What is Holistic Marketing?
Why you should market holistically for long-term sustainability
“The whole is greater than the sum of its parts” — Aristotle
Imagine how effective your marketing would be if all your channels worked seamlessly together—reinforcing your core brand message and promoting key campaigns to engage and inspire your audience. A holistic marketing strategy can achieve this precision. It thinks through each aspect of your marketing and figures out how all the pieces work together. As a result, you’ll provide a meaningful, consistent member experience that rallies people to your organization, drives engagement, and ensures a loyal long-term following.
4 Components of Holistic Marketing
Effective holistic marketing includes four essential components to help you see the big picture of your brand: relationships, integration of all brand touch points, your internal team, and marketing performance.
Given the overwhelming amount of marketing noise your members and prospects face every day, you need more than a slick website or a great offer to win their trust and loyalty. Relationship marketing helps you build meaningful engagement with current members and establish rapport with prospects. It requires you to reach people where they are and provide relevant info, connections, and tools that will meet their individual goals and challenges. Sure, this takes time and effort, but the payoff can be huge.
Cultivate relationships and people will join, attend, and engage because they’re internally compelled and inspired to do so—not because you’ve pushed them or “sold” them on anything. Connect with people on multiple levels: as individuals, based on what they do, continuously over time, directed towards an outcome, everywhere they are (marketing mix). Do this and you will have a steady supply of brand ambassadors who roll up their sleeves to further your industry and organization.
Most people aren’t ready to join your association the first time they hear about you. They need time to get to know you, explore your offerings, and understand your value. Individuals undergo a journey from awareness, to attending your events, to joining as a member. Eventually, they might also become loyal long-term followers.
Integrated marketing means giving members and prospects what they need when they need it to continue on their customer journey. Integrated marketing is about more than just splashing the same slogan, identity, and colors on every marketing channel. It weaves a coherent story through everything the brand does. No matter where someone encounters your organization or where they are in their customer journey, they should get the same seamless brand experience and the same authentic brand story.
To achieve integrated marketing, align your message, communication, and brand images across all marketing channels—online and off. Use marketing automation technology to facilitate this process and to create a cohesive marketing plan instead of silos.
Internal marketing means all departments within your organization are aware of the marketing plan, work to support it, and have access to spreadsheets, calendars, communications, timelines, and budget. Everyone on your internal team must understand your overall vision as well as your individual promotions, standard messages, and current offers. Your team should be deeply familiar with the full range of your offerings and how members benefit from each one.
When your whole team knows the big picture and works toward a common goal, everyone wins. Your members and prospects get a consistent brand experience that meets their needs, and you save time and money by streamlining your efforts.
To know what’s working you must track marketing performance and measure progress toward your goals. Key performance indicators are measurable values that show you how effectively your association is achieving key objectives. Establish KPIs and measure campaign performance to inform next steps, make better decisions, overcome challenges, and achieve your overall mission. KPIs maximize your budget and staff resources while generating better results. They help you use real-time data to make smart decisions for your marketing and your long-term sustainability.
Establish your goals first. Then assign objectives and KPIs. Once you define these parameters, you can begin brainstorming the individual strategies and campaigns that will propel your organization forward.
Why do you need holistic marketing?
With holistic marketing, you can go beyond simply promoting your organization and your offerings. You can rally your base to join together, form a movement, and further your mission. Holistic marketing is a surefire way to inspire and compel people—rather than push them or convince them. While it takes a little more work up front, over the long haul you’ll have a much easier time meeting registration, membership, and retention goals. As an added benefit, you’ll save time and money by integrating your efforts and streamlining your internal processes.