Industry Insights

‘Marie Kondo’ Your Digital Marketing Strategy

It’s been a long week, and if you’re like me, come Friday, you look forward to a good Netflix show to binge watch. In the time it takes to finally choose a show—I swear, it takes more time to scroll through and select titles than to actually watch them—you may have come across a show, and new hit obsession, by the name of “Tidying Up With Marie Kondo”.

If you have been living under a pile of clutter and somehow haven’t heard the name before, Marie Kondo is a Japanese organizing consultant, the author of “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up”, and now the host of this top-rated Netflix show. Her method—called KonMari—to tidying is simple; simplify and organize by getting rid of everything that doesn’t spark joy.

Not only has it sparked off enthusiasm to clean my home, but I’ve been able to apply her method and approach to several areas of my life. 

You may be wondering what Marie Kondo and her show have to do with an article on digital marketing? It may seem like nothing, but let's take a more in-depth look.

The KonMari Method for Digital Marketing

KonMari teaches you to ask a simple question when you go about the task of tidying. For every item you possess, you simply ask yourself, “does it spark joy?” If it doesn’t, you let go of it. This is much easier for physical items, but when you break it down, the method advances more than just housekeeping tips. The KonMari method promotes the excellence of: 

  • Taking a measured, step-by-step approach.

  • Approaching challenges strategically.

  • Focusing on one thing at a time.

  • Making conscious choices that align with your needs and feel “right”.

How does this method align with digital marketing? 

In many posts, I have emphasized the need to review your tactics and to make the time to take a Measured, Step-by-Step Approach to your digital marketing planning. Little productive good can come from an impetuous style of starting a campaign or tackling a new social media channel, as the results tend to be cluttered, messy, disorganized, and typically poor. Enter the clean-up stage with a plan to Approach Challenges Strategically. Whether it’s dealing with strongly worded comments on social media or a campaign’s poor results, you need to tackle high-sensitivity efforts with a clear mind and true course.

Most digital marketers will have multiple tactics on the go, but when it comes to execution, do focus on one thing at a time. Whether you have a team of specialists or a team of one, schedule your work to focus on one task—creating a landing page or a content—and complete it before moving onto the next. This will allow you to make conscious choices that align with your needs and feel “right”, reinforcing your digital marketing strategies goals, objectives, KPIs, and focusing on your target market. 

The Marie Kondo "Lessons" for Your Digital Marketing

Lesson #1: Pile Your Items all in One Place

Based on Marie’s first step of tidying up, getting a visual overview of all of your things by putting them in one big pile—and in this case—create a ‘pile’ of all your digital marketing tactics. Pull together all of your tactics from your digital strategy, and record everything that is part of your digital marketing efforts in one document. Get as granular as possible. Don't heap your tactics en masse into generalized piles such as search engine optimization’, or ‘content marketing’, and ‘social media'. Narrow down your focus and sort all of your tactics separately into smaller classifications. For example: 

  • ‘Search Engine Optimization’ would break down to organic search, referral traffic, keywords, etc. 

  • ‘Content Marketing' would break down to emails, newsletters, blog, podcast, etc. 

  • ‘Social Media’ would break down to Twitter posts, Facebook Ads, Instagram posts and stories, etc. 

Creating the pile will provide a holistic view of all your tactics and how each shapes your strategy.  

Lesson #2 - Deciding What You Need to Keep

Once you have the pile, a.k.a., holistic view, it is now time to decide what will stay and what will go. The art of decluttering, or in the case of digital marketing, the art of optimizing, is to determine what you really need to keep as part of your strategy. Ask yourself, which tactics “spark joy”, such as what brings in revenue or meets your goals versus those that don’t “spark joy”, such as resource vampires with no return. According to Marie Kondo, start with the easiest decision then move to the hardest decisions, as in those with more sentimental value or best results.   

For instance, developing blogs just like this is a crucial part of your digital strategy and bring in good results for the company; hence it’s an easy decision to keep them. But once the easy choices are made, it’s time to get tough and be honest with yourself, your team, and your strategy.  

Is there a tactic that just isn’t working well but you insist on keeping it? Is there a strategy that your team was always planning to try but never got around to doing? More importantly, is there a tactic that you keep infusing time and resources into, but are simply not getting the desired return on investment? This is the hard stage—the sentimental stage—in which you need to re-assess and to have an honest discussion with your team, or maybe a consultant, to discuss priorities and the tactics on which you should focus. 

It will be hard to let go of these, especially after putting time and money into them, but it will be better to focus on what’s best for your business, and ultimately your bank account, going forward. Just as noted above, you don’t need to change everything, all in one day. Take a strategic approach to planning, and focus on one thing at a time.  

Lesson #3: Spark Joy!  

As noted, the KonMari method is all about sparking joy. When it comes to digital marketing, we could say that that the KonMari method of “keeping what brings you joy” could turn into “keeping what brings you results”. Results being more revenue, more customers, or efficiencies in making work easier. If a tactic brings you closer to your goals, i.e., “sparks joy”, then keep it!  

Some further tips to ‘spark joy’ when it comes to digital marketing: 

  • Only follow accounts that 'spark joy.'  

  • Only use apps that ‘spark joy’ and move those messy phone apps to trash. And in the spirit of KonMari, be sure to thank them for their service. 

  • Only use channels that ‘spark joy’ and are productive for you. 

Ending Notes

Whether you are tidying up your home, your digital marketing strategy, or your content, what we can learn from Marie Kondo and the “KonMari” method is that the more we dispose of strategies and tactics that are simply not working in our digital marketing, the easier it will be to “tidy up” our strategy. At the end of the day, as marketers, we want to make sure that we’re maintaining a successful digital marketing strategy. Let’s ‘spark joy’ for your results, your leadership, and your budget!

P.S. If you haven’t watched Marie Kondo’s show, I suggest that you tidy-up your schedule to clear an evening or weekend, and binge on the program.  

Lynette Sawyer

Lynette Sawyer

Lynette Sawyer is a Web Project Manager for Falcon-Software, a digital web agency founded in 1994. For the last 13-years Lynette has been in various digital capacities and her expertise goes beyond Project Management. Lynette brings experience and knowledge in graphic design, marketing communications, project management, product management and engagement.

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