Design, Meet Marketing

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Design is now more widespread in quantity and quality than ever, and the boundaries of ‘design’ are less certain.” — AIGA article, What Will Designers & Their Jobs Look Like in 2025?

In brands from global to backyard, in organizations from tens of thousands to one, in legacy companies and startups—design’s importance as a business tool is growing. The idea that “good design is good for business” is not new, but it’s finally gathered steam.

Which means that the practice of design is changing: becoming more strategic, more results-oriented, more collaborative. More like marketing.

Because of this powerful and growing intersection of marketing and design, HOW Design Live is launching a companion, two-day event in 2018: HOW Marketing Live. We’re teaming up with the American Marketing Association to create a program that meshes the best of the two disciplines.

To get a sense of how this blurring of lines between design and marketing is playing out in practice, we asked the HOW Community on Facebook to share their experiences. Here’s what we’re hearing:

Darcy Hinrichs, senior art director, Cabela’s: “We have been looking for opportunities to have better conversations with our customers, help educate and inform, and leverage expertise from our outfitters, ambassadors and guests. That translates to design in the hierarchy of the messaging and elevating a storyline that will resonate with our audience. 

“I think that there is always going to be some sort of learning curve. There has to be. We live in a world that is ever-changing. How people consume content is always shifting and growing. People are more savvy in recognizing marketing efforts. There is definitely fatigue in the way that people respond to it. So we, as designers, marketers and strategists, have to continually look for ways to surprise and delight our audience. With that, I do expect that there will be an increased need for our team to be more involved with marketing efforts going forward. We are looking at ways that we can approach photography, exploring new technologies, building our software skills and staying in tune with trends. By doing these things, we are more able to recognize opportunities to elevate marketing efforts where they are more engaging with our audience.” 

Bryan Konieczka, marketing & communications officer, Saginaw Community Foundation: “Jumping into this role, I quickly needed to reacquaint myself with my writing skills as well as develop my public relations skills. I am usually the contact for all media requests and I have to maintain relationships with the various media outlets in my community.

“I developed new skills needed for this job by reading everything I could get my hands on, especially related to nonprofits as I was new to that worlds. I sat in on webinars and attended seminars. In the end, though, I had to hit the ground running and go with my gut instinct. I realized that no matter what I am being asked to do, it all comes down to communications. As designers, we are communicators. We have a variety of tools in our toolboxes and for each task, we must choose the right tool to solve the task.

“This is where design is headed, but I believe it has always been there. How can design and marketing not have intersected already? They are so intertwined that I believe it is hard to separate the two. Yes, as designers, we are being asked to wear more and more hats all the time. However, those who embrace this intersection of design and marketing will prove to be valuable additions to any organization.”

Design and marketing, intertwined. It’s the future—and also the now. Build your marketing skills, learn how to collaborate seamlessly, increase your value to your company. Now’s the time for HOW Marketing Live. Learn more about this new two-day event and register before November 30 for the best rates.

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