Holistic – it is characterization of the parts of something as interconnected that is explicable only by reference to the whole. Marketing – the business or action in business of promoting and selling products or services that includes market research and advertising.
Here are two separate definitions that when put together merge to define the process of marketing in reference to today’s economy and its consumers.
Culture and even science has made us all believe that as left-brain dominant is logical methodical and analytical. There are more specifics on the laterality of our brains, which can translate into the choices we make. For example, left-brained people are likely to be dog overs, and prefer classical music. The right hemisphere on the other hand is associated with cognitive skills, such as creativity, emotions, and intuitiveness.
So that is when we separate our hemispheres, which come together via the Neocortex. How does all of this neuroscience relate to marketing you may ask? Well, if we think of the markets, consumers, and ROI, the best and most effective methods would take these two separates and make them coexist. This is why good marketing needs to be holistic.
ON MARKETING AND THE WHOLE
As marketers we cannot think of only the left-brainers; creating campaigns that target only them. We should say why a product should be used. Why a consumer needs it. Why this is the best brand for this said product. That does not mean that the aspects of the right brain are not important. In fact, what advertising or marketing has ever been done that is not creative? What about intuitive? We want to make consumers see and feel the product even before they have it in their possession. So a right brain approach of user-generated-content, or a storyline for a 30 second video, or some creative copy will become the hero – the product will become the hero, it will be purchased, and a loyal customer relationship is well on its way.
Going back to the metaphor of neuroscience and the left and right brain, we as consumers are not only one or the other. A lot of what we do on a daily basis, and the choices we make that we consider to be spearheaded by only one side are actually being done by both. The majority of people are actually equal on both sides. This sheds some light on the marketing tactics we should be using, and how we should apply this same holistic approach we use for our decisions to our marketing.
To reach consumers and hold their interest marketers need to apply both these perspectives and meet in the middle. The facts behind analytics and data altogether are what consumers need and want. What they look for all around the Internet before they make an initial decision to make any contact. That is one half, but the other half matters as well. The storyline, graphics, creative copy, powerful animations, all of those things capture a consumer’s interest and keep them.
CONSUMERS LIKE TO THINK LESS AND DO MORE
Steve Krug’s book Don’t Make Me Think is very popular, until this day, and that is because consumers want to think as little as possible. We are inundated with information of every kind. Our email inboxes are extensive enough that we sometimes do not even open some of them. That being the case of our usual behavior, marketers want to make the purchase process, and the path through that consumer and purchase funnel as seamless as possible. If we want our prospects to become customers, and customers to become evangelists facts and figures, logical numbers will not be enough.
In marketing the pretty face of a good user experience matters. Consumers want to be amused and entertained. They want to believe in the products and brands they purchase and become loyal to. The story behind the brand is how you gain their trust. Once you gain their trust they will listen to you, and once they listen they will buy. Gaining their trust, you also gain their loyalty. They become retainer clients. Those are the best clients because it’s much more difficult to get new ones than keep the ones you already have. Consider how gaining a new client is also more expensive and less cost-effective. Your ROI starts to really rise when they become retainer clients.
Some brands are lagging because they are not using these two approaches. They are not being consumer-holistic, and so they are targeting but only doing it half way. Targeting consumers is not only about what they like and will buy. You need to also consider how all consumers come together and relate to one another, like for example in appreciating good copy, good quality, a seamless user experience. All of those things, regardless if you are a gamer or a maker apply to everyone. The details are what matter, but the details are in the whole, not solely in a few parts.