The Holistic Marketing Concept

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The holistic marketing concept looks at marketing as a complex activity and acknowledges that everything matters in marketing. The holistic viewpoint follows that systems—in this case marketing—somehow function as wholes and that their functioning cannot be fully understood solely in terms of their component parts. Therefore, a broad and integrated perspective is necessary in developing, designing, and implementing marketing programs and activities. The four components that characterize holistic marketing are relationship marketing, internal marketing, integrated marketing, and socially responsive marketing.


  1. 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. Conflicts should not exist within the marketing department and other departments as this may result in negative external marketing.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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. Marketing activities like these which are economically viable but socially detrimental are strongly restricted under societal marketing 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.

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