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The Power of Design thinking in Marketing: Think like there is no box

Updated: 11 hours ago


Author: Anastasia Chirkova

Date of publication: 13/07/2023

In the ever-evolving world of marketing, it's crucial to continually innovate. One approach that has been gaining popularity is design thinking. The model helps your marketing team to create marketing campaigns that are not only effective but also innovative and engaging.

design thinking

Innovative Process

Some key facts about the model

  • Design thinking is in essence a problem -solving process. It appeared as a result of a complex society transformation where consumers have power and opt for more customization. The model is based on a human- centric approach to problem-solving that incorporates empathy, creativity and rationality..

  • However those principles were discovered much earlier, first formulated back in 1970 by Mr D.Kelly of Stanford university. He emphasized the importance of empathy and prototyping in any design process. Also, he envisioned design process as not linear but rather an iterative cycle that encourages continuous learning and improvement

Therefore, applied to marketing strategies it assists in creating more engaging and effective campaigns.

The Process Steps and “How to”

1. Problem statement

The process starts with formulating the problem with the client. Out of the complex world, make it more. The short but precise statement should not be very generic, while not too precise. This is because we don't want it to limit creativity. Importantly, it should not contain a solution in itself.

2. Exploration

After the problematic statement was clarified there is a diversion phase. In this phase the team is collecting available data, determining causes, and identifying opportunities. Among different methods, we need to choose the acceptable and appropriate ones. For example, B2B might be structured surveys while for B2C it could be observations and unstructured interviews. The interviews are in the form of conversation with your consumer with open unbiased questions without leading discussion in a particular way. As a result of collecting info, it is possible to converge by persona profiling and choose the profile that is not a generic but an extreme spectrum.

Then, we combine persona with customer journey separating good and bad experiences. Out of those experiences, we could see opportunities as to what can be improved further and what bad points can be eliminated. However, the opportunities are not solutions yet, so rather we have to start with the verb. Out of many opportunities, according to the availability of resources and time, it is advisable to concentrate on a few or one to develop it better.

3. Idea generation

In the diversion phase again, we generate complexity when coming up with many ideas. Those ideas can be wild, building on the ideas of others in the team. During this process we can use YES, BUT rule as assistance for the creative flow. In fact, ideas can be better visualized by clustering them into forced connections or projective images and mood boards that trigger imaginations. In addition, the ideas can be then mapped into:

  • feasible and innovative

  • feasible conventional

  • innovative and not feasible

  • conventional and non-feasible

4. Prototyping

Accumulating the resources available, the prototype is made to be tested for the consumers on the basis of user experience. At this point, the user interface might not be aesthetic yet but it is a Minimum Viable Product designed with only main functions and with minimum resources. So, it can be shown as a 3D printing example or storyboard or video describing usability.

5. Evolution

After the prototype presentation to the consumer, it is important not to stop and rest on being sure the solution is perfect. Therefore, we need to constantly seek what they say, what they need, and ways of improvement by questioning, feedback, and revision.

At last, during the presentation to the client, we need to demonstrate the value by expressing the concept. Besides we should mention what pain the solution will relieve and what benefits will provide.

thinking map

What does design thinking bring to the table?

Design thinking is a powerful tool for marketers. The main idea is for the designer to be a facilitator for the team and not the consultant who brings ready solutions. While following the design process step by step, the team isn’t jumping directly to solutions. Actually, they mind key customer insights and always keep questioning the prototype to come up with efficient customized solutions. The solutions are both viable for their business model, feasible in their nature, and of course desirable for the end consumer.

So, start designing your thoughts and see the difference it makes in your marketing strategy!

Reference List:

Ideo design thinking

Examples of design thinking in business

Apply the design thinking process in your business

Developing a marketing plan using design thinking

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