Marketing budgets are often strained, sometimes to an uncomfortable level. With the wide array of advertising channels and mediums available, it can be hard to figure out how to spend your marketing budget or prioritize spending on what seems to some people like profitless fluff: design. So, why prioritize or even include design in your marketing budget plan, especially when money’s tight? We believe there’s a few reasons.
While there are many different aspects of branding, a main component for brand recognition begins with design. Logo design creates a visual for your company and consistent branding ensures that your company is reflected in everything: from a chosen theme colour on your Twitter page to the default fonts used in your company emails. All these things work together to boost brand awareness.
The internet and modern analytics has opened new doors in the marketing world that were never previously available. While a giant billboard along the highway with a clever tagline is guaranteed to reach plenty of eyeballs, modern ad retargeting and social media targeting allows an ad to follow a prospect around the internet. Once a prospect visits your site, lured in by clean branding and valuable content, any number of factors and distractions could cause them to move on without making a purchase or inquiry. But with a retargeted ad following them as they browse other pages and apps, it’s more important than ever that your brand be reflected consistently and memorably, which leads us to our next reason design should always be a marketing priority.
Don’t Get Lost in the Noise.
Just like the billboard we mentioned, design contributes heavily to a measurable aspect of a campaign’s impact—how many scanning eyes will linger and [hopefully] catch your call-to-action. This can be done through colour, imagery, ad copy, or a combination of all three. Just like our highway billboard, a memorable display ad could steal the attention of any user browsing a monetized website.
Casting a wide net on the world wide web is a tricky way to catch new prospects, but if done in alignment to your branding and marketing plan, it can be a fruitful investment. Still, design is an integral part of this strategy.
Not all marketing plans should be focused on the near-sighted reward of converting more leads. Sometimes the strategy could work towards broader goals: creating brand awareness, connecting with an audience, or simply emphasizing your business as a candidate for consideration in your industry.
Design can play a part in this by creating specific, targeted offerings to surprise and delight both existing customers along with potential ones.
Creatives of all types do what they do because they have figured out how to generate ideas—lots of them, and quickly. Leaving this type of thinking out of your marketing plan could be detrimental to your campaign. All too often a great idea is hatched, created and nearly launched, before another company swoops in and beats you to the finish line, releasing the same idea first.
Employing experienced creatives can avoid this altogether because a unique idea usually stays that way, from conception through planning and launch—creating a new connection in users’ minds and a memorable ad that may be revisited again and again.
We’re a Superficial Bunch.
Humans are visual creatures. As much as we like to tell ourselves not to, we judge books by the cover, we judge temperatures by how sunny it is, and we judge whether to drink water from a stream while hiking based on how clear it is. None of this is logical, we know that the dangers of clear mountain streams are undetectable by our naked eyes, yet many of us throw caution to the wind and make these decisions in the moment.
Your audience is made up entirely of these irrational, retina-trusting individuals. Knowing this, how could you not prioritize the way your company looks to the world?
The last gain when hiring qualified design professionals isn’t necessarily quantifiable. Creatives ask strange, seemingly off-topic and roundabout questions, because many ideas initially seem off-topic and roundabout. Another perk of an out-of-the-box perspective is new and efficient solutions—both in your advertising efforts and your sales tactics.
You never truly know. Maybe by prioritizing design and spending what’s necessary on your marketing, you’ll discover new areas within your business where you can save those dollars instead. There are many avenues of marketing, and not all of them are paid outlets. Don’t let your budget deter you from having the growth that you—and your audience—have dreamed of.