Marketing

Marketing tools disrupting the design industry

Michelle Gamble /

How often have you dreaded sending that brief to your marketing agency or designer waiting for the inevitable exorbitant quote to land in your inbox for a relatively simple task?

Does it make you put off undertaking certain marketing activities or making improvements to marketing tools like your website?

Like many other industries, the marketing industry has been undergoing its own quiet disruption over the past few years and the impact for key skills such as designers, web developers and online marketing specialists is enormous.

Any business owner can now get a logo or flyer designed for as little as $5 using online crowdsourcing or design sites. You can design your own creative materials using simple online tools and templates with no design skills.

If you still feel you need to deal face to face with an experienced designer you can find your own freelancer online easily.

Top online design tools:

99designs – is an online crowdsourcing site that allows you to run your own design contest.  Simply fill out a brief, post your contest and the amount you are willing to pay the winning designer.  Watch the designs roll in. If you find a designer you like, you can work with them consistently now using 99designs 1:1 service.

Swiftly– is a new service started by the same team that owns 99 designs. For $US19 you can make quick design changes to marketing material and it’s done within an hour.

Fiverr – is a site that allows you to post a design job for $US5. Choose the designer you want to work with, send them a brief and have them work on a design job for you. Designs can be turned around within several days to several weeks

Elto – formerly known as “tweaky”, this site specialises in open source web development tasks. You can cost-effectively post small web development tasks and online marketing tasks which can be done within days and all managed by an online project manager. 

Canva –is online design software that does not require a designer to use it.  You can use simple templates to create your own customised designs for free. 

Freelancer sites

Online freelancer sites have been around for a while now and services, pricing and quality can vary widely. The outcomes can be patchy though. I know those who love using overseas freelancers and others that have been burnt. Access sites like Odesk, Elance and Freelancer for almost any marketing task.

If you’re looking for more local specialised creative talent, online creative community The Loop could be your answer.

The Loop allows quality creative freelancers to promote their services, upload examples of their work and to apply for jobs and freelance projects.

Similarly companies can promote jobs for freelancers to apply for. It’s now easy to access top creative talent directly; find a highly awarded illustrator, TV producer or copywriter to work on your next project.

A word of warning:

You need to apply the good, fast cheap triangle rule when it comes to using some of these services.

  • If you want it cheap and you want it fast don’t expect it to be good
  • If you want it fast and you want it good don’t expect it to be cheap
  • If you want it to be good and you want it to be cheap don’t expect it to be fast.

Tips for design success:

Have someone manage the projects who knows what their doing. Crap in will still equal crap out. If you’ve got a marketing person on your team give them the tools and let them go. If not you might need to outsource the strategy and project management to a qualified marketing expert.

With these tools there’s no excuse for mediocrity any more when it comes to creating quality marketing materials.

Since starting her outsourced national marketing consultancy Marketing Angels in 2000, Michelle has helped hundreds of small to medium businesses get smarter marketing. Michelle helps businesses find more effective ways to grow their brands and businesses.

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Michelle Gamble

Since starting her outsourced national marketing consultancy Marketing Angels in 2000, Michelle Gamble has helped hundreds of SMEs get smarter marketing. Michelle helps businesses find more effective ways to grow their brands and businesses.

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