The vital role of collaboration between graphic designers and content marketers
 

Producing great content is all about the perfect collaboration between designers and marketers. A poor relationship between the two, however, can lead to disastrous outcomes. In this article, you’ll learn about some of the common problems that can occur when this process goes wrong and how to overcome them.

 

Poor collaboration leads to poor result

In a survey conducted by Fierce Inc, they found that after talking with over 1400 employees, 86% of them cited lack of collaboration for workplace failures. 92% also agreed that hitting or missing a deadline will affect bottom-line results.

This is due to the ripple effect poor design collaboration can cause. Bad communication between teams leads to a lot of time being wasted. This then leads to deadlines being missed, a failure to hit targets, and additional revenue losses.

The causes of bad design collaboration

Differing focus is one of the first ways that collaboration can break down. It’s important to be aware that both marketers and designers have their own focus. Marketers want to attract new leads and turn them into customers. Designers on the other hand are thinking about what thoughts and emotions the work generates for people.

Another pitfall to watch out for is the Silo Effect. Marketing and design are often separated into different teams, and to make matters worse many tasks like content writing can be outsourced. The separation can then be further exacerbated by differences in management style or physical distance. This type of isolation can lead to breakdowns in communication which end up hurting both teams.

No alignment between teams is the next cause. Having a shared goal or vision can be tough for two siloed teams. Sometimes the priorities will seem vague and unclear. A good way to avoid this is with a creative brief which will help get marketers and designers on the same page. But fair warning, a creative brief is not a cure-all. According to research by Visually, only 23% of designers believe that marketers do a good job briefing the project clearly. Meanwhile, less than 40% of marketers say that designers did a good job following a brief.

The last common problems are poor feedback, a lack of organization, and changes in scope. Both sides can be slow to provide feedback and only 30% of designers claim that marketers are good at giving feedback consistently and clearly. Scope changes mid-project can also be a disaster as one side underestimates how much work or time new changes will take. This can often result in poor performance or even burn out.

Finally, there’s disorganization. Everyone has their way of naming and distributing files. Multiple channels of sharing and an abundance of files can leave you wasting an inordinate amount of time searching for the right file.

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Fixing Poor Collaboration

Firstly, you need to share knowledge of key terms so that both sides can understand what the other side is saying. Speaking the same language will help you avoid mistakes and work more efficiently. Next, you want to avoid isolation wherever possible. Have the teams work in close proximity to encourage communication.

Another way is to make sure both teams share the same clear goal in the creative brief. You can also expand on that even further by adding visual references to the brief to speak the designer’s language. But if there’s a problem, asking questions is essential for gaining clarity. The problem is that currently, only 51% of marketers claim that designers make an effort to get that clarity.

Then there’s setting realistic expectations, scheduling regular updates, and providing actionable feedback. Only 27% of marketers think designers are good at staying ahead of problems. This is where realistic expectations come in. You need to try and predict both potential future problems and how much revision will be needed to ensure deadlines are being met.

Scheduling regular meetings are important to make sure the project is on track and targets are being met. With these consistent updates, both teams have the chance to bring up any problems they’re having and to hear valuable feedback. But remember that when offering feedback, you start with the project goal in mind. Try to see how the customer would see it and talk about what is working as well as what isn’t. When receiving feedback, you should be open to criticism and avoid taking any comments personally.

In Conclusion

Both sides are needed for great content. Design without marketing is like an empty box in pretty packaging. It’s devoid of substance and leaves nothing for the customer to engage with. Marketing without design is almost the complete opposite whereas poor presentation means your great marketing gets ignored. Effective communication is what leads to great collaboration and high-value content.

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This post was submitted by Scott Stevens

Scott Stevens is the CEO of a content writing service called The Content Panel. He’s a bookworm who’s addicted to the sound of his mechanical keyboard and messing around with general wordsmithery.

 

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