Pretty displays get you noticed but how far will looks get you?

All too often, design is catered to aesthetics rather than functionality. When it comes to marketing design, this is a mistake you want to avoid. To create successful sales tools, it’s critical to carefully align an appealing design with your marketing purpose.

Of course, an appealing design is very important. After all, design can impact a customer’s first impression and determine how he or she gauges your product offering. However, a truly appealing design is about more than sleek shapes and beautiful colors; it’s about how information is presented.

When looking at your marketing materials, ask yourself these questions: How do you present your offerings? Is your most important feature on display? What information is included? A poor design implies poor planning, and ultimately a lack of consideration for your customer. Your design should combine these three factors with aesthetics to be most successful:

1.  Find the Right Design for the Target Customer: When designing your marketing tool, it’s critical to understand your target customer first. Don’t just tell your business’s story; tell your customer’s story with your business in it. Design around their needs. By understanding your target customer, you will understand their goals and values, which means you already have a design guide. Consider what customers look for and how you can appeal to those customers. Is the customer environmentally oriented? Consider using sustainable materials or highlighting your eco-friendly options. Do they value cost over substance? Present your most cost effective deals front and center. Think like your client. Otherwise, you risk failing to connect. If a beautiful design fails to engage the target customer, you’ve missed the first step towards making a sale.

2.  Align Design to the Desired Results: The desired result of a sales tool should be a sale. The best way to achieve that sale is by carefully considering the information a customer needs, and how to cater your design towards those needs. Sometimes, the standard sales tools are not the most effective, and it’s more efficient to design novel tools to meet your company’s specific needs. When creating B2B marketing tools, consider the business’s buying process. What problems are they trying to solve by approaching your business? Why does your business provide the best solution? Answer these questions in your sales tools before customers have to ask.

3.  Create an Approachable Design: Design approachability bridges the gap between the needs of your target market and the purpose of the sales tool. Once you’ve considered the previous two factors, it’s time to actually create a design that is both attractive and approachable while maintaining your brand integrity. Your design needs to be approachable for customers and sales representatives alike. Will sales representatives feel proud to use the sales tool? Is it easy to demonstrate? Is your brand and call to action clearly iterated in the design? These are factors that make a sales tool approachable and successful for all parties involved.

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