Spotlight|July 3, 2017

What Marketers Can Learn from Design Thinking

Modern marketers know that a customer-centric strategy is essential to surviving today’s complex business environment. Customers are not loyal to brands anymore because of the paradox of choice, rather they are loyal to the customer experience.

Design thinking is a human-centered approach to understanding the customer. It champions experimental thinking and a customer-centric strategy.

In this post, we will take a look at how brands can implement design thinking to improve the customer journey and help your brand stand out.

Consumers as the centre of your strategy

Design thinking takes it to a deeper, more personal level by analyzing who is directly and indirectly affected, their lifestyle, and the ecosystem that they live in.

A human-centered approach to marketing requires a shift in thinking of consumers beyond demographics. Technology has evolved to the point of where there is a deluge of customer data regarding their devices, media consumption, likes and dislikes, etc. The quantitative data is important, just as much as the contextual data.

Photo by: Matthew Wiebe

Customers are reading reviews of products on their mobile phones while browsing in your store only to order it online later when they get home. They expect a seamless, personalized experience from beginning to end whether they are on the way to work with 10% battery life or on their laptop with full bandwidth.

Creating a powerful and memorable experience, no matter where they are or on what device, leaves the customer with a positive impression and a reason to come back.

Experimental thinking

Prototyping and iteration are what elevates an idea into a polished product. When you try to design for perfection, most likely you will fail. Some of the best and brightest engineers design clever and beautifully-executed applications and websites. However, they never even reach the customer because they fail to see how the end user interacts with the product.

Experimental thinking requires that you design for optimization rather than for perfection. With an experimental approach, brands can make meaningful improvements by seeing how their audience interacts with your digital content.

Photo by: Lauren Mancke

The first step is asking the right questions. Is your menu too confusing ? Is the sidebar causing cart abandonment ? Once you have the right questions, you can look at the data to confirm or disprove your hypothesis.

“Without data, it’s just an opinion”

It is human nature to be biassed when it comes to our work. Developers, marketers, product managers all have a personal opinion about every detail of the content. Sometimes, even protective. Incremental experiments allow the team to objectively focus on what needs to be improved rather than relying on the opinions of a few project leaders.

Lather, rinse, repeat

After you run these tests, now you have a benchmark for future tests. Optimization is a cycle that never ends. In today’s competitive business market, each detail of your website needs to be pored over and continuously optimized to convert users into paying customers.

There are countless blogs and articles on how to increase your conversion rates and revenue on your website, but each brand has different objectives, audiences, and target markets. Best practices and Top Ten lists, even from digital marketing experts, are not blanket solutions for achieving your conversion objectives. To be successful, companies need to develop and build a holistic view of the customer experience in order to meet their increasing expectations.

How do you integrate design thinking into your marketing? Tweet us at @contentsquare.

Featured Photo by: William Iven

Kristine Ugalde

data benchmark
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