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Working with Designers: 3 Things You Need to Know

by Matt Johnson, on Sep 20, 2017 10:28:39 AM

“Designers SUCK!”

Have those words, or something similar, ever come out of your mouth? *Sarcastic Gasp*

If you answered “yes,” shame on you!

If you said “no,” then good for you. You have self-control.

I know you’ve thought it though...

Truth is, not all designers are the same. But we’re all pretty alike. We’re very likeable, but we’re only human. And we have real and important needs.

Like all human to human interactions, things can get complex when marketing managers and designers collaborate. Communication breakdowns are bound to happen.

Let’s face it, the relationship between marketing managers and designers can be a strained one.

But, why is that?

Well, I’ve boiled it down. I’ve put together an all-too-simple list of three things to keep in mind when dealing with others of my species. Hopefully these items alleviate some tension. Try them out, and maybe they’ll help you keep all your fingers... maybe.

But first, remember to always use caution when approaching a graphic designer.


1. Content: Clean it up first.

Know when to approach a designer.

Content - Approach PNG.png

Your content may still have several phases of brainstorming, rewrites, and editing to go through. If so, hold off on reaching out to a designer. Sit back and work out those details before tasking them with any design projects. Designers (understandably) hate having to throw out work when a project moves in a different direction. So, make sure the content is finalized before asking the designer to do what millions of years of evolution has evolved them to do best... design.

Aside from content, I personally like to be kept in the loop of where a project is from beginning to end. Consistent updates here and there are very helpful in better understanding a client’s:

  • Brand,
  • Audience,
  • Message,
  • Budget,
  • Deadline, etc.

How can designers best understand a client? Well, that process is another blog entirely.

Need help figuring out what the right content is? This FREE course can help (And it looks pretty too). 

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2. Trust your designer, he is your work spouse.

Recognize that you're equals. Make eye contact. Do NOT blink.

Trust - Eye Contact PNG.png

So, you have approved, finalized copy for your designer. Great! Now what?

It’s time to get to work. Remember: Marketers and designers both seek a happy client. With both skill sets working together, you and your team can craft a final product that hits the mark of performing well and being well designed. Everyone - even your client - will end up happy.

Marketing managers, listen up. Trust your designer to take all of the client’s information to create something beautiful that will perform well online.

But, this tip is just as much for the designer as it is for the marketing managers.

A mutualistic relationship is key. Trusting each other, and then communicating consistently, keeps everyone on the same page. The closest marketers and designers constantly ask “why” and “what if” in the pursuit to create the best product. They brainstorm why one strategy, tone, or idea works better over another - together.


3. Time: Greatness requires it.

Time is key. Depending on the campaign, task, or designer, they may need more or less time.

Time - Deadlines - PNG.png

Always give your designer as much time as you can so that they have plenty of wiggle-room to develop and execute. If you anticipate a rush in your campaign’s production, communicate them well in advance.

Giving a “heads up” to design jobs that you know will need to be expedited is greatly appreciated. No one likes to find out they have an eight hour job to do in three hours. Designers can be flexible creatures. But, know that you probably won’t get their best work when they are backed into a corner and pressed for time.

Marketing managers and designers can take steps to make each other’s jobs easier. I know, it’s a bold claim. But it is possible!

Remembering these three simple tips will build healthier marketing and designer relationships.

Not to mention, they’ll make designers’ jobs easier.

Designers need polished content, trust from marketing managers, and enough time to produce awesome work. That’s the best way to generate digital content that will attract the right audience and turn website visitors into customers.

Making marketers and designers more successful? What could be better?

Topics:Digital MarketingLeadership