In the words of Kotler, “The Holistic Marketing Concept is based on the development, design and implementation of marketing programs, processes and activities that recognizes their breadth and inter-dependencies ” Holistic marketing is a marketing philosophy that believes ‘everything matters’. This is an approach which proposes that marketing should be looked from a broad and integrated perspective and not as an isolated management function. Holistic marketing not only considers the fact that customers have varying requirements but also caters to these individual customer requirements. This off course demands a detailed identification of customers’ demands and supplying what customers want, when and where they want, at what prices they want and how they want the company’s offerings.
This approach takes into consideration all the various stakeholders of a business including the customers, employees, suppliers, shareholders, the community and the environment also. Any marketing decision is taken considering the perceived impact on the stakeholders. The marketers today need to assure that any decisions made by them do not contradict the decisions made by any other department in the organization. It is only when the resources of the entire organization move towards a common objective; the firms can expect to survive in the current hyper-competitive marketplace. There are four components of holistic marketing: relationship marketing, integrated marketing, internal marketing and societal marketing.
- Internal Marketing: Internal marketing is based on the theme that employees are the internal customers of a firm and their satisfaction is of utmost importance in order to achieve the goal of customer satisfaction. Internal marketing ensures building a skilled and self-motivated workforce and that every member of the organization properly understands the company’s marketing orientation and philosophy towards the customer satisfaction. Internal marketing is also about maintaining harmony and co-ordination among various marketing functions and activities within the organization. There should not be any conflicts within the marketing department or between marketing and other departments because that would somehow negatively affect external marketing also.
- Integrated Marketing: Integrated marketing is based on the proposition that the marketers instead of deciding for individual marketing activities should make an integrated marketing program with the purpose to create, communicate and deliver value for the customers. The aim of integrated marketing is to gain synergy out of all marketing activities and it is only possible when an integrated approach is adopted. It is basically about designing an effective integrated marketing mix executed well to derive synergy.
- Relationship Marketing: Relationship marketing is concerned with building long-lasting relationships with various parties connected to a business including the customers, employees, suppliers, financial institutions, regulatory bodies, competitive firms and the society in general. Relationship marketing is about building relationships with all those who can affect the firm’s success or are capable of adding value to it at any level. The traditional selling approach where the customers and firm interacted only during sales is no more acceptable in current environment. Today the firms need to maintain a regular contact and keep reminding of the brand to the customers. Repeat purchases by the customers demand a strong relationship with them. Relationship marketing suggests not only building relationships but also enhancing them over the time.
- Societal Marketing/ Socially Responsible Marketing: Holistic marketing suggests that the marketer’s responsibility is not limited to the customers but it extends to the society in general. Societal marketing suggests that marketing should consider ethics, society, laws and the environment while designing activities. Any such marketing activities which are economically profitable but socially harmful are strictly restricted under societal marketing aspect of holistic marketing. The marketing should not adopt an irresponsible behavior towards the society. The increasing popularity of societal marketing aspect can be well understood by the larger evidences of corporate social responsibility activities undertaken by most firms now days.
- Kotler, P., Keller, K., Koshy, A. & Jha, M. 13th Edition. (2009). Marketing Management: A South Asian Perspective. Pearson Education, Inc.
- Rao, K. 2nd Edition. (2011). Services Marketing. New Delhi: Dorling Kindersley (India) Pvt. Ltd.