Thursday, April 7, 2016
Chief Experience Officer,
Chief Experience Officer,
Since the term was coined in 2008, "design thinking" has gone from a novel concept to a requirement for any successful marketing team -- but getting both creative and tech on the same page can be a bigger challenge than many executives anticipate.
A recent 2015 CMO Digital Benchmark study confirmed that the vast majority of creative and tech team members speak different languages: only 30 percent of marketers and 13 percent of IT executives say that the relationships between the two are collaborative and productive.
In my experience, part of that struggle comes from the naturally different way the two teams approach problems. Developers tend to analyze the system itself and are tasked with devising the most efficient ways of coding the solution; creative teams tend to look at the same problem and try to assign emotion to it, analyzing what the user response and perspective will be. Creative teams brainstorm; tech teams implement and test. Design thinking brings both these elements together, giving a project both necessary analysis and synthesis components, while incorporating the creative process in a pragmatic manner.
The first thing an organization can do is be sure they're hiring the right people. This includes, but is not limited to, finding technologists who have diverse experience in multiple technologies, with a focus on a subset that coincides with the technology stack either already in place or planned for the near future.
In addition, personalities who are more open to starting "little fires" to test out hypotheses and have worked in this environment in the recent past are more adept and open to trial and error than the former "gold standard" approach. This does not mean that technologists should code with wild abandon on tens of solutions, but that the technology team should understand creative problem solving in a new way, one that is born of quick releases and rapid prototyping.
Once executives have the right people in place, they need to set a workflow that is going to keep everyone on track while allowing the creative team the flexibility they want and the tech team the processes they need. For any combined team to be successful, they then need to implement four principles:
The martech landscape is crowded and noisy, and the number of clients looking for top-notch, functional solutions isn't slowing down, either; worldwide martech spending is expected to hit $32 billion by 2018. The companies that will be best positioned to take advantage of all the opportunities the marketplace has to offer will be the ones that have cracked the code on design thinking across teams to deliver the results clients need.
* Originally posted on iMedia Connection