Awe-inspiring content is the result of strong collaboration between marketing and design. [Click to tweet ] Marketers infuse the content with informative insights, based on a solid strategy that's highly targeted. Designers shape the content to be highly engaging, filled with images, animations, colors & other forms of expression to captivate and delight the audience.
Certain misunderstandings have, however, resulted in them not always being the best of friends. Marketers easily get disappointed if their vision is not fully realized by the design team. Designers, on the other hand, see marketing as more focused on words and numbers and believe that marketers can't appreciate the visual world.
But it is possible to create awesome content that satisfies marketers, designers, and overall brand goals. Let's see what both teams demand from each other and how they can collaborate better.
Sit together during marketing meetings
First, both teams need to know that they're working toward the same goals. Invite designers to relevant marketing meetings so they can understand the strategy. Share the project's key metrics like traffic, engagement rate, leads generated, and so on. As designers work, they can consider these goals as part of their own priorities, too.
Identify the target audience
Designers have different ways of communicating visually with your end users. So, it's good practice to define who your targeted audience is during the marketers/designers meeting. Depending on the demographics, designers could customize the on-page design elements—including colors, fonts & imagery—to deliver strikingly great UX.
Involve designers when you have the content nailed down
Nothing is more frustrating for designers than realizing their hard-work has been in vain because there are still unanswered questions concerning the content. Complete all the brainstorming, iterating, and approval processes before the content goes to the design team. Content changes can affect how designers approach the project. So, it's strongly recommended to provide final copy to the designers before getting them involved.
Keep visual references ready
Designers play around with visuals to find the best fit. Give them ideas to work with from various mediums—not just words. They could come from other industries, other brands, magazines, videos, etc. Visual references can help designers better understand what's going on in the marketer's mind.
Deliver reliable customer experiences
The marketer acts as a bridge between the brand and the audience. In order to thrive in a competitive market, they must make their brands, products & services stand out. To stand out, marketers try to deliver great experiences to their target customers. Part of that is crafting exceptional, valuable content, but what comes next? That's right—design.
When designers see their work as part of a great customer experience, it helps to amplify the brand message and to keep the brand consistent. And as we already know, consistency is key to building a strong brand.
Great storytelling requires both marketers & designers
Storytelling can't be a marketer's job alone. We live in an era where customers are empowered to search for the best user experiences—and they want something more than simply being sold to. Every story has a flow, and designers help to pour life into your story, using characters and colors and shapes. Working together to build the right story will give both marketers and designers a voice, while making the brand message even more resonant.
Marketers: Learn basic design concepts
Learning basic design concepts and language will help marketers better understand and communicate with designers. Read up on white space, color-matching, typography and other concepts. Another idea: brush up on basic Photoshop functions so you can talk technically with the designer and open up a two-way conversation.
There's another benefit to augmenting your design knowledge. If your businesses uses a marketing automation system like HubSpot COS or a brand management portal like Lucidpress, knowing how to create and customize templates will reduce your dependency on designers—and free up their time for bigger and better things.
Designers: Do some homework
On the flip side, designers can beef up their marketing knowledge to make their designs more compelling. For instance, learn about the customer's journey and the conversion funnel, then think about how they relate to your current project. What stage of AIDA is your audience in: awareness, interest, desire or action? Is your design making it easier for them to take the next step and move down the funnel?
Agree on deadlines & revisions
When setting deadlines for a project, think through each deliverable and whether it might require revisions—and how many are appropriate. It can be frustrating to marketers to receive a deliverable so close to the campaign deadline that they can't request any changes. On the other hand, it can be difficult for designers to juggle multiple deliverables when they keep coming back for revisions. Try to anticipate these needs ahead of time and bake them into your deadlines.
Key takeaway: Set the scene for strong collaboration
Now that you've seen things from the perspective of both marketers and designers, you should feel more confident about collaborating productively. Take time to occasionally put your feet in the other team's shoes. Your projects—and your relationships—will be better for it.