The Importance of the Why Strategy in Marketing

29 May

It’s almost the end of the first half of the year.  Are you meeting the goals you set for 2012?   If you’re not, it might be time for the Why Strategy.

Toyota implemented what was called the Five Why Strategy to determine cause and effect.  The idea was in order to get to the actual root of a problem, management repeated the question Why? after a response.  By utilizing this strategy, the cause of the problem can typically be diagnosed after five responses.

Business people discussing In marketing, the Why Strategy can help determine the reason a program did not meet its objectives or in identifying the cause of a customer issue.

Here’s an example of how the Why Exercise helps get to the heart of a problem:

Issue:  The Sales ROI on an email campaign was 5%, 10% shy of the goal.

1. Why?
The campaign costs were higher than budgeted.

2.  Why?
The email needed to be sent twice.

3.  Why?
The first email click-through rate was less than 5%.

4.  Why?
The original email was transmitted with a poorly written Subject Line.

5.  Why?
The email was not properly tested because the process and procedure was not followed.

This may be an oversimplified example, but, you get the idea of how asking Why? can help you dig deeper to uncover the heart of a problem. This strategy is useful in managing throughout the year, not only during review cycles.  Try it in your next marketing meeting and have your team include the Why Strategy as a regular part of analyzing marketing program performance. 

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