Design Thinking in Marketing

I spent most of my professional career in Marketing. I have to admit that I am quite biassed as I believe that Marketing has a leading role to play in companies. Unfortunately (or maybe not) the word Marketing is often negatively perceived (nice people talking about fluffy stuffs).

These last years, the environment where we are working is facing an acceleration of changes and complexity. The good news is that we are also discovering new ways of working. Design Thinking is really a fantastic methodology, more agile, more colaborative and faster. Strategy is now strongly influenced by Design Thinking thanks to the fantastic work Alex Osterwalder did with his Business Model Canvas.

In my daily life, when working and thinking on Strategic Marketing, I felt that the current approach is outdated and is no more delivering strong results. Based on this, I did some research but I haven’t found something that really convinced me therefore I decided to develop something (at least to try). It is how the Marketing Canvas is born.

My first idea was that we should be able to connect financial goals (which is why most of the time we do a marketing plan) with marketing actions. I thought about the Revenue Streams.

The Service Design and UX theories (Alan Cooper) convinced me that we should talk about Human and put the human in the center of the plan.

While Kotler (with his 7P) is not considering the Brand has one key dimension but more as a tool, I believe it should be clearly mentioned as a dimension.

I think the concept of Value Proposition as described in the Business Model Canvas is perfectly doing the job. Let’s keep it.

Instead of talking of Channels or Place, let’s embrace the Customer Journey revolution and use Journey as it covers interactions, touchpoints, micro and macro moments and omnichannel.

Advertising, Promotion or even Education (as in the SAVE model) are for me missing the point: we should talk about Conversations. How much unpaid conversations do you have, how long are your conversations? Is it a monologue or a dialogue.

Finally, your Costs which are all the money you spent to make this happen.

These 7 dimensions (Human, Brand, Value Proposition, Journey, Conversation, Costs and Revenue Streams) are called lenses as they help you to observe your business in a simple way.

Below in the attached slideware , you will find how I think we should play with these lenses (how you look at things) with a design thinking mindset.

The planning exercise works much faster, is more collaborative and interactive. You can easily identify where the disconnection exists between these elements. What is slowing down your growth (the brakes)? What is accelerating your growth (the accelerators)? The impact on the Revenue Equation?

The recommended process is based on the established divergence-convergence approach of the Design Thinking methodology. After having mapped your current Marketing situation using the 7 lenses, you can identify what could help you to achieve your financial objectives (accelerators) or what is blocking you (brakes). Afterwards, when you have assessed what is the right Marketing Problem, you can start ideate on potential changes you should do on your Brand, Value Proposition, Journey or Conversation. Finally, after the ideation process, you can decide what are the right changes .

I have already shared this with experienced marketers and got very positive feedback. I truly believe in the power of us. Therefore I am excited to get your feedback. It will help me to move this to the next level.