What is Holistic Marketing?

  • Post last modified:20 February 2022
  • Reading time:17 mins read

What is Holistic Marketing?

A holistic marketing concept is based on the development, design, and implementation of marketing programs, processes, and activities that recognize their breadth and interdependencies. Holistic marketing recognizes that ‘everything matters’ with marketing and that a broad, integrated perspective is necessary to attain the best solution.

Definition of Holistic Marketing

A holistic marketing concept is based on the development, design, and implementation of marketing programs, processes, and activities that recognize their breadth and interdependencies. Holistic marketing recognizes that ‘everything matters’ with marketing and that a broad, integrated perspective is necessary to attain the best solution.Philip Kotler

Holistic Marketing

The holistic approach to marketing is based on the ground that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. For example, a vehicle’s different parts (engine, wheels, the exhaust system etc) should function properly for the smooth running of the vehicle. Holistic marketing has a similar approach in running of a business organisation.

Earlier, various departments, such as Marketing, Finance, Administration, HR, etc., worked independently. Under the holistic marketing approach, all the departments within the organisation work together towards the common goal of the organisation.

Therefore, the tactic is to have positive brand image, make product attractive enough for purchase, and have integrated marketing communications for the success of a business. Requirements for Holistic Marketing approach to give customer great experience :

  • A common goal : All features of the business should work towards one common goal.


  • Aligned activities : All business activities, processes, communication and services should be united towards that common goal.


  • Integrated activities : All activities and processes should be combined in such a way that they provide a consistent, uniform and continuous customer experience.

Internal Marketing

When all employees in various departments accept the concepts and goals of marketing and realize their prime purpose is to satisfy customers does the company become truly effective. The Marketing Departments are be organized to work effectively with other departments, to bring in creative marketing philosophy across the organisation.

Organizing the Marketing Department

Marketing departments can be organized as :

  • Functional Organisation
  • Geographic Organisation
  • Product Organisation
  • Market Centred Organisation and
  • Matrix Organisation.

Functional Organisation

There are three methods in which the sales force may be organized for direct selling : The product or service can be sold directly to customers or to distributors, wholesalers, retailers or to other middlemen (for indirect selling).

Geographical Organisation

When there is a single product is to be sold in scattered markets, the sales personnel’s area is divided on a geographical basis.

Product Organisation

If there are different products to be sold, the sales force is organized for each product or the product’s group. The bifurcation can be done on the basis of the technical process of the product.

Market–Centered Organisation

Changing the focus from products to customers, firms group together customers’ needs and divide the sales people.

Matrix Organisation


Firms cater differently, when

  • There are different products for different markets (E.g. Product range of ITC – cigarettes, soap, cookies, flour, note books etc)

  • There are same products for different markets (E.g. Cannon – photocopiers to retail market and government organisations)

  • There is the same customer with different needs (E.g. Johnson & Johnson selling different numerous items to children category)

In such cases there may be need to have separate manager for each product. Or, a unique buyer may require the full attention of one sales person.

Therefore, the solution lies in a matrix organisation, where responsibilities may be given on the basis of : functions and products; functions and markets; functions, products and markets.


Components of Holistic Marketing

The components of holistic marketing are:

Courtesy Philip Kotler and Kevin Keller. There are five different components that merge to represent the firm’s brand image.

Relationship Marketing

This component of holistic marketing is focused on building strong relationships with all stakeholders (including the customers, employees,shareholders, suppliers, channel partners, regulatory bodies, and financial institutions) who can directly or indirectly influence the success of the business.

The aim of relationship marketing is to focus on marketing activities that create an emotional bond between the business and stakeholders. The emotional tie brings loyalty that are likely to convert to purchase of the firm’s products and projects a positive brand image even when they are outside the office.

Integrated Marketing

All marketing communication – sales promotions, advertisements, digital marketing, print advertising, direct marketing, public relations, etc. – are integrated to give customers same experience with similar messages. Using an integrated communication strategy means choosing communication options that reinforce and complement each other.

Internal Marketing

In this approach the organisation’s employees are to be treated as internal customers – fully aware about the products and services of the organisation. Employees of all departments need to be involved in the marketing process.

The organisation has to ensure the satisfaction of its employees, through proper training and motivation, and coach them for the organisation’s business values. The internal marketing safeguards against any personal or departmental conflicts.

Socially Responsible Marketing


Holistic Marketing requires the responsibility of the organisation to be extended socially – that is all its activities should be guided by laws, business ethics, society, and environment. Also, the organisation can indulge in socially responsible marketing through Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and philanthropic activities, helping the community as well as improving the organisation’s brand.

Performance Marketing

This marketing is focused on the returns of marketing activities to the business. Marketers can show a return on investment on the funds spent on marketing and subsequently its effect of these marketing activities.


Importance of Holistic The Marketing

The holistic marketing approach has a number of benefits. These include

Brand Building A company’s brand as well as other intangible assets is a large percentage of the company’s market value. As time passes it grows. Also, consumers’ approach to shopping constantly changes. Today, customers pay more attention to the brand than the product.

This shows that there is need to put greater focus on brand building. The holistic marketing approach helps build a stronger brand by projecting a positive and unified image among all the company’s stakeholders and across all the touch points through which customers interact with the brand.

Consistency

Consistence is vital for any brand that wants to remain relevant in the long term. Today, people are conscious on their money spent. Before making any purchase decision, consumers take a lot of care to ensure that they are getting their money’s worth. Without directly engaging the company, consumers research the company and the product both online and offline.

During this research phase, it is crucial to ensure that the customer experience is consistent across all the channels the customer might opt to learn from. Any fault here, the customers might be lost without the organisation even knowing about it.

Holistic marketing also ensures that all touch points through which customers interact with your business are integrated such that they provide a seamless experience to the customer regardless of where the customer is interacting with your business. This consistency helps build customers’ confidence and trust in the brand.

Efficiency

One of the foremost aims of holistic marketing approach is to ensure that all the aspects of the business are working together in harmony towards a common goal.When there is such alignment, it becomes a lot easier to ensure that resources are deployed where they will be most effective.

Having all the aspects working in harmony also reduces the likelihood of duplication of effort, making business processes more efficient and helping the organisation to save money and time.

Finally, when all aspects and departments are working in cohesively, it becomes easier to spot opportunities and take advantage of them, and identify potential risks and address them.

Effectiveness

The holistic marketing approach focuses on the bigger picture rather than on the smaller details. This bird’s eye view creates a powerful synergy that effectively enhances your brand positioning and brand messaging in the eyes of your customers.


Holistic Marketing Framework

The holistic marketing framework is a process that helps organisations use the holistic marketing approach and the interactions between the organisation’s various stakeholders and collaborators to create, renew and maintain customer value.

The holistic marketing framework is comprised of three value– based activities :

Value Exploration

This is the process through which organisations identifies new opportunities for value creation. Here, the organisation needs to have an understanding of how the following three spaces interact together :

  • The consumer’s cognitive space – refers to your customers’ existing and latent needs, as well as other customer dimensions such as the need for freedom, stability, participation and change.

  • The organisation’s competence space – refers to the organisation’s capabilities.

  • The collaborators resource space – refers to the ability of the organisation to partner with other organisation’s to either serve the organisation’s value creation or to exploit market opportunities.

By evaluating how the relationships between these three spaces and how they interact with each other, business can easily identify new opportunities for value creation.

Value Creation

After identifying value creation opportunities during the value exploration stage, the organisation needs to develop value creation skills to take advantage of the opportunity.

In order to do this, marketers need to determine any new benefits the customers want from the customer’s point of view, and then use the organisation’s core competencies and strategic partnerships with collaborators to deliver these benefits.

The key thing during this step is to get into the customers minds and understand how they think. This can be done by observing who the customers interact with, who they admire, and the people that hold the greatest influence over the customers.

Value Delivery

Finally, the organisation needs to actually deliver value to the customers. In most cases, this requires the organisation to make huge investments in both infrastructure and capabilities. The organisation will also need to become competent in managing customer relationships, internal resources, and business partnerships.

This makes it easier for the business to properly respond to customer opportunities. Therefore, the organisation need to be able to able to manage the resources and processes involved in delivering value to the customers. Finally, the organisation needs to be able to manage any business partnerships it will enter into in the delivery of value to customers.


What is Holistic Marketing ?

A holistic marketing concept is based on the development, design, and implementation of marketing programs, processes, and activities that recognize their breadth and interdependencies. Holistic marketing recognizes that ‘everything matters’ with marketing and that a broad, integrated perspective is necessary to attain the best solution. By Philip Kotler.

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