Why It's Time For Advertising To Reevaluate The Function Of Design

As marketing becomes more complex and fragmented, the customer experience demands consistency more than ever: this is where designers become critical, says Andrew Barraclough, vice president of global design at GSK

Once upon a time, marketing and design were only viewed as two distinct disciplines within companies, sitting in their respective silos. Design was tied to a few specific areas – graphics, furniture, fashion, and products.

Design now permeates all business areas and the way in which people interact with brands – through multiple channels, through different technologies and across numerous products and services – means that design thinking has to be anchored in the entire company and especially in marketing.

Marketing is under enormous pressure – mass personalization, diverse channels and different messages have increased the fragmentation. In this context, marketers need to ensure that a consistent brand image and positioning are maintained.

Therefore, design and marketing need to work together as a strategic lever to build brand loyalty. Because design now encompasses digital design, from user experience (UX) to product, packaging and shopper design. Every customer interaction across these different moments is the brand in action. Only when design is an integral part of the development process can a seamless experience be guaranteed.

Without this structure, an organization runs the risk of working with "silent designers" – unqualified individuals who make design decisions. This can happen because people don't necessarily know that they are design. But every time a website or app is signed out, so does the UI and UI – all design decisions.