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Marketing Design Dispatch

How well do you understand marketing strategy?

Issue #118

Well I mean, the question is in the subject line. How well do you understand marketing strategy Reader?

In this issue I'm sharing some thoughts on how much attention we should pay to this as brand and marketing designers (as well as a great resource you could use to get a little closer to it!)

I'm also sharing a link to a slightly over-sharing video where I reveal exactly what earned in the last 12 months, and the results of a poll I ran in the last issue... let's go!

Building your marketing strategy knowledge

My hot take: 🔥 We cannot be effective brand and marketing designers without understanding the business and marketing strategy our work contributes to. 🔥

I've written before about encouraging designers to get closer to data. But the business and marketing strategies your company uses to build and grow are actually important context for you to have before diving into data.

These strategies set the direction – the road you’re all following together as a team – and the data tells you how well you’re forging that path, and if the turns you’re taking are getting you closer to your destination.

While it’s not your job as a designer to determine these strategies, it is your job to help act on them through your design work.

So to progress in your career, it's worth spending time expanding your knowledge on strategy. Taking the time to ask questions and learn to understand strategy has been vital for my career growth. It's why I was able to make the transition from marketing designer to Creative Director and get that 'seat at the table' that we all crave.

A focus on strategy goes further than understanding the problem you're solving or what success metrics will be used. It allows you to understand why that problem is the one to be solved in the first place, and what other opportunities the solution will unlock.

Here's some questions you could start asking to get a sense of marketing strategy in your company:

  • What does the marketing funnel look like? And what funnel model does the marketing team use? (there are so many options, all with different acronyms!)
  • What channels bring the most traffic to the marketing site?
  • How does the marketing team prioritise work for each channel?
  • What channels convert visitors to customers at a higher rate than others?
  • What are the core challenges the marketing team (and company at large) is facing at the moment?
  • What approach is the team taking to solving those challenges? (What is their hypothesis about the solutions to 'leaks' in the funnel?)

These questions are just scratching the surface, but they should bring you some interesting insights that might help you see your work in a new light.

I've been lucky enough to have several wonderful mentors within ConvertKit who have helped me deepen by strategic knowledge. One of them, Derrick Hicks, recently started a newsletter sharing insights into marketing strategy and processes through examples of real work he's doing at ConvertKit. So if you don't have someone who is excited to answer those questions above for you in your company (or even if you do), you should subscribe to Derrick's newsletter and learn from what he shares!

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Marketing Matters

Derrick Hicks

Elevate Your Leadership Edge with 'Marketing Matters'. As the marketing landscape evolves, so should your strategies. I'm Derrick Hicks, and each week I curate the most impactful insights across marketing, AI, and business to keep you at the forefront. Expect a distilled dose of the latest trends and timeless wisdom that will inform your decisions and sharpen your leadership. Join a community of marketing leaders who are defining the future—subscribe to 'Marketing Matters' and lead with confidence, week after week. 🚀

Is understanding strategy a gap for you right now? If so, I'd love to hear what you're struggling with. I'll be writing about this topic in my upcoming marketing design book so hearing about your challenges would help a lot.

And if this understanding is something you've been able to gain, I'd love to hear what helped things click for you!

Reply and let me know :)

My 2022/23 income report

I publishing my annual income report last week!

Learn what income streams grew and what shrunk as well as what I earned overall in the past 12 months. With real numbers and charts! Read the full report including the expenses breakdown over on my blog, or watch the video breakdown by clicking below

video preview

How much time are you spending in meetings?

In the last issue I ran a poll asking you how long you spend in meetings on an average day. Here's the results!

  • 11.7% spend more than 5 hours a day in meetings
  • Another 11.7% spend 3–5 hours in meetings
  • 34% spend 1–3 hours in meetings
  • A lucky 29.4% spend less than an hour in meetings
  • And an even luckier 13.2% have ZERO meetings on an average day!

I'm in the 3–5 group usually, but there's been more 5+ meeting hours days in my calendar than I'd like there to be recently! I'm working on trying to change that by filling my calendar with focus time blocks.

As you read this I'm on a trip around Spain with my parents, who have come to visit me from New Zealand! Time off always gives me clarity on some things, so I'm sure I'll report back in the next issue about some mental block breakthroughs I've had.

I hope you have a good week!

See you in the next issue,

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