Why design matters in marketing

Why Marketing Design Matters

Why design matters in marketing

It’s easy to neglect updating the marketing design in your materials. Many times, companies use the same design for their marketing materials and just plug in updated specs and product information.

Over time, it’s easy to fall into complacency and lose that critical eye towards pieces that have been working for you. After all, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!” Many companies are satisfied as long as the information is correct. Unfortunately, that’s not enough! There are a lot of companies competing for your prospective customers’ attention, and with our shrinking attention spans, individuals are becoming accustomed to making snap judgments. Your product information could be saying you are leading your industry, but your marketing materials may be telling a different story.

Print Materials

Most B2B companies understand the continued need for print materials in their marketing mix, but even those marketing staples have evolved to incorporate updated marketing design. People now spend less time than ever digesting what’s in front of them – about seven seconds! Gone are the days when individuals sit and read large chunks of text they are handed or receive in the mail. It’s all about bullet points, sub headers, and an appealing design. So, bare this in mind whenever you need any Promotional Signs or any other marketing materials printed for your business

If you are taking your updated information and plugging it into the same brochure, sell sheet, or postcard template your company has been using for years, your materials likely aren’t as effective as they could be. People have complained about the amount of advertising they are exposed to since 1759, and the advertising clutter continues to grow annually. There are two ways to increase your odds of prospective clients paying attention.

  1. Get to the point. Companies have to assume their materials are only given a cursory glance before a reader decides to put it aside or to delve in and read more. Give your readers the information they are looking for as quickly as possible in a straightforward manner. Provide easy options for them to get more in-depth information, should the want it. Your layout should be easy to follow; colors and font should be crisp and clear.
  2. Get creative. How many postcards and flyers do decision makers receive in year? A month? A day? Make sure yours are standing out and not getting lost in the shuffle. This doesn’t mean gimmicky. Some well-placed images, a less common size, or a memorable and fitting cutout or insert could be all it takes.

Even with a robust print material campaign, most prospective clients will check you out online before calling to make an appointment or purchase. Which leads us to…

Websites

Even if you don’t know anything about the technical aspects of websites, you know an outdated website when you use one. It’s hard to navigate, it’s difficult to use on phones, and overall takes a long time to find specific information when you have a question. Companies that continue to have a website that is not “mobile friendly” are immediately creating an unnecessary barrier for prospective clients, since 42% of B2B decision makers use their mobile device for research.

In addition to the mobile friendly aspect, load times and content layout dramatically impact how long a prospective customer stays on your site. In fact, if your load time is more than three seconds, many people could leave your site before ever seeing the content. (Remember that 7 second attention span?) Of course, outdated information is sure to be noticed. As prospective customers gain information on their options, they are sure to check you out online. Make sure they like what they see! Current marketing design practices for websites include ensuring your site is responsive and contains relevant images and videos to further engage prospective clients.

Many companies find themselves stuck with a webmaster who built their site but doesn’t do great updates or are unwilling to keep up with best practices. The task of building a new site can seem daunting and even impossible. That said, it is well worth it to invest in a responsive website that will be easy to update and make changes to in the future. The internet will continue to evolve; if you are already behind, it will only get worse until you make that investment.

Regardless of what industry you are in, the design of your marketing materials matters. Your marketing design is as important as the machinery or materials you use for your products. You wouldn’t go years without considering an update or evaluating best practices, and the same should be said for your marketing efforts.

If you are concerned your marketing materials don’t align with today’s best practices, contact us for a free discovery appointment, where we will evaluate your current materials looking for opportunities – with no commitment from you.


Website Design Tips

Dressing your Website for Success

Website Design Tips

“Dress to impress.” “Dress for success.” “Always look your best.”

There are various sayings such as these that emphasize the importance of looking your absolute best in order to make a positive first impression. Whether it be an important job interview, a romantic date, or your first day of school, a first impression is crucial to how someone thinks of you. Similar to a job interview, your website will make a strong first impression on it’s viewers, but instead of wearing a nice outfit, your website must have an updated layout, theme, and color scheme.

An updated website can mean multiple things to your customers in the manufacturing industry. Most importantly, it means that your company cares about its image and always wants to look its best. If you care about your company, then future customers will see that and want to work with your company. Another bonus to dressing your website for success is that an updated website allows viewers to easily navigate throughout various pages and links. By having easy-to-use navigation features, your potential clients will have a positive experience, wanting them to return to your website, leading to potential business. Lastly, an updated website can ultimately give off the impression to potential clients that you are modern in the manufacturing world and ready to change according to what is the best for your company. Clients want to work with a manufacturing company that is always moving forward.

For more information on how to keep your website current, contact 360 Direct at 262-289-9210 or fill out our contact form here.


Importance of good images

Website Trend: The Importance of Images

Importance of good images

Google+ suggests using imagery in posts. The popularity of Pinterest shows that people love images and that image sharing is viral. This and more suggests that images are important now and for the future of websites, even more so than words. However, this isn’t a recent idea.

Human culture has always valued images, and the Internet is aware of their importance. The human brain operates photographically rather than linguistically and therefore images help save time by conveying an entire concept in one glance. Sears and Roebuck’s great success came partly from using illustrations in their catalog. Magazines began to thrive from their inception because of great visuals that took precedence over copy. The success of television goes almost without saying.

The 1943 Sears News Graphic wrote that the Sears catalog “serves as a mirror of our times, recording for future historians today’s desires, habits, customs, and mode of living”. Years from now, the same will be said about our Facebook posts, our Pinterest pins, and our Flickr accounts.

The biggest difference today is that content is most successful with a captivating image plus a catchy phrase––as long as that phrase and image tag are keyword-rich. You have to write copy like you design a scavenger hunt––how is the image going to be found? You also need to think about a message that connects interest. Connection is about searchable words and answering an information need, or providing entertainment. The iconic Absolut ads could be a good example that still applies on the digital platform–limited copy, use of brand name in limited copy, visually striking and interesting which may encourage sharing.

How can you apply this to your business?

  • Look around you, use your smartphone to take photos, and learn Instagram.
  • If you don’t have a smartphone, use your digital camera and some photo editing software.
  • Start thinking, “How can I use an image of this day to promote my business?”
  • And sometimes, hire a professional photographer.


Design Myths

20 Web Design Myths from Lean Labs

Design Myths

There’s a lot of work that goes into a website – and in some cases, too much work. The SlideShare below helps dispel some the most common web design myths and mistakes companies make that unfortunately turn out to be wasted effort.

Thanks to Lean Labs for creating this great SlideShare!

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