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Why Asking Why Five Times Gives A Better Outcome

The "5 Whys" is a powerful technique originally developed by Toyota to diagnose and solve for problems as part of the Toyota Production System and lean manufacturing.

It is still applicable today and still relevant for us marketers. Let's take a look.

It works by addressing a problem and asking why and then asking why again to each response. The outcome is a much deeper solution than just one why.

For example. The home page on your website has bounce rates over 50% and you want to improve this. Jumping to a conclusion, you may decide to change the content.

Now try the 5 Whys.

Q. Why are our bounce rates so high?

A. Because our content is not relevant enough

Q. Why is our content not relevant enough?

A. Because there is a lot of generic information about our brand

Q. Why is it generic information?

A. Because our traffic comes from different channels and we need to cater for this. Some channels have very good bounce rates others do not and the latter distort our data.

Q. Why do you have different bounce rates from different channels?

A. Because some audiences are more engaged I guess. Also, it is our advertising that has the worst bounce rates actually.

Q. Why is your advertising traffic giving the worst bounce rates?

A. Because the web page does not directly link to the advertising message thinking about it. It is not specific enough. Perhaps we should have a landing page for our ads.

Quick solution: Change website content

5 Whys solution: Create a landing page for different traffic sources.


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