A guide to using design thinking as an innovation strategy to boost your marketing goals

Wed, 04/11/2020 - 11:49

Brands often build a product and service offering based on what they think customers want and need. While it works, there’s a better and innovative approach to delivering exactly what customers seek. That approach is design thinking, it encourages digital marketers to think beyond tried and tested methods, which, in turn, puts digital marketing design teams in a position to search for innovative alternatives which can be beneficial in boosting an organisation’s marketing goals. If this isn’t something that your organisation is doing, we’ll show you how to correctly use the design thinking process as a strategy for innovation.

What is design thinking?

Design thinking is not a new concept; many organisations might have started thinking that it isn’t relevant in 2020. But it still is and will be for a long time. So what is it? 

In short, it’s a human-centred design process. It helps marketers understand what customers want by observing their behaviour and learning why they do what they do, and when they do it. They then use this data to shape and improve customer experiences by tailoring their product or service offering to meet their customer needs. 

What is the design thinking process?

The process follows a 5 step approach; empathise, define, ideate, prototype and test.


This is the first step that involves studying your customer behaviour to learn about their wants, needs and goals. During this step, you have to engage with customers to understand their thought processes both from a psychological and emotional perspective.


During this step, you look into the data collected from the previous step and provide a clear definition of customer problems. What challenges are they facing? And, what are the behavioural patterns that you have observed? Use these questions to develop a problem statement.


Once you have defined a problem, you can start to develop ideas with the purpose of solving the problem. There are different types of ideation techniques you can use, from braindumping to brainstorming. Your design team can choose a technique, or techniques, that work for them. Alternatively, you can enlist the help of a top digital marketing agency in South Africa with vast experience in using different types of digital branding techniques.


At the end of the previous step, you’ll already have a list of a few ideas that you can turn into a prototype solution. What that means is developing practical products or services that solve your customer’s problems. During this stage, you also need to test each prototype to observe its flaws and limitations. Then, you redesign, update and improve it accordingly until it becomes the solution you need it to be.


The final stage is all about testing the prototype solution you have developed. And, not from your perspective (on how it can solve your customer’s problems), but from their perspective on how they experience it. This will provide you with insights to redesign and improve or come up with a whole new solution. 

Observe, think, design and innovate!

While the above steps might make design thinking seem like a linear problem-solving approach, it isn’t. The process is flexible and every step brings an opportunity to gain new insights that will have you bounce in between the stages as you draw up an innovative solution. 

So, if you want to build an innovative human-centric strategy, reach out to a marketing strategy agency to help boost your marketing potential. Like Rogerwilco, we offer the best digital marketing in cape town, whether you’re looking to build design thinking strategies with ecommerce design services or graphic design services. Contact us today to get started! 

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