Historically, positions in advertising and marketing were relatively siloed: art directors designed, copywriters wrote, and strategists strategized. But as technology advances, so does the world of marketing.
Sure, we have dedicated graphic designers today, but it’s also imperative for every marketer to have basic design skills. We don’t need to be Photoshop pros, but we do need to be able to create a decent Powerpoint. Social media marketing involves creating attractive profiles. Blogging requires the ability to choose good photos to accompany articles. Email marketers design newsletters and other email templates. With that in mind, here are five quotes to inspire the designer in you.
1. “[Designers] don’t get hired to make pretty things or win design awards. We get hired to solve business problems.” – James Bradley
Of course it’s great to receive a big, shiny trophy for your marketing efforts—but it’s even better to see the measurable impact you’ve had on your business. For example, email marketing has traditionally used colorful templates designed in HTML. Now, however, marketers are realizing that not every corporate email needs headers, tables, and stock photos.
When you write an email to a friend or colleague, you don’t send it in full HTML, right? (If you do, I’ll admit I’m pretty impressed.) Similarly, drip emails are usually more effective in a plain text format so they look like a one-to-one message from someone at your company. For examples and best practice tips, check out our Email Design Lookbook.
2. “Design is thinking made visual.” – Saul Bass
Unfortunately, we still don’t have the technology to read minds, so your marketing assets need to be the bridge between you and your audience. The visual hierarchy of your design should present a clear, intuitive path to follow, and all colors and images should fit your brand’s personality.
Just one thing: I would amend this to say “Design can be thinking made visual.” The next quote explains why.
3. “Design needs to [include] experiences as well.” – Mathew Sweezey
We tend to think of design as purely visual, but it can also come in the form of a well-designed experience. Salesforce Evangelist Mathew Sweezey gives a great example in his webinar “Elements of Design for Higher Conversion”:
An Internet retail company in Canada recently conducted an experiment. They took customers who’d had a bad shipping experience with the company and split them into two groups. Group A received a generic apology email and a $50 gift card. Group B received a personal phone call to apologize and no gift card. And get this: in a follow-up survey, group B was twice as likely to buy from the company again. No kidding.
This isn’t design in a traditional sense, but it is a reminder that we need to expand our understanding of the concept. Marketers shouldn’t always assume that a well crafted email will resonate with our prospects and customers. Instead, we need to consider all our options—especially when it comes to customer service experiences.
4. “Design is where science and art break even.” – Robin Mathew
We’ve written before about marketing artists versus marketing scientists and how important it is to find a balance between the two. The same is true for marketing design. Your marketing materials should be artistically crafted to draw in and resonate with your audience, but there also needs to be data to prove their effectiveness.
5. “Art is never finished, only abandoned.” – Leonardo da Vinci
In the past, advertising was more or less permanent. Once a TV spot or print ad was out there, that was that. In the digital world, we can use agile marketing to continually improve. A/B testing, agile drip campaigns, and other features of marketing automation allow marketers to make changes and nurture relationships in real time. We can never be done designing marketing campaigns or customer experiences because there is always room for improvement.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever gotten about marketing design? Did we leave out one of your favorite quotes? Leave some inspiration in the comments, and we’ll tweet out our favorites from the Pardot Twitter account.