Small Firms Risk Reputation with DIY Marketing Designs
Small businesses which design their own marketing material in-house need to ensure they do not appear unprofessional – that’s the message from software firm Serif, which found that more than half of small firms do their own designs.
Serif’s survey of 2008 small businesses found that 56% design some or all of their marketing materials such as brochures and websites themselves, rather than pay a professional designer.
Although most believed they were saving money, 28% confessed that they lacked the necessary graphic design skills to do the job properly, and 58% thought that the poor quality of their materials had directly affected the success of their marketing campaign.
“Small businesses needed to be aware of the potential pitfalls of DIY design,”
said marketing agency New Brand Vision’s managing director of brand design, Ben Harris.
“Design might be seen as superficial, but people buy good looking things. Your business card, your brochure and your website build your profile, and if they look unprofessional, you’re going to lose opportunities, particularly when the market is tight and things are competitive.”
Harris added that certain marketing materials carried more weight than others.
“With something like a money-off voucher, or anything that introduces your company to new customers such as a brochure, people just aren’t going to value it in the same way if it’s badly designed or printed on poor-quality paper,”
Despite the importance of having good-quality marketing materials, Colin Hussey, corporate business manager at Serif, said that most business owners were too busy to make design a priority.
But he added that those who felt confident enough to do their own designs in-house could benefit from following some simple rules.
“Branded letterhead and business cards instantly establish a professional image for a small business or start-up – it’s usually the first thing people see. So ensure design consistency and clarity, and consider adding a slogan to make your marketing materials memorable.”
For further business advice see our article on Marketing Strategy.