3 reasons you should be asking why

Feeling a bit nostalgic as I quote Backstreet Boys to open this blog post, but seriously, “Tell me why?”.

One of the most important questions that anyone should be asking when working on marketing for their business is WHY. Whether you’re working for a business with multi-million dollar budgets or you’re looking at dipping your toes into social advertising with a $100 spend on Facebook ads. Here’s 3 reasons why you should be asking why.

  1. You’ll create a confident, focussed marketing strategy.

    One of the most common approaches I get from clients looking to work with me goes a little like this.

    Client: “I want to do Instagram adverts for my business and I need to get influencers to post about my brand.”

    Me: “Why?”

    Client: “Well, err, everyone’s doing it so I should.”

    It always surprises me that clients haven’t thought to ask themselves why they’re doing something. I assume that this is in part because marketing can be an intimidating world to be getting into and, as humans, when we’re unsure we generally follow the example of others. Don’t get me wrong. This activity isn’t necessarily the worst idea for your business. Perhaps Instagram ads and influencer engagement could be invaluable for your brand?

    The point I’m trying to make is that if you do not take the time to pause and create clear objectives for your marketing you will never be able to maximise the output of all your hard work. By creating clear objectives and posing the question of ‘why am I doing this?’ to yourself you will be able to identify the best ways to approach marketing for your business and feel confident in your targeted approach.

    I strongly recommend to all of my clients that they create a clear set of objectives for any marketing activity that they want to carry out. From overhauling their logo design to putting out their everyday Instagram posts, if you know why you're doing it then you can ensure you’re working towards achieving a clear goal.

  2. React to real-world insights

    How often have you sat in a boardroom and heard the highest paid person decide the next course of action without any real data to support that decision. I know, we’ve all been there.

    As you’ll know by now my approach to marketing is grounded in insights and customer-led strategy. This means that I am always asking myself WHY. I ask my customers WHY. I look at other businesses and what they’re doing and ask WHY they’re doing it.

    Common questions I find myself asking:

    Why do my clients respond more to one type of social post over another?

    Why do I get most of my traffic from Facebook and not Instagram (despite Instagram being where I do the majority of my posting)?

    Why aren’t more people converting when they get to the website?

    By reflecting upon the results of your activity and asking yourself why you got the results that you did, it will help you to optimise your strategy going forward.

    If you went ahead with the influencers & instagram ads anyway (from my previous point) and it didn’t go great, ask yourself why? If you can start to identify why something isn’t working for you then you can try and make changes to ultimately improve the results for your business.

    This does require a little leg work on your part (sorry). You’re going to need to complete regular reporting on your marketing activity, take time to reflect on the work that you’re doing and stay engaged with all the marketing that’s taking place across your business and across your industry sector.

  3. Better understand your users

    I love user testing. It’s partly because I’m nosey and I like to see how other people’s brains tick, but it’s also because it’s proven to improve results.

    If you can take the time to user test your website with your target audience before you launch you’ll be able to better understand their problems with navigation, their expected behaviours and why they think they should be able to do something in a certain way. You can then take your results and improve your website experience – giving your users what they need, faster and therefore driving greater conversion.

    But it doesn’t even need to be this complicated.

    In its most simple form, user testing can be as simple as sitting in your office or asking your friends what they think about something and WHY they think that.

    The easiest win for a small business is to start asking for feedback.

    If you sell a product send them a feedback email after they’ve received their goods. If you provide a service send out a survey and collect feedback from them after you’ve delivered your service.

    It’s valuable to you to understand: WHY do they think that? WHY did they have a problem buying through your website? WHY did they choose the black product over the personalised one? WHY did they struggle to understand your presentation?

I hope that I’ve inspired you to ask why a little more in your day-to-day business and especially when it comes to planning your marketing. When it’s super-busy and your to-do list is as long as your arm taking the time to pause and ask why, to collect feedback or to complete reporting can seem frustrating. Please trust me that you’ll thank me in the long run.

Charlie Bland