AdvertisingInspirationMarketing

Graphic Design – a good return on your investment?

By April 24, 2014 No Comments

Working for a variety of businesses with their marketing team to create a variety of graphic design needs, from logo design, website designs, email designs and advertising campaigns, I find this question always niggles at the back of my mind:

Did they get a great return on their graphic design investment?

I believe it’s difficult to measure the return on, for example, a new logo design as part of a bigger marketing campaign. Read my previous article from The Design Council research – they have great case studies on large and small businesses ROI.

Some businesses wonder whether using a graphic designer is worth their return on investment. They’re usually concerned about professional design work costing too much, or perhaps they feel they can do the design themselves.

“If you think good design is expensive, you should look at the cost of bad design” Dr Ralf Speth. CEO Jaguar

Hiring a professional designer may save you money in the long run – and it’s also more likely to save you something much more precious to you: your time. Your time is best spent focusing on running your business, not trying to create graphics that a designer could do much better, faster, and cheaper over the long run.

A good designer has the skills and experience, the professional design software, as well as the tools and mindset to develop more polished graphics, logo identities, and branding – in even less time. A graphic designer can also help improve the look and feel of your business – focusing on the vision you have for your business, using their expertise to help create for you a consistently branded identity that will make you stand out from the crowd and communicate value to your market.

So how do you accurately define that a new logo or web design project alone has increased sales?

Working for yourself, it can be hard to try and follow up and keep in contact with clients to get feedback, especially when you’re busy. I have always followed up asking for feedback or a testimonial but what I intend to do more of is ask clients more detailed questions;

  1. “How is your new logo or design layout working for you?” 
  2. “Have you received an increase of new enquiries or sales based on the new design?”
  3. “Do you have any statistics to show –  and what return on your investment did you get?”
  4. “How can we improve areas that are not working?”

These questions can apply to any service business, just amend to fit your specialism.

Once I have completed a brand logo identity, website design or ad campaign, I don’t usually get to hear back from the client until their next project (which shows that I do provide strong design that stands the test of time!). I do get involved in smaller projects or design tweaks, like a business card design or promotional leaflet as part of an ongoing or new brand marketing campaign.

For online media like a new website or e-newsletter design, we can create some very useful testing and refine the design as well as users experience (UX) and user interface (UI) – but this is only useful in large numbers of views.

I now create responsive email designs for clients based on recent studies – one example says that responsive design increases sales in email marketing.

A good example of following up on one of my advertising campaigns for RolandDG that included press and online media. They provide high-performance printers for professionals in the sign and commercial print industries. 

The advertising campaign I initially designed for them, “I’m a Roland User and Proud”  is now being rolled out through all their other marketing and exhibition activities for the second year. I kept in touch and the first year after the initial launch I asked for more feedback on how the advertising campaign went and if there were any stats to show the difference?

“The campaign in 2012 gave us a total of 7,459 click-throughs to our website so far in 2013, since the 4th in the series went live with James from Group101 we’ve had 2,657 click throughs in 4 months so we feel the campaign is still very much generating momentum.”

Do you have a system to follow up clients or customers to see if they got a good return on their investment in your product or service?

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