Teaching Design at Work

The Importance of Teaching Design for Marketing Applications

  • Design is a broad term covering a nearly infinite number of subjects. At its heart, design is about intention and reaction in the process of creation. Whether it’s a website or a movie poster, a cathedral or some campgrounds, the end result involved design in some way and will generate a reaction. Whether the reaction was the one intended by the creator depends on the quality of the design.

    In the marketing realm, especially the modern one operating half in virtual space and half in reality, the role of design is paramount to success. The importance of design when teaching marketing cannot be overstated. Here are just some of the reasons why:

    Action

    Marketing is ultimately all about a call to action on the part of the consumer, thus design ought to achieve this goal. The way design plays into a marketing call to action exists in two phases:

    Now

    Many of the pillars of marketing design involve encouraging purchase moments after exposure. The success of point of purchase displays is a testament to the power of a present-tense call to action. The consumer is drawn to the product and walks away with it in hand.

    Later

    Design also plays a role in encouraging consumers to make a purchasing decision beyond the immediate future. Eye-catching packaging continues to draw the attention of the consumer hours, days, weeks, months, or even years after the initial purchase.

    Function

    A call to action or other intentions of marketing design won’t go far without function. The function of marketing can be divided into two main sections, both of which design must achieve.

    Inform

    Now is not the time for ambiguity and metaphors. The target of a marketing tactic needs to know what the product or service is within seconds of exposure. If tasked with designing the box art for a video game about surfing, a design absent waves and surfers would be asinine, to say the least.

    Motivate

    If the delivery of information is good enough, it does the job of motivation on its own. However, added extras are sometimes needed to greater amplify the call to action. Attention to the value of a product or service in the form of a graphic or banner is an example of this added layer of motivation.

    Impressions

    Even a brand like Coca-Cola has to consider how to introduce itself to customers for the first time, albeit not as much as more underdog-grade businesses. Furthermore, Coca-Cola and everyone else must consider the way they’re perceived by consumers in the long term.

    First

    The colors, font, graphics, and additional design elements of a given marketing product must catch the attention of those who encounter it, but specifically the target market. In today’s oversaturated venues both virtual and in real life, getting through to jaded consumers is a matter of grabbing their attention.

    Lasting

    The power of marketing design which incites a first-time second-glance is nothing compared to that which generates a lasting positive impression. They are ideally one and the same, but can also exist in a complementary form.

    Sharing

    Lastly, good marketing design will encourage sharing among consumers:

    Suggestion

    The design of a marketing scheme can drive consumers to recommend a product or service to others. While traditionally this was done by word-of-mouth, the main method this is achieved today is through...

    Social

    Thanks to social networks like Facebook and Twitter, marketers can hope for consumers to spread brand awareness on their own. While outright endorsements are prized, a more realistic and long-lasting way in which marketing design can take advantage of social media is by creating memorable content which folks feel like they have to share with others. The product or service comes along for the ride.

    A grasp of good design is essential for successful marketing in the modern digital age. Getting attention, keeping it, and having it lead to action requires careful thinking and controlled approach. Marketers in both traditional and digital spheres with an eye for design will go far.

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