If you are here because the title caught your attention then I am sorry! Minimalist digital marketers do not exist in reality. It wasn’t a click-bait title but it comes from a strong feeling I have for the need of minimalism in digital marketing. If you haven’t read my previous post on the overwhelming world of digital marketing then here is a quick recap. As a digital marketer, I was questioning if we are putting too much energy in tools and overlooking ‘quality’. This time, it is about the minimal use of tools to control that. Let’s say, I am a ‘wannabe’ minimalist. But if we are to go by my own theory, I do not exist and hence my story doesn’t exist either.
In the last decade, marketing has been made extremely complex by digitalisation and when everyone is screaming in the marketing space then getting attention has become the biggest issue. And, thanks to algorithms, organic marketing strategies are not working well. But I am sure, there are ways to go minimal without affecting the marketing goals.
Now, ask me why minimalist digital marketers do not exist. It is because they are usually keepers- of ideas, thoughts, strategies, and references. You never know when these things come in handy and that is fine. But the problem lies in trying too hard to be dynamic; trying to manage it all- the ideas, tools, techniques, deadlines, competitions, and results. This is also the part you and I are concerned about because it is our job and we wish to deliver. As a digital marketer, despite having these insane amount of tools and channels, you need proof of actual work that is generating business and contributing to the bigger goals of your organisation.
But what about the business that we are trying to grow through digital marketing? Would they want the same? They certainly wouldn’t trust your idea of going minimalist (at least, in the beginning) because, end of the day, the business needs to grow. They would only agree once they are convinced that shooting right and left yields no fruit.
If we talk about digital minimalism in general, it means limiting digital services by cutting down mindless browsing and usage of the tools. In fact, digital detox is slowly becoming a trend now! While most of us are aware of this epidemic called ‘social shiny object syndrome’, let me put it in a few words- it is nothing but ‘chronic distraction’. We all have been more or less affected by this syndrome. The obvious symptom of this is, the strong impulse to be on every digital and social media channel and creating a digital persona far removed from the reality. This also means constantly check your phone for notifications. The side effects of this are many as we all know. However, when we talk about it in the ‘marketing’ context then it simply means using digital services with intention by cutting down the mindless investment of time and money without fruitful results.
A few months back, I came across this news of Lush Cosmetics in the UK suspending their social media accounts. The company cited their growing frustration with the algorithm war as the reason for doing this and it asked its loyal customers to go back to the traditional methods of reaching out such as emails and posts. Lush urged, “Let’s spark passions, and stop chasing ‘likes’.”
In an era of growing social media distrust, many brands are turning to the traditional ways of reaching out to their customers. A strange example would be that influencer who had 2.6 million followers but couldn’t sell 36 t-shirts to start her own line. Moral of the story- numbers do not always translate into sales. For Lush, this could as well as be a publicity gimmick. You could also say in your argument that they are already an established brand and they do not need to scream on social media to connect with buyers. But I can imagining the amount of time and money they would save.
Moreover, social media is just a small part of digital marketing and digital marketing minimalism has to start somewhere. Gone are the days when we leveraged online platforms. They are now leveraging us to grow their businesses.
So should we all go the Lush way? May be not! We all know that to stay afloat you need to be heard and seen on social media. Just that we need not forget that even though digitalisation has changed the face of marketing, we still need traditional methods to reach our marketing goals.
While doing my research, I read something interesting in one of the articles on the same topic- ‘Quality is subjective; efficiency is not’. This struck a chord because my inner voice keeps telling me the same- detach, unlearn and declutter; you will be able to focus on what is important.
Because, in this fast-paced world, feeling overwhelmed is not even an option.
Being a digital marketer or a business vying to tap the audience in the digital space makes it even harder as you can’t force shut your online activities. So by digital marketing minimalism what I mean is, identifying the right digital tools to push your marketing goals and being on the right platform where your audience is.
An authentic content strategy, an agile work process and avoiding ‘let’s try this and we will see if we fail’ approach would be my recipe for surviving as a wannabe minimalist digital marketer and also as a business trying to increase efficiency in their marketing approaches.
As a first step, I would probably figure out a way to measure and stick to whatever is working and leave out the rest.
For my work, I used to constantly check my phone even when I was working on my computer. It was because having different clients meant a lot of notifications constantly popping up on my screen. The end result was my utmost dissatisfaction with the quality of work I was delivering and the mole of a task used to look like a mountain. I kept believing for a while (thanks to the crap I read on the internet) that it was just my female mind that couldn’t help keeping hundreds of tabs and slides open in my head. Later on, I realised that it is just my digital marketer mind that simply doesn’t shut down.
Going by that, I am a hoarder and not a minimalist. Let’s then call it the ‘story of a minimalist digital marketer who doesn’t exist’.
And this is going to be a long road to minimalism. But I am working on it.
By Jutismita Hazarika – August 24, 2019