How Design Plays a Role in Marketing

Design is actually a critical part of any marketing strategy or campaign. There are many reasons as to why it’s important, but in very basic terms, people respond to visuals. The first, immediate impression that customers make is most often based on a visual aspect of the campaign such as the logo or the website. This can be broken down into several points.

The Brand

Every company has a brand, and every brand has a message to deliver to their customers. It might be that they want their customers to associate them with great value for money, or high-quality products, or luxury items. Regardless of what other association the brand has, it should always be associated with trust. Customers buy from companies that they trust. While a marketing campaign could be promoting a specific product or solution, it is still promoting the brand. All the materials should be in keeping with the brand’s core message and values, and look and feel professionally designed. Poorly designed marketing materials look unprofessional and can tear years of work apart, and damage the standing and regard that the company held with its customers. 


For any marketing strategy or campaign to be successful, it has to reach the target audience. The best, and most memorable campaigns, are the ones that are well designed and designed specifically for the target audience. They are also unique. Many companies believe that their campaigns should follow the formula of marketing within their industry, so as to avoid any confusion, and clearly show the audience what they do. However, the most successful marketing campaigns are completely unique and trendsetting, not trend following.

A Better Message

As said above people respond to visuals. We’re attracted to color and images. We also remember it better. When we hear information, we can recall about 10% of it. If we see it with a relevant image, we remember about 65% of the information. This means that we’re much more likely to remember a marketing campaign, and therefore, the company if they use good design and branding.


The design, look and feel of the website can have an effect on the conversion rate. Stanford University’s Web Credibility Research showed that 46% of web sales are lost because the site didn’t have critical elements that influence customer decision, and builds trust. There are a few reasons for this, but the number one reason was that the site was poorly designed, and looked unprofessional.

Bad Design is Bad For Business

Poorly designed branding, marketing, and websites don’t convey the message the company wants the customers to receive. Dylan Browne, from A Plus Digital  said that design has proven that it provides a return on investment, because of how the design influences customer decisions. A 2008 study took a badly designed website, redesigned it, and found that it averaged more than 80% ROI after the redesign. This study clearly shows the effect that design has on businesses. He also said that as the design incorporates everything, from websites, to adverts, to call to action buttons, to physical materials, it is much more important than many companies realize. 


This is similar to the previous point, but it bears repeating. A company that recognizes the importance of design and uses good, professional design to their advantage will be seen as more credible. Consumers who see a company as being credible will also see them as being trustworthy, and they are much more likely to make purchases from companies they see as being trustworthy.

Statistics show that design-led companies are outperforming companies that don’t put as much effort into design. The internet has meant that the competition is much greater, and companies are no longer competing on a local, or even national level, but on an international level. This new level of competition means that design-led companies are putting more effort into their marketing, branding, and online performance across all devices and consumers are reacting positively to this. These companies have greater market share, with some statistics quoting it as being 1.5x greater. These companies are investing in customer experience, and they are making efforts to form more lasting relationships. Design is a massive part of this, and this is why some of the most successful Fortune 125 companies are hiring designers in CEO and senior-level positions. Design is such an important part of the marketing efforts of any company, and it communicates the impression customers should have of the brand. There is also a lot of psychology behind the design. Everything has an impact from the colors, and their connotations, to the shapes, used, and even the space and placement of the objects, images, and copy. It is one of the key factors in what drives a customer to buy the product or solution, or what drives a customer to buy the product or solution of a competitor.