By Alex Citron
I’m not a natural declutterer. Anyone who could see my desk, let alone my wardrobe, would testify to that. The huge success of Marie Kondo’s guide to ‘joyful’ decluttering shows how many people need help with the idea. But on the occasions that I do undertake a big sorting out it feels great.
And it always seems easier in the summertime. The latest programme from Channel 4’s Phil Spencer is showcasing how easy it is to make more of your space – physical, mental and emotional – with some clever design and ruthless throwing out.
We’ve just been moving around the offices again and also found ourselves evaluating what we really need to keep. It’s not so easy to apply Kondo’s ‘does it spark joy?’ test about marketing collateral, either online or off. But once you get going, the ‘instant results’ of satisfaction are hard to beat.
So here are five ways you can work through an early summer decluttering of your marketing mix:
- Communicate – Decide who’s in charge of making the decisions on this and let them get on with it. They should of course ask their relevant colleagues what’s important for them to keep. But too many people involved can end up with a lot of negotiating and not much progress. So initial agreement on timing and perimeters is important.
- Into the recycling – Taking a leaf from Kondo, pull out all the physical collateral you have onto one table. You might find old newsletters, brochures, last year’s tax tables. Apart from a single file copy, anything that is older than 2016 and not being regularly used should go into the recycling.
- Stock take – For your physical collateral, have a good look at what you have left. Is it really still useful? If so, think about quantities. On your regular newsletters, do you order enough, too many or too few? On your Budget communications, do you still have enough tax tables for the rest of the tax year? But don’t forget your digital holdings. Are all your PDFs and other digital content filed in one place that everyone can find? Weed out older files into an archive. Maybe take a look at your naming conventions. Are the files clearly named and dated?
- Website audit – Check that your pages are still up to date. Have there been any changes on staff contact details? Are any downloads of guides and newsletters up to date? If they’re not, is there a problem with the process of getting them online? Should old ones come off or be put in an archive? Are you using key words for SEO optimisation? Do the images used still reflect your brand? A lot of questions, but this is a great way focus attention on your site collectively and make sure it’s still serving your business properly.
- Review and plan – When you’re left with your current physical and online collateral and have a list of anything that needs fixing on your site, review what you’re happy with and what you might want to change. With a clearer sense of where you are and what you have been doing, it’s easier to plan ahead for the rest of the year across your regular and event-based communications.
Instant and long term results – and you never know, it might ‘spark joy’.