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Design Thinking: What Does It Mean to Marketers?

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Design Thinking: What Does It Mean to Marketers? with Roger Mader on Marketing Horizons



Design thinking has been around a while, and it sounds alluring, but there’s still some confusion about what it means to marketers. Roger Mader sets us straight in this podcast, explaining the skills and tools of design thinking that apply to marketing practice, and how it can be used to improve marketing results. In short, he describes a process for predicting your customers’ future needs and interests and serving them better than the competition. Join Roger, Managing Partner at Ampersand and professor at the School of Visual Arts in New York, to hear where design thinking can take marketers, on the sub-series, Marketing Horizons.

Three takeaways:

  • The process that is called the four Ds: defining, discovering, designing and deploying is something that we can take away and apply very quickly.
  • Many times, we miss that important middle step of the discovery and the design and jump right into defining the problem to the solution.
  • We need to think backward from what we think is the future of various options or anticipated types of futures with scenario planning to meet the evolving market need better.

About our Guest

Roger Mader

Roger Mader is on a mission to “make better”—to equip leaders and entrepreneurs, experts and students to change the world. Declare purpose. Make a promise. Act on principle. Measure performance. Learn. Grow. Roger serves as the Managing Partner of Ampersand, a global team of partners who help big companies act small, and small companies get big. Ampersand uses design practices honed in the field, in collaboration with teams to conceive, test, iterate and launch new offerings and experiences. He serves on the graduate program faculty of the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan. His course on Strategic Innovation introduces teams of students to Ampersand’s 4D method to design breakthroughs for corporate sponsors, including Accenture, Cap Gemini, Capital One, Chase, Citi, Deloitte, EY, Lippincott, McKinsey, RGA and SYP. His writing includes Purposeful Enterprise, a thesis on the power of purpose to guide strategy, attract demand and compel people on a shared mission.

View Roger's YouTube Channel for more content:


Meet the Hosts

Cyndi Greenglass

Cyndi W. Greenglass is a founding partner and president at Livingston Strategies, a data-informed, strategic consulting firm that helps clients develop, execute, and measure their customer communications with a close focus on results. Cyndi has razor-sharp strategic skills matched by impeccable on-the-ground savvy and tactical abilities. She is an Adjunct Instructor in the Data Marketing Communications online master's degree program from West Virginia University.

Greenglass has twice been named into the Top 100 Influential BTB Marketers by Crain’s BtoB Magazine and was the 2012 CADM Chicago Direct Marketer of the Year. She is a member of the Board of Advisors for BRAND United and has taught, trained and presented at over 50 conferences throughout the world.


Ruth Stevens

Ruth P. Stevens consults on customer acquisition and retention, for business-to-business clients. Ruth serves on the boards of directors of the HIMMS Media Group, and the Business Information Industry Association. She is a trustee of Princeton-In-Asia, past chair of the Business-to-Business Council of the DMA, and past president of the Direct Marketing Club of New York.

Ruth was named one of the 100 Most Influential People in Business Marketing by Crain’s BtoB magazine, and one of 20 Women to Watch by the Sales Lead Management Association. She serves as a mentor to fledgling companies at the ERA business accelerator in New York City.


WVU Marketing Communications Today: Horizons is presented by the West Virginia University Reed College of Media, which offers renowned online master’s degree programs in Marketing Communications. Interested in growing your career with a master's degree in Data, Digital or Integrated Marketing Communications? Request more information today!