We start from the premise that the active involvement of media audiences is a powerful tool for enhancing their experience. Therefore, it is plausible to think that it also has the potential to enhance their engagement with content, brand and creators. We argue here for the potential of these involvement techniques to be systematically considered by media creators as part of both their creation processes and the users’ media experience.The design-led research carried out by Moving Targets within the Scottish creative industries led to the co-development with our industry partners of a brainstorming and strategy planning tool for audience engagement (AET). This tool is both aimed at helping content producers to be strategic at a long-term level as well as to encourage and aid their transition towards more user centered approaches. Using this project as a case study, we argue for the suitability of design techniques to bridge the gap between theoretical research outcomes and their practical applications. We will discuss the role of design thinking in academic research as well as the potential of visual tools to facilitate the transformational role of both academic research and design.