Last Updated on December 14, 2020

The marketing industry has seen dramatic innovations and changes in the past decades. Companies today add new departments and hire employees for positions that didn’t exist 10 years ago. Data specialists, SEO professionals, and brand managers all work to move companies forward. Unfortunately, they don’t always work together.

Smart companies across the globe are adopting a holistic marketing approach to achieve their goals. This reduces the burden on each team while benefiting the brand as a whole. Keep reading to learn about this marketing strategy and how you can adapt it to your business.

What Is Holistic Marketing?

Holistic marketing is a concept where you consider your business or brand and every aspect of it as a single entity. In turn, you emphasize shared goals and a sense of purpose after adopting a mindset that every aspect of marketing matters.

Essentially, this means bringing each marketing element, department, and strategy together to achieve the goals of the business and move the brand messaging forward instead of focusing on problems with one department or one promotion model.

Many marketing experts compare this form of promotion to healthcare. Rather than focusing on a specific illness or a specific part of the body, more medical professionals are looking at the big picture to understand how and why a patient reacts the way they do. For example, instead of just treating anxiety, a medical professional might look at factors like job stress, sleeping habits, and diet to see if the patient’s lifestyle contributes to their anxiety levels.

As you start to see examples of holistic marketing and understand the strategy behind this concept, you can understand why so many people are turning to it and how you can apply holistic practices to your own branding.

Understanding Holistic Marketing Through Fast Food

One of the best ways to understand holistic marketing is through the brands that try to embrace it, with mixed results. One great example of holistic marketing is Arby’s. The company stays true to its brand across almost all channels, isn’t afraid to make snarky comments, and maintains a product line that is focused on simple meat sandwiches. The branding is clear: We sell the meat you want. Whether you are following the brand on Twitter or Instagram, you’re experiencing the same brand message (even though the platform is different). Even when they add new spokespeople, they choose names who would mesh well with their brand, like H. Jon Benjamin — the voice of Archer. Everything is aligned and points toward unified goals.

Conversely, IHOP tried to rebrand and failed with its IHOB marketing stunt. Pretty much everyone knew that the name change was fake (and a terrible idea for the company) as the restaurant tried to promote its burgers. The company was listed as IHOB on Twitter, but most franchises didn’t do much to use the name, and the whole marketing campaign seemed half-baked. You can’t just rebrand overnight on social media.

IHOP thought in the short-term with this marketing plan, focusing on one channel and one problem (a lack of burger sales). This is why IHOB will be a ridiculed ad campaign rather than an admired one.

How Can You Implement a Holistic Marketing Strategy?

If you want to embrace holistic marketing, then you need to bring everyone to the table within your organization. Each initiative needs components from each level of the company and each marketing strategy. Your social team should be aligned with your branding department, your operations team, and your website development team. This makes communication easier, hastens the creation of marketing materials, and ensures that your brand is presented in a unified fashion.

Holistic marketing and integrated marketing are closely aligned. They make sure no department is left behind or unable to participate in a company objective or strategy. This process also makes it easy to understand when a message isn’t working or why a particular channel isn’t driving results.

What Role Do Influencers Play in Holistic Marketing?

The influencers you choose to reflect your brand and can either advance your message or muddle it. Influencers are often the first people outside of your business to take your brand and promote it to others. If your branding is confusing or not a good fit for your influencers, then it’s possible that your campaign is in trouble.

Use your influencers as a bellwether for your campaign. When you have a whole, holistic approach to your marketing, your influencers will understand what you want and will be a natural fit for your campaign. If the influencer choices are wrong or the branding is confusing, then your other marketing channels will likely struggle, as well.

The concept of holistic marketing is still new to many companies, and it could take years before some adopt this idea of brand promotion. However, those that do should see better brand relations with the people they work with, have clearer goals for what makes a campaign a success, and see better results from their marketing efforts. That’s what a clear strategy and effective communication can do for your brand.