You may believe that marketing and design both fall under the same umbrella but whilst they are often paired together within a business, they have fundamental differences that separate them. However, that is not to say that they aren’t both as important as each other. In fact, you could harm your business if you fail to implement them both correctly or choose one over the other. Here are some key distinctions between the two, and how marketing and design work together.
What Is Marketing?
Marketing in today’s world covers such a wide variety of platforms and practices but, simply put, it is the process of communicating a product or service to a customer, client or partner. This process began way before technology entered into the ordinary household, mostly through the use of print media. Nowadays, a single marketing campaign can include email, social media, search engine optimisation, blogs, print advertising, TV and more. Marketing is also an important step in the sales process, and by understanding and reaching out to the relevant consumer groups it goes without saying that this will have a positive impact on the end result.
What Is Design?
There are many misconceptions about design and what it entails, and this is because it can mean different things depending on the application. Broadly speaking, design is the process of creation or solution for objects and systems, often resulting in a visual outcome. Design can be found in elements of our lives on a daily basis, whether it is the car you drive or the furniture that is used in your office. It is a tool to seamlessly interact with the user to buy that particular product or choose one service over another at a subconscious level. Design has the ability to be manipulated to suit any product or business, reinforcing brand awareness which can help to increase sales, especially through customer retention.
How Marketing & Design Work Together
When a consumer buys a product or service, there are generally four stages to this process; Awareness, Interest, Decision and Action. Marketing and design should be visible at every stage, however, how can they both be used to achieve this? It might be easier to think of them in two halves of the same goal; marketing is what information needs to be interpreted and where, and design being responsible for how the user will interpret it.
For example, let’s say a health food company wishes to boost sales of a particular product. Marketing would determine what information should be clearly stated for the customer, such as the health benefits of the product, and what channels should be used to do this. You would then use design to put this information across in such a way that is easy to digest and appealing to that specific customer group. In this instance, you know that your target market is young adults, so you choose to focus on social media to promote this product as it is readily available thanks to the popularity of smartphones.
By using both marketing and design, you are able to create a campaign where the written content and visual elements work together to reach that target market, increase brand awareness and hopefully encourage them to engage and buy from you. Brand awareness is fundamental to marketing and design, as this will strengthen recognition and encourage repeat custom from loyal customers. This can be seen across various industries, as most of us can now recognise a logo, font or even colours associated with a brand without it having to be spelt out.
Marketing without design can be dull and unrecognisable to a brand or product, whereas design without marketing can lack the necessary details and the tools needed to reach the target audience. It is important to recognise the differences between the two specialist areas, but even more important is to know how to use them both to create a successful campaign.
Guest post written by Ellen Sexton, a design and marketing professional with over 5 years’ experience specialising in traditional and digital marketing, graphic design, and content writing.