arlier this month, the Silicon Valley Executive Network (SVEN), a 1,200-member cross-functional and cross-vertical C-level network, hosted a “Future of Marketing Series” program about “Design Thinking and Design-Led Marketing.” Design thinking, at its simplest, can be defined as creative or design-led ways of solving business issues. Business case results show that design thinking, coupled with exceptional customer experiences, is critically important for B2B and B2C CMOs and the C-suite to adopt if they are to lead their organizations and disrupt their industries.  For this program, SVEN CEO Brian Reynard, an Apple and Cisco tech veteran, Rambus CMO Jerome Nadel, and I assembled eight early adopters of design thinking: four from design agencies, three CMOs, and one retained recruiter of CMOs. (Videos from the day are available here.)Nadel kicked off the program talking about how and why marketing should be part of the design-thinking end-to-end approach. “Marketing and the CMO role should not be limited to ‘downstream’ product or service promotion and lead-generation,” he said. “Marketers should be involved in company strategy, product concepting, and design. User experience and marketing go hand-in-hand. Real CMO work should encompass both.” Harry West, CEO of global design and strategy firm Frog, provided the keynote. Frog was an early design-thinking pioneer, working with Steve Jobs and the Apple team in the 1980s. Among West’s talking points:• “Your ability as marketers to control communication is almost nonexistent, and it will continue to dwindle. And so the way you can influence is less through communications and more through the design of the experience. [Consumers will] talk about it, tell their friends, and come back, and that drives growth. In most businesses, this will overtake every other form of deliberate marketing. … The empowered CMO is seeing more budget come their way to do this work.”• “Today, customers judge everything based on experience, not the product. Brand communications matter less and the delivery of the brand promise matters more. Creating and delivering a better experience is today’s imperative.”

Source: Design Thinking + Design Doing = Disruptive Growth