An update on design and marketing:

Marketing and design do not oppose. They complement each other, interact, constrain and stimulate each other. These two disciplines share similar objectives, including desirability, but this is not based on the same criteria.

Marketing seeks to seduce by emotion:

With regard to the “consumer”, marketing and design do not use the same approach. This sometimes leads to misunderstandings between professionals in these two disciplines, still too little used to working together during their studies. [1]

Marketers mainly offer “emotional innovation

Marketing seeks to influence the purchasing behavior of consumers by playing on the perceived value of the brand. This is where the emotions, the desire, the love and therefore the purchase are born. Marketing, guided by this desire for consumer desirability, has sometimes deviated from its original purpose to stimulate expectations rather than communicate on answers to existing expectations , which has led to some rejection of traditional marketing by the Society.

Moreover, marketing techniques are based largely on the direct questioning of a panel of consumers, which ensures a certain efficiency but leads above all to incremental innovation as recalled at the end of 2015 Michaël Haddad, at L’Oréal Research and Innovation, in this article :

Experience innovation, which is increasingly sought after by brands, is actually at the intersection of human, economic and technological components, as illustrated by the following diagram proposed by the IDEO design agency:

This brings different professionals – engineers, designers, marketers, among others – to work together.

Beyond the sphere of desirability that concerns him, marketing is often the guarantor of the business component (market). Thus, during the development of the project, during the phases of selection of ideas in particular, the market comes back as an element of arbitration.

The design (re) creates meaning;

The design is here to consider on two levels:

Graphic design makes it possible to express the brand.

The design is often reduced to the visual form of the brand: a logo, a visual identity, a packaging … Of course, this is part of the design. Every consumer sees above all the external appearance of the product, which is what can seduce him.

Marketing has long been a customer of graphic design, but to create value today, graphic design alone is not enough. It is necessary to  generate emotions resulting from unforgettable experiences, which requires an in-depth analysis of the user and his environment prefiguring the creation of value for the latter.

Design as a human-centered design method helps to better meet consumer expectations and create these experiences.

Design thinking, as a modeling of the designer’s thinking and methodology, helps to understand users and create value for the user as well as for the organization / brand.

The designer will make sure to understand the users, their environment, their needs, often unexpressed and inexpressible, sometimes even unconscious, which are not very important for marketing professionals. What is known as “user research” is an essential complement to marketing techniques to perceive the real and latent needs of users.

The design thus focuses on the qualitative aspect of the exploratory approach upstream and in addition to the quantitative aspect of marketing and its tools such as market research.

While marketing is interested in market potential in a quantitative approach to “typical” or “average” customers, design is very interested in the extreme users and the disruptive innovation potential they represent. Observation and analysis of their behavior can detect possible circumvention in terms of uses or potential needs.

The postulate is also the following: if it works for them, then it works for everyone!

“In objective analysis of data from the past and based on a logic of segmentation, ethnographic research exploits the opposite an empathetic interpretation focused on the collection of qualitative data with respect to individuals and their behavior.

Discovering unrequited needs to inspire new ideas is the main objective, which is opposed to a logic of improving the existing supply based on the formulation of explicit needs. In terms of method, data is collected by directly observing real-world contexts, emphasizing dynamic conversations and learning from extreme users, unlike protocols based on interactions with target groups that represent great market potential in controlled environments involving the use of pre-established questionnaires. “

These differences reveal in fact a great complementarity between the two approaches, also illustrated by the following words of Peter Thomson from this article :

Using a design approach at first tend to lead through empathy, user centredness and creativity to ask:

Marketing: What will be the greatest number of people just enough to buy our product?

Design: What will delight the specific person That We created this forum, so much That They tell other people about it? “

The design must make it possible to question the creation of effective value for the user, beyond the value perceived a priori. Marketing will formulate and communicate concretely the value proposition.

The difficulty in the collaboration between designers and marketers is sometimes to find a middle ground between the constraints imposed by marketing (the DNA of the brand and the economic viability of the proposal) and the innovations of use proposed by the design.

The meeting of design and marketing around the meaning and its challenges: Decompartmentalize, collaborate, co-create!

Unlike traditional marketing, which is concerned primarily with brand awareness, what is known today as useful marketing focuses on its reputation. For this, it leads brands to develop their utility and to engage socially / socially.

“In the meantime, useful marketing will try to meet existing needs rather than continually creating new ones. Traditional marketing has for too long been diverted to standardize the needs of the masses, so much so that the profession has lost some of its fundamentals: adapting its proposal to the market and not just the other way around. “

This is where design meets marketing. Because today, in what is called useful marketing as in design, the search for meaning is fundamental, in the image of what society wants, in the image of the citizen.

Complementary rather than opposed, the challenge is to bring designers and marketers together around these projects, this search for meaning and usefulness, and get out of the silos of the organization .

Beyond this collaboration between professionals, another type of co-creation is also possible. The designer invites more users every day to become co-designers. Co-creating with users is in fact to ensure an expected and efficient use of the solution by its future users. This transition from design to “co-design” is a significant development strongly linked to marketing, as explained by Tim Brown of the IDEO design agency:

Although users will probably not be the vectors of a breakthrough innovation, as we have said, co-creation will make it possible to measure the acceptability of breakthrough innovations born of the understanding of the needs of these users, the l Creative input from the designer, the collaboration of business professionals and the involvement of citizens.

Design thinking is the use of designer methods and tools and other disciplines such as ethnography, marketing, engineering, management, to implement a multidisciplinary, human-centered approach to meet to a question. It is then source of innovation and especially of value (for the user / the consumer as for the brand), it is there the stake of the design as the marketing.

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