Marketing is a very diverse field. So it is difficult to tell the best marketing approach. Some people will prefer viral marketing, while some will go with brand marketing, others may go by channel marketing, some by celebrity marketing, and yet others will swear by content marketing.
At the same time, the marketing environment has undergone a lot of changes. With the rise of the internet and issues such as hyper-competition, globalization, and social responsibility, traditional marketing approaches are no longer effective. In light of these changes in the marketing environment and in the way we do business today, the best and most effective marketing approach is to approach it from a holistic perspective. Let's understand the holistic marketing concept.
Concept of Holistic Marketing
Holistic marketing is a business marketing philosophy that considers business and all its parts as one single entity and gives a shared purpose to every activity and person related to that business. This is a marketing tool through which each and every department and person is working towards ensuring the success of one certain goal at that particular time. From R&D to HR, Operations to Sales every department/function should have one goal.
Holistic marketing recognizes that ‘everything matters’ with marketing and that a broad, integrated perspective is necessary to attain the best solution. The holistic approach to marketing is based on the premise that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
Example of Holistic Marketing
Coca-Cola is the best example of Holistic Marketing. They drafted their entire plan of marketing on one goal – Happiness. They did not just market their product, but they marketed Happiness. Based on that one goal, Coca-Cola wanted to promote Happiness. The strategy was very smart, Happiness is one of the most cherished of all. They added ‘Taste the Feeling’ with that brand. They showcased in a way, whenever you are happy, have a Coke. This marketing strategy was bang on. It resulted in the massive growth of the company since then.
This is one of the examples. If you look around you will find many great examples of Holistic Marketing like McDonald’s, Google, etc.
Features of Holistic Marketing Philosophy
- Common Goal: Holistic marketing concept believes that the business and all its parts should focus on one single goal which is a great customer experience.
- Aligned activities: All business activities, processes, communication, and services should be aligned towards the achievement of the common goal of providing a great customer experience.
- Integrated activities: All activities and processes within the business should be designed and integrated in such a way that they work in concert to provide a consistent, uniform, and seamless customer experience.
Need for Holistic Marketing
Today, the customer mindset is changing. Wealth is becoming lesser and debt is high. Thus customer purchases are being made after lots of thinking. Customers search offline as well as online for the right product and have good knowledge of the product before they purchase. It is likely that the customer has already made a purchase decision even before he enters the showroom. Thus holistic marketing concept is needed at this hour to ensure that the customer chooses your product over everyone else.
Components of Holistic Marketing
In the past, marketing typically followed a linear “one-to-many” communication model where the company broadcasted information through one channel to many customers. But today, this model has become obsolete.
Holistic marketing focuses on marketing strategies designed to market the brand to every person related to it, be it employees, existing customers, or potential customers, and communicating it in a unified manner while keeping in mind the societal responsibility of the business.
To ensure that there is a unified message despite the broad channels through which customers learn about and interact with your business, the holistic marketing approach has five different components that come together to unify your company’s brand image.
1) Relationship Marketing- This component of holistic marketing is focused on building strong and long-lasting relationships with all stakeholders who can directly or indirectly influence the success of the business. These include customers, employees, shareholders, suppliers, channel partners, regulatory bodies, and financial institutions.
The aim of relationship marketing is to focus on marketing activities that create a strong, emotional bond between the business and these stakeholders and cultivate loyalty from them, rather than simply interacting with them only during transactions.
2) Integrated Marketing- Integrated marketing is an approach to create a unified and seamless experience for the consumer to interact with the brand by designing and directing all communication (advertising, sales promotion, direct marketing, public relations, and digital marketing) in such a way so that all work together as a unified force and centers around a strong and focused brand image.
Ensuring that all the marketing communication is in sync helps deliver an efficient and effective message to potential customers and projects a strong and focused brand image.
3) Internal Marketing- There are two types of customers to every business: internal and external. While focusing on external customers should be a top priority for every business, internal customers should not be left unnoticed as these internal customers (employees) play a vital role in marketing the brand and products to the external customers of the business.
Internal Marketing treats employees and staff as internal customers who must be convinced of a company’s vision and worth just as aggressively as external customers. It also involves crafting processes that make them understand their role in the marketing process.
4) Socially Responsible Marketing- This aspect of the holistic marketing concept involves a broader concern of society at large. It requires the business to follow certain business ethics and focuses on partnerships with philanthropic and community organizations. A business is considered as a part of society and is required to repay the same.
Socially responsible marketing encourages a positive impact on the company’s stakeholders.
Wrapping Up, the holistic marketing philosophy, by focusing on the big picture, creates a synergy that effectively reinforces the brand message, brand image, and positions the brand uniquely in the minds of the customers. With the changing face of the business environment and increased competition, the holistic marketing concept has emerged as one of the greatest ways for businesses to remain competitive.
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