LLife, love, and the pretentious blog tagline

~ 24 March 2004 ~

Life is good. I couldn’t be happier right now.

Love abounds at home. With an incredible wife and three active toddlers, there’s plenty to go around.

That leaves the pretentious blog tagline.

I figure it’s time I come out of the closet and formally address the objective(s) of Authentic Boredom. Before I do, however, let props be given to D. Keith Robinson’s inspiring “untagline,” which in turn inspired the headline for this entry.

As I refined .AB over the last few months, I often considered placing a tagline somewhere on the site to help first-time visitors understand why they should become second- and third- and many-time visitors. No such tagline yet. You may never see a tagline. Yet I hope the focus of my writing partially or fully nullifies the need for such.

“Call it ‘Veer eye for the marketing guy’ if you must.”

Let’s cut to the chase: I’m just as much a marketing guy as I am a design guy. I love seeing the two disciplines intertwine. Call it “Veer eye for the marketing guy” if you must.

You see, I have relatively little formal training in graphic design (yes, there’s hope for those of you without a BFA). Most of what I know was self-taught, fueled by a creative passion for music and for working with my hands. What I do have, however, is a BS in marketing management from Brigham Young University, with plans for a marketing MBA in the works. SWOT analyses. Porter’s Five Forces. Laddering. It’s all music to my ears.

Therefore, I’m often able to approach a design piece from the viewpoint of the customer. Such an approach is more vital than ever, as recent concerns from Greg Storey, Jason Fried, and D. Keith Robinson demonstrate.

“In addition to asking, ‘Does it validate?’ and ‘Does it render properly in Opera?’ we need to be asking, ‘Is the call to action strong enough?’ and ‘Is the value proposition clearly defined?’”

In short, I long to see greater interaction between marketing and design. I long to see a mutual understanding of both disciplines from both parties. In addition to asking, “Does it validate?” and “Does it render properly in Opera?” we need to be asking, “Is the call to action strong enough?” and “Is the value proposition clearly defined?”

“Allow me to demonstrate with a quick example before stepping down from my soapbox.”

Allow me to demonstrate with a quick example before stepping down from my soapbox.

Last week I posted an HTML email in development (just a giant image right now) at two different forums. One forum is frequented primarily by designers, while the other is frequented primarily by marketers. Check out the surprising differences between the two groups of feedback:

I won’t offer commentary, as I’m both respectful of and grateful to those who provided feedback. But I’m confident you’ll be able to draw your own conclusions as to a possible need for increased interaction between the two parties.

So perhaps sometime down the road you’ll see a tagline on Authentic Boredom that says, “A savvy blend of marketing and design” or something like that. But until then, stick around for plenty more confabulations about life, love, and the pretentious blog tagline.

 

6  Comments

Veer Veer: Visual Elements for Creatives.
Stock photography, type, and killer tees. Genuinely recommended by Authentic Boredom.

1   Tomas ~ 24 March 2004 at 05:20 AM

Perhaps if you had asked twe same questions in the two forums, the answers wouldn’t be so drastically different.


2   pup ~ 24 March 2004 at 07:11 AM

this is quite an eye-opening post. thanks.

is there some kind of “marketing for dummies” book or website that would give a quick crash course on some of the ideas the know-how people touched on?


3   Doy ~ 24 March 2004 at 09:18 AM

Great site, Cameron…and I sympathize with three toddlers. We have two and a new baby girl.

I think forums are interesting places and being a member of one of the ones you discussed, I’m wondering if you might explore the — what I perceive to be — environment of correction that seems prevalent.

I’m all for having peers give you constructive criticism on your work, but I’m finding that when I offer criticism, I’m almost afraid to say something positive. I wonder if such forums develop a culture in which the best rebuke wins?

I did appreciate the marketing forums’ responses. It looks like they were completely intent on helping you sell better and not selling you on their taste.

Do you think the responses were different because the design forum is more subjective (I got a lot of rebukes for using gradients); and the marketing more objective (here are rules that work)?


4   sergio ~ 24 March 2004 at 09:53 AM

Well, I think the responses were warranted. After all, you *did* ask very different questions, and as far as graphic design goes, it’s a very competent layout.

You have a point about the need for exchange of info between disciplines, though. It would seem that as more people become self-contained design units, they take on the roles of designer, information architect and marketer at the same time. And there are very few that can pull that off competently.


5   Keith ~ 24 March 2004 at 11:03 AM

That’s a very interesting example. I myself find that the marketing folks are just as often a thorn in my side as engineering people. I’m in marketing (and have been my last 3 jobs) but I find myself falling somewhere in the middle.

I wonder what you’d get if you posted that example on something more “Web”- centric than How?


6   Cameron ~ 24 March 2004 at 09:13 PM

Tomas said,
Perhaps if you had asked twe same questions in the two forums…

Agreed. I was expecting someone to point that out…

pup said,
is there some kind of “marketing for dummies” book or website…

I actually asked the same question on MarketingProfs a while ago. Read this: http://www.marketingprofs.com/ea/qst_ques…

Doy said,
Great site, Cameron…and I sympathize with three toddlers. We have two and a new baby girl.

How do we do it, Doy?? (At least it’s comforting to know we’re not the only ones.)

sergio said,
It would seem that as more people become self-contained design units, they take on the roles of designer, information architect and marketer at the same time.

Great statement. That’s part of the point I was attempting to make. Just two years ago hardly any of us were asking questions about validation and accessibility. Will it be another two years before we begin asking questions about conversion ratios and value propositions? (BTW, I’m not an advocate of designers becoming marketers and vice-versa, I’d just like to see the two paths cross a little more than they do.)

Keith said,
I wonder what you’d get if you posted that example on something more “Web”- centric than How?

Good question. Any recommendations?




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