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9 tools to bring designers and marketers together

November 12, 2020

The relationship between marketing and design teams is notoriously bad. Designers get angry that a landing page got shipped without being pixel perfect. Marketers feel like the design process takes way too long when they need to experiment fast. Hours are wasted going back-and-forth on the final copy. Each teams run their own user research which they fail to share with each other at the end.

The good news is that it doesn't have to be like this. First of all designers have to understand that the goal of the marketing team is not to ship ugly landing pages but to experiment quickly and learn what works. On the other hand marketers have to acknowledge that good design takes time and start planning accordingly.

Once we all understand what the different teams are trying to achieve, a lot of things will suddenly become much easier. On top of that, there are also tools we can implement to supercharge the collaboration.

Design process

Involving stakeholders in the design process early on reduces the number of iterations that you will have to go through. With the rise of web based tools that are specifically made for collaboration, this has never been easier. Just remember to stick to your domain. Leave usability and visuals up to the designers and focus on the messaging and your overall goal.

Miro

Miro

Price: Free or $8-$16 a month per member based on your plan

For larger projects it's necessary to get everyone on the same page before creating any visual. Miro is a great tool for running all sorts of workshops and brainstorming sessions. Especially now that we are all forced to work remotely.

Figma

Figma

Price: Free or $12-$45 a month per editor based on your plan

Sketch versus Figma is a hot topic in the design community. If you design in a silo then it's more of a personal preference. If you want to involve the entire team in the design process, than Figma is the way to go. It works for people who don't have a Mac, just open the link in your browser and contribute.

Webflow

Webflow

Price: Free or $12 to $45 a month per site based on your plan

When creating marketing a marketing site, Webflow allows you to condense the entire design and development process into a single tool. Designers can build the pixel perfect design without knowing how to code and marketers can change copy or images without going through developers. If you are looking for a CMS to build your website with then I can highly recommend Webflow.

Collecting feedback

Important part of improving how design and marketing works together is streamlining how feedback is collected. There is many tools that are solving this problem really well, yet majority of feedback is given over Slack, email or collected in a separate Google doc.

Avocode

Avocode

Price: $15 to $29 a month per user based on your plan

Avocode is mostly meant to simplify handing over designs to engineerings. However you can also use it to make copy changes directly in the original design file, reducing the endless back-and-forth. There is a functionality to leave comments similar to Zeplin or InVision as well.

Pastel

Pastel

Price: Free or $49 to $249 a month based on your plan

Feedback can't only be constrained to the beginning of your design process. Often only after seeing the design come to life you realise a certain interaction isn't clear enough for example. That's where a tool like Pastel comes in. It allows you to leave feedback or propose copy changes on any live website and share it with your team.

Managing brand assets

Brand consistency is a challenge and it doesn't get easier with a growing team. Making sure logos, colors or fonts are easy to find and use is the first step. You want to empower non-designers to create their own content but not run with their creativity too far at the same time.

Brandy

Brandy

Price: Free or $10 a month based on your plan

Shameless plug as you are already on our website. Brandy is an easy to use brand asset manager. Add all your logos, colors, fonts or photos and get a customizable link to share with your team. With the built-in file converter it's easy for anyone to export vector files as images without asking designers.

Bannerbear

Bannerbear

Price: $29 to $149 a month based on your API usage

Bannerbear allows you to create dynamic images or videos from custom templates without any code. You can use it to auto-generate hundreds of social media visuals, ecommerce banners, podcast videos without much effort.

Documenting user research

The best way to build something people want is to know their problems in extreme detail. If your teams talk to users often you are already on the right track. Next step is to make sure that all the insights from these interviews are documented and shared with the rest of the company.

Canny

Canny

Price: $50 to $200 a month based on your plan

Canny is a great tool to collect and organize feedback from your users as well as your team. The nice thing is that people can simply upvote and leave comments on issues they feel strongly about. Over time you will build a comprehensive list of common pains prioritized based on their frequency.

Dovetail

Dovetail

Price: $100 to $600 a month based on your plan

Dovetail is probably best tool out there if you want to get serious about user research. It allows you to store all of your research data, video recordings, and insights in one searchable repository.   Turning long interviews into actionable insights for the rest of the team is still very hard but less so with Dovetail.

Suggest a tool

Have any other tools or processes that helped you loosen the tension between your designers and the marketing team? Email us your tips at adam@trybrandy.com.

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