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Design Thinking Insights | University Marketing

Posted on: 3 mar 2013

Experiencing and Embedding Design Thinking in Organizations

*Fostering MacroEmpathy in organizations and professional practice

When did Marketing become something else?

The American Marketing Association AMA, gives us a hint with its new 2007 definition of Marketing: Quite revealing because includes the "role and responsibility of marketing in society" and "offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large".

There is a significant difference from  1985 official definition:

"Marketing is the process of planning and executing the conception, pricing, promotion and distribution of idea, goods, and services to create exchanges that satisfy individual and organizational goals".

...versus the new 2007 AMA official definition that considers the role and responsibility of marketing in society:
"Marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large". (Approved October 2007)
In other words, the new rol of Marketing in society includes to "create value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large" instead of  1985' "planning and executing the conception, pricing [...]  and services to create exchanges that satisfy individual and organizational goals".

I couldn't agree more.
The reality is that the new human-centered business models are asking for embedding Design Thinking professionals in the new breed of Marketing teams.

University Marketing requires more than an exceptional marketing team.
University Marketing professionals need "to do work that matters to you", and they need to have a personal commitment to education,  awareness of the social value of education  and its positive impact on this generation and next.

And develop empathic skills towards the students: Their illusions, passions, fears, commitment, quests....

University Marketing requires professionals that care for the students and also are willing to seek formulas that balance business goals and the institutional commitment to the customer-students best interests.

I have developed my career in the field of Marketing and Advertising as a designer, creative director and strategist for over 25 years. I have worked on projects of varying complexity, which have enricheded me by being in contact with different sectors of society, organizations and corporations and  different customers, audiences, potential clients, targets ... After 6 years working in the education sector, I perceive the practice of my profession diferently. For instance, I don't feel that students are customers at all...They are just students.

My definition of University Marketing is:
"University Marketing is the professional activity that provides planning, strategy, communication and development of creative concepts that aim to give value to the student in the first place,  to the educational institutions and to society in general."

And my job, as a Design Thinking Strategist embedded in a Marketing team, is to create, define and manage the above ... and make it work as a sole Strategy Plan:

  • The Strategy must be adequate according to the business goal and the student
  • The Plannification must benefit the organization as a whole and the student
  • The Communication must be transparent, effective and consistent
  • The conceptualization of ideas must enable us to move forward in providing value to the student, the institution and society
The great challenge is tuning it all as a great orquestra with the sole purpose of telling the story of the student and the university.

PHOTO How NASA sees the sun:

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