Just one designers ramblings about things that inspire me, observations, and advice about marketing.

Posts tagged ‘Creative observations’

The desert island of promotion. Get rescued. Integrate.

For some reason, very often, companies look at their overall marketing efforts and their website as two distinctly different entities. Its like logo, brochure and sales sheets are whooping it up on the mainland while the website is sitting there alone, in the middle of the sea, sleeping in a hammock, and dreaming of the day that one of the other marketing angles will send it a coconut radio so they can communicate.

I’ve seen this phenom take numerous forms. I’ve seen companies hire a great designer to develop a logo and marketing materials and then scramble to get a website up as an afterthought just because they think they should. I’ve seen deliberate, calculated, creative marketing campaigns that have two completely distinct teams of players – one for “traditional” media, and one for “web” media. Neither one collaborates with the other, there is no communal brainstorming. Each team instead working independently, crossing fingers and sharing “assets” in the hopes that what they deliver will match in some “brand-y” kind of way. I’ve even seen very marketing savvy non-profits complete print related fund raising campaigns and completely ignore the rich resources available in online media.

I ask “Why”?

Why in the realm of our advertising world today of 2011, is web marketing still often not seen as an integral and essential part of an overall marketing or fundraising effort?

Why is it seen as some weird other territory that doesn’t play well with others?

Marketing is Marketing folks. Web / Print / Media – its essentially the same thing, not separate. They are part of one whole. Each have their own intricacies and needed expertise yes – but they all should be working together to meet a larger goal.

Just as direct (direct mail) and broadcast (tv / radio) have become part of the equation, so should web related marketing. A message, a brand, a goal presented in more than one medium is essential in today’s market. And a campaign that uses a multitude of media doubles and triples their chances of getting their message out to the right audience at the right time with the right technology.

Looking at your web marketing as an after thought, an “add-on”, or a separate project is selling yourself short.

When I approach any project for a new client – I look at the big picture. I consider the overall problem and I immediately look at ways to tie in a variety of approaches. To me it is essential for a campaign to be integrated and diverse.

I start with the brand. Who they are to their clients and audience? What approaches do they currently use to get their message out? What else do they need? How can it be most effectively driven? And usually I propose an effort that will cross a variety of media.

If the client’s desire is for a new brochure or leave behind – what about including an online component too, so that the audience has a “place to go” to get more information. If the need is to design a new logo for a startup, don’t forget about an essentials package that includes a starter website; well branded, to match the “traditional” logo and stationary, and how about a facebook page, an e-news template or mobi site.

In my mind if you are not including a web component somewhere in your efforts, you are missing the boat… bigtime. And yet, consistently it seems that companies and organizations still walk on divergent paths when approaching projects. Different departments. Different creative teams. Different goals.

In my opinion, this is not a good choice. Best case scenario – the different teams are run by the same creative lead, so at least there is a consistent voice to the creative, but even then there are going to be disconnects about who is responsible for what, how to carry the creative through to all media, what messaging and voice should be used and who manages both teams to a positive end.

And at worst, two individual creative teams are each creating a product for their specific “media” and they manage to deliver totally incongruent campaigns.

I am officially suggesting that if a campaign is to be totally successful, this thought process should stop. The solution? Integrate!

A well rounded, effective, and powerful marketing approach should encompass a multitude of media, driven by one strong creative vision that carries through every single piece that your target audience touches, sees, and interacts with.

Don’t miss out on the possibilities.



A walk on the red side.

Lately I’ve been taking to walk one of our local conservation properties in the morning. The old farm property consists of fields, wetlands and woods preserved for eternity, for the habitat of a wide variety of plants, birds and animals. it also affords those of use who enjoy nature, to walk, birdwatch and otherwise envelop ourselves in the tranquility and peace that is found within a natural environment.

Every season there is something different to see. In early Spring most vibrant are the red-winged blackbirds with their stunning carmine red epaulets. They flit about strutting their stuff, establishing territories in their little part of the wetlands. They are some of my favorite birds, at least today.

Red Winged Blackbird, New Hampshire

Their flashy color is unmatched in its brightness, you can see these guys showing off from a great distance. I think the red almost glows because it is so perfectly set off by the stripe of buttery yellow and ink black of the rest of its feathers. The combination is truly a remarkable one, and I look forward to their return to our swamps every year.

Like designers, birds often use colors to get their job done. By dancing around and flashing their feathers they attract mates, ward off enemies and communicate lots of complex messages that we humans have only really begun to understand. In combination with song these messages are impossible to miss, and enjoyable to witness.

They also – like us – have great deadlines to meet. Up here in the North country, there are only a few short months to find a mate, nest and bring up a proper brood or two of chicks. Its important work, and they stop at nothing to ensure that they are successful, and sadly sometimes do whatever they can to ensure that their competition is not. But its a birds life, and they live it well. And I enjoy watching the process. Red Winged Black bird New Hampshire

Each morning on my walks I always find something inspiring to bring back with me to the studio. Today it is a few photographs and the knowledge that there is a world outside these walls that is so rich with material for the senses. It’s what keeps me going no matter what my own deadlines and obligations of today might be.

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