Saturday, March 1, 2014

Holistic Marketing, and Why You Should Be Considering It

"Love.  It's what makes a Subaru, a Subaru."

According to Carmichael Lynch, the agency who created the "Love / Subaru" campaign three years ago: "Subaru has tapped into powerful human emotions to double market share and surpass eleven other car makers on America's list of best-selling auto brands."

I've been thinking about, and reading up on holistic marketing: marketing which considers the entire emotional life of a prospect, rather than just the particular aspect of the prospect which involves buying a specific product.

The earliest example of the concept that I can remember goes back to the 1980s, when Lee Iacocca, in the process of turning around the Chrysler Corporation appeared in ads that included his taglines "The pride is back" and "If you can find a better car, buy it."

They were emotional appeals that went beyond typical consumer advertising. 

Well, Lee Iacocca not only turned Chrysler around, but Chrysler is now a major competitor.  In Breaking Bad, Walt drove a black 2012 Chrysler 300 SRT8, and he also leased a 2012 Dodge Challenger for his son Walter.

These examples dramatically build upon the traditional demographic and differentiation principles, in which a marketer identifies a selected demographic group, then explains to that group what sets their product or service apart from the competition.  As Carmichael Lynch points out, Subaru pushes their competition off of the table altogether, by drawing upon "powerful human emotions" to initiate then strengthen an actual valued relationship between the brand, and potential customers.

In my own business, there are always two powerful human emotions at play.  The first is how people usually react when I present my recommendations: they ring true.  The second is how my clients feel when they receive media coverage.  It's such a rush, that the first thing everyone generally does is post the coverage all over their social media accounts.  Why? Because it's one thing for us to say something about ourselves, which ads and other direct forms of marketing do, but it's quite another when a media outlet chooses to report on us, our company, our work, our products, or our services.

It's an implied third party endorsement, making a much deeper impact than simple self declarations.

Many big companies continue to struggle with direct communications with customers.  

But some have developed some pretty interesting social media techniques, like Dunkin Donuts's #mydunkin campaign which asks customers to tweet their own personal Dunkin Donuts stories.  Stories chosen by Dunkin are then developed and posted as YouTube videos.  Meg's #mydunkin Iced Coffee Story has received over  413,000 views as of this writing.  I'm impressed!

So if you're not inclined to hire Carmichael Lynch, but you can't deny the results of the application of holistic marketing thinking, get in touch with me.  We'll add holistic marketing to our list of considerations for this year's marketing, because In today's business environment, every competitive advantage counts.

We can make this our best year ever.  Let's work together to double our market share and surpass eleven competitors, by keeping our eyes and minds open to new, more personal marketing techniques, that just plain "feel right."

Steve Thompson
Thompson Communications


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