Holistic marketing refers to marketing strategies that take a comprehensive view of the business and treat all marketing channels as one ecosystem in which different marketing channels play a distinct role while being interdependent. The holistic approach also encourages changing your mindset and thinking about how your whole business fits into the broader economy. This approach is great for discovering how a product or service should be marketed and who would benefit from using it.
This way of thinking not ensures that you target the right audience with the right message, which will make your whole marketing more effective, but it also provides great opportunities for growth. Whether you are a yet unknown brand or a medium-size player on the market, at some point you will reach the maximum potential of the “standard marketing mix”, even if it has been bringing you a good ROI for years. It can happen that the potential search demand is already capped and there is no longer an efficient way to scale sales using Google Ads or Bing alone. The solution, then, is to find new channels and gain a greater “marketing presence”, not only in spaces where you already expect your customers to be but also in places where they can learn about your product or service. If the marketing message is there for them (in the right place, at the right time), there is a chance for you to discover new streams of customer acquisition.
When thinking about the digital world specifically, the “holistic approach” might mean that your online marketing efforts should be evaluated from a broader perspective. Here are two points to consider:
- Some online channels are not designed to produce a lot of direct sales and revenue. And that’s okay because it shouldn’t be their goal in the first place. Instead of assessing the performance of every channel with a single metric (CPO, CPL, CPI, etc.), we need to understand the true purpose of a given channel. It would be difficult to expect a lot of direct sales with a high return on investment from a YouTube or Display campaign because people tend not to convert from an online banner. However, utilizing these networks can definitely help strengthen brand awareness, which can later bring more conversions through other marketing channels.
- Holistic marketing is also about creating a cohesive image of a brand. That means that not only your visual communications should be aligned, but also that your TOV (Tone of Voice) and the whole customer experience that people encounter through your advertising should “feel” the same way. Having a coherent communication strategy can impact the perception of your brand, making you appear reliable and trustworthy.
The biggest challenge that we have encountered with that approach over the years is this: how do you find the right metric for evaluating the true contribution of different marketing channels, and how much budget do you allocate for so-called “upper funnel” initiatives. There is no simple answer to that question; however, the right tracking and attribution model is often key to getting a good understanding of the true value of different marketing channels. Also training yourself in seeing and identifying different trends will help get you there. For instance, Facebook Reach and Engagement campaigns can impact your brand searches, and Display remarketing ads can have a great impact on your lower-funnel sales.
Here at MONSOON, we avoid evaluating the performance of a single online channel in isolation. We believe that efficient and meaningful marketing comes from a synergy between different platforms and networks, and we advise our clients to take the same approach.
But what is your view and understanding of “holistic” marketing?