Robyn Bolton challenges an article posted in Fast Company that claimed the most popular design thinking strategy is BS.
How might we ruin a perfectly good and useful tool?”
This might not be the question that innovators, design thinkers, and brainstorm facilitators wanted to answer. But it seems that it’s the one they did.
“The most popular design thinking strategy is BS,” proclaimed the headline on a June 28 article in Fast Company. “The ‘How might we’ design prompt is insidious, and it’s time to bury it.”
I’m a sucker for provocative headlines, especially ones that challenge that status quo, so I clicked and read the article. And I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it.
The reason “How might we” (HMW) is so insidious, the author asserts, is that the “we” in HMW refers to the people in the room, not to the users, customers, or populations for whom teams are designing their products and services. The prompt looks inward instead of outward, encouraging people to build solutions that suit their own needs and experiences. They end up with offerings that don’t serve customer needs and may even hurt the people they’re meant to help.
The problem (and solution) of “We”
Fair. As I recounted in last week’s episode of “What Matters in Innovation,” I saw this exact worry come to life when I was an Assistant Brand Manager on Swiffer WetJet. While the brainstorming promotional ideas as a brand team, the most senior member suggested a Valentine’s Day promotion encouraging men to buy a WetJet, then priced at $50, for their wives “because she’s worth it.” Everyone in the room nodded in silent awe and acceptance, except one person. Me. The only woman in the room.
Key points include:
- The solution (and problem) of “How might”
- The problem (and solution) at the end of “How might we”
- HMW is not BS. How we use it is.
Read the full post, “How Might We” is not BS. How We Use It Is, on MileZero.io.
Start the year armed with a strong marketing strategy. Kaihan Krippendorff shares a short post on successful marketing campaigns and introduces his webinar on strategies to become agile and win customers through proximity.
TONY HSIEH’S STRATEGIC PATTERN
As many of you know, we recently said goodbye to an amazing leader, former CEO of Zappos, Tony Hsieh. We learned many lessons from Tony, the most important one being that the key question in strategy is to ask, “What business are we really in?” On Zappos’ success, he told us, “We were doing pretty well as a shoe company, but our growth really took off when we realized we’re a customer service company that happens to sell shoes.”
Keep reading to discover three free resources to help you answer this essential question and set your 2021 strategy.
Peter Drucker highlighted this principle when he said, “‘What is our business?’ is almost always a difficult question which can be answered only after hard thinking and studying. And the right answer is anything but obvious.”
Strategy comes down to finding the answer and making decisions consistent with what business you are in. I give more examples in this free webinar.
HOW MICROBREWERIES GET CUSTOMERS TO DRIVE 100 MILES
This year my family spent Thanksgiving in Louisiana. During the trip, a friend from home asked me to pick up some of his favorite beer from a microbrewery a couple hours outside of the city. I found myself journeying past swamps, farms, and alligators to visit the brewery and fulfill his request.
Key questions addressed in the webinar are:
- What business are we really in?
- What need will make customers drive 100 miles?
- How can we win by delivering value closer to customers?
Read the full post, What Microbreweries, “Micro-factories”, And The Late Tony Hsieh Can Teach Us About Creating Our 2021 Strategy, and access the link to the free webinar at Kaihan.net.
Johannes Hoech shares a post on how to use video effectively in your digital marketing strategy.
Videos help businesses get 66% more qualified leads according to Renderforest. According to HubSpot, you may be able to increase conversion rates by over 80% if you add a video on your landing page. If you’re looking for an easy-to-execute approach to producing videos as part of your digital marketing strategy in 2020 and 2021, here are practical ideas that fit your startup’s budget.
At MarqetU, we can help you develop engaging and authentic video content to attract, engage, and delight your prospects and customers. To get started with your video marketing strategy, start by developing a video content plan:
There are many types of video content that can be leveraged to attract and retain customers in different stages of the customer lifecycle. Some of the types of video formats that you can leverage for your B2B technology startup include:
Brand Videos: Showcase your products, services, your mission, and your vision in a brand video. You can use this video in the about section of your company’s LinkedIn page, as a pinned/introduction video on your YouTube channel, and on your website landing pages. We made this video recently for our website along similar lines.
How-to Videos: You can create how-to videos or how-to series to help your audience with education about topics that they need help with. For example, we recently developed a video about automating lead generation for our LinkedIn.
The article includes information about:
- Choosing the right digital platform
- Writing the script
- Editing the video
Read the full post, The end-to-end DIY video cookbook, on the MarqetU website.
On June 17, Barry Horwitz will be giving a webinar with a colleague, CL Tian who runs a digital marketing firm called PINKOA. The webinar “Shifting Focus from Surviving to Thriving: Strategy and Tactics.” The webinar will be hosted by TechNetworks of Boston and includes a free virtual Nonprofit Roundtable session.
Sign up for the webinar, Shifting Focus From Surviving To Thriving: Strategy And Tactics, on the TechNetworks of Boston website.
Jason George explores the sale reach and marketing savvy of Time and Newsweek to demonstrate the success of a strategy that encompasses a large demographic; he then explains how and why the internet disrupted this model by pursuing the individual.
In the early twentieth century Americans seeking the news had plenty of print sources to choose from, many of which were local papers. Even smallish towns had markets deep enough to support multiple publications, each jockeying to make their presence known in a bustling marketplace. Beyond the daily news cycle there was demand for a more reflective, comprehensive perspective. This space was filled by magazines that bypassed regional reporting in favor of issues with national significance.
These titles curated articles across a wide range of topics, assembling them into issues with broad appeal. Among this group Time and Newsweek would become two of the most prominent, launching around the same time and reaching similar audiences. Their solidly middle-market voices helped them grow steadily in circulation, able to attract urbanites on the coasts as well as those in the heartland.
Areas explored in this article include:
- Why markets fragmented into specialized verticals
- How needs of large constituencies affect behavior across industries
- The challenges of size and risk(s) of growth
Read the full article, The Challenges of Size, on Jason’s website.