When to add designers?

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Level 7 - Champion

Re: When to add designers?

Oh yikes, I didn't even think about the velocity aspect. Yep. this.

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Level 6

Re: When to add designers?

The best "integration" of design that I've seen is when the design team works to create an "ecosystem" of visual communication - the bits and pieces (think legos) that can be put together to create different use-case layouts by the Marketing team. A clearly defined set of elements and styles (and some brand enforcement along the way) goes a long way to allow the flexibility that the marketers need when building out new pages without compromising the aesthetics or branding. This might look something like your creative team doing an audit of all the assets (EM, LPs) you're using currently to get a feel for the required bits and pieces. From there, they can work their creative magic to weave all of those assets together - eg, if we do a "Main Headline" anywhere, it's always bold, purple, 32px and Arial font. 

Where I'd expect this to fall apart is when the marketers need an element that doesn't exist in the template / asset already and have to resort to the dreaded one-off. Instead, this is where they can reach out to the design team for a suggestion or have them work on a new solution (element) that fits within the context of your brand ecosystem. If you take the extra time upfront to audit and capture current (and even some future) requirements, you'll really limit the number of times you'll need to create something new down the road.

Two things to try and avoid:

Design-minded (creative) Marketo novices being in charge of creating things in Marketo. They'll usually end up looking good, but often not function as well as if they were built by an experienced Marketo practitioner. 

Experienced Marketo practitioners being in charge of doing creative things in Marketo. They'll usually end up looking really off brand, but will function well in terms of the Marketo-ness of it all.

For my time and money...

I'd task my marketing team with creating a list of examples that point to anything they've used in the past ____ mos. This would look like screenshots or links to all the emails and LPs we'd want audited.

I'd task my designers with an audit of those examples and have them hammer out an ecosystem of elements that could be used (think modules) to create all of the different elements you'd use in any communication (EM or LPs). This would look like everything from headlines to buttons and might include more "complex" components like a "Speaker" block, or "Save the Date" module. In any case, this'll get marketers and creatives speaking the same language and that alignment might go a long way to help your design team's learning curve within Design Studio.
From there, I'd take all of that to an experienced Marketo developer and walk them thru your existing use-cases (Marketing) and your new designs (Creative) and have them build out the technical pieces of each. This'll give you a great foundation to grow upon. Your design team will enjoy the leg-up of being able to start with something solid and learn how their designs translate into Marketo coding as they go, and your marketing team will enjoy the leg-up of having creative resources that can help with quick things in Marketo without having to reach out to a developer. Teamwork makes the dream work!

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Level 7 - Champion

Re: When to add designers?

I'd task my marketing team with creating a list of examples that point to anything they've used in the past ____ mos. This would look like screenshots or links to all the emails and LPs we'd want audited.

I'd task my designers with an audit of those examples and have them hammer out an ecosystem of elements that could be used (think modules) to create all of the different elements you'd use in any communication (EM or LPs). This would look like everything from headlines to buttons and might include more "complex" components like a "Speaker" block, or "Save the Date" module. In any case, this'll get marketers and creatives speaking the same language and that alignment might go a long way to help your design team's learning curve within Design Studio.
From there, I'd take all of that to an experienced Marketo developer and walk them thru your existing use-cases (Marketing) and your new designs (Creative) and have them build out the technical pieces of each. This'll give you a great foundation to grow upon. Your design team will enjoy the leg-up of being able to start with something solid and learn how their designs translate into Marketo coding as they go, and your marketing team will enjoy the leg-up of having creative resources that can help with quick things in Marketo without having to reach out to a developer. Teamwork makes the dream work!

This is a really great way of framing it Dave Roberts‌ - I hadn't really thought of it in this framework, but it aligns pretty closely to the approach I've always found most effective.

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Level 4

Re: When to add designers?

Our designer is involved from the very beginning. She draws out what she wants and then I code it. She reviews it and we change as necessary. When someone needs a module that doesn't already exist, we follow the same process. We have a style guide that determines much of the look of things but she's the one who determines how it should all be brought together. To my understanding, this is the normal procedure in most places. Designers aren't brought in as an afterthought when everything has already been built; they're a member of the team from the start.

I'm the only one where I work with any coding knowledge and we have only one designer so that may make the process easier to follow than it would be for most companies, but not by much.

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Marketo Employee

Re: When to add designers?

Hello Peter,

I am one of the Product Owners with Marketo. I do understand that this post is a couple of months old. My intent here is to understand the usage of editors and to enhance it. I do realise that the tone of the conversation here is a tad bit different, but nonetheless I do feel that there are definitely some areas here that I could focus on. Things like, how can we engage our users within bounds of Marketo and less on 3rd party design tools. Also, what would our users need to get things done within the scope of our editors. 

Also trying to understand- what if a HTML formatter is provided in the editor, would it suffice? Or having a set of predefined templates helps? Please do let me know if we could connect for a discussion to understand your usage more. 

Best Regards,

Vikram R

email: vikram.ramesh@adobe.com

phone: +91 988 607 4356

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Level 6

Re: When to add designers?

Hey Vikram, here's my two cents...

Also trying to understand- what if a HTML formatter is provided in the editor, would it suffice?

I think the biggest help here would be to take the EM 2.0 framework and apply it to landing pages. It's nice to be able to format the html but those tool would probably need to be more open-ended so they could be dialed into more specific brand requirements. The Rich Text Editor is really either A) slowing down anyone who knows html -or- B) confusing a lot of folks that don't know html (things like copy/pasting from word, the way the editor handles styling w/ spans, divs, etc). 
An example of something more like the EM 2.0 framework w/ LPs might be as simple as adding in similar variables - list, number, image - to allow a user to choose a color from a dropdown instead of using the RTE to add add'l html to color the text. There's an idea in the community here:   that's along these lines.


Overall, I think the biggest challenge with designing in Marketo is two-fold -- 1) getting it right the first time (a solid foundation) and 2) being able to make changes that are more "error proof". 
Editing emails was always a pretty thorny subject until EM 2.0 came along and now with the combination of modules and more variables, it's easier to make design-type (color, font-size, etc) changes without impacting the overall code-base. Something like this might be a huge win for Landing Pages as well and address the same problem with a proven solution.

Or having a set of predefined templates helps? 

Templates age.... quickly. I think providing a collection of templates is something that either needs to be more crowd-sourced or maybe something internal that a team would stay up on and support (but this is more expensive for sure). Once upon a time, shortly after the release of EM 2.0, Marketo ran an email template contest that I thought was a pretty good example of how to get the community involved and provide more current template code to "update" the library. Perhaps there could be some kind of "badge" in the community or something that'd help folks who do make templates get recognized and maybe earn some new business in the process. Check out https://themeforest.net/ for inspiration - they're a template marketplace (so maybe some big-picture ideas here) and if you check out any of the templates, you'll notice some badges for the authors that help to "certify" their work over time (eg. "street cred").

Regardless of the approach here, it might also be worth it to think about this issue in terms of "modules" rather than templates -- they're more granular so updates can be singular or en-mass which makes them more manageable and it might also allow users to create their own templates which might be the biggest win overall here. 

In the simplest terms, a "module" would be the same thing as it is for Email 2.0, just for Landing Pages. Maybe in a more "futuristic" application, you could drag-n-drop modules onto a template and those modules would be preset with all the variables, CSS and HTML you'd need for that specific piece. In this way, modules could be used to build templates once the blocks were setup and/or they could be used to add/edit the actual Landing Pages similar to the EM 2.0 experience now.

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Marketo Employee

Re: When to add designers?

Thanks Dave Roberts‌.

Point noted on extending Email 2.0 sort of features to Landing Pages. My rationale behind the HTML formatter, was to aid the (seasoned) HTML developers. Yes, not everyone is inclined to edit HTML and there must be enough to guide others to create templates as they'd like. For that, similar tools as Email 2.0 might be a good start.
On templates, I hear you. They do age. I was hoping that, templates could be frequently updated to mitigate this. I believe that Designers come in at this stage. But yes, not everyone operate this way. Having a modular approach to create their own set of templates, like you've pointed out, could work well.

Please feel free to engage me in a detailed discussion. This could help me in getting a better understanding.  Appreciate your effort in jotting down your requirements with this much detail. 

Best Regards,

Vikram R

email: vikram.ramesh@adobe.com

phone: +91 988 607 4356

calendly: Calendly - vikram avadhaani 

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Level 7 - Champion

Re: When to add designers?

Hey Vikram Ramesh, if you're genuinely looking to enhance the editors, then personally I'd really like to see a survey or discussion posted asking the wider community for their opinions rather than just singling out specific users on months old posts. This is a really valuable & important conversation to have, & lots of people have great thoughts & insights (like Dave's response) but you're going to generate more conversation and get a more representative response that way.

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Marketo Employee

Re: When to add designers?

Yes Grace Brebner‌. My intent initially was to check the health of Design Studio, thus started off with older posts. 

Would be super helpful if we can discuss on all things email (and Design Studio overall). 

Best Regards,

Vikram R

email: vikram.ramesh@adobe.com

phone: +91 988 607 4356

calendly: Calendly - vikram avadhaani 

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Marketo Employee

Re: When to add designers?

 I have created a new Discussion here. Kindly provide your inputs. 

 

Best Regards,

Vikram R