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Brent Summers

By Brent Summers

Sep 2, 2015


Web Design Contributor
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Web Design  |   Contributor

How to Get Better Marketing Results on Your Next Design Project

Brent Summers

By Brent Summers

Sep 2, 2015

How to Get Better Marketing Results on Your Next Design Project

how-to-get-better-marketing-results-on-your-next-design-projectHave you heard the old adage, “What gets measured, grows?” It’s true.

Paying attention to data keeps people engaged and helps them make better decisions. Think about the first time you ever heard of someone completing “10,000 steps”. FitBit, the ingenious wearable device that comes preprogrammed with a 5-digit daily goal, has fueled the fitness revolution. It has even created a step addiction.

Data is fueling a revolution in business, too. With Inbound Marketing, modern businesses  are more capable than ever at calculating their marketing team’s impact.

Make your data accessible and encourage your design team to embrace it. That’s my advice to Marketers who want to see a better return on their design projects. 

Here’s how.

1. Remember, designers solve problems. 

First, start by identifying the problem. Bring your data to the table; the more context, the better. Let them pepper you with questions.

Help your team clearly understand the problem by sharing important metrics such like:

  • conversion rates
  • on-page time
  • bounce rate, etc.

This will unlock their creative potential and help brainstorm strategies that will result in a better, more customer-oriented solutions. 

Next, reel in the ideas based on your organization’s objectives:

  • Attracting an audience
  • Engaging a specific buyer persona
  • Increasing conversions
  • Requesting repeat business and referrals

Memorable campaigns and immersive experiences are solutions to well-articulated problems. Designers will push your brand to new places, but you must rely on collaboration, transparency, and constraints to choose solutions that make sense for your business.

2. Keep meetings productive. 

As a career project manager, I’ve learned that one surefire way to waste time, spend money, and frustrate people is to run ineffective meetings. In fact, Atlassian reported that employees spend 31 hours a month in unproductive meetings. That’s over 20% of everyone’s time!

Design is a collaborative process requiring (more than) its fair share of formal, and informal, meetings. Being  clear about the purpose of each meeting you call will help bring focus to the room. 

To prevent “dumb meetings” answer these question whenever your team gets together:

  • Why are we here?
  • What problem are we hoping to solve together?

3. Consider the data and establish priorities.

Great strategy sessions result in huge piles of great ideas, but prioritizing those ideas is really hard. Try discussing the potential impact and effort involved to help focus on the most important ones. 

Here is a practical formula to help you collect and prioritize your creative ideas. 

Potential Impact / Estimated Effort = Effectiveness Rating

This will help you to calculate which activity is likely to yield the greatest return. 

I like to use a scale of 1-10 to rate impact and effort. By default, I rate “estimated effort” on the number of people involved to complete a task, but if someone understands a task in real hours, that’s an even better metric. Potential impact is tricky, but aligning on the impact of each idea draws out some really interesting possibilities. 

Here is one scenario to get you started:

  • The client has a lot of landing pages, traffic is driven primarily by paid media.
  • Their highest trafficked pages are plagued by low conversion rates. 

Do you:

  • Redesign the ads?
  • Redesign the entire landing page?
  • Optimize the CTA? 


With the lowest effort and the same potential impact as the others, optimizing the CTA is a great first step. If that doesn’t hit the mark, then you could try redesigning the landing page. That’s exactly what Digital Telepathy did when they tried three landing page designs for New Relic resulting in a 118% lift in conversion rate. 

A finely-tuned page provides an on-going return. This is especially important when driving traffic through paid media.

Exploring different design options and understanding success metrics sets your team up for success when giving design critiques. Sometimes design is about performance, not aesthetics. Priorities bring focus to the right area.

4. Measure the results, often. 

Designers can help you figure out if the best solution is a website redesign, an interactive product finder, or something else entirely. Whatever the solution is, remember to track and report on results. 

Take a lesson from Fitbit and establish daily goals. Breaking down big strategic goals into smaller chunks helps you measure your progress toward the goal. Measuring progress often keeps you on track and lets you celebrate milestones on the way to the big victory.

And who doesn’t love a big victory?

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