• Sarah Hegland

Holistic Marketing vs. Conventional Marketing

What makes holistic marketing unique? To look at things holistically is to understand them as interdependent parts of a whole. Holistic marketing:

  1. Acknowledges that your business is interdependent with everyone and everything on earth, from suppliers to customers to the earth's resources. Interdependence means that our relationships with others matter, and that our marketing must be based on truth, trustworthiness, and respect. Conventional marketing sees a business as separate and disconnected from others, and therefore believes that it’s okay to lie, exaggerate, and manipulate others for one’s own personal gain.

  2. Integrates marketing with every part of your business, because the goals of solving problems and building trust are inseparable from your daily work. In conventional forms of marketing, there's a separate Marketing Department, and its work is viewed as external to the core of a business’s work. As in “We’ll develop the product now and market it later.” Holistic marketing says, “Every aspect of our work is about our relationships with others, and we factor that into everything we say and do.”

Holistic marketing aims to build healthy relationships as the foundation of your business's growth, seeing profitability as the inevitable outcome of these relationships. Conventional marketing seeks profit first and relationships second. When you serve your audience's needs and treat them well, your growth is steady and organic.

There are two downsides to holistic marketing: First, you can’t market something that you don’t believe in, because it would be disingenuous. And second, you can't contract it out to a third party and expect long-term gains. Businesses that use holistic approaches are integrating these questions into every part of their work:

  • How are we building relationships with people?

  • What are our intentions here?

  • What problems are we solving?

  • What are the gifts we're offering?

  • Can we empower people more?

  • Are we telling the truth?

  • Are we listening well?

  • Can we be kinder?