Design is a crucial element to any marketing campaigns success. Creative is an element that is often thought of as something easy to produce. We, as consumers, know when we like a design and when we don’t. While designers are artists, they also need specific elements to build their works of art. Over the years, I have played part therapist and design champion for my internal design shops. As a creative and marketer, I listed my seven-faux pas for why designers lose patience when it comes to developing creative deliverables in-house.
- Piecemeal information.
Designers are artists who want to spend time creating, not chasing information. Many designers are chasing details because either the client didn’t have all the information together or simply didn’t think it was an “important detail.” Hello, creative brief. When it comes to creating assets for campaigns, designers need all the information at once to understand what they are creating. Piecemeal information inhibits designers for optimizing their time. Optimization is crucial to meeting projects on-time and on-budget. Unless you have unlimited resources, get your details in order.
- No clear direction.
Leading to my second point, many marketers start building campaigns without a clear direction of what they want to achieve. As the adage goes, “lack of planning is planning to fail.” Simple answers to the questions, “who is the audience?” and “how the creative will be consumed?” are immensely helpful to designers. However, marketers sometimes focus on the endgame of getting the campaign complete and out the door. Or worse yet, the marketer is thinking of something completely different creatively which causes challenges for the designer. Don’t waste the designers time by not drafting a creative brief. Marketers that don’t spend time on the creative brief will inevitably not be on the same page with the designer causing issues with the direction and overall approach. This is maddening considering it is very easy to avoid.
As you read the headline, you may shake your head and shrug. Who cares about templates? Templates are so boring. Brand is all about the visual identity some may say.
And my friends, there lies the issue. Templates reinforce the brand, but they are seen as necessary evils that no one wants spend spend time on. It’s tedious work to think about business cards, word documents, proposals, stationery, and guides. It takes several conversations, meetings, countless emails, and time to coordinate and communicate the process.
Truth be told, templates are vital to educate your frontline advocates, employees.
The reality is most brand projects focus on the visual identity and leave templates to the end. And, by the end of the brand process, there is no stamina or money left to build these critical elements. This is a missed opportunity for a number of reasons:
- Consistency. The longer you wait to deliver templates, the more difficult it is to maintain consistent message and brand. Why? The larger your organization is, the more templates and versions are floating around. Just ask your sales team. They have different versions and messaging sheets saved on their laptops. Since templates are saved to personal folders or machines, it is not always clear what is current or not.
- Governance. Tied closely to consistency, multiple versions of templates make governance challenging because of version control and maintenance. Ask any creative team. If your templates are not updated, it is difficult for them and their partners to maintain the brand and govern identity.
- Messaging. Templates may not seem like a messaging vehicle but they are. The colors, pictures, layout, and tone all communicate your brand and what your organization stand for.
- Enablement. To change your employees communication of your brand, they need templates to do this. Left to their own devices and ideas, you will have multiple versions and identities that muddle your positioning.
- Money. Multiple version equals more money. It is just that simple.
If your company wants to help employees embrace the brand, then make sure to consider how templates will be deployed and used. Spend the time meeting with stakeholders across the business to find out how they use templates. It is tedious to interview everyone, but the end product will not only be visually appealing, but functional.