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How To Apply Design Thinking For Effective Digital Marketing Campaigns

Apurv Verma, VP - Operations, SRV Media Pvt. Ltd.

A young digital marketing expert with rich experience of working with more than 50 clients across Education, Real estate, and Healthcare, among other domains.

In the digital generation of today, one click and you have thousands of options for almost everything. For a brand to stand out amidst the increasing chaos, it has definitely become tougher. What is the secret to building an effective digital marketing campaign? What can you change in your approach to satisfy the cognitive and conative requirements of your target audience?

The answer to both these questions is Design Thinking.
What is Design Thinking?
Contrary to the impulsive response, it does not mean satisfying your customers visually. It refers to having a systematic approach to problem solving while keeping the consumer at the center. It requires businesses to move away from the traditional techniques and focus on empathizing with their enduser and solving their real problems.

What Does Design Thinking Involve?
It has a simple 5-step process that is followed by companies that are aiming for growth and development, not just for themselves but for their customers too.

Step 1: Empathize
The process must start from the customers. What are their pain points? How can you solve them? What are the done and dusted ways? How can you innovate and provide different solutions?

While these questions may seem common, they are the starting point for some of the greatest ideas

across the world. When your client is torn between hiring, firing and being constantly available to customer queries, creating a chatbot for them can be the perfect solution. Empathizing with your audiences will help you connect to them and give birth to ideas that are a win-win for everyone.

Step 2: Define
As you start focussing on consumer problems, you may be torn between different issues, making it critical to define which one your team will solve. Trying to solve multiple issues at one will lead to a vague solution that does not have a focal point and hence, will miss the target. Choosing one problem will give direction to your ideas and hence, solutions.

Step 3: Ideate
Ideation must be a collaborative process. Every great idea has a bunch of creative minds behind it. The simple reason for this is their different mindsets, approaches and perspectives towards life. The more diverse your brainstorming group, the more inclusive your solution will be. For example, having a designer’s point of view coupled with that of an accountant or sales executive will allow you to ensure your solution is well-rounded.

Step 4: Prototype
Creating a prototype is one of the most important steps because it puts your idea in black and white. It allows you to get all your stakeholders on board, visualise your plan and give their feedback which can be very valuable to the final product/service. Just because something worked in the past does not mean it will work today as well. Innovation and ideation must change and move with the time, for which creating prototypes is the starting point.

Creating a prototype is one of the most important steps because it puts your idea in black and white

Step 5: Test
While coming up with an idea is a large part of the battle won, it is imperative to test out the solution on a smaller scale before putting it out there. While you felt that a chatbot was a great solution, your idea can only be only validated after the prototype works on a small group of people. Executing an idea on a large scale without testing can be a disaster financially and logistically, apart from being a major discouragement to the team. Trying out a prototype is like the internal assessment before your final board exam. It prepares you well in advance.

The entire process revolves around the consumer - his needs, demands, problems, solutions, etc. Design Thinking involves a planned approach that is created and modified according to the end-user. It is a bottom-up approach rather than a top-down one.

As a marketer in today’s time, we have to change the outlook and approach in order to stand out amongst the array of brands available.

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