• The Rolling Circle

How to make digital marketing yield better results through Design Thinking?

Data and tests are assuming a vital role in detecting your customer’s personal choices and desires. Yet marketers tend to rely on their intuition over market insights. While plunging in a fresh initiative or facing a critical challenge, most of the times we depend on existing knowledge and earlier experiences to determine our actions.

Actually, we act upon our acquired experiences.

Even intelligent people devote their time and resources to intuition based decisions rather than fact based decisions to eventually find that it did not lead them towards their goals.

Best practices are good to adhere to, yet we must also be attentive to the unique needs of specific customers in order to drive significant business value. In an era of overwhelming market intelligence, to act upon only intuition and blindly following best practices of a different time and situation is not a smart move at all. It is essential to reach your customers and other patrons and associates and try to understand their challenges to come up with real life solutions. This is something that the designers of your company do everyday.

Their job is to design applicable experiences for consumers and other business associates and they use much more than just their intuition to achieve the goal. They understand the three sixty degree challenges. They collect an array of insights from customers and stakeholders across the company, test their ideas over a sizeable sample, and ensure that they are on the right track before making a full commitment. The design team lives by a wider philosophy that help any marketing or product team achieve desired results - Design Thinking.

Applying Design Thinking for Digital Marketing

According to the Hasso-Plattner-Institute of Design at Stanford, design thinking can be broken down into five phases: empathize, define, ideate, prototype and test. The same phases can be used when creating an online marketing strategy.

1. Empathize

Understanding your clients' and stakeholders' psychological and emotional urges positions you to be prepared to develop solutions that would satisfy them. This is the core demand of empathy. Big Data is an excellent tool to assist you towards this understanding. In fact, the vastness of data can get you overwhelmed and lost in the numbers. Analysis of the data towards your intended information is the key to your process of understanding.

Well, that’s actually great, isn't it? You have access to data. But how do you use that data? How do you interpret it?

This is when you need to empathize with your customers. What are your potential customers feeling? Interpretation of the data needs your empathy. What are your target audience feeling? What appeals to them? When you are provided with specific information like what kind of material they are reading or what types of videos they’re watching on YouTube, you need to relate the significant emotional and psychological metabolism that incites them to read those material and watch that kind of videos? If they spend more time on Instagram than Facebook, what does that signify? What emotional need does Instagram satisfy that Facebook does not?

As a marketer, you’re no longer just selling a product. You’re selling content online that guides the people 's behaviors on social media, which in turn, develops their interest and faith in your product.

2. Define

After identifying your customers and their stimulus and responses, you need to define the problem. For example, “Job seekers in Kolkata find their options frustrating due to lack of information and opportunities.” Or “Entrepreneurs in Mumbai have a problem finding employees that deliver as per their expectations within their available budget.”

In short, you need to figure out what kind of online content will solve their problem(s). Entrepreneurs in Mumbai will have different problems from job seekers in Kolkata. Of course, you can also dig deeper to find more problems. The job seekers in Kolkata more specifically, may want to find options outside Kolkata or alternative self sustaining professions. These can all be used for content ideas.

Social media is generally used to inform or entertain, and once you’ve empathized with your target market, you’ll be better equipped to figure out what specifically informs, or entertains them (or rather: what problems they’re facing to find information and entertainment now.)

3. Ideate

As you know the problem(s) now, you can think of one, or many, solutions. For example, the job seekers in Kolkata may be looking for information and self-help pieces that help them earn a living, while the entrepreneurs in Mumbai might want to find ways of getting their projects completed within allocated budget.

Basically, this is the time you come up with content ideas that would solve the problems of your target audience, be it to inform or entertain them in a better way.

4. Prototype

This is when you design some sample content pieces. For the job seekers in Kolkata, you could create a video, blog, podcast and infographic that help them solve a problem.

5. Testing

This is the testing phase for your content. You can do A/B testing and try out multiple approaches, such as videos, blogs, infographics etc. Feedback will then recommend you to adjust the content you’re creating. If you defined two to three different problems for your audience, you should examine what resonates most. It is possible one problem appears to be more prominent than another, depending on how your audience reacts to the content.

Design thinking is an area of wide application with solutions for every other domain of business. Digital marketing initiatives can benefits immensely in attaining the objectives and goals intended by the marketers.

Do you need a professional team to take care of design thinking for your brand and business communication?

Let's connect and chat about this.

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