yin-yangSince I’ve adopted the term “holistic marketing” to describe our approach to online marketing, I thought it would be wise to describe in more detail what the concept means to us and how it impacts our decisions.

I. Start With Why

Good marketing should communicate the essence of a company, it’s core values. In my experience, very few companies take the time to really understand why they do what they do. Yes making money is critical, but it can’t be the sole reason a company exists. By that logic, you may as well say people only exist to breathe air.

If you don’t know why your company is special, your potential customers won’t either. Your marketing will be filled with platitudes and cliches like “best customer service” or “lowest prices in town”.

If you’re not convinced that answering the why question is intensely important, just watch the video below. Yes it’s 18 minutes and yes it’s worth it.

II. Every Company Is Unique

At first glance, this seems like a redundant statement after all the “why” business. But look closer and you realize it’s not. Imagine there are two plumbing companies. Both decide that one of their core values is “Positive Community Impact”. They’ll pretty much have the same marketing plan right?

Wrong. A company’s history, location, employees, services, products, org structure, cash flow – everything about it create an entity that’s like no other. That’s why it’s disappointing when other online marketing companies just adopt a “copy and paste” mentality when it comes to managing their clients’ campaigns.

III. One Thing Impacts Everything

An effective marketing strategy evolves over time. It’s the cummalative result of small descisions where every choice aligns with another. Changing the copy on a web page can impact the page’s search engine ranking or the quality score of a PPC ad. Altering the frequency of your email marketing impacts your site traffic and conversion rates.

However, a lot of companies still operate their marketing inititatives in silos. One vendor manages the website, another manages the PPC campaigns, and still another is responsible for increasing the Facebook “likes”. Unless the company has someone in place to coordinate and align everyone’s descisions, the marketing message will become diluted and unfocused.

IV. Do No Harm

Once you understand that all the company marketing is connected, it’s important to quickly identify and isolate bad ideas or campaigns. The audience doesn’t distinguish between your social media marketing, your email marketing, and your mobile marketing. To them it’s just your marketing.

A poorly managed campaign reflects badly on all campaigns and reduces their effectiveness. Practically speaking, investing money in a bad idea also leaves less resources and money for the really good ideas.

V. Marketing Is Decentralized

Someone needs to create, understand, and steward a company’s marketing (Points I – IV). But everyoneis involved in implementing that marketing strategy. Employees contribute not only when they interact with customers, but when they post about their day on Facebook. Customers contribute when they write reviews or tell their neighbors why they like using your company. Competitors contribute when they compare their services to yours on their website. Vendors contribute when they send out a press releases regarding their partnership with you.

So that’s what holistic marketing means to us and why we won’t practice marketing any other way. We’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas. Please leave us your feedback.