26 Marketing Tools for Non-Tech-Savvy Marketers

26 Marketing Tools for Non-Tech-Savvy Marketers
Marketing tools are essential for streamlining and automating the more arduous aspects of the process. The only issue is that you’ve got to actually learn how to use them. You have to learn their capabilities, their limitations as well as their nuances. It’s no biggie if you’re tech-inclined. But what if you’re not so tech-savvy? Using marketing tools can nearly negate the purpose if it’s a struggle just to figure them out. That’s why I…

Marketing tools are essential for streamlining and automating the more arduous aspects of the process.

The only issue is that you’ve got to actually learn how to use them.

You have to learn their capabilities, their limitations as well as their nuances.

It’s no biggie if you’re tech-inclined.

But what if you’re not so tech-savvy?

Using marketing tools can nearly negate the purpose if it’s a struggle just to figure them out.

That’s why I compiled a list of 26 marketing tools for non-tech-savvy marketers.

Each one is practical and user-friendly and requires a minimal learning curve. Many are even free.

Content creation

1. WordPress

Let’s start with the absolute basics: WordPress.

You could consider it to be the “OG” of content management systems.

As of late 2015, it powered 25% of the world’s websites.

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And it’s very likely that number is even bigger today.

A large part of WordPress’ appeal is its utter simplicity and non-technical nature.

You can create and maintain a beautiful website with literally zero knowledge of coding.

And if you happen to understand HTML, you can completely crush it.

If you want to create a site for your business or blog, I highly recommend WordPress.

You can learn how to do it from scratch with this video from Quick Sprout.

2. Google Drive

When it comes to cloud storage, I think of Google Drive as being the universal platform.

I can’t count the number of times I’ve worked with clients or business partners who’ve made Google Drive their platform of choice.

Like most Google products, it’s super intuitive and easy to use.

I use it for writing and backing up content as well as for sharing content with others.

It’s perfect if you have multiple people working on a project because sharing and editing is a cinch.

Besides docs, you can create slideshows, drawings, spreadsheets, and more.

3. Grammarly

I don’t care if you’re Mark Twain, everyone is bound to make mistakes when writing.

Whether it’s a silly spelling error or poor grammar, it’s impossible to catch everything.

But Grammarly will do just that (or pretty darn close to it).

Add it to Chrome, and Grammarly will monitor everything you write, point out any issues, and offer advice on how to resolve them.

It goes above and beyond Word and will make you look like an expert even if your writing skills are lackluster:

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The cool thing is that it will also scan your emails before sending them out so you don’t look like an idiot when corresponding to customers or clients.

I highly recommend it!

4. Word Counter

Word count is kind of a big deal, especially if you’re writing long-form content and need to reach a specific number of words.

But not all online writing platforms display word count.

I love this tool because I can quickly copy and paste a body of text, and Word Counter will let me know how many words I’ve written.

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It’s super quick, and I’ve never experienced any sort of glitch.

Content ideas

5. Google Trends

Coming up with new ideas for content can be a major struggle.

Even if you’re an expert, it’s not always easy to come up with stellar ideas.

I’ve found Google Trends to be a great place for getting a sense of what’s popular at the moment.

Often, it will point me in the right direction, and I can then use it to gauge the exact interest in a particular topic.

For instance, here’s how the interest in content marketing has grown over the past five years:

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6. Alltop

Using Alltop is a breeze.

Simply type in a search phrase, and hundreds of popular blog posts on that topic will pop up:

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I use this for brainstorming all the time, and Alltop has helped me come up with some epic ideas for blog posts.

7. BuzzSumo

Words cannot express how much I love BuzzSumo.

Pretty much anyone can figure it out within minutes, and it’s the perfect tool for generating an arsenal of content ideas.

But what separates it from other tools is the fact that it provides you with key info such as:

  • how much engagement content receives
  • who is sharing it
  • links pointing back to the content

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The only caveat is that you must purchase the Pro version to unlock all the features.

But you can still do a basic search with the free version.

8. Ubersuggest

This one is a bit like the Google Keyword Tool, only simpler.

Enter a search term, and Ubersuggest will spit out dozens or even hundreds of ideas:

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It’s really easy to use, and it’ll keep supplying you with topics whenever you need them.

Communication and collaboration

9. Basecamp

If WordPress is the OG CMS, Basecamp is the OG of project management and team collaboration.

Countless other products have been developed, many of which are cooler and sexier.

But Basecamp still retains its status and continues to be one of the big dogs.

I love its clean interface and how intuitive it is.

It’s very non-intimidating even for the most non-tech-savvy of marketers.

10. Trello

At this point, you probably know I’m big on visuals.

Images make it easier for me to absorb information and stay on top of my game.

That’s why I love Trello.

It involves a system of boards where you can communicate with colleagues and keep tabs on project progress.

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It can easily be scaled up or down as necessary and can really boost productivity.

I know many people who swear by it.

11. Asana

This is another visual-oriented platform that I’ve used on several occasions.

I prefer Basecamp over Asana, but it’s the number one team-collaboration platform for many marketers.

In fact, some companies that use it include TED, The New Yorker, and Uber.

My favorite aspect of Asana is the ease with which I can track a project from start to finish.

I’m a stickler for deadlines, so this helps me ensure they’re always met without a lot of stress.

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12. Slack

When I think of Slack, I think of hipsters. But in a very good way.

It’s perhaps the coolest, sleekest, sexiest collaboration app in existence.

And it’s dead simple to use.

Slack revolves around creating “channels” where you communicate with team members either publicly or privately.

Drag and drop your files to share with others, and search your archive any time you need specific information.

Slack makes it easy.

Task management

13. Wunderlist

I stay busy, so it’s easy to feel overwhelmed when I’m bombarded with a barrage of tasks on a daily basis.

One of my favorite weapons to counter that is Wunderlist.

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I place it on my desktop so I can see exactly what’s going on and what I need to take care of on any given day.

And, of course, I can also access it from my smartphone or tablet.

I can easily save links, photos, and other media I want to keep.

I also use it to set reminders of specific tasks’ deadlines and make note of any business/project ideas that pop into my head.

In other words, Wunderlist helps me keep my you-know-what together.

14. WordPress Editorial Calendar Plugin

If you use WordPress (like I recommend), you’ll want to take advantage of this plugin.

It’s a little like Google Calendar, but specifically for scheduling your blog posts.

You can:

  • Manage drafts
  • See what’s been posted
  • See what needs to be posted
  • Manage posts from different authors

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Like most things on WordPress, it’s user-friendly, and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out its features.

15. Todoist

The tagline of this platform is “Accomplish more, every day.”

And that’s fitting because I’ve found Todoist to be a major catalyst for productivity.

You simply record tasks, prioritize them as needed, collaborate with others, and get stuff done.

I love its no-nonsense interface and minimalist vibe.

SEO

16. Yoast SEO

This is another WordPress plugin and one that I highly recommend if you’re fairly new to the SEO game.

Here’s a screenshot of its features:

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In other words, it handles nearly every major aspect of SEO.

The best part is its simplicity.

I love Yoast SEO because it’s very hands off and automates many of the more arduous SEO tasks like creating optimized URLs, keeping track of keyword density, and so on.

Before you publish your content, Yoast SEO will rate its readability and your keyword usage by giving it a color: red for poor, orange for okay, and green for good.

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If you loathe the technical nature of SEO, this is a great plugin to use.

17. Google Keyword Planner

If you were to use only one tool for performing keyword research, this is it.

Even the biggest SEO nerd will agree that it’s useful because you’re gathering data right from the horse’s mouth—Google itself.

The cool thing is that you don’t need to be technically adept to figure it out. Most of the features are pretty self-explanatory.

18. MozBar

In my opinion, Moz is perhaps the Internet’s number one resource for all things SEO.

I especially love its Whiteboard Fridays, offering in-depth analysis and insight.

If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to determine key SEO metrics like links, page authority, and domain authority, I highly recommend MozBar.

Simply add it to your Chrome toolbar, and you’re good to go.

19. SEMrush

This is another great SEO tool that’s amazingly easy to use.

Just enter a URL or keyword, and you instantly get a boatload of useful information such as:

  • Organic search volume
  • Backlinks
  • Top organic keywords
  • Main organic competitors
  • Branded search

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If you’re looking to perform competitive analysis for keyword or content opportunities, look no further than SEMrush.

Images

20. Canva

If you’re creating content, you’ll need plenty of beautiful visuals.

In my opinion, Canva is hands down one of the best platforms for creating your own images and documents from scratch.

It’s really easy, and Canva offers a wide array of images that are totally free.

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You can modify them as needed for your content or for branding purposes.

The best part is that you can do this with virtually no design experience.

21. PicMonkey

PicMonkey is a photo editor that allows you to design, resize, do touch-ups, create collages, and a lot more.

Using it is no sweat even if you have no clue what you’re doing in terms of design.

It’s perfect if you have your own images you want to customize, and PicMonkey helps you make them look like a million bucks.

22. Pixabay

Here’s my take on stock photos.

I prefer to pay for them and get the best of the best.

But if you’re just starting out or are on a budget, Pixabay is one of my top picks.

Everything is royalty-free and available for the public to download, modify, and distribute.

They have a massive archive of pictures that covers most topics, and the quality of their images has really improved over the past couple of years.

Here are just a few samples:

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23. Creative Commons

Creative Commons is basically an aggregator of images free to use for commercial purposes. These images can be modified, adapted, or built upon.

You enter a search query, and choose from multiple platforms like Flickr, Wikimedia Commons, Open Clip Art Library, and even Google.

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It’s a great tool for streamlining your image search.

Metrics

24. Google Analytics

There are countless metrics platforms out there for measuring your website’s performance, traffic numbers, and so on.

But I think it’s safe to say that Google Analytics is the be-all and end-all tool.

The free version is more than sufficient for diagnosing your website and, in my opinion, quite easy to use.

I’ll admit there is a bit of a learning curve, but most people can figure out the basics in a day or two.

25. Bitly

Bitly is perhaps best known for being a URL shortener.

In fact, I use it all the time for condensing URLs on my Twitter page:

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But it’s useful for way more than that.

Here’s the deal.

Bitly allows you to track individual links and gather key information about their performance.

You can tell what your audience is responding to (or not) and tweak your marketing efforts accordingly.

26. Clicky

Finally, there’s Clicky.

Despite its comprehensiveness and level of detail, I consider it to be one of the most user-friendly analytics tools.

You can see what’s happening on your website in real time, monitor the actions of visitors, and even look at heat maps, which I love.

I know some marketers who actually choose Clicky over Google Analytics.

Conclusion

I totally understand the frustration that many non-tech-savvy marketers feel.

There are many tools that are great but require serious knowledge to be utilized properly.

These can really cramp your style and drive you crazy.

But the marketing tools I’ve listed are ones that will get the job done without being overly complex.

With most, the core features can be learned within just a few minutes.

This way, you can spend less time trying to figure out your marketing tools and more time reaching your audience.

Can you suggest any other easy-to-use marketing tools?


Source: quicksprout

26 Marketing Tools for Non-Tech-Savvy Marketers

569: The Rise of Corporate Inequality

569: The Rise of Corporate Inequality
Stanford economist Nicholas Bloom discusses the research he’s conducted showing what’s really driving the growth of income inequality: a widening gap between the most successful companies and the rest, across industries. In other words, inequality has less to do with what you do for work, and more to do with which specific company you work for. The rising gap in pay between firms accounts for a large majority of the rise in income inequality overall.…
Stanford economist Nicholas Bloom discusses the research he’s conducted showing what’s really driving the growth of income inequality: a widening gap between the most successful companies and the rest, across industries. In other words, inequality has less to do with what you do for work, and more to do with which specific company you work for. The rising gap in pay between firms accounts for a large majority of the rise in income inequality overall. Bloom tells us why, and discusses some ways that companies and governments might address it. He’s the author of the Harvard Business Review article, “Corporations in the Age of Inequality.” For more, visit hbr.org/inequality.
Source: Ideacast

569: The Rise of Corporate Inequality

The next gold medal: How Hungary can win the productivity race in the digital age

The next gold medal: How Hungary can win the productivity race in the digital age
A new era of technological disruptions, an aging population, urbanization and a multiplying web of interconnectedness are irreversibly shaping the world’s economy. Although these trends create an unprecedented amount of uncertainty for economies and companies alike, they also represent an exciting opportunity for the brave actors willing to harness them.
A new era of technological disruptions, an aging population, urbanization and a multiplying web of interconnectedness are irreversibly shaping the world’s economy. Although these trends create an unprecedented amount of uncertainty for economies and companies alike, they also represent an exciting opportunity for the brave actors willing to harness them.
Source: McKinsey

The next gold medal: How Hungary can win the productivity race in the digital age

Which Content Marketing Strategies Have the Biggest Impact on Keyword Rankings?

Which Content Marketing Strategies Have the Biggest Impact on Keyword Rankings?
The term “content marketing” is a wide umbrella. It encompasses a plethora of different strategies and techniques. But at the end of the day, one of your primary goals is to create content that ranks as highly as possible on search engine results pages (SERPs). This is important because organic traffic is the number one means of generating traffic for many companies. A study from The Bright Edge even “found that organic search drives 51…

The term “content marketing” is a wide umbrella.

It encompasses a plethora of different strategies and techniques.

But at the end of the day, one of your primary goals is to create content that ranks as highly as possible on search engine results pages (SERPs).

This is important because organic traffic is the number one means of generating traffic for many companies.

A study from The Bright Edge even “found that organic search drives 51 percent of all visitors to B2B and B2C websites trumping all other non-organic channels.”

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This means one thing.

You need to figure out the relationship between content marketing strategies and keyword rankings.

This is instrumental in fine-tuning your content marketing campaign and finding the right areas to focus on.

In this post, I analyze data from multiple studies and draw on my own knowledge and experience to give you a clear idea of the content strategies demanding the most attention.

So, let’s see which strategies have the biggest impact on keyword rankings.

Rich content

I won’t waste your time telling you about the importance of creating quality content.

You already know that.

But I’d like to share with you this statistic from an infographic on Quick Sprout:

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That’s a lot of links!

And I’m sure you know the integral role links play in SEO.

This graph from Moz illustrates the importance of links and their influence on Google’s algorithm:

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Let’s put this information together.

When you create rich content, it gets you more links.

These links improve your overall SEO, which improves your rankings.

So, being diligent about achieving and maintaining rigorous quality standards should be of the utmost concern.

Long-form content

Here’s the deal with long-form content.

It’s hot right now. Scorching hot.

I remember a few years ago when your average blog post was only somewhere around 500 words.

But if you look at the vast majority of content that ranks on page one of Google SERPs today, it’s rare that you’ll find anything under 1,000 words.

To prove just how important long-form has become, I would like to show you a couple of graphs.

The first is from a fairly old (September 2012) article I wrote on Quick Sprout.

I got the data from research performed by SerpIQ:

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As you can see, every single piece of content that ranked on the first page had at least 2,000 words.

More specifically,

The first result typically has 2,416 words and the 10th result has 2,032 words.

Newer research (September 2016) from Brian Dean of Backlinko shows a similar pattern:

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According to his research,

The average word count of a Google first page result is 1,890.

That’s over 500 words fewer than the original research from SerpIQ indicated back in 2012…526 to be exact.

But it still shows us long-form content is a key element in achieving solid rankings.

Why is this so?

The way I look at it, there are two main reasons for this phenomenon.

First, people have a tendency to scan through content these days.

Few actually sit down and read a 2,000-word piece word for word in its entirety.

Instead, they scan through and look at the sub-headers that grab their attention and may read little snippets of text from there.

Long-form content facilitates this new method of reading.

Second, a longer word count tends to translate into more links.

And this makes sense.

The more content you provide, the more opportunities for it to be linked to.

Put all this together, and you can see that long-form content means higher rankings.

Who knows, the whole “long-form content bubble” may pop in a few years.

But it’s stronger than ever at the moment.

However, it appears that the ideal word count has been reduced considerably, and you should aim for just south of 2,000 words.

How do you create 2,000-word content?

  • Decide on a specific and narrow topic.
  • Create a compelling title.
  • Discuss the issue from every angle.
  • Provide as much detail as possible.
  • If possible, provide step-by-step instructions on how to do something.

You should never stuff your articles with words just for the sake of hitting a word count.

But you should strive for detail, depth, clarity, and mastery of a subject matter.

Here’s what I’ve discovered about long-form content. When you truly make an effort to provide value in your content, it expands in length.

That’s not to say that you can’t provide value with a 400-word article.

But the level of value created in a 2,000-word article is usually much greater.

Content with “topical relevance”

But the plot thickens.

The same Backlinko article also points out that

content rated as “topically relevant” significantly outperformed content that didn’t cover a topic in-depth. Therefore, publishing focused content that covers a single topic may help with rankings.

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Topical relevance basically combines my first two points of creating rich content and long-form content.

It simply means that Google values content that’s comprehensive and that thoroughly covers a topic.

This means it’s best to focus on a single topic for each piece of content you create.

Rather than bouncing around from subject to subject, you’re better off going all in on a single topic and leaving no stone unturned.

Does this mean you can’t discuss other topics?

No. In fact, you should touch on as many relevant topics as possible! But your focus should be on a single topic.

If you feel you need to cover a topic you weren’t able to get around to in the post, create a separate piece of content and cover it in-depth as well.

Using long-tail keywords

This strategy has been in existence seemingly since the dawn of SEO—back when SEO was in its primordial soup stage.

One of the main ways small-scale marketers have been competing with the big dogs is by using long-tail keywords.

And why wouldn’t they? It freaking works.

In fact, I’ve been using this strategy for years.

I even used it to grow my search traffic by 51% in just three months!

And guess what? It still works brilliantly.

An infographic from Adept states that “pages optimized for long-tail keywords move up 11 positions on average, compared to just 5 positions for head keywords.”

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It’s really not rocket science.

Using long-tail keywords means less competition, which means a greater likelihood of achieving a favorable ranking.

The awesome thing is that long-tail searches account for roughly 70 percent of searches:

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This means there’s plenty of opportunity out there.

Of course, you won’t get the same volume of traffic that you would for a head keyword or broad keyword, but you can still generate some sizable traffic if you do your keyword research and choose a phrase that receives a reasonable number of searches.

Check out this post from NeilPatel.com for a step-by-step walkthrough of integrating long-tail keywords into your blog posts.

The process is fairly straightforward:

  • Do your typical keyword research (using Google AdWords Keyword Planner or your preferred tool)
  • Select the long-tail keywords from the list (3 words or more)
  • Use these keywords in your content.

Image-rich content

If you haven’t heard, people respond positively to images.

It’s true.

And although I think the whole visual-centric discussion has been done to death, I would like to reference one more point from the Backlinko article I mentioned earlier.

According to Brian Dean,

Industry studies have found that image-rich pages tend to generate more total views and social shares.

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But here’s the interesting thing.

Using at least one image is much better than not using any images at all.

However, they couldn’t find a correlation between the total number of images and rankings.

That means there’s no proof that using a lot of images will improve your rankings any further.

In other words, using just one image would in theory have the same effect as using 10 or more images.

The key takeaway is this:

Using a single image is clearly better than zero images. Including lots of images doesn’t seem to have an impact on search engine rankings.

When it comes to my posts, this information isn’t going to stop me from sprinkling plenty of images throughout my content.

In fact, you probably know that many of my posts are jam-packed with images.

I think my audience enjoys the “eye candy,” and graphs in particular are excellent for explaining fairly complex concepts.

But keep this in mind when creating your next piece of content: going nuts with images probably isn’t necessary.

Direct answers

If you’re not sure what I mean by “direct answers,” it’s simple.

Google is now starting to show direct answers when you use a “how to,” “what is,” “who is,” etc. type of search.

Here’s an example:

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The first thing that pops up at the top of the page is a clip from the top ranking site.

It’s a way to streamline the process and offer searchers direct information without them having to actually click on the link.

Of course, oftentimes they’ll still click on the link to find more in-depth information.

I know I often do.

So, here’s the deal.

Providing a direct answer can be beneficial and a viable strategy for killing it on SERPs.

If you can provide a quick, logical, and direct answer, especially for a long-tail keyword phrase, there’s a good chance you can get your content featured at the top.

Just be sure your direct answer transitions smoothly into the rest of your content.

Here’s how I typically use this strategy:

  • Identify a question marketers are asking.
  • Create an article answering this question.
  • Provide a step-by-step solution to the issue.

When I follow this three-step process, the articles I write on those topics usually rank on page one for the associated keyword within five days or less.

This is the primary technique I’m currently using on NeilPatel.com, and it’s earned me over 800,000 unique monthly visitors.

Conclusion

I value objectivity when determining the approach of my content marketing strategy.

I find that examining the cold hard facts clears most biases and preconceived notions I might have.

This is important because this gives me the clearest path to achieving my goals.

While there are countless factors that contribute to keyword rankings, the ones I listed here appear to have the biggest impact pound-for-pound.

Putting your attention on these key areas should ensure that your content marketing is heading in the right direction while giving you the best chance of climbing in the SERPs.

What do you think the most important content marketing strategy for improving your rankings is?


Source: quicksprout

Which Content Marketing Strategies Have the Biggest Impact on Keyword Rankings?

The heartbeat of modern marketing: Data activation and personalization

The heartbeat of modern marketing: Data activation and personalization
Technology has finally advanced to the point where marketers can use real-time data in a way that is both meaningful to customers and profitable for companies.
Technology has finally advanced to the point where marketers can use real-time data in a way that is both meaningful to customers and profitable for companies.
Source: McKinsey

The heartbeat of modern marketing: Data activation and personalization

Reimagining fabs: Advanced analytics in semiconductor manufacturing

Reimagining fabs: Advanced analytics in semiconductor manufacturing
Fabs want to streamline the end-to-end process for designing and manufacturing semiconductors. Will innovative analytical tools provide the solution they need?
Fabs want to streamline the end-to-end process for designing and manufacturing semiconductors. Will innovative analytical tools provide the solution they need?
Source: McKinsey

Reimagining fabs: Advanced analytics in semiconductor manufacturing

Mining for leadership with lean management

Mining for leadership with lean management
Three executives at one of the world’s most unusual mining operations describe how even in a highly unpredictable context, lean management improves not just productivity, but also how people lead.
Three executives at one of the world’s most unusual mining operations describe how even in a highly unpredictable context, lean management improves not just productivity, but also how people lead.
Source: McKinsey

Mining for leadership with lean management