Old Tools Die Hard

TOOLBOX 300x293 Old Tools Die HardIt used to be that a graphic designer’s vernacular included ‘bluelines’ and ‘colour keys.’ Typography was laid down on art boards using Letraset while the designer hunched over a drafting table. If years ago as a business-to-business marketer you wanted to promote a product or service, you printed a brochure or direct mail postcard.

Fast forward 20 years and you’ll know that the tools in a graphic designer’s toolbox, or communicator’s for that matter, are wildly different and cover a broader base. High-quality, short-run and personalized print jobs are commonplace – and cost-effective (if printing is at all a requirement). The latest graphic design software allows project teams to effectively manage and share content (layouts, text and images) across multiple digital platforms seamlessly. The Internet has changed the way companies do business.

Some things never change:

Communicating in a clear and engaging way should always be our goal as communicators. And while we’re vying for attention – and, possibly using multiple media streams to do it – certain approaches we take to our work are tested, tried and true – and vitally important to the creative part of the marketing process.

It’s still important to:

Research:

Know what you’re selling and be knowledgeable about what your buyers’ need. It sounds simple, but knowing what your brand is and what resonates with your audience provides a base for any creative approach.

Brainstorm:

Clever and creative approaches often come from the unlikeliest of places. Don’t be afraid to brainstorm with others or colleagues from different departments. Keep in mind that sometimes an idea that may not work for one program may be perfect for another.

Test:

Test your ideas with people familiar – and not familiar – with what you’re developing. If time permits, ask a focus group of stakeholders what they think. Apply what you learn from these exercises to revise your approach, but stay true to your objectives.

Evaluate and refine:

The world is not a perfect place, and you may not get every B2B marketing program perfect on the first try. It’s important to evaluate results and make changes to programs where evidence proves it’s necessary. Build marketing programs that are fluid and flexible.

While our world is affected by technology that changes at lightning speed, some things – like the process we use to develop creative solutions – have changed very little in comparison.

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