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Have you struggled with determining the root cause of why your marketing efforts are not effective? Sure we all have…Sometimes the problem lays deep under the covers of multiple problems. Sometimes the problem is on the surface but we are so tunnel visioned that we can’t see the forest from the trees. No matter the situation we must ask ourselves, why, why, why, why, why, is this problem present and how can I resolve it…

The 5 Whys is a question-asking method used to explore the cause/effect relationships underlying a particular problem. Ultimately, the goal of applying the 5 Why method is to determine a root cause of a defect problem.

The 5 Whys used “counter-measure” rather than “solutions.”

A countermeasure is an action or set of actions that seeks to prevent the problem from arising again, while a solution may seek to deal with the symptom. As such , counter-measure are most robust, and will more likely prevent the problem from recurring.

Co-Founder of Elite MarketingCo. Corey Faulkner, worked 15 years as an employee and certified Six Sigma greenbelt, at a major corporation Caterpillar and the 5 why method was utilized on a daily basis. The 5 Whys method is part of the Toyota Production System. Developed by Sakichi Toyoda, a Japanese inventor and industrialist, the technique became an integral part of the Lean philosophy.

“The basis of Toyota’s scientific approach is to ask why five times whenever we find a problem … By repeating why five times, the nature of the problem as well as its solution becomes clear“ Taiichi Ohno

With this method primarily being used in the manufacturing world, the principles still apply in every part of our lives, especially Video Production and Marketing. Here at Elite MarketingCo. we have implemented this exact method to help our clients determine the root cause of why their marketing efforts are not working as they planned. This method not only helps our clients determine the cause of their problems, but it also helps us determine exactly why, how, and what the storyline should be for telling a client’s story and delivering a solid and powerful product.

Below we have the foundational steps to assembling a team, defining the problem, and implementing a resolution to your problem. Follow these steps and you will be on your way to resolving your problem to your marketing issues, and most likely will uncover more issues in the process.

How to implement the 5 Whys for your marketing efforts

1.) Assemble a Team – Gather together people who are familiar with the specifics of the problem, and with the marketing issue that you’re trying to fix. Include someone to act as a facilitator, who can keep the team focused on identifying effective countermeasures.

2.) Define the Problem – Discuss it with your team and write a brief, clear problem statement that you all agree on. Then, write your statement on a whiteboard or sticky note, leaving enough space around it to add your answers to the repeated question, “Why?”

3.) Ask the First “Why?” – Ask your team why the problem is occurring. Asking “Why?” sounds simple, but answering it requires serious thought. Search for answers that are grounded in fact: they must be accounts of things that have actually happened, not guesses at what might have happened. This prevents 5 Whys from becoming just a process of deductive reasoning, which can generate a large number of possible causes and, sometimes, create more confusion as you chase down hypothetical problems. Your team members may come up with one obvious reason why, or several plausible ones.

4.) Ask “Why?” Four more times – For each of the answers that you generated in Step 3, ask four further “whys” in succession. Each time, frame the question in response to the answer you’ve just recorded.

5.) Know When to Stop – You’ll know that you’ve revealed the root cause of the problem when asking “why” produces no more useful responses, and you can go no further.

6.) Address the Root Cause(s) – Now that you’ve identified at least one root cause, you need to discuss and agree on the counter-measures that will prevent the problem from recurring.

7.) Monitor your measures – Keep a close watch on how effectively your counter-measures eliminate or minimize the initial problem.

To help you with the process, we have attached below a process flow chart that we use to help us determine our clients problems. Feel free to utilize this flow chart and method in your problem solving sessions.

As always, we are here to help you determine the root cause to your marketing efforts. 

Check out more of what we do on our services page. Contact us TODAY and let’s get started resolving your problems.