When most people hear the word “holistic,” the phrases “alternative medicine” and “Teva sandals” spring to mind. But when Kathryn McMann calls herself a “holistic marketer,” she means business.

Holistic marketing is a creative approach that takes into account the entire 360-degree life cycle of a product or service, from the perspective of both client and consumer. One aspect of holistic marketing campaigns is transmedia storytelling, which employs different media and platforms to create a unified message or story. McMann calls this a “seamless brand image.”

For example, McMann created a campaign for the British Council aimed at creative professionals looking to hone their skills through mentored work placements abroad. The goal was to publicize the program and its benefits in an effort to encourage applications.

For the campaign, McMann employed a multitude of online and offline tactics including:

  • a breakfast panel event. Industry leaders, past award winners, press and would-be applicants attended.
  • online and print advertising
  • links on various social media platforms and industry forums
  • viral emails for advocates and past award winners to circulate
  • press releases accompanied by interviews from past award winners

Through her efforts the program received solid press coverage, including mentions in the Guardian and several high-profile blogs. The program tripled the response rate to applications received from the previous year.

Earlier this summer, Sparksheet editor Dan Levy caught up with Kathryn McMann at 140conf to get a better idea of what she does and how she does it. They also discussed different approaches to transmedia storytelling in North America, the UK, and even Brazil.