Friday, March 16, 2007

Would You Like Fries with That? Is Your Graphic Designer Just an Order Taker

Business owners waste thousands of dollars every year on web sites, brochures, sales flyers, etc. that don’t work. Sadly, these are often projects that shouldn’t have been started in the first place, but no one on their team (or their outsourced graphic designer) advised them it was a bad move. As a result, business owners waste money and eventually become discouraged with taking a proactive approach to attracting new customers – “marketing”. This article focuses on helping you make wiser choices and not wasting time and money when it comes to hiring the right designer for you.

Here’s the inside scoop on hired graphic designers that aren’t experts in marketing (and most of them aren’t): they’re not involved or concerned in whether the design project makes sense for you, if it will be financially worth it, or what kind of positive results you should expect from the design project. The majority of graphic designers are order takers: you tell them what you want created, and they design it. Now your project may be a success or failure, but regrettably, the artist isn’t as much concerned with this - you paid for a design and that’s what you received.

As a business owner spending hard earned money, you can see this poses a serious problem. If you’re like 95% of business owners out there, you don’t know if the marketing design project is going to work for you or not - it’s a gamble, a crapshoot. Wouldn’t it make sense to have someone on your team that can help you select design and marketing projects that will give you the greatest return on your investment rather than an order taker?

Case Study – A Real Life Example:
A client and a good friend of mine was solicited by a “marketing expert/design firm” a few months before we met. My now client was sold a costly marketing plan package that read more like a bad book report than anything of value. Within this report the “expert” highly recommended the client invest a boat load of money on full color brochures, promotional flyers and coupons, “the brochure is marketing collateral that is essential…the brochure acts as a piece of marketing material that can be left behind to potential customers…”

As I read these “would you like fries with that” recommendations, I almost fell out of my chair, “Wait a minute! Before we start spending all of this money on design and printing, shouldn’t we first analyze how these projects will affect the client?”

Before breaking open the piggy bank I suggested that the client take a step back and look at what result these investments will really bring in. Here’s what we came up with: these marketing materials are not effective for the business the client’s in, the client is a high-end vendor so coupons will not support the high-end image, and the client gets business from personal interaction with prospects (within the 30 seconds a personal connection is made with a prospect). Bottom line here is this: the recommendations would have certainly helped out the marketing/design firm, the grateful client avoided over $5,000 in costs that would have done nothing to grow the business.

Why is this important to avoid order takers?
You don’t want to waste money, plain and simple. Unless you’re an expert in marketing, and you know what will work and won’t work, you have to find someone who can help you understand what design projects are worth investing in and which ones aren’t.

You wouldn’t hire a mechanic that knew less about cars that you, so why would you hire someone to help you get more customers that knows less than you?

Instead of guessing or hoping the project will give you a good return on your investment, wouldn’t it be great to know that BEFORE you spend money on it? You make sure your car has enough gas in the tank before you take a trip – make sure your next marketing project has enough in it’s tank to where you want to get to as well.

How can you tell if you have an order taker, and how can you protect yourself?
If you suspect you’ve hired an order taker, ask her/him these questions. If the questions are not answered to your satisfaction – run like heck, and hire an expert who can help you!

* Can you provide me with any direction or wisdom as to why my project may or may not work for you?

* What should I be aware of before I have a project like this designed?

* Can you help me understand how this project is going to be used so I get the best return out of it, and how it should fit into my marketing strategy?

* How will you evaluate your success on my project: by the results I get or if you designed something visually interesting?

* Can you provide any past examples of projects that have worked out well for other your other clients? Can you explain why you got the results they did?

* Are my business growth and financial goals for this project realistic?

* If you were me, would you invest in this project, WHY or WHY NOT?

Keep in mind, if a designer could really help business owners choose the right projects that yield the highest return on investment, do you think they’d be charging bargain prices or working at a quick copy place? No. Discount designers are always an option but you do get what you pay for – an order taker.

Business owners would probably pay someone good money who could help them invest in effective projects rather than waste money. So you have to ask yourself, if a designer is charging bargain prices, what’s the likelihood she/he will be an expert versus an order taker?

A business savvy graphic designer is often a contradiction in terms; however, Jeremy is a unique combination of sharp business marketer and creative designer. This one-two punch provides clients with targeted marketing, advertising and design projects that yield outstanding results and a terrific return on their investment; they actually work. Companies looking to feel more confident and credible with their business brand, tired of getting lost in a crowd of competitors and always feeling like they have to compete on price, need to call Jeremy at 480.391.0704.

If you are looking for more free insight and inspiration, you’ll want to get in on the “Can-Do Confidence Builder”. Emailed weekly, the Confidence Builder provides you with essential marketing and design insights that help you get the most out of your investment and help you to stay one step ahead of the competition. Email Jeremy at and asked to be added to our list or visit

By: Jeremy Tuber

No comments: