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 was because you wanted to serve a core group of people. As you develop your products and services, you do so with an eye toward what would bring the maximum 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 like and want more of? If you can answer that question, design becomes much easier because so much of your job has already been done.
Achieving a Customer-Centric Marketing Design
To better understand how this works in practice, consider how 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.
To 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 will look stark and serious and visually imply the doom that no doubt plays out in the film’s action sequences. Movies aimed at kids will feature bright, colorful posters that convey the content’s whimsical and childishness. Comedy films 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 convey the feeling that will theoretically be on display should someone 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 bring your collateral to life.
Consider it like this: millennials and baby boomers are two different generations. They could easily like the same thing – but you’d never sell to people that different in the same way. You’d develop unique messaging and marketing campaigns that fit their generational tastes. To achieve better marketing design, you must 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 regarding what you can accomplish with marketing design. That is a powerful weapon 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 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 can capture that perfect blend of “what I need to say” and “what these people want to hear,” your design will empower your message and strengthen your brand.
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.