Business 01 July 2020
When I first started working in marketing a decade ago, I was quickly thrown into the standard cookie-cutter ways that had been laid out in most business school textbooks. What always bothered me about the traditional marketing process was that it looked good on paper, but the more you began to execute, the more this process drives a wedge between the company and the customer. The customer becomes a number without much consideration to who they actually are and how they feel in relation to the brand. This never sat well with me. After all, I'm a consumer as much as I am a marketer, and making purchases from companies where I feel like a whole and valued person is important to me.
In the last few months, we've experienced a global pandemic and a tipping point in the Black Lives Matter movement. For companies, both of these are calling for more transparency and accountability of a brand to stand on their core values. Neither events are PR opportunities or a way to trend on social media, but instead, necessary for brands to use their voices and take a stand for what is important.
What always bothered me about the traditional marketing process was that it looked good on paper, but the more you began to execute, the more this process drives a wedge between the company and the customer.
Unfortunately, many companies have missed the mark because their values are nothing more than posters in the lunchroom. In order to create a more positive and inclusive world, the future needs companies (both small and large) that can stand firm behind their values and not be afraid to say what's right, regardless of consequences to reputation. What does this all have to do with marketing? You might be familiar with holistic health, but what is holistic marketing?
What is Holistic Marketing?
Think of holistic marketing as taking into account the overall health of an organization and their customers. It is a concept that weaves together not only marketing activities but also a businesses purpose, and the impact they have on their stakeholders and customers. It is taking into account the ecosystem that surrounds the company as much as the desired results from the next Facebook ad, for example.
It's about taking a 10,000-foot view of marketing and not isolating activities by such small measures as a few Facebook ads or an email marketing campaign but rather taking a step back and thinking more broadly about how something may impact the overall health of the business. It's not just about checking a to-do off the list just because or doing things just because they are "supposed to" be done. After all, isn't that what everyone else in business is doing?
Holistic marketing is about creating a proactive marketing strategy that nurtures business goals and feeds customers instead of just enacting a series of reactionary marketing choices. It's about nurturing an environment that is innovative and doesn't lead to burnout and apathy.
Think of holistic marketing as taking into account the overall health of an organization and their customers. It is a concept that weaves together not only marketing activities but also a businesses purpose, and the impact they have on their stakeholders and customers.
Holistic marketing is the process of being intentional about the brand story told to customers that aims to leave a positive impression enhancing their lives through an alignment of values, which is felt through every marketing activity deployed.
By creating a self-sufficient and sustainable Holistic Marketing System, which I've created, companies can gain the clarity of knowing exactly what the benefits of marketing are in order to identify the right marketing activities to invest in. These efforts will maximize time and resources and give business leaders the confidence to delegate either to an in-house team or external marketing partners for the results needed to craft the true impact the company was designed to have in the world.
Why You Should Care
The world is changing, but the role of business is not. The role of businesses is and always will be to add value. As conscious business leaders begin to understand the importance of their customer relationships, they will find that there is true power in building a community to invest in customers over and over again. Being conscious or mindful when it comes to digital marketing activities is just one way to cut through the noise and provide value to current and potential customers.
When business leaders are rooted in the brand values, they are able to tell a clear brand story, (the narrative being told throughout all the customer touchpoints). This allows for a clear path to marketing success that can be built upon again and again. Knowing the ins and outs of a brand's story and the true transformation the brand provides for customers and clients provides a formula for consistently sharing this story regardless of the platform. It allows a marketing strategy to be nimble and responsive when new platforms emerge, which in turn allows the business to be able to continually communicate the brand message because the groundwork has already been laid.
The very near future of marketing is personal. There's no more allowance for hiding behind brands. After all, there are only humans standing behind them. Businesses are created to add value, to support people, to employ people, and to serve people. Communication shouldn't be looked at as anything other than human-to-human communication.
The very near future of marketing is personal. There's no more allowance for hiding behind brands.
Just as one wouldn't go bungee jumping without making sure the ripcord is secure. Why would a company dive into marketing without an intentional, holistic strategy? Investing in a company's values as a vehicle for sharing their brand story and standing up for what is right, is just one aspect of what it means to create a long-term sustainable relationship with your community.
Don't let values die on a poster. By taking a holistic approach to marketing, you can sustain the health of any organization and provide an opportunity to connect personally with current and potential customers and clients.
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5 min read
Except for 16, I have celebrated all of my milestone birthdays in New York City.
I turned 16 in Arnold, Missouri. Arnold is a small town (though not small anymore) 20 miles south of St. Louis. St. Louis is known for the Gateway Arch, a beautiful arch of shiny stainless steel, built by the National Parks Service in 1935 to commemorate Thomas Jefferson's vision of a transcontinental U.S. St. Louis is also known for its custard, a frozen dessert that is so thick, they hand it to you upside down with a spoon inside. Something else about St. Louis you should know is that there is a courthouse just steps from the base of the Gateway Arch where one of the most important cases in history was tried: Dred Scott v. Sanford.
I'm turning 50 during what I define as a miraculous time to be alive.
Mr. Scott was born into enslavement around 1799 and, in 1830, was sold to a military surgeon who traveled back and forth between his military posts in Illinois and Wisconsin, where slavery was prohibited under the Missouri Compromise of 1820. In 1842 the doctor and Mr. Scott both married, and they, all four, returned to St. Louis. Still enslaved, Dred Scott filed a lawsuit against the doctor's wife for his and his wife Harriet's freedom. We don't know exactly why he chose this moment in time to file a lawsuit, however, he did. At the time of filing his, now, famous lawsuit, he was 50 years old. Ultimately, The Scott family did not gain their freedom, but their profound courage in filling this case helped ignite the Civil War and what we would come to know (or think we know) as freedom from enslavement for all human beings. Powerful then and even more powerful now.
My next milestone was turning 21, and I did it in the Big Apple. Having only moved to "the city that never sleeps" a few months prior, I knew nobody except my new friends, the bus-boys from the restaurant I was working at, Patzo's on the Upper West Side. And, yes, pazzo is actually the correct spelling of the Italian word, which translates to "crazy." Trust me we all had several laughs about the misspelling and the definition going hand in hand. I worked a full shift, closing out at around 11 PM, when, my kitchen team came out from the line with a cake singing, "Cumpleaños Feliz." It was fantastic. And the kindness of these almost-strangers was a powerful reminder of connection then as it still is today almost 29 years later.
I design the life I desire and the Universe creates it for me every day. I show up, keep the story moving, and work hard because I am relentlessly devoted to making the world a better place and this is how I choose to leave my legacy.
When I turned 30, I had just finished a European tour with Lucinda Childs dance company. The company had been on tour for months together and were inseparable. We traveled through Paris, Vienna, Lisbon, and Rome. We ate together, we rode on a bus together, we had drinks after shows together, and we even took turns giving company class to get warmed up before a show. It was deeply meaningful and dreamy. We ended the tour back in New York City at BAM, The Brooklyn Academy of Music. It was an incredible way to end the tour, by being on our home court, not to mention I was having an important birthday at the culmination of this already incredible experience.
So, when I invited everyone to join me at Chelsea Pier's Sky Rink to ice skate in late August, I was schooled really quickly that "tour" does not mean you are friends in real life, it means you are tour friends. When the tour ends, so does the relationship. I skated a few laps and then went home. This was a beautiful lesson learned about who your real friends are; it was powerful then as it is today.
Turning 40 was a completely different experience. I was in a serious relationship with my now-husband, Joe. I had just come off of a successful one-woman dance show that I produced, choreographed, and danced in, I had just choreographed a feature film, John Turturro's Romance and Cigarettes, with A-list actors, including Kate Winslet and James Gandolfini, who became a dear friend and had even been on the red carpet with Susan Sarandon at the Venice Film Festival for the movie a year earlier.
And I encourage all women to identify their power and choose to be fully in your power at any age.
This was a very special birthday, and I had, in those 10 years between 30 and 40, come to cultivate very real friendships with some wonderful colleagues. We all celebrated at a local Italian restaurant, Etcetera Etcetera (who is delivering for those of you in NYC — we order weekly to support them during COVID), a staple in the theater district. Joe and I were (and are) regulars and, of course, wanted to celebrate my 40th with our restaurant family and friends. We were upstairs in the private room, and it was really lovely. Many of those in attendance are no longer with us, including Joe's Dad, Bob Ricci, and my dear friend Jim Gandolfini having transitioned to the other side. Currently, that restaurant is holding on by a thread of loving neighbors and regulars like us. Life is precious. Powerful then and today even more so.
I write this article because I'm turning 50, still in New York City. However, I'm turning 50 during what I define as a miraculous time to be alive. And I could not be more filled with hope, love, possibility, and power. This year has included an impeachment hearing, a global pandemic, and global protests that are finally giving a larger platform to the Black Lives Matter movement. Being able to fully embody who I am as a woman, a 50-year-old woman who is living fully in purpose, takes the cake, the rink, and the party.
I'm making movies about conversations around race. I've been happily married for 11 years to the love of my life, Joe Ricci. I'm amplifying and elevating the voices of those who have not previously had a platform for speaking out. I choose who to spend time with and how long! I design the life I desire and the Universe creates it for me every day. I show up, keep the story moving, and work hard because I am relentlessly devoted to making the world a better place and this is how I choose to leave my legacy. Being 50 is one of the most amazing things I ever thought I could experience. And I encourage all women to identify their power and choose to be fully in your power at any age. I'm 50 and powerful. Dred Scott was 50 and powerful. This powerful lesson is for today and tomorrow. We have the power. No matter what age you are, I invite you to use your powerful voice to join me in making the world a better place.