We talk a lot about professional marketing principles around here. That’s why I’m going to share a bedrock marketing principle that I think needs to be brought into the online marketing world: holistic marketing.
We talk a lot about professional marketing principles around here. That’s why I’m sharing a bedrock marketing principle that I think needs to be brought into the online marketing world: holistic marketing.
It’s taken professional marketers a while to arrive at holistic marketing. For example, in the mid-20th century, the most popular marketing principle was that you just want to produce things as cheaply as possible. Fortunately, we’ve gone through multiple phases since those early days of modern marketing to arrive at holistic marketing.
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Holistic Marketing In A Nutshell
Holistic marketing is the concept that there are massive interdependencies between nearly everything you do in marketing your business. And this applies not only to things that you might think of as marketing but also to broader concepts.
The idea is that there are multiple interconnections and you have to take a holistic view of the entire process and all of the different aspects so that you create an effective marketing program.
There are four different aspects of holistic marketing. Let’s dive in and define what they are.
Relationship marketing is the concept of understanding that your relationship with your customers, employees, partners, and the financial community matters deeply. A big part of marketing is building and maintaining those relationships.
Integrated marketing is the concept that says you understand that everything you’re doing is integrated into one flow. Communications, products, and services are part of it, including the channels and the price. You think of all of that as an integrated whole. Instead of thinking of one part, you think of it altogether as an integrated marketing flow.
Internal marketing isn’t something that many people think about, but marketing to your internal business is important.
While this applies mainly to bigger teams, your first job as a marketer is to market to your internal team. That means you need to get all of your people on board with your vision for your business. Your marketing plan plays a big role in this.
Performance marketing refers to how the various aspects of your marketing come together.
You’re thinking about different levels from sales and revenue, brand equity, product equity, ethics, the environment, legal, social, and more. Since all of these aspects are critical to the long-term success of your business, it’s important to think of them as part of your marketing strategy.
The impact of your stance on ethical marketing, the effect you have on the environment, your compliance in legal matters, all of these things are part of a holistic marketing approach.
Why You Need A Broad Understanding of Marketing
It’s important to understand that the prevailing thought among professional marketers is that you have to think of all of the concepts above as part of your marketing mix and how you manage your marketing.
Unfortunately, most online marketers aren’t doing that. Instead, they simply think of marketing as marketing communications, but that’s only one small piece of marketing. It’s time to think more broadly.
Steps To Expand Your Understanding Of Marketing
Recognizing the importance of all your business relationships is a powerful first-level shift.
From there, you have to think of an integrated approach to pricing, products, development, and communications. Understanding that you should be thinking about these pieces as a whole is important.
You might not want to take a stand on certain issues. That’s fine, but you should recognize that more businesses understand that impact is an accepted part of marketing. This is especially the case for smaller businesses that focus on connection and personal relationships with customers.
The reality is that your view of ethics, morality, what’s right, and so on, will inform much of what you do in your business and affect the people who want to do business with you.
People will take a stand on what businesses they support. That means as a business owner, you should feel free to take a stand for things you care about. This is an important part of holistic marketing, and understanding why that’s happening is crucially important.
Holistic marketing is the concept that everything matters and that you need to take a big picture view, think it through, have a plan, and be willing to make strategic and tactical decisions based on all of these different pieces.
Marketing is a big concept. It’s not just about advertising or how you communicate with your customers. Rather, it’s about understanding all these different aspects of your business and looking at them as a whole.
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