5 Ways Marketing & Design can collaborate to build high-growth products

Posted on  8 June, 2022


Philip Kotler was once cited by my Marketing Professor – “Who should ultimately design the product? The customer, of course“.
Marketing is all about telling stories and communicating them to the rest of the world in a unique way. Whereas, design is all about creating meaningful and enjoyable products for users. Design communicates a brand, whereas marketing creates interest in it. Imagine the powerful combination that can be created if the silos between marketing and design teams are broken down. Yes, we are referring to marketing and design collaborating to scale high-growth products.

Significance of this Collaboration

To all the designers reading this, you may be thinking you need a marketing strategy if your design is fantastic. Meanwhile, marketing folks might be thinking about why this collaboration is necessary.

Combining digital design and marketing will help you not only to provide an amazing product but also to boost engagement and user acquisition over time, resulting in product growth. The final result of this cross-collaboration will reveal that both these functions are dependent on each other. It’s all about the sync and collaboration between both fields.

But this isn’t just any cross-collaboration; it must be done well, with a focused team and a well-defined goal. Each step in this partnership is meaningful. Here are 5 ways to consider this collaboration. Let’s jump into it.

 1. Define your target audience/customer persona 

Personas play a crucial role in product development. It is a snapshot of your ideal customer. It aids user research teams in making the best decision for the relevant audience. Knowing who you are creating for is just as important as what you’re creating. Should these personas, however, be separated depending on their functions? Definitely not, since it’s perplexing, time-consuming, and takes you off the proper track.

Now if this situation arises, what can be done? We can, instead of building two separate personas for marketing and product design, create one shared persona.

When establishing personas, it’s important to bear in mind that they should be reliable, because a faulty persona might result in a failed product creation.

2. Develop a Marketing Strategy 

 Start early – a well-detailed marketing plan at the beginning of the design process will help in offering better insights to the teams. Early market planning helps in a better understanding of the users.

What is a marketing strategy? It’s the blueprint of everything you want to do to market your product. It should be planned and designed in consultation with your team. When you have the appropriate map, you have a far better chance of accomplishing your business goals. What you need to do is probably in your head, but writing it down and defining it will help you deliver it.

Impact of the right marketing strategy on product development and growth

Without the right marketing methods to fuel your growth, making a profit and staying afloat is practically impossible. When most firms set goals, they immediately focus on the tactics that will help them achieve their objectives. Rarely do firms begin by formulating a strategy that drives it all; one that will guide you along the way.

There’s a good probability that marketing and design teams may deviate from the business goals during the process. A clear and informed strategy will help in filtering out distractions and less effective tactics. Robust marketing strategies will help you in reaching your target audiences. It will also guide you in every business decision that you make.

In a collaborative environment, both the marketing and design teams should work together to come up with the right strategy for the product.

3. Collaboration during every step of the product development

Consider a scenario in which distinct functions (all working toward the same objective) work independently. During the product development process, there will be back-and-forth scheduling of meetings, emails, and miscommunication, among various other things.

Now, consider a scenario in which these teams have been working together since the beginning of the product development process.

Which scenario do you believe is the most ideal? It’s definitely the latter, in my opinion! When teams collaborate, they are more likely to arrive at solutions more quickly. Marketers, UI, and UX  designers will find themselves working closely together in this cross-collaboration. An overall enriching experience will arise from proper alignment between marketing and design teams during each step.

  • Include key players in the collaboration process.
  • Communicate goals to every team member.
  • Examine the problem statement from various perspectives.
  • Come up with multiple solutions to the problem. 
  • Identify which solution will have maximum impact across all teams.

Having a clear goal, setting realistic expectations, and discussing progress together can all help to ensure proper collaboration. Also, make sure that both teams are aware of the key terminology before you start working on the project. Create a shared document that contains all of the expectations and requirements for cross-collaboration. This can act as a manual,  in case something goes wrong or if there’s any ambiguity.

4. Marketing/User Insights

The audience’s feedback tells us what kind of user experience they’ve had before. It assists in the collection of data on what may be improved, differentiating techniques that can be used, and what people expect from the product.

The marketing team’s job is to deliver information on the current market scenario and how it looks. The design team would then work with this information and creatively process it.

For example, Uber Eats had released a revamped consumer-facing app with improved graphics and animations. These animated visuals, which feature bright mixing bowls and culinary equipment throughout the prep phase and cute miniature delivery bags full of food, give the app a friendlier image. At the same time, they assist in keeping the user informed about the status of their order at various stages of the delivery process.

Using these insights and creative thinking, both marketing and design can have a better understanding of one other. The final product should be compatible with the individuals who will use it. Understanding your audience helps in targeting and identifying their needs.

5. Fix the Disconnect 

It is critical to bring teams together in order for them to operate together without friction. As the teams come from two distinct backgrounds, there’s a strong likelihood of them clashing.

A sense of togetherness can be generated if both teams collaborate to improve their performance. Focusing on performance can help teams work collaboratively to address problems more effectively. We have content and strategies in marketing, but without outcomes, it is simply not successful. Similarly, if the landing page isn’t engaging and converting users, it doesn’t matter how original or eccentric the design is.

Between the teams – it’s important to remember that Communication is Key. Collaboration happens when team members feel that they can be vocal about their thoughts and ideas. It is important to have a continuous flow of information taking place. This ensures that each team better understands the other. If the teams are operating from the same office, they could be seated together throughout the project. If they’re working remotely, they should have a common communication medium, such as an instant chat, rather than relying on email. Effective communication is what leads to greater collaboration and higher performance.

To sum it up

I’m sure you’ve realized that to scale your product’s growth, you’ll need a combination of design and marketing to effectively reach out to users. Stop thinking of these two departments as different silos. Great content comes from a seamless collaboration between designers and marketers. The significance of teamwork has been brilliantly summed up by Henry Ford: “If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself”. When a marketing and design team collaborates, incredible results can be achieved. If you’re looking for a team to help you build your product, please visit our page or send us a message, and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.