If you haven’t already seen Netflix’s “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo”, you may want to set aside some binge-watching time to see for yourself why everyone you know is on a decluttering spree.

To summarize, the show centers on Marie Kondo, a Japanese organizing consultant, as she helps families declutter their homes using her ‘KonMari’ method of ridding your home of items that do not spark joy. Kondo breaks down her tidying strategy into five categories: clothing, books, papers and miscellaneous/sentimental items. Her method has gone viral causing a flood of online content on how to Marie Kondo just about anything from your freezer to your digital life. Since Williams Whittle specializes in nonprofit advertising and marketing, we decided to think about how we could help our clients Marie Kondo their marketing which led us to revisit the topic of a marketing audit with a KonMari spin on it.

Before any tidying adventure Kondo tackles, she takes a moment to greet the home by sitting quietly on the floor and thanking the home for providing protection and shelter.

Equally as important, before you begin your marketing audit, take a deep breath and be grateful for the mission of your nonprofit and all the accomplishments you have made thus far. Taking a critical eye to your marketing may get frustrating at times, but remember to come back to this time of gratitude and know that all your efforts for change will ultimately be for the good of your brand and conveying your good works to your supporters. We have broken down your typical marketing audit into four steps that tie back to some of Kondo’s key principles to help you remember these tools.


1. Research

Marie Kondo gives stacks of books a good tap to ‘wake them’ before tackling their tidying process. The type of research you will be doing for a marketing audit may not require picking up actual books for research. Rather, you will be using interviews and surveys to gather fresh perspectives and complete a competitive review to see how similar organizations are branding themselves.

  • Interviews & Surveys: First, start by getting opinions from various people that interact with your brand. This could be donors, board members, staff and volunteers. How would they describe your mission and vision? What do they hear in the community about how your brand is perceived? To make things more systematic, consider conducting surveys regarding specific campaigns or marketing materials. Analyze the results to see if participants get the same message you intended to convey. You know exactly what your mission is, but it is always a good idea to get a fresh set of eyes to look at your work and give opinions. If you are unable to conduct formal interviews or surveys, take a look at your reviews on YelpMand Facebook to get input from the public on your brand. This is exactly why people ask Marie Kondo to come to their home. They are looking for a new opinion on how to clean their house much like you are looking for a new method or an update to market your brand.
  • Brand Audit: You then want to step back and evaluate how you are marketing your organization in comparison to your mission and goals and competition in your industry. This can be done a number of ways. Setup a Google Analytics account and start tracking where your followers are coming from and what parts of your website they navigate to. Perhaps take online training on Google Analytics first to get the best understanding of all you can learn from this service. Then take a look at your Facebook Analytics. Check under ‘insights’ while you are logged in as an administrator. Once there, you can look under ‘posts’ to see what times your fans are online to better plan your content schedule. You can also look under ‘people’ to see where your fans are coming from geographically and their gender to get started on having a better persona for who you are reaching. Then step outside the analytics realm, and just take a look online to get a general understanding of your competitors. You can search their social channels, websites and online publications to start. Look to see what topics they are covering and how they are presenting them. Having a better understanding of how your competitors are branding yourself may spark ideas on things you want to change or avoid.

2.  Document & Technology Review

This process is similar to how Marie Kondo has her clients lay out all the clothes they own in order to see what they have. Her clients proceed to hold each item and see if it ‘sparks joy’. If it does, they keep the item and if doesn’t they thank it and give it away. To do this with your marketing materials, first lay out all your brochures, rack cards, flyers, etc. Look at each item and instead of seeing if it sparks joy, look to see if it accurately conveys your message and if each item fits together with the others to create a cohesive theme. Don’t stop with your physical marketing items, go one step further and assess the electronic platforms you are using to market. Start with your website and email marketing platform. First off, make sure your website conveys the purpose of your organization as soon as you land on the site. This may require a reorganization of the content on your website to make sure the most pertinent and mission-driven content is at the forefront to capture your audience. Then consider a few other fixes such as checking if your logo is web-friendly. It may need to be updated with a web safe font and flexible color palette. You may also need both vertical and horizontal versions of your logo or even a “bug version” for social media. Then check your email marketing, perhaps all of your emails look different and a branded template needs to be created for your email blasts. Take your time, you do not have to overhaul all your marketing at once, take it one piece at a time and it will come together.

3. Statistics Review

It seems like Marie Kondo has a special way to fold every piece of clothing or a way to organize any set of items in a drawer. Her end goal with this technique is to make sure you can see everything you have and not have to dig and shuffle through a drawer to find something you need. Likewise, it is nice to be able to clearly see the results of your marketing efforts by taking a look at how your campaigns have been performing. For example, take a look at the past month of your social media posts and take a look at which ones got the most likes, shares, retweets or even comments. You can organize them in a dashboard to be easily viewed. Once you have the data, try to make sense of these numbers. Did the post with the most likes, have a video or touch on an emotional topic? See if there are any trends in the content your audience responds well to.

4. Finally, the Joy

Hopefully, your marketing audit allows you to rid your organization of materials that don’t match or need to be updated. Maybe through this process, you learned that your followers respond better to a certain type of content and you want to create more of it. Make sure each campaign, social media post and marketing material serves a purpose and you will surely find your organization sparking the joy of your followers, fans and users because you have taken a step back to find out what works and doesn’t to convey your brand.


If you need guidance on how to implement changes to your logo, brochure or ads, or someone to be your very own Marie Kondo to assist with finishing a marketing audit, reach out to Williams Whittle; we would be happy to assist you. Generating ideas that generate change is what we do best.