What is Holistic Marketing and Should Your Small Business Use It?

What is Holistic Marketing and Should Your Small Business Use It?

What is holistic marketing? Holistic marketing refers to a marketing strategy that considers the whole of a business. And all the different marketing channels as a system. Under a this approach, a business with different departments comes together. As a result, departments collaborate in interconnected marketing activities.

Holistic marketing creates a united and positive business image. So it encourages customers to purchase a business’s products or services rather than going to a competitor.

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Do you own a small business or are you thinking about starting one. Then this strategy can increase efficiency and provide opportunities for growth.

Take a look what holistic marketing is. And decide whether your small business should use it.

What is Holistic Marketing?

what is holistic marketing

Holistic marketing considers a business and all its parts. It sees a business as one entirety. As a result, it gives a shared aim and purpose for each activity within a business. And to everyone related to it. It thinks about a business’s place in the wider society. For example where does a business fit into the broader economy. And how does it impact the lives of its customers.

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Think of the human body that can only function when all parts are working together. In the same way, holistic marketing understands all the different parts of a business need to work together to operate at its optimum.

Consequently, this approach drives towards the alignment of your business’s processes, services, systems and customer touch points. This creates a consistent and seamless customer experience on multiple channels.

Holistic Marketing Vs Traditional Marketing

holistic marketing

Traditional marketing, which has been the staple for businesses for decades, focuses predominantly on promoting a specific product or service to a targeted audience using established channels like television, radio, print media, and later, digital ads. This method is linear and often isolated, with each campaign or strategy standing alone without necessarily taking into consideration other aspects of the business.

The goal of traditional marketing is often direct and short-term, aimed at achieving immediate sales or increasing awareness about a particular product or campaign.

On the other hand, holistic marketing adopts a more comprehensive view, weaving together every aspect of marketing communication and considering the business as an integrated whole. It emphasizes the interrelationships between product development, customer service, sales strategies, and every other business function.

Rather than isolated campaigns, holistic marketing seeks to ensure consistency across all channels and touchpoints, both internal and external. It prioritizes long-term brand building and customer relationships over immediate sales.

While traditional marketing may sometimes neglect the broader societal context in which a business operates, holistic marketing contemplates the company’s role and impact in the larger societal and economic ecosystem.

Feature/AspectTraditional MarketingHolistic Marketing
Primary FocusPromoting a specific product or service to a targeted audience.Weaving together every aspect of marketing communication and the business as a whole.
MethodologyLinear and isolated campaigns or strategies.Consistent and integrated approach across all business functions and touchpoints.
Channels UsedTelevision, radio, print media, digital ads.All available channels, ensuring consistency and integration in messaging.
Campaign ApproachIndividual campaigns that stand alone.Comprehensive campaigns that consider all aspects of the business and ensure consistent communication.
GoalDirect and short-term, e.g., immediate sales or product awareness.Long-term brand building and fostering customer relationships.
Perspective on BusinessViews each campaign or strategy without necessarily considering other aspects of business.Views the business as an integrated whole, emphasizing interrelationships between all business functions.
Societal ContextMay overlook the broader societal context in which the business operates.Deeply contemplates the company's role and impact in the larger societal and economic ecosystem.

Principle Components of Holistic Marketing

There are four main components within a holistic marketing model, each of which plays an important role in bringing everything together for a business.

Internal Marketing

what is holistic marketing

Internal marketing refers to the internal management of system, the marketing department and the collaboration between the marketing department and other departments.

Integrated Marketing

Integrated marketing is an approach that ensures consistency of message and the complementary use of media. It encompasses a holistic view of all marketing activities, ensuring that all are in alignment and work together effectively.

At its core, integrated marketing seeks to blend the traditional ‘Four Ps’ of marketing – Product, Price, Place, and Promotion – with a focus on communication strategies to reach consumers in an impactful manner.

Performance Marketing

Performance marketing is a comprehensive approach that prioritizes measurable outcomes. Unlike traditional marketing, where expenses are incurred upfront with outcomes anticipated later, performance marketing ensures that businesses pay only for successful transactions, such as leads, sales, or clicks.

This approach provides a transparent and cost-effective way for businesses to measure the return on their marketing investments. Key aspects of performance marketing include:

  • Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising: This involves advertisers paying a fee each time their ad is clicked. It’s a way of buying visits to your site, rather than attempting to “earn” those visits organically. Google Ads is a notable platform for PPC.
  • Affiliate Marketing: Here, businesses reward external partners (affiliates) for generating traffic or sales through the affiliate’s marketing efforts.
  • Search Engine Marketing (SEM): This covers efforts such as PPC and other initiatives that ensure a brand or product appears at the top of search engine results, thereby increasing visibility.
  • Content Marketing with Performance Metrics: Not just creating content, but measuring its performance through metrics like engagement, leads generated, and conversion rates.
  • Native Advertising: Paid content that matches the platform it’s on but is labeled as “sponsored.”
  • Social Media Advertising: Paid promotions on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc., where you can set specific performance targets.
  • Email Marketing with Defined KPIs: Sending targeted email campaigns and measuring their success rate in terms of open rates, click-through rates, and conversions.

Relationship Marketing

Relationship marketing is centered on the relationship you have with your customers, employees, partners and competitors.

By considering these four different principle components, holistic marketing allows you to create a comprehensive business plan that covers the whole business system.

Examples of Holistic Marketing

Apple is one example of a company that successfully uses holistic marketing. Everything from how the products are developed with the customer in mind, to the stores being branded in a recognizable fashion, to the customer service being extremely quick, efficient and polite, Apple could be considered a master in using this strategy.

Heineken is another example of a brand that used this approach to successfully reinvent its image. Rather than focusing on the beer, Heineken centered its marketing efforts around four themes – engagement, exposure, interaction and relationships, including promoting its eco-friendly approach to brewing beer.

Small Businesses and Holistic Marketing

Taking a comprehensive, holistic approach to marketing that incorporates every aspect of a business and everyone in it, is all very well if you’re a globally-recognized brand with an endless marketing budget, but will this type of marketing work for your small business?

The good news is that this strategy needn’t be as expensive as you think and can offer great returns on investment.

Rather than solely focusing on one aspect of marketing for your business, such as giving a social media campaign a boost, holistic marketing considers everything, from improving customer service to rethinking your pricing strategy.

Re-evaluating the whole of your business doesn’t need to cost the earth and can bring back good returns on investment quickly.

Benefits of Holistic Marketing

Creates cohesiveness

Rather than presenting diverging and conflicting information in different areas of your brand, holistic marketing brings your brand effectively ‘under one roof,’ presenting greater consistency and cohesiveness for your customers, even if you’re a small business.

Encourages Social Responsibility and Ethical Practices

Holistic marketing doesn’t just look inward; it looks outward to the broader societal and environmental impact of the business. In an era where consumers are becoming more conscious of the ethical and environmental footprints of the brands they support, a holistic approach naturally aligns a business’s strategies with social responsibility.

By considering the company’s role in the larger societal context, holistic marketing often leads businesses to adopt more sustainable, ethical, and community-friendly practices, thereby enhancing their reputation and appeal in the market.

Facilitates Synergy Between Departments

what is holistic marketing


By nature, holistic marketing requires various departments within a business, from product development to customer service, to operate in tandem.

This collaborative approach breaks down silos, leading to improved communication, better idea-sharing, and the identification of common goals. When all departments work cohesively with a unified vision, it can lead to streamlined processes, innovative solutions, and a more nimble response to market changes.

Garners Good Results

what is holistic marketing

Holistic marketing makes a brand more consistent and cohesive across all aspects, marketing channels and messages. As a result, holistic marketing can help your small business get more out of its marketing efforts.

All businesses possess different features which must be assessed and evaluated. It doesn’t matter how big or small they are. So, businesses need a holistic marketing approach. Include the different systems, services, processes and customer touch points. The process can prove advantageous to small businesses as well as larger companies.

Enhances Brand Loyalty

Holistic marketing inherently understands and caters to the entire customer journey, not just a specific transaction. By ensuring that all touchpoints of a brand resonate with the same message and values, it fosters a deeper connection between the brand and the consumer.

Over time, this consistency in message and ethos fosters trust, translating to increased brand loyalty among customers. Even for a startup or a local venture, this can make the difference between a one-time purchase and a lifetime customer.

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Gabrielle Pickard-Whitehead Gabrielle Pickard-Whitehead is a professional freelance writer and journalist based in the United Kingdom. Since 2006, Gabrielle has been writing articles, blogs and news pieces for a diverse range of publications and sites. You can read "Gabrielle’s blog here.".

One Reaction
  1. It is all about generating good results for your business by using a variety of marketing methods. It is by doing this will you find the most effective tool for your business.

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