As we enter a new decade we can't help but get excited about what marketing innovations to come in the next 10 years. One area that will continue to become increasingly important will be our clients' customers and how to better understand their behavior.
It sounds intuitive, but without addressing your customer, their motivators and needs and then pivoting to meet them, you can get left with programs and very expensive programs that aren't producing results.
At Mighty & True, we believe design thinking - the iterative process which seeks to understand users, challenge assumptions, redefine problems and create innovative solutions for launch and testing - is an essential component to solving today's marketing problems. The problems marketers solve for are complex and with the addressable ecosystem growing every day, understanding the user/customer and attempting to meet them where they are is more important than ever as we enter 2020.
When thinking through your design-led approach for 2020, here's a quick review of the 5 fundamental steps to apply to relevant marketing use cases. If you keep focused on the customer through the process, you're sure to create programs that perform well and please your customers and prospects.
Research and truly understand your customer or user. What are their problems, what are their motivators, what are the steps they need to take before taking an action?
Document what was identified and is now understood about the user, their needs and how that impacts the intended action you are trying to drive.
Generate ideas on how to address the users' needs and behavior while solving for the intended action. With the background of your defined goals and your user/customer insights, this can serve as a safe space for ideas.
Begin to determine what the output would look like based on the previous 3 phases. It could be that this leads you back to the ideation stage, but this shouldn't be considered a step back but rather a step in the right direction to address the user and their unique needs.
Build testing into your plan to ensure that the user/customer has testable actions to confirm the best way.
So what does that mean, practically? Simply said, it means teams should start with the customer before any campaign, site or other marketing planning takes place. A detailed customer journey is a great place to start and requires marketing teams to empathize and understand the risks, concerns and needs of the customer as they move towards a purchase.
As part of the customer journey creation process, be sure that the entire journey is considered. Depending on your offering and business, huge percentages of actions are taken before any branded engagement or a website visit. Those actions and what leads to them are essential to include in your journey. Also, depending on the importance of customer marketing for your business, consider including post-purchase stages in your journey.
Once your customer journey is created, it makes it much simpler to map digital and other touchpoints that can be prioritized and delivered by marketing.
One of the key components of a great, design-led project is starting with a simple but effective customer journey document for your internal and/or external teams. See below for a free download of the journey template we use here at Mighty & True. We hope you find it useful.