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  • Writer's pictureErin Ratliff

The Yin & Yang of Your Digital Marketing Strategy

While modern marketing strategies have traditionally been rooted in analytical data and logical reasoning, it's hard to overlook the influence of ancient wisdom-- especially relating to the energetic differences in various strategies and approaches.

The foundation of Feng Shui teachings is the ancient Chinese philosophy of Yin and Yang. This is the universal duality of energies that make up every natural cycle and system on earth-- including your marketing plan.

To understand how the concept of Yin and Yang applies to your business, we must first understand the different characteristics of these two conflicting yet complimentary forces.

Yin energy (feminine): receptive, passive, inward, creative, intuitive, infinite, flexibile.
Yang energy (masculine): aggressive, active, outward, analytical, logical, linear, rigid.

These energies are opposing, but inextricably connected and dependent on the other. You can't have one without the other, and you can't have progress or forward movement without the individual parts interacting and engaging.

In order to replicate that same harmony and wholeness in your business, you need an equal amount of both Yin and Yang energies. Your optimal results (customers, revenue, leads, conversions) can only achieved when you strike that delicate balance between the two energy types.

The Importance of Strategy

Having a marketing strategy is crucial for small businesses and entrepreneurs because it provides a clear roadmap for reaching target audiences and achieving business goals. A well-defined marketing strategy helps in identifying the unique selling propositions, understanding customer needs, and positioning the business effectively in the market. This targeted approach ensures efficient use of resources, maximizes return on investment, and fosters consistent brand messaging across all channels, ultimately driving customer engagement, loyalty, and growth.

A strong and successful marketing strategy is three-fold:

  1. Strategic Thinking: understanding the complex relationship between business and customer

  2. Stratic Action: Taking intentional, decisive action towards an outlined vision or direction

  3. Strategic Influencing: Building commitment from others towards, inviting them to the strategic process

Asking the Right Questions is the key for success as a strategic small business leader:

  • What are the 2 or 3 key drivers where we should invest our resources, time, and energy?

  • Do we have business strategies that are aligned with our key drivers?

  • Do we have the organizational capabilities that enable us to execute the business strategies?

  • Do we have good processes and dialogue for dealing with conflicting priorities?

  • Are we paying attention to the cognitive and emotional dimensions of leading change?

Creating Flow

As feng shui prefers roundness and movement over linear progression, we can use this same approach in your marketing strategy to promote fluidity and widen the opportunities for energy to come and go. Holistic, omni-channel marketing is much more likely to succeed than marketing strategy with only a few customer touch-points.

Second, energy is not static, and nor should your marketing plan be. Your marketing strategy should ebb and flow with the times, because consumer tastes and technological trends will always change. And YOU will change too. Your internal goals will evolve, and your team will transition. There are endless factors out of your control and you shouldn't expect one period of success to be permanent apply indefinitely.

Too much, or not enough, of one approach will impede the flow of good Chi, leading to stagnation and limited opportunities. And what entrepreneur or business owner would want that?

Yin vs Yang Marketing Strategies

Let's look closer at some examples of marketing tactics and initiatives that are Yin or Yang. Each of these types of content or approaches will have a time and place in your business, so your overall approach requires constant examination, experimentation and mindfulness.

The Yin: Feminine

  • Marketing Themes: Empathy, Emotion, Collaboration, Connection, Belonging/Inclusivity, Abundance

The Yang: Masculine

  • Marketing Themes: Action, Growth, Progress, Performance, Competition, Logic/Reason, Urgency & Scarcity

Yin vs Yang

Each of these Yin or Yang tactics create a dynamic and ever-evolving system that make up the core of a successful, sustainable marketing strategy. Nearly every aspect of marketing can be categorized as more feminine or masculine.

Goal-setting & Planning: abstract & intuitive vs detailed & documented

Decision-making: emotion-based vs data-driven

Public Relations Marketing: Digital vs Traditional

Digital Marketing: Strategy vs Implementation

Search Marketing: organic SEO vs paid SEM

Visuals: Soft, Natural vs Bold, Loud

Conversion Copy: Authentic (emotion-based or customer-focused) Storytelling vs Self-oriented messaging/narratives, Customer Testimonials vs Direct CTAs

Strategy: Storytelling vs

Content: Creation vs Analytics

Leadership: Thought/Transformational vs Transactional/Action-driven

Rank Authority: On-site SEO vs Off-Site SEO

USP: Positive angle vs Competitive angle

Cause Marketing: Purpose-Driven vs Conversion-Driven

SEO: White-hat vs Black-hat

Media: Earned (editorial) vs Paid (sponsored)

Brand Tone/Voice: Empathetic vs Apathetic tone

Email List-building: Opt-in vs Gated content

Relationship/Community building: Social media groups vs In-person networking

Social Media: Interaction/Engagement vs Broadcasting/Posting

Marketing Materials: Rack cards vs. Business cards

Content Creation: Infographics vs Educational Blogs, Articles

Analytics: True KPIs vs vanity metrics, competitor analysis

Tools & Technology: Promoting Conversation vs Promoting Conversion

Brand Awareness: Social Proof vs Exclusivity/Scarcity

Customer Insights: Psychology of behavior vs Data of behavior

Achieving an equal balance between both of these co-creative energies creates a holistic and harmonious marketing plan that considers diverse consumer needs, as well as the energetic alignment of the business itself.

A New Era

Aggressive Sales are out and Mindful Marketing is in. This is the shift towards the sacred feminine.

Effective, healthy sales strategies prioritize customer needs and foster positive relationships, avoiding the turnoffs associated with aggressive tactics. Instead of pushing for quick transaction, it focuses on a customer-centric approach involving "consultative selling", a commitment to addressing customer concerns and tailoring solutions to individual needs.

This looks like 1) Active listening to customer input, demonstrating empathy and a genuine interest in their challenges. 2) Prioritizing educating customers and providing value before expecting a purchase.

By emphasizing relationship-building, small businesses can create a positive and mutually beneficial experience that resonates with customers, steering clear of the negative perceptions often associated with traditional sales tactics.

Wrapping It Up

It's common to over-complicate marketing. But at the end of the day it's simply about

  • Finding people with a problem (i.e narrowing a niche/target customer/market)

  • Understanding the problem more (ie. doing market research)

  • Offering a solution in the form of a Product or Service

  • Getting the solution in front of your market (ie increasing awareness, traffic,etc)

  • Selling the benefits of your solution

The fusion of feminine and masculine energies in marketing holds the potential to revolutionize your business, building longterm brand loyalty and boosting engagement and conversions over time.

The bottom line: Think broadly, flexibly and expansively. In order for your business to stay afloat you need to be responsive and adaptable to the inevitable changes that happen in unique niche and buyer persona.

Know that each season and each year of your business will be different - sometimes intentionally and strategically, and sometimes not. Don't resist change. Get ready to "ride the wave"of marketing. THIS is feng shui.

Overall, your business will be successful if you're constantly doing the inside work (building) AND the outside work (delivering). This is ultimately how the complex emotion of trust is earned from your customer.

Are your marketing efforts in the equilibrium needed for success? I'd love to help your business find balance. Let's chat!


Erin is a certified feng shui consultant, holistic business coach and organic growth marketer for earth-loving, heart-centered soul-preneurs.

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