De-clutter your Digital Marketing using KonMari Method
Marie Kondo has literally broken the World Wide Web – thankfully for some truly uplifting reasons. While Kondo’s insightful take on de-cluttering has been around since a few years, it’s the release of “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo” on Netflix that has the web glorifying her infamous KonMari Method to all aspects of life.
Granted, we’ve known that following a definite structure can radically simplify the otherwise cumbersome task of de-cluttering.
We would even happily concede that the very thought of leading a minimalistic life is therapeutic at times.
Yet, as it happens with most red herrings - we probably need an outside perspective to validate what we’ve always known before we put it into practice.
The KonMari Method is unique in that it's not just a proven method to create happier and stress-free lives, but it's also a technique we can use in other aspects of our cluttered life.
In fact, it is just as effective in de-cluttering our content calendar, social feeds and digital marketing plans. Which is why now is the perfect time to apply the KonMari Method to digital marketing.
The KonMari Method – A Background
It requires you to discard all belongings you possess but rarely use – and keep everything else that will spark happiness within you (tokimeku as it is called in Japanese).
As per Marie Kondo’s website, the act of tidying up contains 6 steps:
1. Commit yourself
2. Envision your picture-perfect lifestyle
3. Start by discarding unnecessary belongings
4. Stick to the correct order
5. Tidy on the basis of category, as opposed to location
6. Ensure that this act of tidying up sparks joy
Once you commit yourself to the de-cluttering goal, the next step is to make sure you get a visual stock of things. In digital marketing parlance, this is about jotting down everything that is integral to your long-term strategy. Drill down as deep as you can, and refrain from focusing on generic words like ‘social media’ or ‘content’ or ‘marketing.’
• Social Media → LinkedIn to generate leads, Facebook to create awareness, and Twitter for customer outreach.
• Content marketing → Newsletters, ebooks, blogs, help guides, podcasts.
This approach should get you a good headstart in terms of ascertaining how each granular tactic is or should shape your digital strategy. It can also illuminate some tactics that may be counterproductive to your business goals.
Know What to Keep
After envisioning all inextricable facets of your strategy, it’s now time to determine what you truly need to retain.
Kondo opines that a good way of de-cluttering is to begin by sorting items that are of less emotional value such as books, clothes, miscellaneous items, etc. – before categorising items that have sentimental value.
When I was exploring feasible ways of de-cluttering my organic marketing, I picked the items I wanted to focus on most:
- Email automation
- Social media feeds
- Guest posting
Since these are important aspects of our digital strategy, keeping them was a straightforward decision.
Ensconcing the KonMari Method into our content calendar meant that we as a group had to be serious about what we wanted to put up online and show – as opposed to adding to the content clutter (information overload) that is already beleaguering even the best of data scientists.
Put simply, that meant creating content with a sense of purpose and from a place of unhinged clarity.
Know What to Discard
Now comes the hardest part of all, at least for me – letting go. Now is also the time when you must be 100% honest with yourself. Kondo insists that we only keep items that spark joy within us. When it’s time to discard, express gratitude and let go (something that is never an easy thing to do).
Are you adamant about retaining a particular tactic when it hasn’t worked? Is there a tactic you’ve always planned to experiment with, but never really got to do? Equally, is a particular strategy impelling you to keep pouring money without giving you the expected ROI?
For instance, your active presence on LinkedIn may not be giving you the ROI you expect for over 12 months, but should you keep producing more ads? Is this the right time to perhaps re-align priorities?
In my case, I realised that a couple of items did need de-cluttering.
As I scrutinised the channels I was happily spending time on to convert our audience, I couldn’t help but observe, I was spending far less time on methods that drove engagement. And so, I had to make the choice. I felt liberated. More importantly, it helped me develop a clearer mindset.
The Mindset Effect
At a micro level, the KonMari method is about making a subtle difference in the mindset to keep pursuing all that which ‘sparks joy’. In digital marketing parlance, this translates into keeping things that make our job easier and replicable.
For example, if you find that search marketing is taking you one step closer to your goals, think no further and retain it. On the other hand, if email marketing is not giving you the expected outcomes, it’s perhaps time to de-prioritise it for some time.
The more you eliminate approaches that aren’t getting you anywhere, the easier it will become to de-clutter your digital marketing strategy and make it successful.
Takeaway 1: The keenness to ‘somehow’ be everywhere invariably lands up nowhere, besides distracting us from being happy. So narrow down your digital marketing strategy, and shift focus to the platforms where you’d find your audience or where they’d want you to be.
Takeaway 2: If a blog or social media post doesn’t impel you to do something, you cannot expect your audience to feel any different. Therefore, view your content as a means to spark joy/ invite call-to-action from your customer, instead of considering it as just another item to do.
Takeaway 3: Get inspired by the KonMari method to take affirmative action backed with a sense of purpose, without giving you the feeling of ‘FOMO’.
Feel free to play around with Kondo's concept. Does your audience feel joyful when experiencing your service? If the answer is no, you could end up being the unsuspecting target of their Kondo-driven tidying up.