The Magic of Tidying Up Your Marketing

By Lauren Leal
Don't we all wish our lives were simpler? That's probably why Marie Kondo’s Tidying Up Netflix special was such a huge success. With all the stuff cluttering our lives, it can be cathartic to throw away something taking up space for a decade. Her KonMari method, outlined in the best-selling book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, isn't limited to your house. Applying the principles of the KonMari system can positively impact your marketing strategy. 

Don't we all wish our lives were simpler?  That's probably why Marie Kondo’s Tidying Up Netflix special was such a huge success.  With all the stuff cluttering our lives, it can be cathartic to throw away something taking up space for a decade. Her KonMari method, outlined in the best-selling book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, isn't limited to your house. Applying the principles of the KonMari system can positively impact your marketing strategy. 

The basics of KonMari

The core of the KonMari system requires you to ask if the different items in your life bring you joy. Marie Kondo says if it doesn't spark joy for you, get rid of it. 

But she knows that cleaning up is not an easy task. Where do you start? How do you proceed? Kondo breaks the tidying process into categories and has a specific sequence to the cleaning. Essentially, it starts with the easier items (clothing) and moves on to miscellaneous stuff.

Going KonMari on your marketing

What brings me joy about marketing is the diverse tasks a marketing professional must carry out to succeed on their mission. The downside to this diversity is we have a ton of materials and assets needed to accomplish the job. Using the KonMari system adapted for marketing, we figure out what is most necessary to help streamline our work in our assets.

The first question to ask is, “does it bring joy?” From a marketing lens, we're asking, “does bring joy to the target audience?” Everything we do in the digital marketing landscape is about surprising and delighting our customers in ways they didn’t anticipate. It's in the content we create and the materials we offer. If our messages do not evoke an emotional reaction within the audience, it's probably not worth doing.

Another lens is to ask, “does it bring a return on investment?” Maybe equating dollars and cents to cleaning and not joy is a departure from Marie Kondo’s philosophy, but the facts on return on investment shows if our marketing strategies actually are making an impact. The work of a marketer is to grow the business. If we're not growing the business, our efforts aren't connecting to the target audience. This cycles around to creating an emotional response within our target audience. 

Garrett Moon wrote in INC, “Just as Marie Kondo states that neat does not equal de-cluttered, marketing activity does not equal marketing results.” So we might feel busy, but not actually achieve any real measurable results. 

Putting a process into place

Obviously a marketing firm probably doesn't have sweatshirts lying off the back of a chair or a messy kitchen to tackle. But we still have “stuff” to sift through.  Just like Marie Kondo creates categories to guide the decluttering process, we need to create categories for marketing assets. As you work through the categories, we become more streamlined in our work.

A thought I had about creating categories for reviewing marketing assets would be like:

  1. Marketing strategies. The background of your marketing program will be the owned assets like your branding guide, marketing strategy, in marketing materials. Where are all of these housed? Are there too many redundant copies of marketing strategies?
  2. Website. The core of any digital marketing strategy is your website. Everything you're doing online directs towards it, so it's got to be well-organized and useful. Tackling this early makes sense.
  3. Social media. Look for your social media audit, social media assets, and performance metrics. Figure out what's working and what's not. What is the point of “just being there” if the social asset isn’t drawing an audience?
  4. Owned digital assets. Look through your white papers, company photos, and any archived digital materials. There are probably materials you're holding onto you don't need anymore.
  5. Software. What are the technological tools you use to get the job done? Are you utilizing all the features effectively? Are you double paying for a system you don't need? Maybe you can cut some steps in your workflow by using a different system.
  6. Miscellaneous stuff. This would be those other odds and ends that aren't addressed anywhere else, just like in Marie Kondo’s system. These could be printed marketing assets like banners or fliers, or digital goods like past campaigns. 

The end goal of tidying up your marketing is to improve your productivity through eliminating repetitive tasks and streamlining the work. Sometimes we get focused on doing too much where doing a fewer moves well could result in a better pay off. 

At ATYPICAL, we dive deep in metrics and performance to give the best digital marketing recommendations. It’s all about personalizing your approach. What works for someone else doesn’t necessarily work well for you. So channel Marie Kondo and ask, “Does your marketing strategy spark joy for you?” 

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