Trendwatch: Digital Informs Print Design

As a copywriter by trade, I've come to accept that we live in a world of brevity. Yes, I know "a picture is worth a thousand words." Got it!

In digital, fewer words and more visual interest reign supreme. Think Pinterest.  

One thing that's happening, however, is that the visual emphasis isn't stopping at digital. The way individuals consume content has been upended dramatically. 

A good example is in the recent Advancing Philanthropy Magazine ... Here's the Table of Contents. It looks like a webpage with buttons!


The interior spread takes another spin on readability, with intriguing callouts or summaries throughout. 

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What do you think? What will print design look like in two years?  

Takeaways From Now and Later — Wrapping Up the 2018 KCDMA Symposium


Three writers set out from their cozy midtown agency (heaters turned to full blast in a losing battle against the January chill) to explore emerging – and tried-and-true – marketing trends at the 2018 KCDMA Symposium, “Marketing Now & Later: Planning for the Future.”

Hmm, I could use this for a feel-good screenplay.

Lizzie, Lis and I each came away from the event with a unique list of highlights and learnings.

So here are the golden nuggets I hope will help you now…AND later. (If you can’t take the pun, get outta the kitchen?)

  • In the opening keynote “Focusing on the One,” Ian Baer described how “webrooming” leads customers and constituents to expect seamless navigation between platforms, and information on the same areas of interest across channels. So, forming a cohesive brand and brand voice. Always important, yes?
  • Quinn Tempest, a fellow content marketing maven, was speaking our language. She recommends all organizations spend at least 10 minutes optimizing content for web search…because “the best place to hide a dead body is on page 2 of the Google search results.”
  • Quinn went on to say, “long gone are the days of the marketing department working in its own silo.” Pulling knowledge from all areas and departments inspires exceptional copy.
  • Angie Read, conductor of research and co-author of a new book on Generation Z, shared insight into what motivates the first generation of true digital natives.
    • Members of Gen Z choose companies that align with their personal brand and values.
    • “If you’re going to market equality, you better be sure your organizational model backs it up.”
  • Heather Physioc of VML shared what’s to come in voice search. “If you’re not answering real human questions with exceptional content, you’re veering off the path of righteousness.”

I have quite a bit to chew on from this event. And that’s not even taking into account the dozens of Now and Later candies lining my coat pockets.

Did you attend the KCDMA’s 2018 Symposium? What are your highlights?

Authenticity Reigns Supreme

Ran across this meme the other day, and it really hit home. For so many organizations, there's a big difference between what they are right now ... and what they hope to become.

In organizational messaging, this can make for a dicey interplay. 

On the one hand, you want to put your "best self" forward. On the other hand, as Ogilvy points out, if that marketing is an overstatement, it sets unrealistic expectations. And this can have dire consequences. 

The key is in being genuine ... while not giving up on the aspirations. Don't paint an inaccurate picture. Instead, provide solid information that supports your case, but clearly and thoroughly share the dream, too. Let people be part of that vision on the ground floor.

Take time to experience the path your constituent will take and compare that to the narrative you're sharing. If it's in the digital space, go through the entire process from start to finish ... make the donation ... navigate the website. If it's in person at an event, take time to reflect on how it matches up.

Ask yourself, did you deliver on the promise you communicated?

Adjust your sails the next time you do it, and your constituents will thank you for it.