What Is a Holistic Marketing Strategy?

A business may choose to use a holistic marketing approach when they are under the strong belief that all aspects of its marketing strategy are interrelated. Development of marketing programs such as the marketing mix, the design of marketing campaigns, and the implementation of marketing processes are not isolated business functions under a holistic marketing concept. Instead, the business makes marketing decisions and implements campaigns based on reaching a common organizational objective.

The process of holistic marketing takes into account the considerations of stakeholders, customers, employees, suppliers, and the community as a whole when creating and implementing marketing strategies. Holistic marketing has gained in popularity due to the high saturation rate and increased competition in the marketplace. Businesses realize that they can set themselves apart through a holistic marketing approach, while at the same time creating synergy among departments in the organization.

Although strategies for implementation differ from one company to the next, every holistic marketing approach includes four main components: relationship marketing, integrated marketing, internal marketing, and societal marketing.

1. Relationship Marketing

The goal of relationship marketing is to build strong, long-lasting relationships with various stakeholders and other important parties connected to the business. Customers, employees, financing entities, suppliers, vendors, regulatory agencies, and competitive firms are all necessary partners for a business to have and keep. Each has a significant impact on the success or failure of the company. Relationship marketing focuses on establishing relationships with a stakeholder, and it also requires the retention and growth of each relationship over time.

2. Integrated Marketing

Within the integrated marketing component of a holistic strategy, businesses work towards making marketing decisions that create value for stakeholders through a clear, concise marketing message. All activities within integrated marketing, including advertising, public relations, direct marketing, online communications, and social media marketing, work in sync with one another to ensure the company's customers and business partners have the same experience with and perception of the company.

3. Internal Marketing

Internal marketing is aimed at catering to the specific needs of the business's own employees. Internal marketing ensures that employees are satisfied with the work they perform each day as well as the philosophy and direction of the organization as a whole. Greater satisfaction among employees leads to increased customer satisfaction over time, making internal marketing a key aspect of the holistic approach.

In addition to working towards employee satisfaction through internal marketing, businesses use this component of holistic marketing to achieve improved coordination among internal departments. The objective is to reduce departmental conflicts across the business, which leads to greater synergy in marketing activities presented to consumers.

4. Societal Marketing

The last component of holistic marketing is societal or socially-responsible marketing. This component extends a company's reach beyond the customers consuming its product or service to society in general.

Societal marketing is aimed at creating marketing initiatives that are based on ethically sound business practices, such as environmentally-friendly production or meaningful interaction with the surrounding community. Marketing campaigns that are intentionally socially responsible provide another method for businesses to build long-lasting, beneficial stakeholder and partner relationships.