By Andrea Adler
The need for a more spiritual/holistic approach to marketing is essential in today’s world. However, before I explain why this approach is imperative at this time, I’d like to clarify the meaning of a few words and their relationship to this unique process.
When I use the word spiritual, I do not mean “religious” or religion in any way. Spiritual
has to do with an internal awareness, a sacred connection to oneself and one’s work, a bond
with the soul and the spirit that includes our relationship to ourselves and to the world. In
the truest sense, spirituality is not “for” anything –– not for marketing success, prosperity,
good health, or fulfilling relationships. It is its own reward, as a consequence of connecting
with source, wherever that source, that place of truth, exists within us. It also includes a
conscious awareness, our moral compass regarding the products and services we offer ––
a compass without which the very concept of “spiritual marketing” becomes an oxymoron.
Every contribution, every decision we make is so integrally connected with “the market” –
– consumption, lifestyle, manufacturing, buying, selling –– that it’s naturally connected with
marketing and PR.
This spiritual dimension of our outreach requires that we look not only at how we are
promoting our business, but what we are promoting. This is where we probe our souls,
question our intentions, and explore the moral fiber in our approach toward our clients, the
planets, and ourselves.
When I speak of holistic marketing, I’m talking about an integrated, multidimensional
approach that doesn’t focus solely on the bottom line, but rather operates by synthesizing the
whole picture. The key word here is wholeness. The wholeness of our intention, our message,
our story, how we share our story, how other people share our story, and their feelings behind
it. The wholeness of the person administering the business and the wholeness of what we
offer those we serve, as these principles will define our success. Understanding that intention
and energy are behind every word and image we use in our outreach makes a huge impact as
to how we are received and whom we attract.
Too much noise
When you think about it, from the moment we are born and alert enough to perceive
information on any level, we are inundated with advertisements that promote some product or
service. Our senses are flooded by blaring hype, propaganda, political spin, and advertising
that scream at us from the radio, TV, newspapers, billboards, telemarketers –– and now from
Advertisements are showing up in elevators and at the gas pump. They jingle and
jangle before us on TV and in grocery-store checkout lanes. They have even made an
appearance in restroom stalls and over public urinals. After trying countless ways to tune out
the noise, customarily without victory, our brains have become so saturated, so numb, that
the thought of using any of these venues to promote ourselves has become, to say the least,
It’s a shame to think we must turn away from the channels of communication that
bring us pleasure in our leisure and benefit to our work in order to escape this overkill. This
problem has been, in fact, the catalyst for me to initiate my search for a holistic/spiritual
The New Paradigm
I knew there needed to be a shift. There needed to be a way to restore the integrity of
marketing and public relations, as both a process and a profession –– not only for the
consumer, but for the conscious business owner and the marketing consultant who wants to
promote his or her clients ethically and become more conscious about the actual products and
services being promoted.
Some years ago, I began to contemplate these issues . . . rather obsessively. I watched
how people from various professions struggled with how to define themselves, how to reach
their audiences in ways that were provocative and stimulating, while at the same time
uplifting rather than degrading. How to create marketing strategies that were ethical and
memorable? I would observe how businesses tried to stop manipulative
actions and practice “truth in advertising,” but would inevitably fall back and repeat
approaches they disliked –– because they didn’t know any other way.
Then I had an overnight revelation that took thirty years to materialize. I realized that
many business owners had not journeyed inside themselves first. They had not asked those
pertinent questions that would bring them more into alignment with the spiritual aspect of
their nature and of their business –– but were, instead, “shooting from the hip.”
I saw how thousands of dollars were being spent by earnest businesspeople to learn their
respective fields, and yet, when it came time to open their business and start marketing it,
they were in the dark. They had no idea how to start, let alone proceed. They would hire
marketing consultants, but many of these consultants performed their job like allopathic
doctors and mechanics: looking at only one part of the body, without considering the whole
picture — the mental, emotional, social, and spiritual implications of the campaign. In
addition, many of these consultants didn’t care what their clients were promoting, even if it
meant killing wildlife, polluting the environment, or destroying the planet.
As entrepreneurs, sole proprietors, and CEOs, it is time to take responsibility for the
products and services we are introducing. It’s time to ask ourselves: How is my business
serving me, and the gifts I have to offer? How is my business helping my audience, and the
world at large? Because we are living during a critical moment in human and planetary
history, where politics, capitalism, and consumerism are at a heightened peak, these spiritual/
holistic inquiries are more fundamental than ever.
This holistic/spiritual approach to marketing is not fear based. We don’t use fear
tactics. We find ways to soothe the spirit and build trust through personal participation. We
design messages that create ease, through truthfulness and an expanded, uplifting point of
view, and therefore connect with our audience in stronger ways. By honoring the mind, body,
and spirit as a unity, we create a climate in which our audience looks forward to our
information rather than turning away from it. From the beginning of what we do to the very
end, everything gets processed through our spiritual values and holistic viewpoint.
As business owners, entrepreneurs, and consultants, we can continue to pollute the
planet and the media with superfluous images and text –– or we can fill the hearts and
minds of our audience with information that uplifts the planet and the spirit, and thereby
creates a more beneficent result. We have the opportunity to design, manufacture, and
promote products that have integrity in the marketplace. When our story is authentic and our
product and service benefit mankind and live up to our promises, we can trust that word of
mouth will spread the news –– with less effort than we can imagine.
When the context of our public-relations efforts is in alignment with our content and
we understand that we have a moral and social purpose to uphold, when we understand that
emotional connection is the true driving force and that we don’t have to manipulate our
content to get our audience’s attention, then the words public relations and marketing will no
longer be greeted with hesitation or negativity. Instead, operating from the spiritual/holistic
concepts of wholeness and integration, our mindful outreach will be understood as a crucial
part of making our offerings known, and people will feel inclined to explore the messages in
the materials that we create.
Andrea Adler is the founder of HolisticPR.com and the author of Creating an Abundant
Practice, and The Science of Spiritual Marketing: Initiation into Magnetism and her
novel, Pushing Upward. Andrea specializes in educating entrepreneurs, and small and
large business owners on the relevance of spirituality in business. She teaches a practical
philosophy of consciousness that demonstrates how to integrate spiritual practice and
psychological self-inquiry into a concrete and fundamental transformation of people’s lives
and their marketing approaches.
To inquire about Andrea’s consultations, workshops and lectures: andrea@HolisticPR.com