How To Prove The ROI Of Getting Organized [Backed By Science]
CoSchedule's Headline Analyzer Studio will score your overall headline quality and rate its ability to result in social shares, increased traffic, and SEO value.Test every headline before you publish. Try Headline Studio »
Here are three facts I know to be 100% certain:
- Marketers who document their plan are 538% more successful than those who don’t.
- Marketers who document their processes are 466% more successful than those who don’t.
- Marketers who set goals are 429% more successful than those who don’t.
^^^ I don’t know what that sounds like to you.
But to me…
…it sounds like literal data proves that:
Marketers who proactively organize the ways in which they will be successful are actually more successful than marketers who don’t organize their plans, processes, and goals.
So to answer the question the title of this article hints at, let me pose another…
…is there value in being successful?
If that’s just not enough for you, let’s breakdown the symptoms the lack of solid organization cause and explore how you’ll solve those pains by getting organized.
This information is handy when:
- You need to prove to your boss that it’s worth your time and investment to implement new tools and processes to get organized.
- Your team needs some reassurance that while change is difficult, that after implementing new organizational procedures that their lives will actually be way easier—proven by science.
- You need a kick in the pants to get organized now… because every day you spend frustrated by disorganization is another wasted opportunity.
You’ve got this! So let’s explore, shall we? ;)
You Literally Don’t Have To Work As Hard When You’re Organized (This Is A Really Good Thing)
Disorganization in your marketing operations causes extreme frustration.
Frustration is a feeling of anger or annoyance caused by being unable to do something, according to Merriam-Webster dictionary.
I thought it was interesting to read the example sentence Merriam-Webster used to define frustration because it applies all too well to the topic of disorganized marketing:
These bureaucratic delays have been causing us a lot of frustration.
Hm. ^^^ I’m sure you’ve been there.
A study from the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health aimed to understand how frustration impacted brain activity while participants executed tasks they knew really well.
It takes increased attentional effort to complete well-learnt tasks when you’re frustrated.
Therefore, if being disorganized causes you to feel frustrated, you’re likely to experience more stress and expend more mental energy to complete your work.
In short, you have to work harder when you’re frustrated. It slows you down, shatters productivity, and destroys your efficiency.
Value of being organized: You spend less mental energy to complete your work. That means you save time.
You can calculate the actual value with the following formula:
(time spent completing task while frustrated × hourly wage) – (time spent completing task normally × hourly wage) = # hours productivity and # money saved from being organized
For example, if you’re writing a webinar script, your calculation may look something like this:
(16 hours writing script while frustrated × $30 hourly wage) – (10 hours writing script normally × $30 hourly wage) = 6 hours of productivity and $180 saved from being organized
Use a tool like Toggl to track your time. Then log it in the spreadsheet that complements this article.
^^^ That’s nerd-ville. But if you need legit calculations to back up why you need to change now, knowing the numbers will help your case.
Now… how can you solve the frustration caused by disorganization? Since I picked on “bureaucratic delays” as a cause of frustration, next up is…
Science Proves That Setting Deadlines Helps You Actually Complete Tasks On Time
Deadline is a date or time before which something must be done, again, according to Merriam-Webster dictionary.
Researchers at MIT conducted a study on procrastination, deadlines, and precommitment. Essentially, they wanted to know if incremental deadlines would help projects be completed on time rather than at the last minute (or not at all).
That study found self-imposed deadlines aren’t as effective as externally-imposed, evenly-spaced deadlines.
People are scientifically proven to be more effective when larger “projects” are broken down and assigned to them as deadlines over time.
^^^ Yep. People work better when they’re told what to do and when to have it done.
So… to summarize… psychology suggests:
Being organized enough to plan your workflows and delegate task deadlines will help you complete projects on time.
What are some best practices for assigning deadlines?
^^^ I thought you’d never ask. ;)
- Break down all of the work to be done for a piece of content in a chronological list. For example, consider everything you need to do to plan, write, and publish a white paper from beginning to end.
- Eliminate all unnecessary tasks from the list. Andrew S. Grove, former CEO at Intel, suggests targeting a specific number of tasks to remove from your workflow can help you reduce your workload by 30-50%. Remove tasks that fall into other workflows, exist for bureaucratic/approval purposes, and are outdated.
- Decide who will complete each of those tasks. You’re thinking of one name per task here—because the moment you delegate one task to two people is the moment each points fingers at the other to complete the work (or… push blame on the other when the work never gets completed).
- Figure out when the last task in the workflow needs to be done. In marketing lingo, you can think of this as # of days before publish. For example, if you need a blog post to be 100% complete two weeks before it publishes, the last task in the workflow needs to be done 14 days before the publish date. Now you know the second-to-last task needs to be completed 15 days before publish, the third-to-last task 16 days before publish, and all the way up the list to the very first task so you’ll know exactly when to begin the workflow.
Through this process, you’ve organized:
- The workflow for a specific piece of content so no detail gets missed.
- Accountability for each task within the workflow so you can efficiently assign the work among your team.
- When every task needs to be completed so, as a collective project, the content is completed on time, thereby crushing your deadline.
You can follow this simple process to organize realistic workflows for everything you do: white papers, blog posts, emails, courses, and beyond.
And, in the grand scheme of things, you’ve used psychology to influence your team to complete their work on time so you, as a collective marketing team, nail every deadline for every piece and for every campaign.
Value of being organized: You will hit deadlines while removing 30-50% of your workload, thus giving you the ability to complete projects faster and more efficiently than ever before.You can calculate the value of organizing your workflows and deadlines with the following formulas:
(total time spent completing tasks that were removed from the workflow) × hourly wage = # hours productivity and # money saved from being organized
For example, if you’re writing a blog post, your calculation may look something like this:
(1 hour approving idea + 30 minutes outline peer review + 30 minutes social media graphic review + 1 hour writing email) × $30 hourly wage = 3 hours of productivity and $90 saved from being organized
Since you’ll also be able to work through projects faster and more efficiently, you may even want to communicate that value, too. While certain tasks may require less time than one day to be completed, typical waterfall workflows mean allocating a day per task to allow your team members flexibility in their daily schedules to complete the work:
# days to complete workflow before task reduction (total # tasks removed from the workflow) = # days to complete the organized workflow
For example, this is what that may look like for your blog post:
10 days to complete workflow before task reduction – (1 +1 +1 +1 total tasks removed from the workflow) = 6 days to complete the organized workflow
^^^ This illustrates you’ll move faster to ship the same projects, which means you can take on more work all while hitting your deadlines.
If You’re Persistent, You’ll Get It. If You’re Consistent, You’ll Keep It.
Tony Robbins once said…
It’s not what we do once in a while that shapes our lives. It’s what we do consistently.
Yeah, that’s a nice quip.
^^^ That quote holds water as far as science is concerned.
Researchers wondered if commitment would be an effective way to promote proenvironmental behaviors. They discovered for early behavioral success that:
[…] commitment alone […] and commitment plus another treatment (e.g., feedback, incentives, persuasive messages, […]) were significantly more effective than control groups.
That means if you commit to something, you’re likely to be successful at it. Go figure.
And, that means if you commit to something AND communicate during that commitment, you’re even more likely to be successful. Consider that when you make a behavioral change in your marketing team…
The study goes on to elaborate:
[…] both commitment only and commitment plus another treatment yielded sustained behavior change.
That means commitment leads to long-term behavior change, therefore, long-term success.
If you’re persistent right away, you’ll get it. If you’re consistent with that commitment, you’ll keep it.
As a marketer, you likely hear all too often that “Consistency is key to success!”
Well, for you to get organized personally, science proves that’s true.
And, as far as your marketing’s results go, consistency is a major driver of success, too.
- A website with zero pages will get zero visitors. That means zero page views, zero email subscribers, and… zero customers.
- A website with a couple pages may get visitors. That means a few page views, a couple subscribers, and maybe some customers.
- A website with 10 thousand pages will get thousands of visitors, thousands of email subscribers, and hundreds of customers.
^^^ If that sounds bizarre…
…or you don’t believe me…
…I know those three bullets to be 100% true because they are precisely what happened here at CoSchedule.
Back in 2013, this is what traffic looked like at CoSchedule because we started with just a few web pages and blog posts. No one knew who we were or the pains CoSchedule could solve for them:
CoSchedule launched September 23, 2013. A big spike! Followed by actual days of zero page views. wah-wah
This is CoSchedule’s traffic recently:
That didn’t happen over night.
A commitment to publishing at least two blog posts every single week since 2013 gave us:
- Opportunities to test various topics and angles to understand what our audience would be interested in.
- The option of failure. It’s not possible for every piece to be a winner. But that gave us so many ways to learn what not to do, so we could improve everything we should do moving forward.
- Thousands of keywords to rank on. When every blog post targets a keyword, every search brings new traffic. Organic search accounts for 69% of our traffic, which wouldn’t be possible if we didn’t consistently publish content strategically targeted at ranking for terms our audience uses.
^^^ That last one is crucial to our success as a marketing team here at CoSchedule.
Imagine if CoSchedule only published one blog post per month targeting a keyword that would bring in 1,000 search results. Since September 2013, that would mean we’d have only published something like 55 blog posts resulting in 55,000 page views of monthly recurring traffic.
^^^ That would suck. And it wouldn’t be the more than 1.5 million page views the CoSchedule website pulls in every month today.
Instead, consistently publishing at least two blog posts since 2013 (and frequently more now because we know publishing consistently works), gives us steady, long-term results that look something like this:
It’s not easy. I fully remember late nights on Sundays and Tuesdays to make damn sure we published first thing Monday and Wednesday mornings. We were committed. It had to happen no matter what.
We got better at it.
Getting organized, creating workflows, and setting goals helped us commit to producing content that produces results.
Value of being organized: Commitment and consistency make your goals reality.You can calculate how organizing your commitment to consistency impacts your marketing’s success with this formula:
(total # of pieces to publish when committed to consistency) – (total # of pieces published today without commitment to consistency) × (total anticipated # goal volume) = # of goal increase from being organized
Since the CoSchedule example involves blog posts, this is what the formula may look like for us as an example:
(9 blog posts to publish per month when committed to consistency) – (1 blog post published per month without commitment to consistency) × (1,000 new search results per blog post) = 8,000 pageview increase each month from being organized.
^^^ Now, that formula is the most simplistic it can be. You’ll tweak it according to your own goals.
The point here is that organizing your commitment to publishing consistently will dramatically boost your marketing’s results.
What Is Being Organized Worth To You?
Just by running through the frameworks with the examples in this article, being organized would:
- Give you 6 hours of productivity and save $180 on every white paper you’d produce moving forward.
- Free up 3 hours of productivity and save $90 on every blog post you’ll write in the future.
- Boost your recurring monthly pageviews by 8,000.
Being organized eliminates frustration, reduces your overall workload, and boosts your results.
If you’re ready to organize all of your marketing—including blog posts, email marketing, social media campaigns, and everything content—in one place, now’s the perfect time to check out Coschedule.
CoSchedule is the only marketing management platform that brings everything you’re working on in one visual calendar. It helps you see everything your team is working on at a glance.
So go ahead and see what getting organized will do for you!
Request your free, customized demo with a CoSchedule expert!
You’ve got this!
May 17, 2018