The Role of the Golden Circle in Digital Marketing

“People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it” is a famous phrase by Simon Sinek.

Using Simon Sinek’s Golden Circle in digital marketing starts with your brand’s ‘Why’ – the main reason your business exists. This helps build a solid emotional bond with your audience. After that, focus on ‘How’ you do your marketing and ‘What’ products or services you offer, making sure they reflect your brand’s ‘Why.’ This approach helps create a clear message for your audience.

In this blog, we will explore the role of the golden circle in the digital marketing world and how this framework can help you achieve your marketing goals. The Golden Circle’s “starts with why” can also be used as a copywriting framework to create a unique marketing strategy to build brand awareness, create compelling content, and avoid failing.

What is Golden Circle (What, How, Why)

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An orange circle with the words why how what.

The Golden Circle from Simon Sinek’s book “Start With Why” simplifies understanding why certain marketing is more inspiring, appealing, and successful than others. This framework consists of three concentric circles: “Why” at the center, surrounded by “How”, and then “What”.

The “Why” represents an organization’s core belief or purpose, the reason it exists. The “How” details the processes or actions taken to realize the ‘Why,’ and the “What” refers to the tangible outcomes or services provided.

Simon Sinek, the author of the book “Starts With Why,” emphasizes that most successful and inspiring leaders and businesses start with “Why” – their mission, vision, and business motivation. This approach connects more deeply with people, leading to greater loyalty and success.

In contrast, many organizations focus on “What” they do, missing the point of starting with “Why.” This concept suggests that understanding and communicating ‘Why’ is key to inspiring others and achieving lasting success.

What is Digital Marketing?

Digital Marketing is a part of our everyday lives. Browsing the internet and different forms of social media helps us find ads that match our interests. It uses our online activities to present tailored advertisements and suggestions. This approach makes it a personalized and integral aspect of our daily online interactions.

This approach centers on promoting brands and products worldwide through the Internet. Digital Marketing helps enhance brand visibility, engages customers, and establishes a digital community. It is a strategic method for connecting with audiences and nurturing online relationships.

Golden Circle In Digital Marketing

In the context of the Golden Circle framework, “What, How, and Why,” digital marketing strategies can be analyzed and structured effectively. The “What” in digital marketing refers to specific actions or tactics, such as social media campaigns, email marketing, or search engine optimization (SEO). These are the visible aspects of a digital marketing strategy, the tools and techniques used to reach and engage with the audience.

The “How” represents the process or the unique approach that differentiates one brand’s digital marketing efforts from another. It’s about how these strategies are executed to create an exceptional customer experience or to bring a brand’s unique selling points. 

The most intriguing part is the “Why” – the underlying purpose, vision, and mission that drives a brand’s digital marketing efforts. This aligns with the audience on a deeper level, building trust and loyalty. It’s the reason behind specific platforms and messages aimed at aligning with the values and needs of the target audience.

The 2 Primary Effects of the Golden Circle On Your Business

The Golden Circle has two primary effects in marketing.

First, it strengthens your brand identity and connection with customers. By focusing on the ‘Why’—your business’s primary purpose—you create a brand that connects with customers on an emotional level. This approach leads to greater customer loyalty and a community of supporters who believe in what your business stands for.

Secondly, the Golden Circle framework brings clarity and alignment to your business strategy. It ensures that everything your business does, from its processes (‘How’) to its products or services (‘What’), aligns with your primary purpose (‘Why’). This leads to a more focused and consistent approach in all aspects of your business, from internal operations to how you interact with clients.

Inspiration vs Manipulation

Inspiration comes from focusing on ‘Why’ – a business’s mission, vision, and main motivations. It connects deeply with people through shared values, creating a deep and loyal bond. Inspiration builds lasting influence with others on a meaningful level.

On the other hand, manipulation focuses on ‘What’ and ‘How’—tactics like pricing strategies or promotions to influence decisions, often for short-term gains. While manipulation can produce immediate results, this approach lacks the emotional connection of a shared ‘Why,’ leading to temporary compliance but not enduring loyalty. In addition, manipulation fails to build deep and genuine loyalty and engagement from inspirational leadership.

Why do we need to start with “Why” In Digital Marketing?

“Starting with Why” in digital marketing is not just about selling products and services. It’s about sharing what your brand stands for and creating genuine connections.

Some benefits of “Starting with Why” are:

  1. Building Trust: A ‘why’ message demonstrates your brand’s unique purpose, setting it apart in the digital market and building genuine trust with your audience.
  2. Emotional Connection: A ‘why’ message goes beyond product features to align with customer values and beliefs, fostering meaningful and lasting relationships.
  3. Long-Term Loyalty: A ‘why’ message converts customers into brand advocates, leading to repeat business and stronger retention in a competitive digital world.
  4. Clear Messaging: A ‘why’ message is more relatable and ensures consistent communication across digital platforms.
  5. Inspires Action: A ‘why’ message encourages customer engagement and purchases, driven by shared values, leading to positive recommendations through word-of-mouth promotion.

Why is “Why” a challenging question to answer?

Have you ever wondered why a simple question “Why” is challenging to answer? This is because it’s hard for the human brain to put our feelings into words. The part of the brain that controls our feelings doesn’t control our language. That is why we often use metaphors to try and explain how we feel, but it’s still not easy to make others understand what’s happening inside us.

In business, especially in digital marketing, finding your “Why” means understanding the real purpose behind your brand. It’s not just about what products and services you sell or how you sell them, but about what your brand means to people and what unique space it fills in their lives. The question “Why” shapes your marketing, helping it connect better with people because it’s based on real values and purposes.

Ways to get your business’s “Why”

Discovering your “Why,” according to the Golden Circle, involves a deep and reflective process. Here are some steps to guide you:

  1. Analyze Your Brand’s Values: Look into what your brand stands for beyond making profits.
  2. Reflect on Your Brand’s Origin Story: Every brand has a story. Reflect on why the brand was created in the first place. This often reveals the passion and purpose behind its existence.
  3. Understand Your Audience: Identify what drives your target audience. Understanding their wants, needs, and problems can help align your brand’s “Why.”
  4. Review Your Successes and Failures: Check your best and worst marketing efforts. Usually, the successful ones have messages that show what your brand is about.
  5. Engage with Your Community: Listening to customer feedback reviews and engaging in social media conversations can provide insights into how your brand is perceived and what it means to your customers.
  6. Create a Clear “Why” Statement: Summarize your brand’s purpose and beliefs in a simple statement that guides your marketing efforts.
  7. Apply Your “Why” in Marketing: Make sure your “Why” is reflected in all your digital marketing activities, from your website to social media.


In conclusion, the Golden Circle framework from the book “Start with Why,” introduced by Simon Sinek, offers a valuable tool to help you create a digital marketing strategy tailored to your business mission, vision, and main purpose. It all begins with asking, “Why?” When you focus on the primary purpose of your brand, you create a real connection with your audiences. This connection runs through everything you do in your marketing, like email marketing campaigns, social media marketing campaigns, and other forms of advertisement—answering ‘How’ you do it and ‘What’ products or services you offer. This way, you can send a clear message to your audience, helping you reach your marketing goals.

In the digital era, online interactions are part of our daily lives. Digital marketing makes almost everything easy to find by suggesting ads based on our online activities and identifying our wants, needs, and problem solutions. Digital marketing involves using the internet and social media to promote brands, engage customers, and build online communities.

The Golden Circle “What, How, and Why” affects your ways of doing digital marketing. It enhances your brand identity and aligns your entire business strategy. By understanding and communicating your ‘Why,’ you connect more deeply with customers, leading to greater loyalty and success. This approach helps create clear, compelling marketing content and strategies that align with your audience and set your brand apart in the digital marketplace.