A lot of businesses can’t see the difference between marketing and design. After all, most people would rather concentrate on their core business, rather than deal with the complexities of marketing. So, it’s no wonder there’s a little confusion between the two terms. Think of marketing and design like this: say you want to go on a road trip with someone. Marketing is the one who maps out the destination and keeps them on track. The design person has a good sense of direction once the route is charted out, and finds things to enjoy on the trip.

The two must work together. While the designer may have a good sense of direction, they need to know the destination.

Marketing involves developing the strategy. Marketing professionals help target audiences and demographics. They evaluate data to determine the course of action in which to develop the tactics and methods for getting to the destination.

Designers understand the psychology of the strategy, creating the materials that will evoke the human connections in that journey in order to make it memorable and worthwhile.

Collaboration between the two is essential for businesses to achieve their marketing goals. Designers need to understand the client’s brand identity and marketing goals. The marketer supplies this information. The marketer, in turn, needs to allow the designer to establish the emotional touch points for the visual tactics that will work.

After all, what good is a road trip if there’s nothing to see along the way? Conversely, what good is the scenery if you run out of gas and get stuck on the side of the road?

That’s why it’s important to know what you need: a design firm vs. a marketing firm – or one that handles both.