Unlike its often misidentified cousin“ advertising,” marketing is a highly relational strategy for growing your business, organization, or nonprofit. Instead of the monologue-type model that advertising conforms to, marketing is an intentional dialogue. In other words, there is reciprocity in a marketing relationship.
People are not just mindlessly fed messages. There is conversation and relationship built between the consumer and the company.
We are aware that marketing serves a similar function as advertising: to increase profit and grow as a company. However, marketing understands that the best way for healthy and sustainable growth is through the development of genuine relationships. Employing marketing strategies has been monumental in the modern era where consumers value authenticity and relationships over being sold to!
These two techniques differ greatly in their methods, but they do have another commonality that we want to discuss: graphic design! To effectively execute any sort of marketing strategy, graphic design must be considered. There is a tightly held relationship between marketing graphic design so much so that consideration of graphic design is interwoven into the very makeup of most marketing strategies.
Why exactly is graphic design so important to marketing? Isn’t it enough to just share a message with your people and have good conversations with them?
Herein lies the issue of trying to do marketing without good design: there is no vehicle for the message! Studies show that our attention span sits at just around 8 seconds. This is an insanely short amount of time. This means that, as marketers, we have just a few moments to grab our audience's attention. While we love a good blog (hello! You’re reading one right now!), just strings of text are not enough to capture our audience's attention.
Case and point: the header of the blog includes a graphic image. We include these images because we know they are helpful in:
1. Adding some life to the text
2. Serve as a representative of the content we write about.
What we see through graphic design is its ability to both communicate a message and even enhance an already existing one. This is why graphic design matters in your marketing! We want to go through a few of these different aspects of graphic design’s role in your marketing strategy. We hope that this list demonstrates (or even reminds you!) that graphic design can never be neglected if you want to stir up growth, relationships, and impact.
We see symbols all around us. Stick figures for delineating restroom types, red lights indicating you to stop, and so many more. These symbols, icons, and images speak to us without the necessity of words. They are so common and so widely known that we don’t need words to comprehend them; we just need to know the symbol and learn what it means.
Graphic design, when done well, can serve todo the same thing. As the old saying goes: “ a picture says a thousand words.” Well, a well-executed graphic says countless words.
Marketing is all about the message, and the best possible vehicle for that message can be beautifully done through graphic design.
For example, say you are a church that desires to connect young families in your community. While you can surely write an entire mission statement on that very desire alone, you can use a symbol to convey that same message. Utilizing graphics of young families and your children’s ministry can help to convey your desired message. They declare, without words, “hey, we have other families here at church yearning to meet you. We also have a children’s ministry perfectly suited for your kids. Your family can belong here.”
Graphic design has a unique way of surpassing language. It fills in the gaps where there isn’t always enough room for words. Well-done design in marketing can make it so your message is spoken for you.
An important part of our marketing strategy is establishing what we call “brand identity.” This term simply means the different elements of a company that coexist to form the overall image. Brand identity is similar to what makes up the identity of a person: their personality, physical features, voice, beliefs, and so much more make up who they are.
The parts that join to form brand identity include voice, logo, color schemes, typography, symbols, and other elements. Just as with an individual, maintaining a strong sense of identity is of utmost importance in our day-by-day lives.
Graphic design helps to solidify and reinforce brand identity for organizations. While it cannot always declare every single nuance of the company itself, it does help to capture the essence of identity.
This is the equivalent of a photograph of an individual: it doesn’t 100% represent the intricacies of a person, but it does give a good idea of what they look like.
As we stated above, graphic design often surpasses words, and it can be used to represent your company's identity and communicate a message to the consumer. This is why it is important to make sure the relationship between graphic design and brand identity is consistent.
If you use a design that doesn’t coincide with your brand voice, colors, or other symbols, it may cause some confusion for the consumer. But if instead, your graphic design incorporates your different identity symbols, it will solidify the brand identity in your consumer’s minds.
For example, let’s say Target decided to do a marketing campaign for a new store location in your town. If their graphics had a bunch of super neutral colors, delicate script font, and said “coming soon,” it may be difficult to tell what the store even is. What Target would do is incorporate its major brand symbols: the archery target logo, bright red, bold fonts, and Bullseye the dog.
Symbols are important to our brand identity because they remind the consumer of the company. The more we stray from these symbols in our design, the more we mislead our consumers and injure our brand recognition and brand recall.
While we may not always admit it, humans are highly emotional beings. Whether the emotion is sad, excited, or joyful, we are often guided by the feelings we have deep down. Therefore, appealing to emotion can be one of the most effective strategies to communicate with the consumer when it comes to marketing.
Hear us out. We are not saying you should purposely use emotionally-strung graphics to manipulate emotions. We are saying that you can speak much more effectively to people by considering their thoughts, feelings, and beliefs. People want genuine relationships, and nothing is more genuine than raw emotion.
Graphic design says much without words, but it doesn’t mean words can never be used! The combination of powerful images and compelling typography can serve to both solidify a message and speak directly to the consumer.
Appealing to emotion fits so well in marketing because doing this means you must get to know your consumers. There are 8 billion people on the earth, and each of us is filled with hundreds of different emotions on any given day. So you must strike the particular emotion that your customer can most relate to. You are enabled to do this through the incredible storytelling power of graphic design!
Graphic design indeed says many words, and these words can be transformed into powerful stories which impact your consumer in a meaningful way.
Graphic design serves as a unique language, an identity enhancer, and of course, a storyteller. And yes, graphic design serves as a moneymaker too.
Graphic design is not just confined to static images on your social media account or email newsletter; graphic design is everywhere. More than ever, graphic design is being incorporated into intuitive design pieces that do not just stand still but also interact with the audience. The perfect example of this is the graphic design on the web.
If you head over to Pro MediaFire’s website, you see the power of interactive graphic design at work.
As you navigate the website, you see a ton of different elements and forms of graphic design. At the offset, you see a custom browser cursor, bold typography with a brand-centric background, a professional-grade video, and various graphic symbols. In addition, when you scroll toward the bottom of the homepage, there is an interactive globe that showcases the different areas of the planet Pro MediaFire serves.
As you dig deeper into the website, you see examples of the company’s work, staff profile graphics, an interactive timeline, and more. Overall, this website showcases the different faces of graphic design and how it can be utilized online.
What can using graphic design in this manner do to aid your marketing efforts? Pro MediaFire’s website and many other companies' websites help create an experience for the user. There are no laggy pages or hastily thrown together formats: high-quality graphics make for a better experience for the consumer.
When graphic design is utilized to make the message clear, you are better able to reach the customer and are more likely to increase engagement. And if you know anything about engagement, you know high engagement typically results in higher sales!
Remember, your graphic design speaks to the identity of your company. If you put zero thought or effort into the quality of your design, potential customers may believe you may put zero thought or effort into your relationship with them! Of course, you don’t want that to be the case!
Graphic design is one of the most powerful tools we have at our disposal. It is a tool we must consistently utilize in our strategy in the marketing world. It can be used to convey a message, solidify brand identity, appeal to emotion, and bring improvements to engagement and sales rates.
You simply cannot afford to neglect graphic design in your company’s marketing strategy. Our team at Pro MediaFire are experts at speaking the language of culture through professional-grade graphic, web, and video design. Our team knows how to reach your target audience best and will do the power of graphics to do exactly that! So reach out to our team today to start your journey of impacting others through digital marketing!
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