Insight for Innovation ®

Here, you will find thought-provoking (and perhaps smile-provoking) resources developed for product innovation professionals. Your feedback is not only welcome, it is actively encouraged. Feel free to comment on the Fresh Insights blog, download articles and peruse the original cartoons. Thanks for looking in.

July 14, 2009

Original Cartoon: How Marketers and Designers Co-Exist


When I first wrote and published this cartoon, some were offended.  Thankfully, both sides took me to task.  But while the depiction might be stereotypical in equal opportunity fashion, I think the point is valid.  At least the less obvious point.  The most obvious point is that marketers and designers solve problems differently.  Newsbreaking, I know.

Less apparent may be the idea that in spite of different ways of viewing the world, marketers and designers desperately need each other.  And not because we expect creative and analytical minds to sit in separate corners performing the discrete tasks to which they are best suited.  But because when they work together on the very same task, the results are better.

Why?  Think about the engine and transmission of a car.  One generates unbridled horsepower.  The other makes that power more efficient and purposeful, delivering it to the road.  Some would argue that the transmission can choke off and constrain the engine.  Instead, I think it harnesses and distributes the power as needed and helps the engine react to road conditions.

In the same way, the analytical mind can focus and guide the creative mind in very deliberate fashion to put the horsepower against the project parameters that matter most.  Not to elaborate here, but that’s what my KMG Innovation Methodology is basically all about.

So, the next time you see marketers and designers on a collision course, try working through the gears together.

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