The 5 Ws of Marketing

Since starting out on my own over 3 years now I’ve had various conversations with clients about their approach to marketing. I ask who they’re ideal customer or target audience is and more often than not the answer isn’t always clear or they say “anyone!” Being able to target “anyone” and everyone would be great but in reality this is a near impossible task and gives no real focus. It helps to break the business into small chunks which gives a clearer indication of an appropriate marketing strategy. In order to do this I ask my clients to think back to basics and answer 5 simple questions, the 5 Ws!:

5Ws of Marketing by Saltire Sky

  1. Who 
  2. What 
  3. When 
  4. Where
  5. Why



Who are you targeting? Who is your ideal customer? A good to way to know who to target is to look at your current customers, break them into segments and look at the larger segment. Don’t ignore the others but this will give you a good idea of your WHO.


What is the purpose of your business? What products or services do your provide that meets the needs of your WHO? What benefits do they bring? If you as a business owner aren’t clear on the benefits then it’s unlikely they will be clear to your WHO.


When are WHO going to need the products or services you provide? Is there a particular time of the year when your marketing may get best response? When is the best time to launch a marketing campaign to communicate with WHO?


Where will you find your WHO? Knowing your customer’s preferred communication greatly helps, Where are they likely to be when WHO makes contact/buys/orders etc? Are they on social media? If so what preferred platform?

It’s not only important to think about where you’ll find your audience, it’s just as important to think about where your WHO will find information about your business.

And lastly, WHY?

Why should WHO use your business? Answering this WHY question will give a clear purpose to your marketing campaign.


Once the 5 W’s of Marketing questions have been answered you can move onto HOW.

How are you going to effectively explain the WHAT & WHY to WHO? WHEN & WHERE are you going to do this?

This is the start to a clear and concise marketing plan.