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Kim Donlan

How Brands Get Stuck

How Brands Get Stuck 650 650 Kim Donlan

Brand_Alignment_RedSwan5RedSwan5 Redesigns (and Realigns)

I could tell Ben Sachs was a lawyer every time he jumped to his feet during our kids’ games shouting “INTERFERENCE!” like he was the Perry Mason of softball. As a professor of labor and industry at Harvard Law School and the co-founder of OnLabor, a blog devoted to workers, unions and politics, Prof Sachs and his contributors provide guidance and perspective on the union movement and new forms of worker organization. During the less exciting innings (there may have been a few), we got to talking about how his very popular site,,  needed a redesign and an opportunity to refocus. This got me thinking about how brand value is continuously evolving yet we often resist opportunities to evaluate it.

How Brands Get Stuck

The blog had grown quickly to over 800 posts including a popular daily News and Commentary vertical that provides a snapshot of the latest business and legal issues. The consistently good content nurtured a loyal audince that included 2300+ Twitter followers – most very prominent journalists, academics and political influencers. Successful? Absolutely. Important? Yes. Delivering value in a way that can show a long-term view, reveal interesting patterns and reflect how daily decisions are shaping the impact on society? Not so much.

In the beginning, it takes a huge effort, an operational mindset and discipline for a brand to build a content machine. It’s natural for brands to gravitate to the most enthusiastic audience — those responding, following, retweeting, subscribing and buying. In this early stage, the brand value is often shaped by the first audience — the one who happens to be paying attention at that time. Ultimately, that audience may or may not be the best audience. Or the only one. Soon internal conversations start with “We need a site refresh.” What really needs to be discussed is “We might not be on the right path.”

Redesign Is REALLY a Brand Value Course Correction

It used to be that brand stories were based on a single value proposition developed for a customer who fits a specific profile. As the brand stories develop, engagement measurements help to dictate the fastest path to a trusted relationship. For content-rich sites (especially sites with content that’s educational, not thinly disguised sales material) there is a unique alternative — the opportunity to build multiple relationships with various types of users. A content-rich site has two potential approaches to course correction:

  1. retract the content and focus on a very specific users/customers who would be the most profitable or
  • splinter the content and allow many users/customers to define what is the most valuable to them.

For OnLabor, several years of content had grown beyond the single audience as evidenced by the Twitter followers. It had value for many audiences — each one of which could define the value slightly differently. The excellent, consistent content, the depth of the thinking and the broad range of topics created an opportunity for followers to forge a trust relationship with the specific content, topics or authors that were most relevant to them.

Brand Value Defines the Brand Experience

Too often, the redesign process begins with metric-based goals rather than a value alignment exercise. Yes, you need goals. Marketing goals are based on your brand value. If you aren’t telling the right brand story, a new homepage or navigation will not fix it. The redesign process must first begin with an assessment of the brand value with the audience(s). Do you stick with who you have, address the accidental audiences, expand to new audiences or narrow in on a specific segment? What value do you bring and who loves your brand? Which users are you designing for?

Brands pressured for time and still smarting from the major investment in a new site try to avoid a full redesign and messaging exercise by framing it as a slight “refresh” or “facelift.” This mindset ignores the more important opportunity — to realign the value and brand story. Continuous alignment ensures brands are relevant.

The redesign process starts with 3 simple questions:

  1. Is the audience we have today the one we want?
  2. Will there be any changes to the content (the service) we provide?
  3. How should the brand experience change to reflect the value? Homepage

For a better brand experience meant a more sophisticated look and feel and navigation/categorization that reflected areas of expertise that would allow each audience to quickly find and engage with content relevant to them. We also made a decision to keep the content publishing operations the same so that all contributors would be able to continue without retraining. (Note: Another audience often overlooked is the contributors themselves.)

The new has a lot less interference. It stayed true to its brand value and made it easier for followers to engage with the rich content. More importantly, it went through the tough exercise of evaluating and re-categorizing content to show how deeply they cover issues related to labor. In terms of effort, the redesign was likely more work than the original launch because it required deep, strategic thinking on how the brand experience and brand value were interrelated. The brand is set to continue to grow, confident it’s on the right course.

For an evaluation of your brand value and brand experience, feel free to email Kim Donlan, founder and chief strategist, RedSwan5.

And the winner is…

And the winner is… 550 462 Kim Donlan


The 2017 Interactive Media Awards recently announced (much to our pleasure) that we are the winner of two outstanding achievement awards — one in the science/technology category and the other for a lifestyle site.


Dream Big Award Winning

Dream Big – Science and Technology
The science/technology category is for our work on the educational site to support the IMAX film Dream Big. Dream Big is focused on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) and is meant to motivate kids of diverse backgrounds to become the innovators the world needs. The film has an ongoing educational, museum and community effort to expose young people to engineering.

Our awesome client, DiscoverE, a global leader in supporting engineering for K-12 by uniting, mobilizing and supporting volunteer communities, made this project possible for us. Our team also got to work directly with the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and MacGillivray Freeman.


CBC Award Winning (1)


Cambridge Boat Club – Lifestyle
And yes, there’s more. We also were tapped for our work with Cambridge Boat Club, a 100-year-old boathouse on the banks of the Charles River in Boston. (The original site might have been 100 years old.) The beauty is in what you can’t see – an operational database that connects finance, events, membership and rowing data into a single location. We also introduced online payments — which improved the invoicing process and saved the club both time and money.

Ultimately, our work is always judged by the site users and not award committees. For both these projects, our team and clients collaborated to create a brand experience that makes people’s lives better. For a young digital agency, however, the awards help on two fronts. The judges’ feedback, which put us just a few points away from “best in class,” provides a great educational opportunity to embrace what we know is working and push a little harder in other areas.

We would like to thank the academy…(applause)

Why You Might Not Be Getting Anywhere — and How to Fix It

Why You Might Not Be Getting Anywhere — and How to Fix It 650 650 Kim Donlan

The book Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days, by Jake Knapp, talks about the importance of testing ideas with a prototype mindset. (Thanks to IoT product design manager Erin Pearson for the book recommendation) Jake says that to get a genuine response, your prototype should “show them something realistic.” Prototypes are often referred to as MVPs (minimum viable products) — and one might be the best “first” thing to prove your idea has what it takes to succeed.

New product teams and marketing departments are starting to see MVPs as the fastest way to prove an idea fills a niche and to test customer preferences without impacting the brand or wasting valuable resources. And this works because consumers want products that meet their personal needs, and they are all too happy to tell you how to build them.

An MVP is a wonderful shortcut. It’s a direct path to consumer opinion and can grow your leads list, help secure funding, close deals or launch your product well before any code is written. Yet it won’t work unless it feels realistic, stays on brand and answers the question you set out to prove.

Here are the 5 signs you don’t have an MVP (yet).

#1 You’re Testing a Small Problem

MVPs are the path to game-changing differentiation. You are testing potential — an idea, a new market, a following, funding and support of the super-influencers. The inclination is to break down the process of a new idea into small steps that change behavior and begin to test the incremental change. That approach takes too long and will cause you to lose your way.

Struggling to pay their rent, Airbnb founders, Joe Gebbia and Brian Chesky built a mini website to find out if attendees of a big design conference would pay money to sleep on an air mattress. They would also serve breakfast. Three people said yes.  

Approach an MVP by asking and testing the right question. Focus on defining the ONE BIG SIMPLE CHANGE that you believe people want.

#2 Customers Aren’t Involved

Dropbox famously built an inexpensive “explainer video” to verify if people would want a file sharing tool. The video featured functionality that was still in beta and generated 75,000 subscribers.

MVPs need to be seen by potential customers to be of any value to you. An authentic customer response to what they perceive as a real (or soon to be) product or service is a shortcut to understanding what customers are willing to give for it: an email, an endorsement, a share or money.

#3 It’s Not an Experience

According to a recent survey by Walker, customer experience will be more important than price and product by 2020. In fact, 86% of buyers will pay more for a better customer experience.

It stands to reason that an MVP needs to be part of a great experience that can stand on its own or make sense within the context of a larger experience. Customers need to quickly get to a simple idea unencumbered by bad design. They can then embrace (or reject) the idea.

#4 It Lacks Personality (aka It’s Lame)

Nothing will stop a MVP in its tracks faster than placeholder text. In an environment where you are trying to establish the validity of a new idea, words matter. It imperative your MVP make a good impression and an emotional connection. This is even more important given the fact that most of the product isn’t available. No matter who the MVP is built for — customers, funders, partners or an internal audience — great copy can completely change the outcome.

Here are eye-opening examples of landing pages, videos, presentations and  mini websites that can provide inspiration as you develop the messaging for your MVP.

#5 It’s Built on the Wrong Device

If you are launching a mobile application, the MVP must be shown on mobile. If you want to simulate a new feature on your site, it needs to work within the existing online experience. I know. This is crazy talk.

There are lots of prototype tools to select from and each has its pros and cons. Will it mean a little more work? Yes. But it is nothing compared to an investor looking at you and saying, “Will it work on mobile?”

MVPs are being used more and more by lean startups and large enterprises to get traction and validation. MVPs are live use cases of the existence of a real need. And they can be continuously improved in a rolling thunder strategy that builds a company that has customers before a bit of code is even written.

RedSwan5 has built MVPs that have led to million-dollar sales and funding while still in the concept stage. To learn more, contact Kim Donlan.

Better Client Relationships

Better Client Relationships 650 650 Kim Donlan


The client/agency relationship and business model are changing as each grapples with the best way to support rapid innovation in a digital age. Just as CMOs are being held more accountable for the business strategy and creating a complete customer experience, agencies are finding themselves tackling difficult assignments that require deep collaboration, total transparency and often an unclear idea what the final deliverable should be. One thing is clear: the old (and some current) ways of doing things just aren’t working and a new path is something clients and agencies need to forge together.

At RedSwan5, our unique approach is working and we offer our insights into what is working.

1. Rethink the Discovery Process

Your client’s problems will not be solved by a single creative marketing campaign or a new website. Organizations face complex business problems that must be understood to make a true impact on the business. It is important to investigate internal issues that have hurt the client in the past and to have insight into how your work will contribute revenue or impact operations.

According to Leslie Collins, executive director of, “An open dialogue at the very beginning of the assignment about how we get in our own way allowed us to acknowledge when it happened — and course correct when we needed to.

At the start, both clients and agencies should know:

  • What internal processes will get in the way
  • Who should really be part of decisions
  • How the data might be collected and used
  • What they wish would have happened when they’d done this in the past
  • If everyone will be okay if the assignment changes based on what is collectively learned in the discovery phase

2. Embrace the Iterative Design Process

Forget counting revision cycles and restricting feedback — a better model allows for collaboration around an objective that is tied to a timeframe. With the objective clearly established, design decisions can be prioritized based on how well they fit the objective. If they do not, they can fall lower on the list or be addressed in subsequent work.

In order to successfully embrace this process, both client and agency must agree to:

  • Remain focused on the agreed objective
  • Start with prioritized requirements that tick and tie to the objective
  • Prioritize design ideas and functionality based on requirements
  • Limit the time frame so work can be managed and delivered
  • Address related items later if they do not directly support the objective


3. Get to the MVP (Minimum Viable Product) or Prototype Fast

Gathering feedback from potential early users is the best and fastest way to test beliefs and requirements. An MVP is also a way to screen for user experiences that may be based on potential client bias. Real users clicking through actual designs that demonstrate the user flow teach both the agency and the client what customers are willing to pay for.

“It is more productive and far more gratifying to be collaborating with all the right people in the room focused on a single objective, without worrying about getting it perfect right out of the gate.”  

Darryl Settles, Catalyst Ventures Development

Before finalizing design or spending big on development, use click-through prototype tools like Invision, Optimal Workshop, JustInMind or even a presentation application with links to verify your assumptions.

The tools can be used to:

  • Gain valuable market intelligence
  • Tease out the real competitive differentiator
  • Attain additional funding and support
  • Prove the concept

4. Remember: Change (of Scope) Is a Good Thing

It used to be that a change of scope was a sign of things gone wrong. In today’s world, it is a sign of a growing relationship. RFPs or scopes of work (SOW) written before the collaborative thinking and discovery (steps 1 through 3 above) will never fully capture what ultimately needs to be delivered.

There will be a more refined project plan based on the discovery phase findings and results of user testing and feedback. It may be a more elaborate scope of work or, in some cases, a fundamentally different project altogether. In fact, it could even mean a decision to not pursue the project at all — a shiver-inducing prospect for many agencies.

“As part of the branding process, you reach several forks in the road where you need to select the right path. Sometimes, the best decision is to not move forward – or go in a completely different direction. It takes the right agency relationship and very competent people to choose it.”

— Andrew Boyd, former CMO, Dimensional Insight


The truth of the matter is that what is best for the client and their customers is best for the agency. If the scope is bigger, smaller, different, difficult, uncomfortable, exciting or simply out of your wheelhouse, it is an opportunity for both the agency and the client to continue to build a relationship based on trust.

Often this re-scope will:

  • Build a foundation for a long-term relationship
  • Lead to a larger project
  • Support new partnerships or extend the service offering

5. Propose Alternative Budgeting and Payments

Introducing new models of collaborative, iterative cycles means that controlling costs can be very hard for both agencies and clients. Restricting hours in the discovery phase can end up costing far more in development when a feature is more difficult than originally thought.

Budgets and pricing models can be adapted to the work effort. It is perfectly acceptable to have different models for each phase of the project. The most important issue is to discuss pricing and payment plans based on what is required for each phase — and acknowledge that one size or price does not fit all — and mixing the models for different phases of the engagement is actually appropriate. For example, the discovery phase might use a consulting model while development is a fixed cost.

For the agency and client relationship to improve, both sides must be open to a better way of working together. This relationship needs to be based on a stronger connection, transparency and trust. It is imperative that agencies understand the client’s full business problems and are able to listen to and embrace the internal client hurdles while focusing on developing an external solution. It is important for clients to keep agencies continuously involved on the front line of the business where (if you are doing it right) the real magic happens.

Design for the Most Valuable Customer

Design for the Most Valuable Customer 650 650 Kim Donlan


Customer engagement is a vital part of every conversation across an enterprise. It involves everything and every action the customer encounters — and is based on a deep emotional connection. A connection that intrigues, assures, entices, satisfies and soothes the customer so that they never look at the competition.

Customer engagement can be defined differently within an organization and even within a single department. When launching a new product or service, how do you determine what connection and which series of actions are the most valuable? Do you have a plan for the most profitable customers to engage with your organization?  

81% of marketers admit customer engagement is the top priority yet only 28% have a plan*

There is a better approach. Just remember these three key points:

  • Discuss engagement early and often
  • Advocate for customer centricity at all costs
  • Remember that a single path is not a journey — it’s a trap

Step 1: Discuss engagement early and often

Your product launch may require a new website, an email blast, a lead generation campaign — all of which must make and reinforce an emotional connection. Continuous discussion of exactly what that emotional connection is should include near- and far-reaching teams to expose opportunities. Empowering others to own the emotional connection improves engagement across every touchpoint.

Step 2: Be customer-centric at all costs

It is natural to think from a company view — especially with the pressure to outperform KPIs. When you look outside in, you see the longer view — the opportunity for customers to have conversations on multiple paths to the same destination. It takes discipline to home in on what Peter Fader calls “the most valuable customers.” Connecting with the most valuable customers requires creating positive online and in-person conversations some of which will lead to a lift in the KPIs while others will be measured by lifetime engagement value.

Step 3: Remember that a single path is not a journey — it’s a trap

If you only offer a single path, you run the risk of alienating customers instead of enticing them. The customer might feel led into an alley with the requisite marching band parading behind. Without choices, customers may protest in small or big ways like providing dirty data or just not trusting the emotional connection.

Offer customers minor content detours to support their decision-making. This goes a long way in ensuring the customer feels empowered by your messaging and connected emotionally. More importantly, your customers will reciprocate by willingly providing accurate contact information. The bonus is that you will have embedded a mini A/B study for added insight into content and behavior.

Customer engagement requires a holistic approach — a precise solution that matches your culture, company, and competitive advantage. It involves everything and every point the customer encounters — and is based on a deep emotional connection. A connection that intrigues, assures, entices, satisfies and soothes the customers so that they never look at the competition.

*According to a recent report by B2B Marketing and The Telemarketing Company



Holistic Marketing in Chaos

Holistic Marketing in Chaos 650 650 Kim Donlan


A New Perspective on Holistic Marketing: Your Customer’s

Holistic marketing is based on a strong belief that all aspects of marketing and the customer experience are interrelated. Makes sense, right? Yet, marketers are failing to grasp exactly how to develop a truly holistic approach because it is so incredibly hard for brands to think like their customers.

“86% of brand marketers admit that a holistic marketing approach is a top priority, yet few feel prepared to execute one.”

Problem 1: Company mindset

Up until now, holistic marketing has been viewed from a company-centric mindset.  When building a corporate process designed to provide a seamless brand experience, very smart, experienced marketers are spending (lots of) time and money trying to align around the idea of the most perfect customer behavior that leads to the highest profit. With a company-centric mindset, brand strategies and decisions are one-sided — only viewed from the internal perspective. If everyone who is part of determining the brand experience is sitting on the brand’s bench, it is impossible to see the issues from perspective of the customer.  

The efforts to align and collect data from everywhere — marketing, sales, and customer service —  lead to the consideration of technology and systems that promise a 360-degree view of customers. However, the 360-degree view puts the brand in the middle looking out at their potential and existing customers’ behavior. Several problems arise from this approach:

  • Customers only care about their view
  • Every customer has a unique view

A company-centric approach makes it difficult to organize and operationalize around the countless ways with which potential customers interact across touchpoints. To make this more manageable, buyer and customer journeys are developed that streamline a set of interactions that lead (hopefully) to a consistent experience. The customer journey — while a good starting point — can only manage the optimal behavior of a limited number of people. Customers don’t follow a single journey. And a customer journey cannot be personalized to the level customers demand.

Thinking about all the customer interactions and experiences is overwhelming. Trying to anticipate all the paths that may (or may not) quickly lead to loyal customers is like trying to imagine chaos. Your version of chaos might be different from mine, but it is still overwhelming and leaves you wanting to run screaming for the hills. To make a difficult situation worse, online behavior is evolving. For those operating within a company-centric mindset, this leads to continuous failure to deliver a seamless brand experience across all channels. To avoid this, three things must change. You should:

  • Embrace a holistic approach that is truly customer-centric
  • Support multiple customer paths and strategies
  • Treat prospects and customers as your marketing department

Holistic marketing must be customer-centric and responsive to multiple customers’ perspectives. Honing a holistic mindset and operational approach will need to support the ability to respond to the chaos of customers who interact with brands in any way they see fit.

At RedSwan5, we believe in the co-evolution of marketing and helping brands prepare to respond more successfully to the chaos of engagement. We are working with customers to perfect a better approach. It involves building a holistic marketing approach that is customer-centric and able to manage multiple strategies that are often led by the customers themselves.

We intend to share case studies and research on this new approach.

Rebranding: Are you ready to innovate?

Rebranding: Are you ready to innovate? 650 650 Kim Donlan

In celebration of World Creativity and Innovation Week, I wanted to share our viewpoint on creativity and innovation in the rebranding processes. When an organization needs to rebrand, it means that somewhere along the way, it got stuck. In rebranding, size really doesn’t matter. It can be necessary for a two-person startup, industry leaders and everything in between. The process is the same — a series of guided exercises played out in workshop meant to get to the core of what a brand really is.

At the most fundamental level, rebranding is a concerted effort to innovate. It means the organization has realized it must do something in a new way. That is a vulnerable place to be. A company ready to rebrand needs to think carefully about how ready they are to re-invent themselves. Innovation requires an honest look at what is to clearly see what can be. It is not easy. It is not fun.

So how do you know you are ready to innovate through the rebranding process?

Do Whatever It Takes. Often, organizations have spent a great deal of time fixing what is broken. This is a group of smart people, but despite their best efforts, something still isn’t working. All the effort and brainpower can only mean that something is fundamentally wrong. Innovation by definition means the organization MUST do something in a new way. The old way must be so painful, you are willing to do whatever it takes to change it.

Retrace Your Path. Understand where the organization got off-track. Was it the early customers who controlled the roadmap? The failure to make decisions based on accurate data? Or just moving in too many directions so that true progress couldn’t happen? As part of innovation, it is important to acknowledge and learn from what didn’t work. And then let it go. To truly innovate, you need to abandon the woulda, coulda, shoulda mentality to think freely about what might the truer path.

Find the Real Story. Willingly abandon your story and perspective to see the impact of your product, service or idea. Clearly and painstakingly look at what the early customers and friendly advisors were really saying. This is the time to look at the nuances and messages buried in what people were saying. It is an exercise in listening with the intent of finding the common emotional connection that you can fulfill.

Seek the Small Change. Innovation isn’t about making a huge change. It comes from making a new connection that potentially can have a big impact. It is often small and previously overlooked. It can be disguised as anything — a tweak to the positioning, a slightly different customer experience, razor focus on a thing you do better than anyone else, a new onboarding process, a refined value proposition or discovering the best customer was the person next to the guy you were selling to.

Innovation is not something that happens naturally within organizations. It is a mindset backed by the willingness to go through a process that will make room for it. Creativity and innovation are a result of hard work. It is not always easy, but it always yields great results.

Image source: Creative Commons

Defining Holistic Marketing

Defining Holistic Marketing 2923 2108 Kim Donlan

R2_HolisticMarketing_Graphic_700-01 (1)

Redefining Holistic Marketing: Does Everything Matter?

Standing in front of my Bentley MBA marketing class filled with hopeful, smart analytical marketers, I try to explain how the branding process and integrated marketing communication are related. I thought using a case study that documents the deep, difficult process firms go through to adopt a strong branding foundation by addressing their internal culture would demonstrate the messy, enmeshed process of holistic marketing. I am met with facial expressions that range from slightly bemused to full on “Orange is the New Black’ Crazy Eyes. I am not believed.

On Management Mania, the brilliant Philip Kotler and Kevin Lane Keller offer a sound academic definition of holistic marketing, “ Holistic marketing recognizes that ‘everything matters’ with marketing and that a broad, integrated perspective is necessary to attain the best solution.”   What particularly jumps out is ‘…everything matters…integrated perspective.’  In the frenzy to build interdependent programs, the true value of holistic marketing has gotten lost in the quest for short term measurement of process.

In looking a bit more at the definition and comparing it to the vast number of (mostly horrible) infographics out there, I get the sense that holistic marketing is generally considered to be an internal alignment problem. It explains, to some extent, why marketers and CEOs lament in various flavors of… “if the integrated marketing programs were just capturing more data at each customer journey touchpoint…” or,  “if we didn’t have multiple agencies and layers of brand managers, we’d have a more holistic approach.” But by only considering the issue of internal alignment, marketers are focused on closing the gap between touch points and are not asking the more critical question: “how does this touch point relate to the holistic marketing for this customer?” Or, even better, “do you have a holistic marketing solution that this customer understands?”

Organizational Perspective: Everything Measurable Matters

Organizational alignment has provided a framework where customer experience is measured across all touch points. This organizational mindset results in strategies and campaigns that attempt to influence what potential and existing customers do when they search, read, watch, click, buy and socialize. Each interaction collected, measured and stored in the fluffy data cloud is an attempt to understand the customer experience. It has become what we mean when we say “everything matters.”

bad holistic 1source: Project Guru

It is true that processes, systems, culture and policies within an organization should be working together in a more fluid, natural way that makes marketing more efficient and productive. A significant part of holistic marketing requires an inward focus. However, the relentless quest to measure disparate marketing components locks the organization in a narrow perspective that interferes with the higher goal of building a long term customer relationship based on trust. It is this trust that is the foundation of holistic marketing.

Think for a minute about the brands you really trust. What did it take to gain your trust? The digital experience you have with them is probably meeting your needs every single step of the way. You feel taken care of and, likely, understood at a deep level. Your personal expectations continue to be met. Dan Edelman, in his timely article “The Business of Trust” provides the sobering opinion that “trust in the digital age requires consistency of interactions across the customer’s journey — transparency, simplicity, reliability, responsiveness, and a proper use of the customer information the consumer expects you to have.” (Edelman, 2016).  The big takeaway is: “Are you just working on a punch list of fixes, or are you making the overall flow of the experience to bring out the best reliability, transparency, personalization, responsiveness and simplicity your brand can offer as part of a commitment to building trust?” The answer to that question changes the narrative across the customer journey and requires marketers think about what they mean by ‘alignment’.

Customer’s Perspective: Gaining My Trust Matters

Holistic marketing, in its current definition, provides an approach that traps many organizations in an endless cycle of punch list fixes without considering the importance of trust. Holistic marketing must comprise more than the organization’s marketing interdependencies; it must be centered on the customer’s dependency on you, the marketer, to provide a simple, seamless solution. Perhaps it is time to strive for a new definition… holistic marketing is the development, design and implementation of marketing programs, processes and activities that are designed to build a seamless customer journey that is highly personalized, truthful, and anticipates the breadth of the customer’s needs – every tiny step – including both the vulnerable moments that require care and the inspiring times that are the rewards of being in business with one another. Holistic marketing recognizes that ‘everything matters’ to customers and that a personalized, integrated perspective is necessary to attain trust.”  

Customers desire to trust the brands they need and need the brands they trust.

By rethinking the holistic approach with the customer in the center, organizations will be forced to change how they align programs, processes and activities.  Only then can an organization shift from counting customer clicks to becoming a brand customers can count on.