But Why?

Little children are famous for conversations like this:

“Dad, why is the sky blue?”
“Because that is the color you see when you look up?”
“But why?”
“Because you are seeing more of the blue than the red light coming from the sun in the atmosphere.”
“But why?”
“Because I said so.”
“But why?”

Every parent has been through this round of questioning.

From a marketer’s perspective, there is a lesson to be learned in asking why.  It forces you to challenge assumptions that within the four walls of your business may be too easy to embrace. You don’t want to stir things up, you want to be a team players but you figure it is someone else’s job to challenge things.

The following are ten of my favorite why questions.  

Why do we believe that our customers see us as we want them to see us?

Why do we believe that by cutting back on our marketing we can reach our growth targets?

Why do we believe that marketing is an expense and not an investment?

Why do we believe that we really understand our customer’s pain points when we know they are only sharing part of the needs with us?

Why do we believe we are reaching all of the key decision maker’s with our sales and marketing efforts?

Why do we believe that because our competitors are involved in some activity (advertising, promotion, incentives, social media, etc.) that it is the right thing for us do?

Why do we believe that we can move the market in a short-time frame because we have a budget to hit?

Why do we believe that by doing the same thing as our competitor that we can take sales away from them?

Why do we believe that by doing the same things again and again that we can break out of our slump?

Why do we believe that we can cut our way to success?

Wise up. One of the job of a marketing team is to ask the hard why questions.  If you are cool-headed and a professional in your approach, you can and should be challenging the status quo. The marketplace is changing- rapidly. Your efforts and plans may not be as fluid and as adaptable as they need to be. You are executing strategies from last year or several years ago and they may not be as relevant or as targeted to the current situation.

Why is a powerful word; don’t ask me why.

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