Is Technology Actually Making Us Less Productive?[ New Research]


After working in my role here at HubSpot for almost eight months now, Iave started to go into autopilot when I turn on my computer every morning.

I open up my email app, my calendar app, my organization and productivity app, my grammar-checking app, my note-taking app, my analytics tool, and my blogging tool.

And thatas only when I first get into the office.

By the end of most days, my browser is full of different tab, and so many apps and tools are running that they eventually start shutting down of their own accord. When all of these sites, apps, and tools are working, I spend a significant portion of my day using them: to write, to proofread, to extrapolate data, to keep track of what Iam working on, to update notes — all in the name of efficiency.

But as it turns out, appropriate tools and apps that we marketers use every day was likely to be building us least efficient. If “youre feeling” the ache of switching between 1,000 apps per day like I do, read on for new data from HubSpot Research.

The Trouble With Tools

We surveyed more than 2,000 business owners, salespeople, and marketers in the U.S. and U.K. The biggest finding from our research? Marketers and salespeople are employing too many productivity tools and apps, and itas actually building us least efficient .

Marketers are employing a ton of tools.

You likely knew this one already from your own day-to-day experience, but it bears repeating: There are an enormous number of marketing tools out there, and marketers are employing a lot of them to get their jobs done every day.

HubSpot Research investigated our customer base of over 20,000 websites, and we found that each website has an average of 13 tool consolidations — one website even had 88 tools and apps. The marketing app and tool scenery is incredibly mobbed and constantly evolving, a phenomenon chronicled in this extremely busy graphic 😛 TAGEND

Source: Chiefmartec

Now, before you keep reading, think about how many tools “youre using” every day to do your job . Keep that number in intellect as you keep reading the results of our survey.

Marketers underestimate how many tools theyare using.

When I counted up the number of tools I use every day, my initial count landed at seven tools and apps. But then, when I started digging into my internet history, I realise the number was actually higher. HubSpotas internal communications platform is a tool I didnat consider. The same goes for our file-sharing service, my social media scheduling tool, and an analytics bookmark.

By the time I fully audited every single tool and app I use in a devoted day to do my job, the number was in the double-digits. And as it turns out, Iam not alone.

When we asked our survey respondents how many technologies they used in their day undertakings, their answers were surprising — and perhaps too low.

Source: HubSpot Research

The majority of survey respondents said they only use between one and five tools to do their jobs every day, and we believe these numbers stray on the conservative side for similar reasons my initial number was so low. When technology becomes a part of your day-to-day routine, itas easy to forget youare using it — and to notice that it could induce your day less efficient.

When apps and tools are built into your workday as browser extensions, bookmarks, homepages, and push notifications, for example, it can be easy not to count them. But as it turns out, using them is taking up valuable time.

Too Much Tech= Too Little Efficiency

In an ironic twisting, tools designed in the name of productivity and efficiency could be impeding those results.

Marketers are wasting time.

We asked marketers to calculate how much hour they spend each day logging into, use, and jumping between the different tools and technologies they use. The results were surprising: Marketers are losing up to five hours per week managing and operating apps to get their jobs done.

Source: HubSpot Research

Marketers are getting frustrated.

The two biggest ache points for survey respondents were how much hour it takes to work in and operate the myriad of various types of marketing tools out there, and how much hour it was necessary to switching between tools use different logins and passwords.

Source: HubSpot Research

That hour lost to managing different tools and technologies each day is all the more worsening if the tools share functional abilities, and a majority of the marketers we surveyed think up to five tools they use could be redundant.

Source: HubSpot Research

I donat know about you, but there are definitely redundancies between some of appropriate tools I use. Heck, I use two to-do list apps and still write my list down with a pen and paper every day. How many tools do “youre using” that work to do different versions of the same functions?

Marketers could be using that time to do other cool things.

Perhaps the most frustrating aspect of the inefficiency of tools is that time spent managing tools takes away from hour that could be spend tackling big-picture challenges, generating content, or closing prospects. Hereas what the marketers and salespeople we surveyed said they wished they could be doing with that time 😛 TAGEND

Source: HubSpot Research

The three things marketers would prefer to focus on — growing web traffic, generating content, and converting new results — might look familiar. Theyare critical pieces of the inbound and content marketing funnel, and without ample time to dedicate to these tasks, marketers might not be able to generate as many results as needed for their sales teamsa success.

Whatas the Solution?

So, letas recap.

The results of this survey arenat great. Marketers and salespeople are having trouble being as efficient and productive as possible because they have to manage so many different tools. Theyare sacrificing time to work on projects of greater impact and magnitude to log into tools and extrapolate data.

But not to fret — we indicate two steps to maximize efficiency and remain productive in the face of hundreds of productivity tools to choose from.

1) Do an audit.

If you didnat do it earlier while reading, sit down and write off( or kind) a list of all of the websites, tools, apps, extensions, and bots “youre using” every day to get your work done. From your sticky notes app on your computer to your pen and paper to-do list, make an exhaustive list of everything it enables us to get everything done.

2) Consolidate and integrate.

Then, try to categorize your tools and apps into different functionalities to identify any redundancies in your productivity system. If youare using three different types of to-do lists, as I do, can you cut two and merely use one? If youare spending hour reporting data from three different analytics programs, sit down with your team to determine if thereas a more efficient route you could be reporting, or if your KPIs are up-to-date with your teamas needs.

The ultimate objectives should be to create a system of tools that are easy to use and make marketersa undertakings as productive as possible. To learn more about how weave said and done here at HubSpot, read about our fully integrated Growth Stack here.

How much hour do you think you lose each day to redundant tools and apps? Share with us in the comments below.

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