The 8 Factors of Holistic Digital Marketing

This entry is part 1 of 2 in the series 8 Factors of Holistic Digital Marketing
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One of the more difficult concepts I try to explain as a digital marketer is the concept of “holistic” digital marketing – treating the entire digital construct as a whole. It’s more than lingo, more than a catch phrase. It will take me several posts, but over the course of the next couple of months, I’ll try to explain my interpretation of an all-inclusive, everything-is-related-to-everything-else approach to managing your digital marketing strategy that ensures consistency and performance.

holistic ~
adjective ~ PHILOSOPHY

 1. characterized by comprehension of the parts of something as intimately interconnected and explicable only by reference to the whole.


I’ve taken my experience in all facets of the digital market  and paired it with my experience as a super secret page rater for certain search engine we all know and love/hate, and come up with a way to summarize 6 elements of digital marketing and 8 factors that affect how they perform. Some of these elements are affected by all factors, some are only affected by a few, but the point is, there is not any single, straight-forward way to correlate performance of one element of your digital strategy to one performance factor. It’s just impossible – mainly, because everything is related to everything else. That’s why it’s called the Internet. That’s why we call this “holistic.”

Common Factor Chart outlining which performance factors affect the various facets of digital strategy

Common Factors Affecting the 6 Elements of Your Digital Presence

The 8 Common factors that affect these facets of your digital marketing strategy are listed across the top of the chart in blue: Relevance, Usability, Competition, Technology, Timeliness, Reputation, Standards, and Usefulness. Various combinations of these performance factors play a part in how your digital properties perform. None of them can be isolated from each other because there’s a lot of overlap – for example, SEO is affected by all 8 factors; Web Development is affected by 4 of them. What this chart is trying to tell you is that Relevancy is really important for SEO, PPC, Local Search, Web Development, Social Media and Content Generation. Online Reputation is really important for SEO, Local Search, Social Media, and Content Generation. Competitive Intel is important for SEO, PPC, Local Search and Social Media. Get the idea?

Ok, before you look at that list of factors up there and start arguing with me that Google doesn’t care about your reputation online, I’m here to tell you that yes, absolutely, Google does care about it. If you think a search algorithm can’t tell how “useful” a site is, I got news for you, buddy… it can too. “Actions speak louder than words.” Google has one of the most sophisticated web user tracking mechanisms imaginable and how people use a page speaks volumes to that algorithm about your site’s usefulness, as well as usability. And I will remind you one more time that I was a Google Page Rater – when you have an hour to kill, you can check up on the basics. I was a specialist. My specialty was rating Google SERPs – you know, the actual page of search results… yes, I worked my way up from rating web pages, to comparing and rating Google’s own pages. I’ll stop and let that sink in for a moment.

Now, if any of you have been struggling to come up with a way to demonstrate the holistic connectedness of quality factors, usability factors, appeal factors and technology factors to someone higher up on the food chain who won’t loosen up the budget to let you fix things, feel free to use the chart above to help organize and explain things. In the upcoming weeks, I will break down each of these factors and explain their effect on the digital marketing landscape. I think I will start with Technology!



Series NavigationThe 8 Factors of Holistic Digital Marketing: Technology >>
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Michelle has worked on the Internet (sometimes, literally) since before it had pictures, learned web development in HTML before it was iterated, worked in SEO when there were 12 search engines, watched Digg become the grandfather of social media, worked as a Google page rater, and predicted today's holistic online marketing environment back when MySpace was a thing. And she makes kick-ass fajitas.

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