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WHY VS ‘What?’

If you’re into football, you’ll know that tactics alone don’t win anything, F.C. Barcelona, for example, do not just deploy great tactics but they also have great players and a phenomenal attacking strategy, whereby it allows them to switch tactics in the same match and still win games as their underlying strategy will always be that of keeping ball possession and wait for the right opening in their opponent’s defence line.

This is possible because the squad’s mindset has assimilated an underlying strategy. Barcelona understands that its USPs are speed of play, great technical players and great dynamism once ball possession is lost. Without having recognised these attributes they would have never been able to produce such exciting football.

Learning from this soccer analogy, we can understand that in business, a holistic strategy is what tilts the balance to one’s advantage and this can only be achieved by asking the right questions and acting accordingly.

Whether it’s in management meetings, business development opportunities or speaking to a group of people, I’m being often asked the same questions: “Should we start using chat on our website?”, “What more could we do with Facebook?”, “What do you think of Google Plus?” and “How do we use YouTube as a marketing channel?”

But unfortunately the most vital questions never get asked. Everyone is so busy getting excited about the channels and tactics that they completely ignore the strategy and the brand. It’s tragic that a great number of managers do not have the faintest idea of what makes their offering attractive to their audience.

We get bogged down in so many excel sheets, power point presentations, fancy terms, numbers, profit margins, rrps etc that we end up forgetting the reasons why we do have a customer base in the first place.

Inevitably what we end up doing is just trying to splash our brands all over the place believing that we’re using brilliant marketing tactics, but is this the most productive way to go about it?

How can we come up with the best tactics when we have no idea what makes our products desirable? A great way to overcome this pitfall is to stop asking “what” and earnestly start asking “why”, because it is the only way which will empower us to truly understand our unique selling points and which will also help us connect fruitfully with our audience.

Some pertinent “why” questions to ask during our next strategy meeting are:

• Why do people love our brand?
• Why do people buy from us?
• Why do they tell other people how great they think we are?
• Why are people loyal to us?
• Why would they never trade us for a cheaper price or item?

“What” is actually the tactics; it’s deciding between investing in a fully fledged website or a pimped out Facebook page or spending our entire marketing budgets on tv advertisement.

It’s about the things we can do because we already know where our consumers are, what they’re saying about us, and how we can manage to add value to the online environments that they’re currently occupying.

“What” should be the natural consequence of the “why.” We need to appreciate that without a strategy and deep respect for the fact that we are the guardians of our brand, everything else is just a pointless tactic.

Last modified onTuesday, 16 December 2014 11:41
Jonathan Cremona

Jonathan Cremona has over five years experience in he tourism sector marketing Malta as an English Language teaching destination. His transition to the Conference and Incentives sector introduced him to the automotive industry, where he now markets popular brands such as Fiat Alfaromeo, Hyundai, Toyota and Lexus. For the past year Jonathan has been promoted to work in the Business Development department at the Debono Group

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