Why Start with Why? The Thing to Do Is to Start with the Who


Ok, not that Who. Sorry, Roger Daltrey.

Nevertheless, a' who' no less impactful, influential, and rock-n-roll for any successful marketing strategy and program.

“The aim of marketing is to know the customer so well, the product or service fits him and sells itself.” Peter Drucker, management consultant, educator, and author.

Starting with the End: A Great Message

As marketers one of the main questions that consumes our daily strategy building, content creation, and general professional musings is – what makes for a great marketing message?

Yes, a great message engages and converts. That’s the proof in the pudding. But, before we measure the proof – what are the ingredients of a great pudding?

Many adjectives get thrown around when trying to define what makes for a great marketing message. All very valid. Each a must when we weave our story. For example:

  • Customer-centric

  • Speaks to a pain point

  • Presents a powerful new insight (á la Challenger Messaging)

  • Relevant

  • Personalized

  • Clear

  • Simple

  • Credible

  • Unique

  • Pre-empts objections

  • Tells a memorable story

Know Your Audience

But before we get to figuring out what we want to say (content strategy) and how we want to say it (content marketing), and even before we figure out our WHY (á la Simon Sinek’s Golden Circle), we really do have to figure out – WHO is it that we're talking with.

As my grandfather used to say: “Know your audience.” (He really did used to say that, and he wasn’t a marketing or even a sales guy).

This, of course – is persona based marketing. Or, even better – with the cross-platform technologies available today – individual-based marketing.

Persona-lizing the Message

When building our marketing message, company story, investor pitch, what have you – we should first answer these questions:

  • Who are we speaking with?

  • What is their role?

  • What are their needs?

  • What are their goals?

  • What are their pain points?

  • What drives their decision?

  • What are they measured on?

  • What would they object to?

  • Why would they care about what you have to say?

Once we have those answers – preferably aggregated through empirical means, such as interviewing real customers and prospects – we can build the persona profile. See sample template below.

Much A-Do About the Who

“Good marketers see consumers as human beings with all the dimensions of real people have.” Jonah Sachs, storyteller, designer entrepreneur, and author of “Winning the Story Wars: Why Those Who Tell—and Live—the Best Stories Will Rule the Future.”

Bottom line, it’s true, as Simon (Sinek) says – “people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” However, not all people are going to buy into the same ‘why’ in the same way.

That’s why, before we start with our ‘why’ – what we should do is start with our ‘who.’

Want to figure out your who? Get in touch and let’s do great marketing together >>