It isn’t relevant to only occupy the social and digital space anymore. By occupying space, you just create noise. But by analyzing the end users and creating meaningful human experiences and interactions in their daily digital consumption, you create relationships. This is called Human Centered Design (HCD) and it is key to modern marketing.
What is Human Centered Design?
HCD is a process and a set of techniques used to create new solutions for the world. Solutions include: products, services, environments, organizations, and modes of interaction.
The reason this process is called “human-centered” is because it starts with the people we design for. The HCD process begins by examining the needs, dreams, and behaviors of the people we want to affect with our solutions. We seek to listen to and understand what they want. We call this the “desirability lens.” We view the world through this lens throughout the design process.
Once we have identified a range of what is desirable, we begin to view our solutions through the lenses of “feasibility” and “viability.” We carefully bring in these lenses during the later phases of the process.
The three phases of HCD are: Hear, Create, and Deliver.
Traditionally, a group of people — whether agency or internal — go directly to brainstorming and creating. But in a modern approach, listening must happen before anything else.
Listen and Understand: First, you must analyze the audience. What are their personas? What are they talking about? How have past campaigns performed?
Feedback and Collaboration: In this phase, it is critical that you talk with end-users (either in a group or individual setting), learn their stories, and understand how they consume. This allows you to know the needs, barriers, and constraints to your service or product.
In this phase, you start to understand the timeframe, look for patterns, seek opportunities, and create an approach — always with the voice of the user in mind.
Develop an Approach: Take all the knowledge and opportunities identified, and set them into the reality of today. This includes calling out key insights, finding themes, and creating marketing frameworks.
Create Objectives and Channels: As you create a plan, remember to not only deliver relevant content (via a multi-channel approach), but also to JOIN THE CONVERSATION in the topic areas where your users are engaging.
Gather Feedback: Once solutions have been generated, take them back out to the users to get feedback.
Launch: With all these components, you now have a revolutionary user-generated marketing approach. Next, identify the timeline to start implementation — understanding that based off of campaign performance, you will need to amplify, join, and deviate to create success.
Learn: After launch, it is critical to analyze and understand how users are interacting and responding.
Retarget: Study what themes are performing well; those performing well should be retargeted utilizing a cross-platform approach that is ultimately fed by social.
In the next part of this series, we will break down the different aspects of this approach.