If you want to stand out from the competition, the most important thing is to make your business visible, right? But what’s the purpose of having your company at the top of the first page of the search results, if you’re unable to communicate your brand to the users that will click on it? What is the purpose of having a full store of customers who can’t figure out what you’re trying to say with your products? The role of marketing is to spark the interest, to attract all eyes on your brand, but the design creates the means of communication with the attracted audience. Every business owner should be aware of this, which makes the fact that today there is a huge gap between marketing and design teams rather puzzling.
If you’ve failed to hit your goals in the previous year, this very gap could be the main reason. Your marketing and design should go hand in hand, forming an unbreakable bond. If this is not the case, let’s take a look at the possible reasons and the ways to overcome them, in order to ensure you’ll hit your goals in 2018.
Marketing needs to function like a stable framework that ensures the organized delivery. And what is being delivered is not just the product or service, but the experience that needs to achieve particular action or response. In every business, the foundation of this framework needs to be rooted in research. We don’t need to mention that this research needs to be both – quantitative and qualitative and that it should be driven by the desired outcome or a measurable goal. Although this goal usually represents some form of significant economic gain, it could also include certain social benefits that would provide the necessary support to the operation or the primary activities of an organization. All marketing plans should be implemented in order to create a point of view or an agenda that will drive your message through various channels. The ultimate goal is to expel this agenda at the touch points you’ve identified in order to make sure the users are informed of your message. It goes without saying that it is mandatory for this message to be able to deliver the experience that is meaningful.
If marketing is the framework that ensures that the experience will be delivered in an organized way, then the design represents the tool for building this delivery mechanism for every particular experience. The framework of marketing is built through the knowledge about various sets of constraints, and this knowledge is used to form the delivery, strategy, and design of every experience. If you’re aware of all the constraints such as resources, particular market segments, budget, timelines, etc. you’ll be able to create perfect design tools that will produce the best possible solutions.
The Breaking Point
You’ve probably noticed how the marketing paragraph is twice as big. This is precisely why things between design and marketing tend to fall apart. From the brief explanation above it can easily be concluded that perhaps the design is rather arbitrary without marketing. What makes this conclusion possible is the fact that the research components of the marketing framework are specifically built to uncover unmet desires and needs, and the goal of every design should be to meet them in a relevant and meaningful way.
But looking at the relationship between marketing and design this way is just a half of story, no matter how accurate. The flow of activities doesn’t have to go only from marketing to design, especially not in any kind of hierarchical manner. It can be quite reversed and design could also provide marketing with immense inspiration. If your designer has only made your website beautiful to the eye, then you have the wrong guy. If you find an experienced website design company, these professionals will also exploit and steer possible marketing segments, create the story that is cohesive by mapping out the touch points of consumers with a brand, and use the experience flowcharts to identify their needs. All that said, assuming that design can’t uncover unmet needs or perform serious consumer research through its pursuit of the aesthetics would be a mistake.
Marketers’ vocabulary consists of words such as conversions, brand tone, copy, content, funnel, etc. while the focus of designers is on emotion, purpose, and experience. But that doesn’t mean they’re not working for the same final goal – all it means is that they just use different tools to achieve it.
Bringing it Together Again
The best way to bring marketing and design together again is to unite them around the idea of performance. Even the best targeting and the cleverest copy don’t mean a thing for marketers if they don’t perform. Succes will also stay out of reach if the landing page has amazing interactions and a breathtaking look but it doesn’t convert and doesn’t engage users in a desirable way. The clever marketing will not work without the beautiful design, and vice versa.
As you can see, marketing and design are like the two sides of the same coin, and this is the best way to look at their relationship. They can both function as the researcher and as the messenger, but what really ties them together is the appreciation and the understanding of the target consumer or user.