Design Thinking

5 04 2013

As part of my studies at the Ryan Academy we discussed the concept of Design Thinking. This is a concept pioneered by David Kelley, founder of IDEO and the Stanford Design School. According to David, Design Thinking:

  • Incorporate human behaviour into design
  • Is based on an empathy for the consumer
  • Is a collaborative process that allows you to “get to a place that you can’t get to with one mind”.

What is really interesting about Design Thinking and the associated Stanford D process is the way that a well defined process is used to harness what could potentially be a chaotic process. The process is a structured approach to generating and developing ideas.

Phase 1: Understand

Develop your understanding of the dynamics of the market, the key players, geographic and demographic opportunities and any recent innovation.

Phase 2: Observe

Understand how your customers and consumers think and act.

Phase 3: Point of View

Look closely at a possible opportunity in the market or at a new perspective of the marketing based on the outcomes of phases 1 and 2.

Phase 4: Ideate

Encourage you team to creatively assess the market and the suggested opportunity. There are specific techniques that help this process and the outcome should be two new and useful ideas

Phase 5: Prototype

Convert the ideas into research ready concepts that can be tested for feasibility

Phase 6: Test and Iterate

Test the prototype and make and changes based on the feedback





Is Graph Search a game changer?

18 02 2013

Niall Harbison, co-founder of Simply Zesty, will be a popular speaker, I suspect, at DMX Dublin 2013. The Simply Zesty story is fantastic and it’s great to see an Irish company doing so well. Niall recently spoke at a PM Forum event in the newly refurbished offices of Ernst & Young. He gave the following advice which I thought cut through the haze that often surrounds social media.

  1. Pick one channel and get it right
    The four dominant social media channels are Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and LinkedIn with Google+ coming in fifth. Niall’s advice was to ignore this months trend and get one of these channels right.
  2. Blog
    Simply Zesty owes its success to top quality blogging. If you blog then you own the content, it is always yours.
  3. Set goals
    It might be a bit of a cliché but how many so-called social media experts fail to set real, meaningful goals that make a difference to your business. Collecting ‘likes’ or followers is not a real goal.
  4. Avoid the “arms race” for Facebook likes
    The new Graph Search feature currently being rolled out by Facebook will make chasing vast numbers of ‘likes’ almost irrelevant. Facebook will allow users to search based on what their friends recommend rather than the quantity of likes.

I was very struck by how powerful Niall believes Facebook will become. He cited the example of Netflix using Facebook logins to illustrate how he believes that Facebook will soon be the real backbone of the Internet. Combined with the potential of Graph Search Niall sees a strong future for Facebook.





Digital Marketing Trends 2013

23 01 2013

I was listening to Colin Lewis on The Persuaders radio show recently. He was there to talk about the upcoming DMX Dublin digital marketing conference which he is actively involved in. While on the show Alex Gibson asked him about his views on digital marketing for 2013.

The key point that jumped out at me was the growth of analytics. He was talking about the incredible amounts of data that the Obama 2012 campaign had on individual voters. The success of that campaign was based an amazing insight into individuals and how they might vote. Colin described this as micro marketing and, ironically, it required far less social media and much more direct contact with the voters. If you want to know more about the Obama 2012 campaign you can hear Teddy Goff, Digital Director of the Obama campaign speak at the DMX Dublin Conference.

The other trends that Colin highlighted were:

  • Everything is digital now; it is central to how you engage with customers
  • Agency models are rapidly changing – niche agencies tend to be more innovative and are moving into the mainstream
  • Email is still highly relevant – it is usable and measurable

The podcast of the show is available from The Persuaders website if you want to listen to it.