I’m sure it’s a debate that’s been going on since cave paintings, pictograms and grunts were used for communication. Does the visual image impact the targeted market more than the content and the subsequent data received from the campaign? (although I’m sure Alley Oop didn’t phrase it like that.)
I asked this question to some of my clients and peers this week, and they all danced around the same burning question when it came to time to create or modify a marketing strategy or communication campaign. When committing a budget to a particular campaign, should they go with visual enhancement or do they invest in research, technology for data tracking and research? Yes, I said research twice.
My answer: Why does there need to be a line drawn separating design and data? A TRUE (truthful, relevant, unique and engaging) brand should dictate the direction…
Imagine, if you will, that a logo is the image that lends your face a smile. Considering that, the marketing and communication plan you choose is the loincloth you wear to the big, harvest moon bonfire. Everyone is going to see you in it and if it doesn’t fit (brand disconnect), the promising hunk across the cave is going to club someone else… thud.
Sorry, I digress…
Are your brochures, websites or radio / TV spots, etc. true, integrated marketing tools with brand-driven content and results-oriented functionality, or are they just more sparklies to distract your market from your brand message?
Think about it.
Marty Neumeier states it well in his book The Brand Gap “…in a society that’s information-rich and time-poor, people value feeling more than information.” He continues on to say “There are no dull products, only dull brands.”
So will your marketing collateral get you through the dance or will you end up a wallflower waiting for stragglers and bottom feeders to ask you for a cha-cha? Do your clients feel like your brand message is an extension of you? Or do they get bored and wander on to the next sparkly?
Look around the dance. If Alley Oop seems to be distracted, maybe the matching loincloth and nose bone wasn’t the solution. Maybe truthful, relevant, unique and engaging branding should have been the outfit of choice.
As you stand in your (marketing) closet, wondering what will get you to the dance, ask yourself this simple question…
How does your collateral support your brand? Is it integrated with your marketing strategy or will it be read once – never to be reviewed again?
Do your cave paintings say what you want (or need) them to say?
Let me know your thoughts on design vs. data. Do you have a success story for either camp?
Alley Oop Image Credit: V.T. Hamlin (1900 – 1993) USPS Stamp
“BC” Cartoon credit: Johnny Hart (1931 – 2007) ©2007 Creators Syndicate, Inc.