With so many moving parts in a marketing campaign, managers can be forgiven if there are instances of design inconsistency across platforms. These moving parts include — but are certainly not limited to — things like elements within your Web site: home, landing, shopping cart pages, etc. Then you have to worry about the CTAs and display ads. Then there's social media, which is an entirely new challenge, making sure your campaign is consistent across Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. Oh, and did we mention mobile?
Bottom line: ensuring marketing campaign design consistency can be difficult, but it's worth your time. Here's why.
Customers Are a Savvy Bunch
The ever-changing world of inbound marketing is built on the idea that businesses need to vie for the attention of increasingly sophisticated customers. You know all too well the various ways in which prospects can research your firm, and you also know that customers have become used to highly seamless and professional Web experiences. Call it the Amazon "One-Click" effect.
Back in the early days of online shopping, users had to jump through many hoops to get to the desired check-out page. Amazon rolled out its "One-Click" shopping tool and made purchasing goods online a painless and brief endeavor. Other companies followed suit, and so did marketers. In other words, the bar has been set high across all elements of the customer purchasing experience, including marketing campaigns. As a result, marketers have to deliver a consistent voice across all of these aforementioned channels to gain the trust of savvy prospects. If only it was as easy as simply placing an ad on a billboard!
The Financial Impact of Design Inconsistency
At the end of the day, why is marketing campaign design consistency so important? The short answer: given customers' increased sophistication, coupled with their short attention spans, failure to ensure marketing campaign design consistency can affect your bottom line. It starts when people get confused. Or when prospects get turned off by what they perceive to be an amateurish campaign. Or a combination of the two.
Let's take an example. Say your home page has a sidebar talking about a new promotion. The viewer clicks on it and is taken to landing page, yet the new page looks slightly different from the sidebar promotion. The colors are slightly altered. The font changed. The viewer is sophisticated enough to realize they're still on the proper destination page. They also know they haven't fallen prey to some sort of scam, however, it just doesn't "feel" right. It seems unprofessional and unserious. This aesthetic discrepancy makes the viewer second-guess the product, service, or promotion.
And Don't Forget Mobile
On a more tangible level, ineffective design can prohibit prospects from converting. The classic case of this is when firms fail to optimize the mobile interface. Sure, a firm can have an intuitive check-out process for prospects who view a page on a desktop machine. But is that process equally seamless on mobile devices? And we're not talking about the ease of which a prospect can navigate a check-out process, but rather, the extent to which the mobile campaign "experience" seamlessly integrates with other delivery channels so the prospect feels secure in terms of what they're purchasing and the professionalism of the firm itself.
But that's just our opinion. What do you think? Has your firm worked to ensure design consistency across your marketing campaigns? What platforms are particularly problematic in terms of ensuring consistent design?