Setting it Up and Killing it Off: A Lesson in Essentialism

Let me tell you a little story that happens to me each and every Spring. Like many homeowners, I go to the home improvement store to pick out flowers. (It should be noted that I have far from a green thumb, but I do this because I have every intention of making my porch look like it came straight off the pages of Better Homes and Gardens.) 

Brink Insights: Setting It Up and Killing It Off - A Lesson in Essentialism

I pick a color scheme for my flowers and then I start loading up my flat cart with annuals. This year my cart was brimming with purple-shaded happiness. Remembering that I’m trying to be like Joanna Gaines, I tried not to cry when the cashier told me the final cost. Once I got home, I realized that I had bought way too many flowers - I didn’t have enough pots and there was no way that was going to till my lawn to plant annuals. Then buyer’s remorse totally kicked in. 

Speaking of buyer's remorse, marketing people, here’s a question for you: 

Have you ever purchased a bunch of different software apps with promise of implementing it all perfectly, excitedly set all up, played around for a week (or two), then killed it off because it was more than you needed, not to mention more complex? 

Maybe the UX was way more difficult to navigate than the demo suggested, or maybe it didn’t have the functionality that you thought it did - or, it ended up being to hard to integrate with the other apps you use. Whatever the reason, when this happens to me, I oftentimes feel defeated and rash for implementing it in the first place. 

This happened to us at Brink….literally this week. 

We had just relaunched the new website and tools for BrinkU and we were really excited about promoting our awesome assets to help software founders and other marketers like us. Honestly, we were pretty impressed with ourselves for building such an amazingly large and complex marketing technology stack. But...

Less than two weeks later, we killed it off. All of it. We stopped everything - we rerouted the landing pages and halted the emails immediately. Long story short, the tool stack we had architected was just too much. Too many softwares, too many places to look for data - and frankly, too many points of failure...eek.

What we forgot for a hot minute is that we are essentialists. Every bit of the strategies we create for our clients is exactly what is essential to accomplish the job - no overbuilding. Like many of the clients we consult, we had created a bloated tech stack. This is easy to do when there are so many AMAZING marketing technologies out there. However, we had a tech stack that was WAY too big. Not to mention that we were paying so much to work so hard on integrations. Once we came to our senses, our stack went from 7 apps to just 1 in the blink of an eye. FREEDOM!

But, not everyone finds it as easy as we do - the blowing everything up thing. Change is pretty scary and being wrong often hurts our ego. If we would have let our pride and fear of change get in the way of paring down our tech stack to just the essentials, we would be stuck in a constant frustration at our slow processes, high software bill (yikes) and disparate data. We turned this bogged down feeling of exasperation into action.

Now we have implemented a new system. You read that right A new system. These minimalist marketers are running on one sales and marketing CRM tool and we couldn’t feel better about it. Yes, we've given up some bells and whistles to get down to one tool, but man, does it feel good. 

Just like overdoing it at the garden center, buyer’s remorse is a feeling that we’re all faced with at one time or another. Let us give you some courage to just kill it off. (Call us, we'll do it with you.) Whatever is giving you the angst, stop it in its tracks. Setting it up and killing it off takes time and money, we know. But what's the cost of running too many things and paying out the nose for added complexity? Instead of feeling sorry about the situation, it could be a perfect time to adopt our essentialism marketing mindset, too. Embrace it, because like many things in life, less is more.

Tell me. What's on your chopping block? We'd love to hear about what you plan to axe!