The Marriage of Marketing and Design
April 8, 2022

The Marriage of Marketing and Design

Marketing and design are often thought of as totally separate schools of thought. There is often jostling for more importance in a business for either department (especially around budgeting time). The hard fact is that they are as important as one another. In business, the two are in fact a successful partnership . They complement each other and when disconnected, it’s easy to spot the problems that arise. . 

Marketing and design are a pairing that bring out the best in each other, and we’re going to tell you why. 

Why Marketing?

When we talk about marketing, it’s best to think of it as everything that is in between making something well designed and the sale of a product or service. The conversation is around understanding the audience and targeting and the resulting copy, funnels, the brand and conversions. However, if we talk about the same project from a design perspective we mention things like emotion, the experience, hierarchy and purpose. 

These differences in focus can lead us to believe that marketing and design have very little to do with one another, when in actual fact the two make a great marriage. Good communication and action resulting in successful longevity. What truly binds marketing and design together is their common end goal; to convert a consumer and to make sales. It’s the method in which these different departments go about achieving this goal that makes them so different. 

One without the other 

In a business context, design without marketing feels unmotivated. Why create beautiful, engaging designs if nobody is going to see them? Any good design is only great once people can see it and appreciate it. So it has to get out there.

Similarly, marketing without design is dull, lifeless and unlikely to grab the attention of a consumer. Marketing is the idea and the message, but that means nothing without an interesting vehicle to deliver that message. 

If you saw this in a shop window would you even look?

A marketing plan with a solid idea, clever copy and the best targeting will not be successful if it doesn’t perform well. And what aids in ensuring that performance, is a clever and beautiful design to deliver the messages well as a good communication plan.

An awesome, interactive and creative landing page will fail if the content isn’t driving conversions and engaging with the viewer. Or a great design with poor targeting won’t reach anyone. 

How they work together

Marketing involves doing research to discover the unmet needs or wants of consumers. Design must then strategise to meet these unmet needs in a way that the consumers can relate to. Marketing needs design to appeal to the eyes, hearts and minds of their target market. 

Think about the famous brands that you know, what comes to mind first? For most of us, it’s the logo or their brand colours or a clever ad. How that brand looks and what you remember is credited to design, the fact that the logo or ad is everywhere and you can recognise it, is marketing. It really is a successful union.

Examples – Coca Cola, McDonalds, Apple

Without any context, you know exactly what brand this is. That is a perfect partnership between marketing and design.

Design and marketing are interdependent on each other. While these different areas use different tools to achieve the same thing, they can benefit tremendously when working together right from the beginning. If your usual method is for the marketing department to come up with the concept and then pass along to design to execute it, try brainstorming together from the get go. It’s likely that your combined expertise and ideas will result in a more effective and relatable message. The execution of a marketing campaign is integral to how the message is received, when you have a designer considering the execution from the beginning, you’re likely to create something really special. If you use a marketing and design agency, make sure their key players communicate. 

Design isn’t just pretty, it’s structured and planned in a way that best communicates its message. It conveys meaning and makes things easier to understand. Think of a large paragraph of text compared to an infographic. A message can be delivered in many ways and the fine art of a good agency or interdepartmental business is finding the best tools for the purpose and implementing these successfully.

Clever marketing doesn’t work just because it’s clever, just as beautiful design doesn’t work just because it’s beautiful.

If you enjoyed the read, subscribe to our blog to get weekly posts just like this. 

Kayla Manfredo


Kayla is our head designer and blog post gal. She works hard every week to bring you new and exciting posts along with Vanessa, who talks about marketing, and Mirko, who talks about buisness.


For inside information, subscriber only tips and tricks, as well as updates on our weekly posts!

The ZenZero website design process

The ZenZero website design process

In this blog post, our head designer Kayla, will be lifting the curtain that too many designers have self imposed. We will be giving you an in-depth look at how we designed the website for one of our amazing client

read more
Design as a career – Where to study in Johannesburg

Design as a career – Where to study in Johannesburg

We wanted to make things a little easier on our fellow and future designers by providing you with a list of universities and colleges that offer design courses and degrees in Johannesburg. We’ll also be giving you an inside scoop from our head designer on just how different the working world is from your studies. 

read more
How to create a CI for your brand

How to create a CI for your brand

It can be daunting to think about creating a corporate identity for your brand. What do you do first, how do you present it, what should and shouldn’t be in it? We’re taking away the stress with this comprehensive 7 step guide on how to create a CI for your brand and know what to ask your design and web agency for.

read more


Everything we do is with a client-first approach. Our unique online project tracking system ensures our clients know what is happening day or night. The ZenZero Agency Team is always on hand to assist and strive to create a positive social impact through additional charity work.

ZenZero Agency – Changing the World – One Creative at a Time.

Let's chat about your next project.

+27 11 (0) 568 4245

Koester Close, Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa

BPC REPORT 4: 1.2.0 Free 04/10/2023 19:10:41 Active Has SSL Checklist Table Built