Spring Cleaning

Modern marketing can get … messy. The pace is brisk and there are more moving pieces than ever. A little clutter around the edges is hard to avoid, and probably fine—as long as it doesn’t get out of hand. To keep your mess under control, take advantage of the fading winter gloom and embrace the spirit of spring cleaning. What could this look like in practice? Let’s take a moment to pause and reflect.

  • Clutter can be overwhelming, so start close to home with your own mindset. As the springtime dawns, consider channeling this advice from neuroscientist and leadership coach Tara Swart: “Every time you drift toward negative thinking, prune it like you would a dead leaf on a house plant.”
  • While you’re in “start with me” mode, stop to consider personal and professional habits that might be holding you (and your team) back. Changing habits is never easy, but it’s less daunting when you have neuroscience on your side.
  • Or maybe just one of those doggie neck cone things. 😉
  • The next step outward from your mindset is your physical work space. There’s plenty of evidence that clutter affects our work, our mental health and our relationships with others. So get tidying. If you want to take it a step further, why not order some pizza and turn it into a team event?
  • Speaking of coming together as a team, why not consider team meetings through a spring cleaning lens? You’ll find some helpful tips for making improvements to this perennial problem here and here.
  • While you’re focused on how work happens, it might be a good idea to turn your attention to the humble brief—still an essential tool for any marketing team. Trust us, your agency partners will thank you.
  • Now that you’re warmed up, it’s time to jump from how work happens to the work itself. In other words, it’s time to examine your tactical mix with fresh eyes. A simple place to start: channel Marie Kondo and review all of the various tactics your team is employing with fresh eyes. Which of them sparks the most joy (or delivers the most impact)?

  • If your list of tactics is too long or disjointed, it might be time to refresh or refine your marketing strategy. Or, if that’s too daunting, at least consider the way it’s being communicated. Does everyone on the team understand it and know how to turn it into action? If not, it could be time to investigate the notion of “commander’s intent”.
  • Our final suggestion: if you only have the time and energy to clean up one thing this spring besides your own mindset and habits, make it your team culture. Without careful care and feeding, workplace culture can too easily drift from top-notch to toxic. The good news—it’s in your power to scrub it into something better.
Issue #88
Mar 1, 2020

Further Reading