Putting customers at the heart of design

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James Smart Senior Designer & Illustrator at Ruddocks

James Smart

In: News 

Businesses often talk about how important the customer is and say that they place them at the forefront of their marketing strategies.

After all, if they don’t take their customers into consideration, they can’t effectively create products or services and won’t make sales.

However, when it comes to marketing materials, many remain ‘organisation centric’. They believe that their priority should be showcasing what they can offer, how they stand out from their competitors and their unique qualities.

This is often reflected in the language they use, their positioning and even the design and layout of their print and digital media materials. When it comes to setting a creative brief, many suggest a particular colour or font because it’s the managing director’s favourite colour, not because of any insight into the customer’s needs and wants.

By doing this, they miss out on a greater opportunity to boost their branding strategy and connect with their ideal customers. They are unable to truly solve their problems or optimise their ROI. Potential sales suffer and the business can’t achieve its full potential.

Customer-centric design is a solution that allows businesses from all sectors to optimise their marketing strategy, build brand recognition and trust, as well as deliver better ROI.

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Why customer-centric design?

For businesses to connect with their target customer and enhance the overall user experience, they need to shift their focus.

By putting themselves in their customers’ shoes and viewing things from their perspective, they can take away the guesswork and create optimal solutions that deliver results.

This encourages your customer to engage more deeply with your products or services and more likely to become a loyal customer who believes in your vision.

A customer-focused design strategy is a missing element that will accelerate your marketing activities for improved growth.

How do you make the customer your priority in the design process?

With the right focus, you can design business marketing materials that meet the needs of your customers and develop your relationship.

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Start by understanding your customer and asking yourself a few key questions:

Who are they?

Why are you targeting them?

What are their needs?

What are their goals and how can you help them achieve this?

How will they interact with your solution?

What challenges do they face?

Avoid the guesswork and make sure you have the data to back up your theories. Use your analytics, social media data and surveys to provide your organisation with greater insight that allows you to develop a solid strategy that gets results.

Talk to your customers and then create a customer-focused design for your marketing materials and products that puts you at the forefront of your customers’ minds.

Work with a design and print partner that can help you unearth what matters to your business AND to your customers

In design and print terms, marketing collateral clearly needs to meet several requirements to be effective. Whilst it must, of course, clearly communicate your offering and dial up your brand’s values and single-minded proposition, it must also always keep your clients’ challenges (and your solutions), central at all times. To do this requires real understanding from the outset.

That’s why at Ruddocks, an integral part of our design and print process is the discovery process - a deep dive session with all key stakeholders (including customers where appropriate) that helps us to get under the skin of your objectives and ensure that the end result delivers on all fronts.

Remember, people rarely respond to a pushy approach. Effective marketing assets, whether printed or digital, are not about the sale. They’re about establishing a long-lasting relationship and articulating how you’re able to meet their challenges and reach their goals. They’re about telling your story in an engaging and memorable way - a way that your audience can relate to. Put your customers at the heart of your design and print decisions and the sales will follow organically.

Ruddocks can help you design outstanding marketing materials that speak your customers’ language, get them engaged and allow your business to grow. Contact us now to discover how we can help.