When I first started working in marketing a decade ago, I was quickly thrown into the standard cookie-cutter ways that had been laid out in most business school textbooks. What always bothered me about the traditional marketing process was that it looked good on paper, but the more you began to execute, the more this process drives a wedge between the company and the customer. The customer becomes a number without much consideration to who they actually are and how they feel in relation to the brand. This never sat well with me. After all, I'm a consumer as much as I am a marketer, and making purchases from companies where I feel like a whole and valued person is important to me.
In the last few months, we've experienced a global pandemic and a tipping point in the Black Lives Matter movement. For companies, both of these are calling for more transparency and accountability of a brand to stand on their core values. Neither events are PR opportunities or a way to trend on social media, but instead, necessary for brands to use their voices and take a stand for what is important.
What always bothered me about the traditional marketing process was that it looked good on paper, but the more you began to execute, the more this process drives a wedge between the company and the customer.
Unfortunately, many companies have missed the mark because their values are nothing more than posters in the lunchroom. In order to create a more positive and inclusive world, the future needs companies (both small and large) that can stand firm behind their values and not be afraid to say what's right, regardless of consequences to reputation. What does this all have to do with marketing? You might be familiar with holistic health, but what is holistic marketing?
What is Holistic Marketing?
Think of holistic marketing as taking into account the overall health of an organization and their customers. It is a concept that weaves together not only marketing activities but also a businesses purpose, and the impact they have on their stakeholders and customers. It is taking into account the ecosystem that surrounds the company as much as the desired results from the next Facebook ad, for example.
It's about taking a 10,000-foot view of marketing and not isolating activities by such small measures as a few Facebook ads or an email marketing campaign but rather taking a step back and thinking more broadly about how something may impact the overall health of the business. It's not just about checking a to-do off the list just because or doing things just because they are "supposed to" be done. After all, isn't that what everyone else in business is doing?
Holistic marketing is about creating a proactive marketing strategy that nurtures business goals and feeds customers instead of just enacting a series of reactionary marketing choices. It's about nurturing an environment that is innovative and doesn't lead to burnout and apathy.
Think of holistic marketing as taking into account the overall health of an organization and their customers. It is a concept that weaves together not only marketing activities but also a businesses purpose, and the impact they have on their stakeholders and customers.
Holistic marketing is the process of being intentional about the brand story told to customers that aims to leave a positive impression enhancing their lives through an alignment of values, which is felt through every marketing activity deployed.
By creating a self-sufficient and sustainable Holistic Marketing System, which I've created, companies can gain the clarity of knowing exactly what the benefits of marketing are in order to identify the right marketing activities to invest in. These efforts will maximize time and resources and give business leaders the confidence to delegate either to an in-house team or external marketing partners for the results needed to craft the true impact the company was designed to have in the world.
Why You Should Care
The world is changing, but the role of business is not. The role of businesses is and always will be to add value. As conscious business leaders begin to understand the importance of their customer relationships, they will find that there is true power in building a community to invest in customers over and over again. Being conscious or mindful when it comes to digital marketing activities is just one way to cut through the noise and provide value to current and potential customers.
When business leaders are rooted in the brand values, they are able to tell a clear brand story, (the narrative being told throughout all the customer touchpoints). This allows for a clear path to marketing success that can be built upon again and again. Knowing the ins and outs of a brand's story and the true transformation the brand provides for customers and clients provides a formula for consistently sharing this story regardless of the platform. It allows a marketing strategy to be nimble and responsive when new platforms emerge, which in turn allows the business to be able to continually communicate the brand message because the groundwork has already been laid.
The very near future of marketing is personal. There's no more allowance for hiding behind brands. After all, there are only humans standing behind them. Businesses are created to add value, to support people, to employ people, and to serve people. Communication shouldn't be looked at as anything other than human-to-human communication.
The very near future of marketing is personal. There's no more allowance for hiding behind brands.
Just as one wouldn't go bungee jumping without making sure the ripcord is secure. Why would a company dive into marketing without an intentional, holistic strategy? Investing in a company's values as a vehicle for sharing their brand story and standing up for what is right, is just one aspect of what it means to create a long-term sustainable relationship with your community.
Don't let values die on a poster. By taking a holistic approach to marketing, you can sustain the health of any organization and provide an opportunity to connect personally with current and potential customers and clients.
WRITTEN BYCharlotte Chipperfield