How good design can influence return on investment online

Spending the majority of his career working on brands including M&Co, Playstation, BAFTA, M&S, DFS and Cartier, Doug is a previous co-founder of Shark! Design and Marketing, and now co-founder and creative director of The Bigger Boat. With over 15 years’ experience in the creative industry, Doug has a self-confessed obsession for typography and a keen eye for detail. He specialises in strategically driven concepts that deliver results across all media. Doug wants to continue telling the stories for brands large and small – and truly communicate how they can influence customers’ decisions through creativity.

It’s very easy for organisations to look at design as an added expense, rather than an investment.

A company’s business plan will typically include the costs of staff, infrastructure, and products and services – but why should the creative be seen as an ‘extravagance’ or overlooked entirely?

In fact, design can be the accelerator needed to generate company leads – it can be the difference between brands retaining customers, and their key targets venturing to a competitor, if the overall production hasn’t hit the mark.

Thinking about some of the world’s most profitable businesses – such as Apple, Nike and McDonald’s – it just goes to show just how much importance they placed on executing the concept perfectly. Why? Because they understand that when something looks good, people take notice.

Ultimately, if a brand is using something visual, striking and engaging to tell its desired audience what they need to hear, ROI should soon follow.

Building a brand to keep customers happy

It’s not just about the overall look that strong creative offers – design embodies so much more than that, such as defining a company’s over-arching brand identity.

With a nicely finished product, businesses can begin to understand what interests their audience from their online offering, too. For example, do they stay on certain, striking pages of their website? Were they drawn to downloading the latest guide because of an effective call to action? What did they stay away from, and not seem to enjoy as much?

With something as measurable as design, organisations have the power to glean killer details in understanding a customer’s journey. That information can then be passed onto the marketing and sales departments for analysis, enabling them to tweak their approaches, in order to keep customers engaged and drive further conversions, traffic and ROI.

Embracing a shift in mindset

This all sounds fantastic, but there has been some resistance from designers regarding how much detail they should be factoring in. They’re innovators after all, and working to a brief that puts metrics at the forefront – before anything else – can ultimately stifle any kind of creativity.

However, these professionals should now be using the detail to their advantage. They can set themselves the challenge of producing work that delivers ROI – an extension of the original, creative brief.

Companies are now required to innovate at a rapid rate, in order to keep customers online for longer, and purchase their products and services – this is what a modern-day designer has to embrace too.

It’s up to professionals to shift their mindsets towards the role creative plays in not only a brand’s look, but also in how it generates strong ROI and applies information to benefit the end user in a digitally, data-driven world.

As innovators embrace the knowledge, measurability and overall challenge, organisations must invest in good design to set themselves apart from competitors, and deliver relevant, engaging and killer creative.

Photo by Nikita Kachanovsky on Unsplash

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