It’s an age-old belief that anything that doesn’t directly contribute to the ROI must get a push-back - for reasons that are known to both, marketers and designers. However, as a marketer, you know that design - be it website design, logo design, or product design, is as critical to the success of your campaign as that strong copywriting or story. And yet, the age-old battle between these two departments continues. Since the foundation of both the teams’ work process is only considered different, so is their opinion on different ideas. But now, companies are slowly realizing that their ultimate goal is going to be fulfilled only with not just comprehensive conceptualization and effective copywriting but also fool-proof design - all of which is important to generate good ROI.
So, is it too late to help the two teams work together towards a shared goal? Not at all! And this is how you can achieve that!
Work as Amigos
Rather than the two teams pulling out swords at every idea that is dismissed or changed, it would be very effective if they get to know each other first before any meeting involving the two teams takes place. Additionally, in order to build an effective foundation for the brand, they need to have a basic understanding of how the other department works. Once they have that, try and involve both the teams in marketing and design thinking meetings.
This way, everyone would be on the same page while still focusing on their individual goals. This technique will help the design team receive the correct information and the marketing team can be at ease in terms of how they want their content to be designed and represented on social platforms for best conversions.
Bridge that Communication Gap and Swim Through the Differences
One of the few things that may directly affect the conversion rate is the miscommunication between the two departments. The main goal is to meet the target audience’s needs, and for that, both the teams need to communicate effectively to ensure they’re met. Insightful communication will not only reduce the tension between them but also help in maintaining a balance between the vision-oriented (and with fewer resource constraints) design team and resource-oriented marketing team.
Another thing that comes in the way of conversion is not being able to see beyond each others’ differences. But the truth is, everyone has something to teach and everyone always has room for something to learn. Even if the marketing guy refuses to think beyond numbers and conversions, he would still have something to help you be a more informed designer and vice-versa.
“The purpose of a pitch isn’t necessarily to move others immediately to adopt your idea. The purpose is to offer something so compelling that it begins a conversation, brings the other person in as a participant, and eventually arrives at an outcome that appeals to both of you.”
― Daniel H. Pink
Share Your Strengths and Weaknesses
Ever heard a designer say - Is this design going to help the prospect move further down the conversion funnel? No, right? Well, that’s because not knowing what marketing does could be one of their weaknesses. And that’s one of the perks of working together - strengths amplify and weaknesses attenuate. Being upfront about this with each will only make the teams stronger and increase their ability to manage bleak situations. This also means learning the basics of what the other one does to be able to compensate for the differences in the way both teams function. For example, designers can learn the basics of marketing and marketers can also beef up their designing knowledge.
Say, the designer learns about conversion funnel and customer journey, etc; he can then easily relate to how these associate with their current project - in terms of what do they want the audience to feel - desire, need, excitement, etc and thereby, make an informed decision. So simple, right?
Learn to Spring Back Together
Be it a campaign or landing page that is not working out the way you imagined, a dissatisfied client or customer, an agitated team environment, or anything whatsoever that brings you a little down from your happy and self-motivating phase, there’s no better lesson to learn - than springing back!
As the two teams collaborate, one can work wonders in bringing confidence in the other. Also, it inculcates resilience in your team that makes them have that drive to come out of the ashes like a phoenix no matter what. The key here is to constantly communicate with each other about what’s happening with the project and work together, and spring back together if you two are going down together. That’s the only way to get out of an unprecedented situation and get those reins back in your hands.
Deliver Great Customer Experiences Together
We have established that designing is a hidden pushing force that makes all those marketing campaigns successful. And it’s true - designing is hidden. It hardly shares the limelight but does so much. Design thinking is the reason why a brand pulls great customer experiences. And here’s how the design team can help the marketing team do just that:
- Design tells your brand’s story
- Reinforces the message you want to deliver through your campaign
- Makes it easy for customers to understand your campaigns
- Increases your visibility as well as credibility among other marketers because it’s unique, clean, professional and entertaining
- Catches the viewer’s attention by making your brand stand out in the market full of competitors
- Turns loyal customers into ambassadors who market your brand.
So, the marketing team can work towards letting those days be gone when the design team worked under shadows and help bring in the trend of focusing, discussing, and working as per the whole design thinking process.
Make Amendments and Infuse Clarity
Designing thinking with excellent potential for great customer experience is a three-way street. Any amendments that need to be made are conveyed to the marketing team - the first point of contact for the client. The marketers then relay the messages and the designers make the changes based on the feedback they receive. A clear, concise and documented feedback saves both the teams a huge amount of time and resources from being wasted.
But this whole process involves a lot of clarity! Clarity is like a magic bean - if it’s there, everything works out the way you plan it. And that’s where documenting what has been done, needs to be done and has been dropped out of the ‘to-do list” helps a great deal.
In a Nutshell
No matter how small or big your brand is, design thinking and efficient marketing will make you achieve your targets sooner than ever. Sharing a discussion table brings out a better working environment and also gives an opportunity to both the teams to express how they work, the way they tackle things, how they receive feedback, etc. Letting each other know what suits the team best and respecting each other’s work process in return will build strong relationships with great motivation to work together.
Time has come that the two teams bring the best out of each other and together push the brand’s position in the market to heights and its place in the customers’ mind and heart.