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Data 101: What is Holistic Marketing?

Lucas Stewart

Modern marketing is fragmented. Marketers are expected to operate more and more tools to deliver on awareness, engagement and conversion metrics– and then report holistically to monitor goal progress and share insights into what’s working, what’s not and what’s been learned. The proliferation of marketing technology marketers are using to operate these programs tends to silo marketing teams by their tools. From CRM to email, and paid search to programmatic, marketers of different stripes can start to speak in different dialects if left solely to their program expertise.

Holistic marketing is the concept that all parts of marketing are interconnected to deliver on common marketing goals– and a seamless customer experience. On the data side, this means that all data types of varying formats and locations must be integrated and unified, to create a single view of marketing performance. From the people side, it means making the right information accessible to the marketing organization as a whole– across media teams, digital marketers, brand marketers, analysts, customer insights, ecommerce and the CMO (or Chief Growth Officer).  And tactically, when all teams are reporting on the same goals this means their performance must be able to run through a consistent, scalable reporting structure.

Holistic marketing is a crucial concept in today’s omnichannel world. But how does it look in practice? The following are examples of how to implement holistic marketing in your organization– to connect your data and people.

Move from Spreadsheets to Automation

One of the most common starting points for measurement is spreadsheets.  But marketers quickly find that a manual approach to holistic marketing means too many hours of work just to compile the information.  By the time the process it’s done, the data is effectively out-of-date.  Data integrity becomes a big issue too due to errors and adding new data questions and views grinds to a halt sooner than later.  That’s why step one for data driven marketers is to automate their data aggregation and marketing dashboards.  Instant access of trusted data relieves the siloes and opens up massive time to start using information in instant reporting and everyday optimizations.

Unify your KPIs

Unify KPIs across marketing programs, to compare apples to apples on what’s most effective at affecting your marketing metrics. (Tip: these can be goals like brand awareness; consideration or revenue.) This way, you can determine the effectiveness of your marketing programs and easily make strategic changes based on the metrics aligned with your goal.  This might mean reach, share of voice, engagement, site visitors, conversions or online or offline sales.

Market Omnichannel

Your mix likely includes elements of SEO, SEM, email, social and programmatic. Measuring your  programs, campaigns and content with a multi-channel perspective can reveal new areas to double down investment– or scale back. This practice also helps with a fundamental (but often overlooked) rule of omnichannel marketing: getting in the habit of standardized campaign naming conventions. This will clear up a major headache when reporting across platforms, programs, and locales, and is a crucial step to adopting a unified, data-driven approach in your marketing efforts.

Celebrate Teams

The concept of holistic marketing goes way beyond a technical unification of data sources. It’s more important than ever to create a team mentality, in an environment where marketers are becoming  siloed by disparate systems, data, and specializations. People who share the same goals will more readily communicate, and more easily understand cross-channel performance. Ensure your team leaders are on the same page with what metrics matter. And beyond strategic meetings– having a data driven perspective means you can take everyone out for happy hour once in a while to celebrate measurable successes and teamwork.

Part technical and part strategic concept, holistic marketing builds more awareness and cohesion between your teams. It’s a multidimensional effort that will make marketing reporting, success, and course-correction so much easier.

Want to learn more about the data side of holistic marketing? Read our whitepaper, 7 Steps to An Integrated Marketing Analytics Strategy.

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