Every business needs marketing resources. For some, a business card and a Facebook page may suffice. Others may need a whole suite of tools – website, flyers, banners, brochures, several social channels, MailChimp campaigns, press adverts, promotional items and more besides.
Listen to BizSmart Select Member Stu Avis Audacious Creative Communications webinar to discover as a graphic designer, why it’s his job not just to understand what you want and design it but why you want a particular resource and how it fits in to your overall Marketing Strategy.
By doing this, the designs will be more on point and be more effective. Eight years into my business, I’m still amazed by how little thought some people give to marketing their business. I must have a conversation like the following at least once every 6 weeks or so…
“Hi Stu… I need a flyer for my business.”
“Ok. That’s great. Why?”
“Why? Ummm…. because I do.”
“Ok. What’s the purpose of this flyer? Who’s it aimed at?”
“Errr… I want to use it to grow my business. It’s aimed at everyone.”
Now – I totally understand that we run our businesses because we’re good at what we do and that, for some, thinking about marketing activity can be a strange and frightening thing. I’ve learned that my primary role is not as a designer but as a navigator – helping my clients understand their business better and to think through what marketing resources and activities are best suited for them and their business. Once we have that foundation, then the designs are the easy bit – the thing that makes that thinking and understanding tangible.
Whenever a client discusses any project with me (especially if it’s the first one we’ve worked on together) then there are six questions I always ask regardless of whether it’s a 2-page A5 flyer or something much bigger…
Why do you want this marketing resource?
– brand awareness?
What’s the purpose of the piece?
What’s your preferred outcome?
How will you evaluate its success?
If you don’t understand why you want a piece of marketing resource you’ll never really know what specific result you’re looking for and how to measure those results.
Who is this piece aimed at?
– existing clients or a new market / audience?
– Businesses or Consumers?
– Suppliers or Referral Agencies?
The type of audience you are aiming at will dictate tone of voice as well as content
If you understand who your target audience is, not only will the design be more appropriate but the tone of voice (how you say what you say) will be more appropriate too. If it’s an email to an existing client base then you can be a bit more informal and less ‘salesy’. But your addressing a new audience you might need to be a bit more formal and serious as you’re introducing yourself and your business to them.
How are you going to say it?
– what are you going to say (words & images)
– how much content?
– format (flyer, poster, brochure, website, social etc)
Most people start with “I need a … “ but, as you can see, this comes third in the list. Once you’ve understood the purpose and identified your target audience then you can think about what method is best to deliver the message. This is where having a designer or marketing agency on board really helps as we can help you understand the pros and cons to the vast array of communication methods that are out there and can advise you on what it likely to work.
What’s your call to action?
What do you want people to do with the information you are giving them?
If people don’t understand what you them to do with the information you’ve given them they are highly unlikely to take any action – no matter how interested they might be.
When does this piece need to be designed by?
– Is there a tight deadline?
– Is the content time-sensitive (offer, etc)?
Remember that printing resources takes extra time (generally 2-3 days minimum)
Don’t leave it to the last minute (please)!
How often have you realised that you’ve got a marketing activity coming up and your marketing materials are either out of date or non-existent? We’ve all done it (including me!) but try to plan in advance – especially if content needs writing and resources need printing and delivering. If you’ve booked an advert in a press magazine then you need to have it designed, signed off and emailed over before the press deadline or you run the risk of your ad not going in but still having to pay for the space.
Where does this piece need to go to?
What’s the delivery method?
– print (handed) or print (mailed)?
– social media?
– website (downloaded or on a page)
Long story short – the design of a piece will be heavily influenced by the method of delivery so if something is for email only it needs to be designed differently than if it was going to be printed. Equally, if know something is going be mailed out then I may well design it smaller (A5 rather than A4) so it costs less to send out.
As you can see, there’s so much more to designing a 2-page A5 flyer than meets the eye and that’s why it’s really important to work with a good designer or market consultant / agency who can help you think through these things and create something that will really work for you and your business.
BizSmart aims to help SME and micro-business owners scale their businesses and create value through sound practical business support. We aim to give you insight and clarity and fire up your determination to succeed. You can access blogs like this and more besides through our free SmartRoom service here.