Marketing and Design must work hand-in-hand. It really doesn’t matter if you have the best creative in the world; without a solid strategic plan to back it up, the message won’t see its full potential. Likewise, if the creative is overlooked for the strategic plan, the message won’t communicate what it needs to. Before delving into any advertising pursuit, a clear idea of what you’re aiming to achieve is essential. The following are some questions that many entrepreneurs have at onset for promoting their business venture.

Why do I need marketing?

Contrary to the hype you may have heard, marketing is not dead. Just like everything else, it’s evolving. What is dead is complacency. It doesn’t matter what business you’re in, if you’re standing still you’ll get left behind. By not continually reevaluating tactics and their efficacy, any business will suffer.

Today’s marketing initiatives need to be nimble. The surplus of new channels available to marketers means a greater challenge to find the best combination for each mandate. Determining that combination requires having the experience and understanding of both traditional and new marketing channels. Online marketing is crucial, but as any experienced marketer knows, you shouldn’t put all your eggs in one basket.

Can’t I just crowdsource design?

You can, but why would you? It will contribute no value to your business. On the surface, crowdsourced design has a certain “gloss” of something professional. But it will inevitably fall short on investment. That is, it won’t perform in the long run. And it won’t be effective communication. Similar to marketing, the creative for your communications is an integral part of your business message.

Graphic design needs to be clear. It also needs to speak clearly to a specific market segment. On top of that, it needs to be flexible. Without forethought into how the design will adapt to various media, it could end up being boxed into a corner. Any effective design solution should be able to cross platforms, channels and languages without hindering the message it’s trying to communicate.

Why do I need both marketing and design?

Marketing and design are a yin yang combination. In other words, their differences combined strengthen each other. Marketing creates the plan for the messaging while design delivers the right message. You could also say the tactics dictate the playground, while the creative shows it’s a fun place to visit.

Speaking of playgrounds, let’s use that as an example. Its marketing plan will take into account who will be using the playground, how they will interact with it and where to place the messaging. The design will address what the playground has to offer, how it will appeal to those using it and why they should check it out. Ultimately, you need to know not only where your market will hang out, but how to speak to them.

What am I investing in?
I used the term “investment” earlier. That’s what good design and marketing is. They don’t represent a cost rather an investment towards your business success. So, if you plan on communicating the benefits of your business to your market, that plan needs to be strategic. And, if you want your market to hear the right message, you need strong creative. What’s more, since you only have one opportunity to make a first impression, by all means make it professional. Effective marketing and design together equals successful communication that will produce results. You can count on it.