If You Want to Achieve Better Marketing Design, You Need to Think About Who You’re Designing For
Nearly every aspect of your daily business operations is centered around your customers. When you started your organization in the first place, it’s because you wanted to serve a core group of people. As you develop your products and services, you did so with an eye towards what would bring the maximum amount of satisfaction to this group of people you’ve identified.
Why, then, should your marketing be any different?
If you want to achieve a superior level of marketing design, you need to throw out all those flashy techniques that modern-day programs make so effortless and instead return to the core of the matter. Namely – what do the people you’re marketing TO actually like and want more of? If you’re able to answer that question, design becomes that much easier because so much of your job has essentially already been done for you.
Achieving a Customer-Centric Marketing Design
To get a better idea of how all of this works in practice, consider the way that something like a Hollywood feature film is marketed. Apart from certain rare exceptions (which, for the sake of discussion, are called “four quadrants” films because they essentially have elements that appeal to everyone), movies are marketed at very specific segments of the population: people 34 and under, people 35 and over, and men or women.
In an effort to really convey who a particular movie is aimed at as quickly as possible, a marketing employee might use a poster maker to play up those elements that appeal to their core demographic. Action movies that appeal to older men are going to look stark, serious and will visually imply the doom that no doubt plays out in the film’s action sequences. Movies aimed at kids will feature bright and colorful posters that convey how whimsical and childlike the content is. Comedy films tend to try to appeal to a wider audience, so their posters are a bit more generic – hence the “red and white comedy poster” trope that has developed over the last few years.
The key thing to understand is that just by using a piece of collateral’s design, a member of the movie-going public can look at a poster and in seconds determine whether or not “this one’s for me.” The posters both convey the feeling that will theoretically be on display should someone actually go see the film, and they underline the niche target audience for everyone to see.
That’s precisely the type of mentality that you need to take advantage of when designing your collateral, too. Even when you sit down with something like a timeline maker, don’t start with whatever message you want to get across. Hopefully, you’ve already confirmed that this is the right message to broadcast in the first place through topic research – so let that take a backseat for a moment. Think about what the specific people you’re talking to want to see. What they like and what they dislike. What they’ve already responded well to in the past.
Then, let that insight inform the design choices you’re making that will then bring your collateral to life.
Think about it like this: millennials and baby boomers are two totally different generations. They could easily like the same thing – but you’d never sell to people that different in the same way. You’d come up with unique messaging and marketing campaigns that played directly into their generational tastes. To achieve better marketing design, you need to have the same mentality for EVERY group you’re targeting at EVERY stage of the design process.
Ultimately, the most important thing for you to understand is that modern-day tools like Visme (which I founded) give you a practically endless number of possibilities in terms of what you can accomplish with marketing design. That is absolutely a powerful weapon to have in your corner… but it IS possible to wield it inappropriately. You need to be less concerned with what you CAN do and more focused on what you SHOULD do – namely, what do the people you’re actually speaking to want to see, hear, think and experience?
In many ways, this is not too dissimilar to the process that starts your content creation journey. You likely go on services like Respona to research important topics that your audience members are paying attention to precisely because you want to capitalize on that existing interest. The only argument here is that this “customer first” mentality shouldn’t end once you’ve settled on a topic – it needs to carry on through ALL elements of the creation process, up to and including the design phase.
If you’re able to capture that perfect blend of “what I need to say” and “what these people want to hear,” your design will empower your message and your brand will come out much stronger because of it.
About the Author
Payman Taei is the founder of Visme, an easy-to-use online tool to create engaging presentations, infographics, and other forms of visual content. He is also the founder of HindSite Interactive, an award-winning Maryland digital agency specializing in website design, user experience, and web app development.