Don't designers understand what needs to go into a leaflet?

People expect clear definitions about what kind of business you are. In fact, directories have boxes that state either one profession or the other when you apply, without an option for anything else. And if you join a networking group this rule also applies. You are supposed to be either a designer, or a marketer, and not something in between.

But things start to get a little cloudy if you describe yourself as a designer with a marketing twist, or as a visual marketer. People’s foreheads furrow and they may even turn to look for an easier subject to network with. If you don’t fall into those easily understood categories then that’s more hard work for them, and it’s more hard work for me to explain exactly what I do.

Let me provide you with two scenarios. First, decorating a room. There’s all that time needed to strip off the wallpaper, wash down the walls, make good the cracks, sandpaper down the door frames and skirting boards, and get it all ready before you put the paint on to make it look nice. If you don’t do all this the paint will peel off, the walls will not be smooth and the end result will look amateurish.

Scenario Two: have you ever looked at a cake in the café and salivated with the thought of eating it, but when you took a bite you were bitterly disappointed? Chocolate cakes have a tendency to do this. It all depends on the kinds of ingredients used, the conditions the cake was baked in, and whether the flavours matched up to the expectancy of the finished results. The humble carrot cake in the corner probably provided a better treat, as well as being healthier, because the ingredients were superior.

Scenario One demonstrated that a lot of preliminary work needs to be done beforehand that cannot necessarily be seen in the finished result. It is important to set up your foundations for a frame to hang the design on. Scenario Two showed that just because it looks fancy it doesn’t necessarily mean it will perform well. And make sure the contents of your leaflets reflect the purpose, are aimed towards your customers’ needs and wants, and provide a suitable call to action to make the project worth while.

So a visual marketer will combine the elements of design and marketing to make leaflets perform better. Rather than creating logos, I work with your logo (as well as any other imagery that’s relevant). I write copy that has a purpose and an understanding of the psychology of the customer. It’s not just how you position the words and pictures on the page, it’s what you say to gain the reader’s attention and get them to do something towards achieving a sale or buying into a service.

There’s a lot of ‘behind the scenes’ stuff that goes towards a successful leaflet. And that’s what this blogsite is all about: I hope to explain it satisfactorily in future posts, so watch this space!

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