sly : marketing

I keep asking people why

I keep asking people why. The answers are different. And, the answers varies over time.

I started out with a mission, a journey to learn from the best by connecting with them online and sharing what I’ve been learning with the people who are reading this blog.

I didn’t think about business. Business was not part of my plan. At the time I was working at a university, and learning marketing and sharing was what it was all about.

I keep asking people why.

The questions I am asking, is part of why I’ve seen a shift to a new era; it started with creative advertising, then storytelling, ending with focusing on relationships as I switched jobs. Now, it’s more about experiences.

I remember what it was like growing up “without” advertising. I got excited every time I watched or listened to some of them. We had contests, it was all about who could find the coolest and/or funniest commercials. I remember the effect the Coca-Cola ads had on us, and the same goes for the Axe commercials.

A few days ago, I was talking to a manager at a local radio station. I told him about how I used to listen to radio and how I listen to radio today. He wasn’t surprised.

I listened to radio all the time; when I was at home and when I was outside, and when I was driving. Now, I only listen to radio when I’m driving. Before, if I didn’t like the song that was playing, I’d just wait for a good one to appear. Now, I switch to a different channel, or I’ll turn to a podcast. I’ve stopped waiting and boring used to be part of life, but not anymore.

I keep asking people why.

We turn to people and companies that are giving us great experiences. It’s not just about products, price, or a good relationship, or even the stories they tell. It’s more about the experiences we get from being part of a community.

I keep asking people why.



13 responses to “I keep asking people why”

  1. Hey mate,

    Asking “why” is always good. It keeps me occupied with new information and on the podcast side (yes, a little off topic), hell yeah! Love podcasts and I replace my radio with it 🙂

    Cheers man.

  2. Bigwas says:

    The why’s gives us an option to give alternative and even conflicting answers which is a good thing.

  3. Angela says:

    Being a part of a community gives a person a great sense of belonging.

  4. Christo says:

    Jens, you really have a knack for writing. Amongst the many emails I get daily, yours is always thought provoking and I cannot wait to click through. Plus, because you form genuine relationships with people – which is rare these days…

    One of the first questions a small child becomes obsessed with, is “why.” This fascinated me also. Why do we always have a why? I think it is the “because”. Our brains require a because, because it can only store or process input if 1) there is a substantial reason (read: values, or what is important to you) or 2) if it is possible (read: beliefs, or what we naturally assume is true)

    My assumption at this moment – and I haven’t found a better explanation – is that you either have to get clarity about what is important to you (your values) or get clear on what you choose to believe to be true or possible. (Your beliefs)

    The “why’s” won’t go away, and they are very healthy, but they will become less. I hope this helps you with your whys 🙂

    • Hey Christo

      Thank you! You are absolutely right. I have three kids, and they are asking me all sorts of questions every day, and especially why. My youngest is 3 years old, and he always ask a follow-up questions, and it’s why. It’s incredibly hard to answer them all. Many of them are questions I have never thought about before.

      I don’t think I’ll ever stop asking the whys, it’s part of who I am (both my values and beliefts).

  5. John Jorgensen says:

    Jens, I always advocate checking assumptions (why?), but as I go through the 5Ws, I look to the How question as well. It’s the engineer in me coming out.

    How do we make this better? How do we satisfy the need in a way that removes the change variables that caused the ‘why’ question?

    The answers become part of a broader solution.

  6. Tim Bonner says:

    I barely watch any live TV now that contains adverts Jens. If I record anything that has ads, I always fast forward through them.

    I also wait for some of the programmes to appear on Sky so they are also ad free! I remember the days of finding the funniest ads though.

    Sometimes brands used to make a series of ads too and you had to watch all of them to follow the story. The same with radio. I only listen to it in the car.

    Nowadays I tend to stick with the BBC on most things because their programming is ad free.

    • If I watch ads, it’s usually because I’m curious and I’m looking at it from a marketing perspective. I mostly watch Netflix if I’m watching TV at all.

      I used to watch sports, and I have been thinking about subscribing to NBA to watch the next season. But, still not sure if that’s a good idea, since I probably won’t watch that many games.

      • Tim Bonner says:

        I don’t have Netflix yet Jens but I may get it one of these days.

        I have satellite TV and the set top box is also linked to broadband so I can download TV and films whenever I want to.

        I used to subscribe to the sports channels too but my kids took over the TV with Nickelodeon and Boomerang. It didn’t seem worth keeping the subscription going after that!

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