As marketers, one of the more challenging aspects of our work is to balance the many creative ideas our teams have and the myriad experiments we wish to deploy with the always limited set of resources (including people’s time and budgets). Enabled with the right tools and skillsets we can do anything, but we can’t do everything. At least not all at once.
It can be difficult to justify a line item in your budget for outside design services when you have a great in-house design team. You’ll probably be asked more than once why the team you have can’t take on the job, or why you can’t just delay the work until your in-house team has the bandwidth. You might also hear concerns from your designers. Will they do work that lives up to our standards? Will it take more work for me to train them on our brand than just doing the designs myself?
Notwithstanding these valid questions, when you’ve subscribed to a design tool from a vendor like Zmags that offers professional services packages, taking advantage of the extra support can make a big difference in your ability to execute against your plans. Building the business case is straightforward once you zero in on the right value being added in your situation.
Some organizations scale their bandwidth by employing agencies to take on entire initiatives (like a rebrand or large campaign), execute against a specific channel or program (like paid advertising management), or provide support with ongoing efforts (like content creation). Many organizations establish fantastic relationships with their agencies, and, in time, they work as a cohesive unit towards common goals. But underneath that growing relationship is a growing number of billable hours - which can be prohibitively expensive for many businesses, especially in a challenging economy.
When what you really need is design support to deliver your planned campaign on time, why pay for all the agency extras and overhead fees? Agencies certainly have their place, but for straightforward design execution, you will typically find Zmags’ Design Services fees to be more economical than going to an agency.
2. You need a quick turnaround
Plans can be disrupted or accelerated for a lot of reasons. Perhaps you want to take advantage of good momentum and turn traction with a new product into record-breaking sales. Maybe you learn about a new event that perfectly fits your brand but is right around the corner. Or, a sudden sick leave arises but the deadline can’t change. Whenever you need to move quickly and can’t compromise or deprioritize other activities, having access to ad hoc designers who can support you in that time of need is a huge advantage. You may not always be able to predict changes to your marketing calendar well in advance, but using Zmags Design Services in parallel to your in-house team can keep your schedule on track.
3. Access specialized knowledge
Your in-house design team are your brand experts. From the colors, fonts, and styles, to the more ethereal “vibe” and what you stand for, they live it daily and can effortlessly create experiences that fit it. But sometimes you want an outsider's perspective. Or somebody who has already done the new thing you’re trying out for the first time. In those cases where you want to tap into experience that simply doesn’t exist within your in-house team, Zmags’ Design Services can bring the guidance and expertise that comes with years of varied engagements with thousands of brands. Having exposure to so many experiences gives our designers not just knowledge of best practices, but also what not to do. Design services goes beyond designing content to providing inspiration, sharing examples, and providing consultation on new or inventive experiences you could try. Having access to that can save you some headaches and ensure your latest experiments live up to your brand reputation.
4. Get more done, faster
Once you find a recipe for success, you’re going to want to repeat it – often. When you try out a new experience design on your website and it drives up conversion rates, you’ll immediately look at where else on your site you can apply the same tactic. Or what else you can do across your site to improve other metrics like engagement. Investing in a platform like Fastr Frontend allows you to experiment with new customer journeys and iterate quickly. But there are still day-to-day activities that need your design team’s attention. And future campaigns to plan for. Sure, you can try to hire more designers, but good talent can be expensive and hard to attract. You may even have a seasonal business that requires a lot of design work around holidays or specific times of year, and you want the freedom to flex with the demand for design work. Anytime you have more work than your in-house team can handle, for any reason, and you simply don’t want to let anything go, Zmags’ Design Services team can help.
Just one example of a company with a great in-house creative team that found itself in need of some extra design support is Carhartt, the nearly 135 year-old work apparel company and one of Forbes 2023 Customer Experience All-Stars. Their Senior Retail Brand Manager Shannon Carney shared, "The Zmags platform has empowered us to build engaging branded content that we can easily publish on national partner's sites. We are able to do so without our team having to design, partner's having to code, and we keep control of the content. As a result, our partners get increased sales, and we get to keep Carhartt's exceptional branding updated seasonally. The Zmags Design Services team is incredible. Their depth of knowledge, creativity, efficiency, and dedication is astounding. Even on tight deadlines, they deliver exceptional content on time. Their vast ecommerce insight goes far beyond design; it encompasses the entire customer journey and has been invaluable."
If you’re considering employing Zmags’ Design Services to help extend your team as you grow your business, we’re happy to help you evaluate your current needs and better define the potential value your company could expect from a short or long-term engagement. Contact us to schedule a chat today.