Have you ever heard a child curious about the world with a case of the "Why's"? "Why is the moon so big?," "Why does it make light?," "Why does it move in the sky?," "Why doesn't it fall off?" Well, sometimes it's that "why" that is so compelling and seemingly urgent to these curious kids. The "why" helps with a deep and valuable understanding that can stick with a child long after the "what" is forgotten. One of my favorite Ted videos is Simon Sinek's "How Great Leaders Inspire Action". Sinek shares some insight into the powerful "why". He suggests that very few people know "why" they do what they do. He then suggests that people don't buy what you do, they buy why you do it.
I've been thinking a lot about the "why" recently for two reasons. The first is that on September 20, I am humbled to be among a fabulous group of leaders who are inspiring action. The BtoB 2012 Top Digital Marketers award luncheon will be held in San Francisco. The marketers on this list were selected for a strong interactive vision and strategy as part of their overall marketing efforts, innovative use of digital technologies and proven results. As leaders in their field, they know why they do what they do. These marketers inherently know that the brands that they promote are much more than the specifications of their products and services.
The second reason is that from October 1-5, Hitachi Data Systems will be celebrating Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) week. Hitachi as a company has been in business more than 100 years. Not many businesses can boast a 100-plus-year history. It takes more than great products and services and people to stay in the game that long. It takes a strong vision and deep understanding of why the company is doing what they do. Hitachi calls this Social Innovation and it's about realizing a sustainable society by creating social and economic value at the same time. At Hitachi Data Systems, we've created a brochure that helps to share the "why" of our business.
So let's take a few lessons from those astoundingly intelligent kids and catch a case of their "why's" (hey, we catch all kinds of things from them anyway this time of year). Next time you create marketing material, ask a few why's and add some information to your marketing content about why you do what you do. You'll then have some ammunition to show why your content inspired action.