Five business arguments for using design to inform your marketing strategy

22 June 2020 • Digital strategy, Marketing

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Using design, and design thinking, to help form your product or service marketing strategy may at first be a puzzling concept. However, once you understand how design thinking works, it really makes a lot of sense.

亚搏体育官网You can use a process of design-driven thinking to understand user problems or issues and then work out solutions to solve them.

Many sales and marketing experts will look at a product or service and work out ways to market them from the top of the sales funnel downwards.

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亚搏体育官网While this strategy often works, your marketing results could be much better if you also use a design thinking strategy.

When a designer is working on creating a new product or service, they will ask a lot of questions and approach their design from the customer’s point of view. 

Design-driven thinking comes from the need to add a level of creativity into a business structure that is usually driven by analytical thinking.

亚搏体育官网The moods and desires of your target audience are forever shifting, so businesses need to have a flexible approach with plenty of creative design thinking to be able to react and keep up with a moving target. 

亚搏体育官网As the marketplace changes, businesses need to respond and deliver what their customers want quickly. This can be done when a company creates an in-house culture where every member of staff, including their sales and marketing teams, use the same design-driven, customer-centric creative methods as their design team use. 

1. Using design thinking in product creation and marketing can boost ROI

亚搏体育官网Quite often there is a misalignment between what you think your customers want and what they actually need. 

亚搏体育官网While it may be easier to start your marketing campaign using your company goals and objectives as a base to work from, you have to realise that most consumers today want to buy from companies that understand them and can relate to their needs and major pain-points. 

亚搏体育官网It’s like having an idea for a new product and then reverse-engineering your product or service working backwards from the end customer upwards. You do this by first discovering what your customer pain-points are and then creating a solution for their problems in the shape of your new product or service.  

亚搏体育官网You need to find out:

  • What do my customers really want? 
  • Why do they want it? 
  • What do they think and what is their thought process?

You must use psychology to get into the mind of your customers or users to design a winning marketing strategy. If you use your design-driven thinking in this way you will already know your customers inside-out and understand what they are looking for, so you will know their pain-points and how your product offers a solution that will appeal to them.

2. Designing your prototype lets you test the market

Next, you will need to design your prototypes, but we are not just talking about your main product or service here. Yes, you will need to get your creative ideas off paper and into something palpable, but you need to have a very carefully designed support system around your product or service.

Your prototype product will help you to understand how it works and what could be improved upon. You can create multiple virtual designs for your product and get feedback from your in-house staff and customer tests and user interviewsfrom each of them. This will help you to create a more balanced minimal viable product亚搏体育官网 with all the positive design elements taken from each prototype.

Never underestimate the knowledge of your own sales staff or how well they know your customers. By encouraging your sales team to build good customer relationships with your buyers, they will have a pretty good idea about whether or not your ideas will work or appeal to your customers. 

3. Using design to create the best first impression gives a competitive edge

亚搏体育官网Humans are very visual creatures. This is why the first visual encounter your target customer has is so important to get right. You need to make the right first impression if you want to capture and hold their attention.

Here is where your graphic design strategy can affect your marketing. You cannot successfully market a product that doesn’t look good.

亚搏体育官网You will want to make sure that you make a great first impression because your prospective new customers will judge your product, service or business in just a few short seconds based on what they see and their initial interaction with your product.

亚搏体育官网If it is really true that ‘what you see is what you get’ then you need to make sure what your customers see is exactly what they are looking for. Your high-quality design features will help to build your business credibility and believability. Ultimately, your visual designs will help to increase sales.

4. Designing your marketing approach helps you integrate channels

Once you have a product to market, you will need to design and build up a supporting structure of marketing materials that includes everything from encouraging sales leads through your web landing pages to digital marketing ads, content marketing亚搏体育官网, and print marketing materials. 

Using the mindset of a designer can really help here. When creating your marketing materials and content, keep in mind all those pain-point questions that a designer would ask the customer and empathise with them as you create your marketing material. 

The three main concerns of a prospective customer will be price, service and convenience of delivery and use. Remember to be honest here and not to over-promise on these things and focus more on how your product or service will help with your customers most pressing need.

亚搏体育官网You can use your design thinking to create multiple marketing approaches, demo presentations and marketing content to target your niche audience. You can test these different designs on your own staff and test audiences to gain valuable insights and different viewpoints.

5. Designing marketing pathways gives a development roadmap

Your customer relationships are one of your businesses most prized assets. It is a thing that you simply cannot put a price on.

Marketing a product or services isn’t just about converting new sales on an endless loop. A lot of thought must go into designing ways to help retain customers, build their brand loyalty and encourage repeat sales.

While most traditional marketing strategies focus on hitting sales targets for new product campaigns, there is a lot to be said about designing a system of marketing pathways to cross-sell, upsell, encourage subscriptions, and build customer referrals.

All of these marketing pathways will need to be carefully structured using design thinking strategies that will make all pathways relevant and relatable to the end customer or user. 

As you can see, there is much more to marketing than traditional selling techniques. Having a more design-driven strategy that provides a more personal user experience designed through feedback from real customers and knowledgeable customer-facing staff in your own company will lead to greater marketing success.

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