TSE Session: Top 5 Marketing Design Secrets That Help Get You Noticed

I decided to mix it up a bit and take a session at the 2012 Special Event show that didn’t have anything to do with flowers and more with what I do for Mayesh Wholesale Florist – marketing!  The session was called “Top 5 Marketing Design Secrets That Help Get You Noticed” and was given by Laura Cave, the Director of Partner Promotions at theknot.com.  

I wasn’t sure if I would learn anything new and in the beginning, it wasn’t looking too promising, but in the end I did learn a few new things and was reminded of some knowledge that I already knew, but haven’t thought about in a while … so for me, it is a win!

I’m not really sure where the “top 5” part of the session title came from because I didn’t detect a top 5 per se so instead of trying to figure it out I’ve outlined what we reviewed:

  • Photos
    • Only use pro shots – you can often barter with a professional photographer as long as you give credit and link to their site.
    • Stay current within a year or two.
    • Keep images clean – here’s what makes a good photo:
      • sharp focus and detail
      • good lighting
      • natural setting
      • shows off your work – have a mix of photos that show detailed/close-up shots and wide shots
    • Do not show “work in progress” types of photos.
    • Context is king – choose photos according to where they will appear.  I guess for photos this is true, but in my world, “content is king”.  You need to give the viewers what they want to see.
  • Clean web design – often your site may be your first impression for a prospective client and you want to put your best foot forward.
    • Be user friendly … “why play hard to get”?
      • use clear calls to action
      • make it easy for the user to contact you or find your contact info
      • NO flash intros … In my humble opinion, flash intros are pretty, but usually have no value, so why waste your visitors time?
      • Edit your copy by cutting it down by half.  Trust me, I know that is difficult, but necessary because people don’t read.
      • Use easy to read font.  Please do not put your main content in some funky font that looks cool, but is hard on the eyes.
      • Make sure all of your link works.  I know this can happen from time to time, but be vigillent. 
      • Use video – if done properly, people love video and they can get a great sense of your business.  Here is an amazing example of how a video can really sell what you and your business is all about.  I viewed this video for a different session, but thought it really fits in well here.  Not only does this video show off Darryl & Co’s work and gives the viewer a good sense of the owner, but it portrays emotion.  I got all teary eyed watching it for the first time and isn’t that what you want from your prospects?  To be emotionally engaged with you before they even contact you?   https://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=2197871946862

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    • Example

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  • Print materials
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    • Above are example of Queen City Cookies business cards, mailers which all coordinate with their website.  The postcards do a great job in making your mouth water – beautiful print work.
    • American Club Resort – created a print brochure showcasing the bride’s day from start to finish on the day of the wedding with beautiful print photography (below).

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  • Email Basics
    • Don’t put important messages in an image because if a user looks at a text version of an email or one with the images stripped out, they will be missing important information.
    • Theknot.com people have found that text on the left with images on the right perform better.
    • The maximum width of an email should be 600 pixels.
    • Do not use background images.
    • Have a strong call to action.  The picture below is pretty blurry, but you can clearly see what the company wants you to do in both examples – “enter now” and “RSVP Now!”.DSCN0163
  • Logo Basics 
    • As with your photos, web design, print materials, your logo should also be examined every so often.  You need to ensure that you logo works well:
      • on both white and colored backgrounds
      • large and small sizes
    • If you decide to reconsider your logo, here are a few items you should consider:
      • readability (simple is always better)
      • multiple versions for multiple uses
      • no animations
      • have several vertical and horizontal versions
    • Use vector art of your logo (e.g. Adobe Illustrator) because it is infinitely scalable from business cards to billboards without having to make any edits.
    • Never delete or save over your original files.
    • 300 dpi (high resolution) is perfect for printing.
    • Below is an example of a logo in which was reduced in size, picture A.  But upon examination, one will notice that although the font had not been changed the line looks much lighter.  So the designer knew that she needed to increase the heaviness of the line so that it looks the same as the bigger logo.

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  • Create an asset library – an area to keep key files you will need to create marketing materials or to provide to third parties.
  • Copy document – create a document with all of your key business copy (business description, bios, key marketing language)
    • edit the copy and keep for marketing use that way you know you will not have any errors in your copy.
  • Great tools
    • Dropbox – a great way to share files, store your digital assets and copy documents.
    • Need a new, updated site?  Check out:
      •  SquareSpace – you can build your own website and customize it without the help of a developer.  From the reviews that I saw, this seems to be THE place to go right now for a beautiful and professional looking site.  Remember, even just using a basic template, but having gorgeous and professional photographs will make all of the difference.
      • WordPress – this was once used for blogs, but not any more.  You can build an entire website using this site.
    • I found out about moo.com from a photographer friend of mine and love their site and their products.  Be sure to check them out for your printing needs or for inspiration!
    • 4by6 is another service to create and order your printed materials from.  I don’t know much about them, but looking at their site they have a ton of great educational material about photography, color & art and also some great inspirational goodness!

The moral of the story is that you need to invest in your marketing so that they truly fit your brand.  Think of what your brand should portray and really examine your materials to ensure that they align.  If they don’t, then this article outlines some easy steps to get you where you need to be so that you can make the best impression on your prospects and current customers.

Have any questions or comments?  Have you gone through a business marketing makeover with success?  I want to hear all about it.  Hit me up in the comments below!

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Tags: the special event,marketing,theknot.com,photography,web design

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