Design Thinking: The Key to Effective Marketing Campaign

What is Design Thinking?


Arnab Ghosh

3 years ago | 4 min read

Do you know brands like Nike, Apple, Coca-Cola…...why these brands are so successful in their respective fields?

If you look closely, you can see that all their products are simple, easy to understand, and easy to use.

Nike is the first choice for a lot of sports icons, owning an Apple device is a status symbol, and our all-time love Coke is a sweet low-cost drink designed to bring happiness.

Now, what is the one thing that is common between all three products - its design thinking.

Design thinking is one of those buzzwords that sounds fuzzy in the beginning, but as you start to understand more, it will begin to
make sense.

In simple words, design thinking is the user-first approach where you understand the customer's problem before looking for a solution. This approach works very well for product creation.

But I'll show you how this same approach can be used to create brilliant marketing campaigns with creative problem-solving.

What is Design Thinking?

The process of design thinking revolves around the idea of developing an understanding of customers and creating products to solve human-related problems. It has nothing to do with making a product look eye-catchy in the eyes of the customers.

Instead, it’s a systematic approach to creatively solve a problem that gives the marketer full freedom to come up with new strategies that directly speaks to the customer.

So if you're a marketer or a small business owner, it is essential to incorporate design thinking to create marketing campaigns that better cater to the consumer's requirement.

Phases of Design Thinking

Imagine this, you are launching a product in the next couple of months, and you have to create a massive marketing campaign around the product. How do you go about it? How do you ensure that your messages are
communicating effectively with the right audience?

Design thinking needs to follow a step by step process to conduct a marketing campaign successfully.

The first step of design thinking is to understand what your customers want. And the best way is to go about it, is to talk to your target audience directly.

1. Empathize

Marketing is less about money and more about connecting with customers. Successful marketing campaigns touch the heart of its customers.

And to understand your customer's real pain, you have to get into their heads, what they think, they like, feel, say, and do. And the only way to do it is by observing them and talking to them.

You can use different ways to communicate with your target audience.

Use observation:

There must be a blog or a social media post that got the most amount of likes & shares in your niche. Analyze them and see why people liked them.

Check out your customer's social following:

Check which social media profiles your customers follow, what type of product or services they love. It will give you an idea of your customers likes and preferences,

Directly ask your customer:

This is the easiest and full-proof way to find what your customers want from you.

Once you gather all data, you can have a clear picture of what your customer wants. Now, think about how your content can help your customers solve the problems.

If you are still confused, do the steps again until you have a clear picture of your customers' wants.

2. Define

After you have done your research, it’s time to analyze the data you've got. Once you start analyzing, you can identify some specific patterns or similar behaviors of your customers.

Once you find those patterns, you can start to define the problem and begin to solve it. Sometimes you may find that there is more than one problem, or the problem is entirely different than what you expected.

And that is the point. As you start to discover your customer's pain points, it will become clear on what approach to take.

3. Ideate

You have defined your problem(s). Now is the time to get creative and come up with possible solutions. If possible, get a team behind the brainstorming process and, come up with as many solutions as possible.

Go crazy, think outside of the box.

The more, the better. It's easy to execute an idea, but it isn't easy to cast one out.

Once you've created a handful of ideas, select a couple of them, which ones you think can generate results. Every idea may not give you the desired result, but you will have a framework to work on.

4. Prototype

Once you have done with your idea creation and have a handful of them, it's time to execute those ideas. The concept of prototyping is to create versions of different solutions from different ideas for testing on your target audience.

In this step, think of your content as your product. Take your ideas and turn those into helpful content for your audience in any form like podcasts, blogs, newsletters, videos, etc.

It is better to create content that is evergreen so that your audience can come to it again and again. And it will be a good starting point for your future customers as well.

5. Test

Design thinking process doesn't complete without testing. And testing runs alongside the content creation process.

The most important thing to remember is, if your content doesn't perform well, that's completely ok. The goal here is to weed out the bad ideas and implement the ideas that are working on the audience.

And it is essential to A/B test your ideas. During this process, you can find out what's working and what's not and tweak your marketing strategy along the way.

6. Repeat

The last but not the least step is to repeat the process again and again. In marketing, no solution is a 100% perfect solution. There is always a better solution out there. And you have to constantly repeat the process to find the optimal solution.

Design thinking is a dynamic process. And it’s a powerful tool to implement in marketing. You will fail, but you've try and test every ideas and learn along the way. And these steps will definitely help you get started with design thinking in your marketing campaign.


Created by

Arnab Ghosh







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