Maintains a professional company image
Employees who align on company goals can stay unified on their approach. When everyone understands the do's and don'ts of the company and sees the purpose enacted not just through policy but through company culture, it creates a professional image and representatives who work towards a common goal.
Helps you differentiate from competitors
Having clarity and purpose of the company’s mission helps you establish a unique direction. Your company's unique perspective should align with the company's mission, which should be more than just a profitable company.
Grows your business
When your company's goals align with your employees and your customers, you will start to receive passionate people who gravitate towards your company. People who also believe in your mission will want to join the company because they believe in its mission—giving everyone a higher purpose focusing on more than profit margins.
Creates the right environment for success
A company that successfully unites these holistic marketing principles will foster an environment for people to thrive. Also, when the company has a shared purpose, you will weed out people who don't align with your mission reasonably quickly—creating an environment that meets the standards your company set.
A holistic marketing strategy requires strong leadership and a dedication to a company’s mission—a well-established and purpose-driven mission. It involves a deep understanding of why the company truly exists and how that affects its customers, partners, employees, and society.
No matter what marketing path you choose to take, make sure it resonates with your brand and audience. Not all of us have the same budgets or resources, so being creative and collaborative is key. Also, finding a great team to help you along the way can make all the difference.
At BeNatural Marketing, we create custom marketing solutions that grow your business with a knowledgeable, responsive, and creative team. We specialize in helping our clients make the most out of a holistic marketing approach.
If you need expert marketing services, contact us. We want to know more about your business.
BeNatural Marketing takes a holistic marketing approach, which is a full stack marketing solution to grow your brand naturally. Whether you want an outsourced marketing team or would like to lean on our expertise and resources to help your current team, we’re here to help. ∎