As a chief marketing officer, there are many data points to consider. Between the expansive demographic research and seemingly endless variety of ways to launch a new product, the planning process can be untenable. One of the most important tools in the CMO's arsenal is design.

Design Matters

Whether you are launching a new brand or working on an established one, incorporating design in the ideation process will have a huge impact on build projects but it also can impact traditional creative. By including how a brand may look at a trade show, in retail, a pop-up shop or field marketing, to name a few, can have a tremendous impact on brand building, brand direction and overall creative output. Often, build items are tackled after traditional creative and many brand elements are baked. However, if you can bring industrial design to the table early in the process, you will uncover a way of looking at your brand that will enhance the brand process.

An example of this is the product setting in a retail environment where displays serve as the face of the brand. It's the feature of the brand and a key touch point that people identify with when they're making that critical decision about brands and whether or not to make a purchase. Smart design that is incorporated early will make this experience feel like a natural extension of the brand and not an odd after thought. Displays are often where the decision is being driven by price and not by understanding the importance of this touch point and how good design can change the whole experience.

Engage Your Audience

To communicate effectively through a retail display, you first need a deep understanding of what will resonate with your customers from a design esthetic. Many marketing teams don't look at this experience through the prism of smart design. This can be the exact context that will make or break your product acceptance and purchase. Try modeling your product in engaging environments and see where that takes the creative process for the next digital marketing campaign.

Know Your Product

Smart design has to do more than just speak to the right demographics; it has to say the right things. Each brand has a back-story that can be told through design in a way that connects with people and educates them about important differentiators. A design that demonstrates clearly why a product is superior or can highlight product differentiation will have a big advantage. CMOs have to consider this as early in the process as possible. When you are brainstorming the next product iteration, try asking the question, "What would the display look for this new product?" and see where that prism of ideation takes you.