Marketers – put down that Canva subscription and stop guessing colours for that flyer, No, you can’t just add in a new font for that social media post. Please, leave it to the experts.
I believe that great marketing is helped along by great design but that businesses need to respect designers just as much as they respect that lead generator or your account managers. I also believe that it is design and marketing who are the dream team and getting synergy between the designers who are sticklers for a pixel out of place, and marketers who want to create inspiring and creative campaigns can give you amazing results.
People put sales and marketing together in a box, or squeeze them together in an office so they can fight loudly, but I firmly believe that if you can get the right marketing knowledge and experience and someone who really aces design, you are in for a much better chance of your marketing really having impact, and if those teams can work together closely, your success will be fast-tracked.
My post is more of a warning both for marketers who are keen to ‘have a go’ at design and to businesses who treat their designers as second rate employees – demanding work done at a rapid pace to the very best standards.
Designing your own stuff is like cutting your own hair
Recently I’ve seen many job posts looking for the moon on a stick – a marketing manager who also knows PPC, SEO, Affiliate marketing, event marketing and can also use InDesign, Photoshop, all the social media platforms and be both creative and analytical.
Not to toot my own horn but I have tried over a long career to tick as many of these boxes as I can, but one area you can’t blag is designing.
Just like trying to cut your own hair, being trained in the job at hand is utterly critical.
I’ve seen businesses make their own newsletters, try and create their own flyers and banners and even whip up a logo using Word.
If you are a big company or want to have the income of a big company, please put down the pen and pass it to someone else. I always suggest that within your marketing budget, there’s some room for a great bit of design work.
A great designer allows you to diversify your content
Even if you do fancy yourself as a design whizz or not too bad at moving some images about, there are limits to what you can make look half decent, and chances are it isn’t the best marketing you can do. I recently pulled together some stats that could help my client Tractivity showcase the need to use a SaaS system to hold secure data instead of spreadsheets. This alone was quite a fun piece – we get to look at stats around security and some blunders – always appealing! However, I decided that an infographic would make it really pop.
Having put it to their excellent designer, he came back with something eye-catching, on-brand and that will have much more value online than a blog post. If I had done this myself it would have been a dog’s dinner.
At the same time, a designer alone wouldn’t have had the thought of where to host the infographic, to gate it or to pop it into an email drip campaign.
As I say, together, we are stronger!
Diversity of content is so key – blog after blog can feel a bit samey. Infographics are years old, but that doesn’t mean they have lost value – as with anything, it’s all about what you say and how you say it.
Please give your designer time
As I mentioned, companies put sales and marketing together. Design should be sat next to marketing because they need to be there at the very start of any process.
I have seen grown men who work in design weaving outside because they have bee given 2 days to turn around something exceptionally tricky. They are pulled from pillar to post in departments, taken as everyone’s resource.
Please, consider their time as valuable as your own. If you work in marketing, team up early on. Allow them to mull ideas and try concepts. Believe me, no one is looking at as many websites, brochures and artwork as a designer and missing their insights because ‘you handle the marketing or the vision’ is short-sighted.
Let them in on the conversations, give them time and watch your marketing thrive.