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Holistic Marketing or the Truth Behind these Fancy Words

Updated: Jun 23, 2023

In most cases, when I tell people I specialize in holistic global marketing, this is when they start staring. And they are right. These big, fancy words mean nothing to most people, so it is time to clear the fog.

Holistic marketing is comprehensive, both vast and deep, based on the very basic notion that marketing is in EVERYTHING that we do. No less. Once we understand that, the way to an educated ongoing strategic and tactical journey becomes much smoother. Holistic marketing is an accurate, research-based and well-structured process, leading to tailored plans that suit the organization.

The secret of a holistic marketing strategy is a continuous simultaneous two-channel point of view: high-level overview of the organization’s entire activity vs. diving deep into the details; macro- vs. micro-environment; external marketing vs. internal marketing.

Holistic marketing accurately defines realistic goals and the exact means and ways that will get us there. It prevents unnecessary steps, saves money and most importantly - creates a uniform and stable brand with a positive reputation.

Holistic marketing is as far as it can get from copy-pasting: it is research, a thorough thought process, a complex and never-ending journey that perfectly combines the right choice and its meticulous execution, without compromising on any of them.

Let’s dive in.

1. Marketing is in everything that we do

Marketing is so much more than a few (great) brochures and a website. It is in how we communicate verbally, how we answer emails, how we dress when we go to meetings, how we communicate with one another. It is in the appearance and design of our offices, in how we approach not only existing and potential customers, but also suppliers. We are the brand, and let’s never forget that. When we focus on our external conventional marketing only, abandoning all of the above, we create an empty shell. True connection to our brand will occur once we transform it into a whole.

2. Involvement, involvement, involvement

Know your company, in every possible way. Research about the company starts on day one and never ends. To become reliable and trustworthy, it must include all aspects of the company’s activity: technological, commercial, regulatory, HR, macro-environment, internal capabilities and growth potential, and much more. But it also includes the things that wrongfully tend to be dismissed: personal communication, internal structure, organizational difficulties, loyalty to the brand, involvement and personal responsibility. Most would say that these are insignificant and that is the biggest mistake you can make, as it is, by far, the most important aspect of any company. This is our make or break – our steady foundations for everything we hope to achieve, or a rickety support network that will easily crumble.

Getting to know the company we represent is a true eye opener, providing all pieces of this giant puzzle. Without having this full view, we are simply groping in the dark. Holistic marketing acts as the super glue that brings the pieces together, placing them exactly where they should be.

3. Business development

Business development, by definition, refers to finding new opportunities. To be more specific, it refers to choosing the most relevant geographical regions and analyzing them, searching for suitable distributors that will benefit our brand, seeking fruitful collaborations and partnerships, identifying new exposure opportunities and more.

Holistic marketing offers the unique combination between global marketing and business development. When these two walk hand in hand, the bigger picture is at reach: increasing potential, use of the same language, aiming for the same goals.

4. High-level overview vs. diving deep

Holistic marketing works in two ways, at the same time: zooming out in order to see the entity as a whole, whilst zooming in to see its components.

Zooming out allows us to see everything at once – the company, its environment, what impacts it from the outside, how it integrates into the industry, how it is perceived. We see everything, but we miss the small details, which may be crucial. Zooming out enables to see these details, and the combination between the two provides a comprehensive viewpoint.

Our goal, eventually, is to know as much as possible. Although a cliché, it’s still true – knowledge is power, and knowledge leads to growth.

5. Near- vs. far-future outlook

I’m the biggest believer in 5-year plans. Why, you ask? Because not only do they portray our dreams, they also reflect the realistic ones. When we determine where we want to be 5 years from today, we can plan for it, marching in calculated baby steps towards these goals. Setting future goals creates a clear vision of our path, and most importantly puts us on a specific path. Different goals require different steps so we’d better set these right and as early as possible.

However, far-future outlook on its own involves a risk of being managed by our own plans. Plans are meant to be reviewed, revised and updated on a very frequent basis. The steps we chose last month may not be the best choice next month. But don’t get me wrong, the frame of the plan remains – its content is the one changing.

Holistic marketing combines between the two. Being able to accurately plan towards greater goals, whilst examining what is happening today means we don’t get sucked into plans. We analyze, we measure and we determine how to proceed. This simultaneous outlook enables taking into consideration new trends, global changes, internal changes and anything else that may have direct or indirect impact on our activity.

As Charles Darwin said, It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.

6. Internal vs. external

Most people tend to invest – either time or money – in what others can see. Companies tend to do the same, putting their money into public promotions of their brand with brochures, websites, social media and paid campaigns, creative exhibitions and a well-designed office. These actions, and many others, are considered as external marketing – marketing for any third party – and are crucial for any brand.

Internal marketing focuses on the actual company and its employees. Yes, it includes branded interior design and branded-everything, but that is just a small part. External marketing focuses on people – their level of satisfaction, loyalty to the company and genuine belief in the brand and its products. Are they personally involved? Do they feel responsibility for carrying out their role in this giant machine? Internal marketing has one goal and that is to create harmony – amongst employees and between them and the outside world, creating a vital two-way bridge.

Holistic marketing is always, and with no exceptions, an external-internal fusion. Promoting external marketing only will eventually lead to overbranding, a collection of meaningless words. It is detached.

7. Multi-channel

Holistic marketing is not only about various marketing efforts, but rather about the connection between them. To avoid a situation in which we have a collection of disconnected platforms, each one acting as an independent entity, we create a network of channels that speak the same language, have the same appearance and are as developed. The worst thing we can do is invest in LinkedIn, for the sake of this discussion, and have an outdated, unintuitive website. We cannot invest in graphically designed brochures, and then present the company using a homemade slide deck. The things we do must speak to each other, and most importantly – must all be invested in.

Holistic marketing rules the entire arena – seeing everything, controlling every step, never preferring one chosen platform over the other. Once we have chosen our desired and most suitable platforms, we treat them all the same.

8. Customer centric

Last and definitely not least, and I cannot emphasize this one enough: a customer centric approach is the key. It incorporates all stages of any company’s activity – from the R&D process, through marketing and sales, to support and service. When we focus on our end-users, we automatically aim for the best and most suitable result. Failing to do so plainly means we live in a bubble.

If I had to put this long list into one sentence, I would say that holistic marketing draws a circle, rather than a line. It is a never-ending circular process, with mutual dependencies and impact. And, if I may say, it does wonders.

Moran Faibish

Personalized Global Marketing & Biz Dev Strategist

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