When was the last time you sought to understand your customers without the aid of survey data, transactional data, or anything on a spreadsheet attempting to quantify the needs and responses of your core consumer?
In a digitised business ecology, marketing professionals are inundated with a wide variety of metrics; numbers that are collated together to create an ideal user profile, which is assumed to reveal deep insights into the consumer. However, that’s only half the story. To uncover a more representative idea of your consumer, empathy work must be embedded within every stage of product development and marketing.
This is where Design-Led Innovation, a methodology pioneered by Professor Sam Bucolo (Director of Innovation and Engagement at UTS), can help marketing professionals design competitive advantage into their business model by having a deeper understanding of their customer’s needs. According to Sam, “Businesses need to involve their customers in the design and prototyping of solutions rather than presenting them with a finished product”
Through empathy work, Design-Led Innovation places the consumer at the centre of product design, and empowers any individual with the ability to design a customer-centric business model. The prototyping of a new product is approached in a holistic manner where the overall experience, circumstances and core values of a customer is considered.
Whilst many marketing departments send out surveys and monitor customer behaviour, listening to a customer and building empathy is vastly different to selling to a customer. Through the utilisation of innovation frameworks, open ended interviewing, and the agile prototyping of new products, marketing professionals become conduits to connect customer needs with the development of new products.
Design-Led Innovation will re-orient the way marketing professionals operate within any organisation. In the ideation and creation of any product, senior level marketers and marketing managers will require the ability to recognise and incorporate customer needs into the design of new products and processes.
At UTS Business Practice, we recognise that the current business climate remains extremely diverse, allowing customers the ability to choose amongst a wide variety of products and service providers. In order to retain competitiveness, organisations will not only need to understand their customer, but will also need to listen to their needs, and embed those needs into the design of their product.
If you are interested in learning more about Design-Led Innovation, and receiving the tools and innovation framework to create customer-centric products, click here.