Survey: 89% of Designers Get Blamed for Poor Sales

Nearly All (95%) Think the Solution Is Customizable, Branded Templates; a Quarter (25%) Say It Would Be “Life Changing”

Graphic designers spend significant time managing small tweaks, like swapping headlines, dates or images. These requests often distract them from bigger design projects while stifling their productivity, according to a study of 300 professional graphic designers conducted by Santa Cruz Software.

According to the study, 89% say they get blamed for poor sales performance. Further, 24% of designers say they get blamed “all the time.”

The solution to this problem, in the opinion of the most respondents, is branded, customizable templates. Nearly all (95%) agreed that the design customization process would be easier with branded, customizable templates. A quarter (25%) of graphic designers even said that branded, customizable templates would be “life changing.”

Nearly 65% of designers spend half their week or more making small tweaks, often at the request of sales and marketing departments. However, 55% of designers would rather spend 30+ hours weekly designing new materials. As a result, 57% have been forced to refuse design customization requests due to lack of time.

The departments that most often request materials are marketing (79%), sales (70%), business development (64%) and product development (62%). Most graphic designers work on Social Media Ads (70%), Banner Ads (65%), Posters (64%) and Event Fliers (63%).

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An overwhelming majority (88%) of graphic designers say that a new design requires at least three revisions on average. Additionally, 42% say that new designs require six or more revisions. Because revisions and customizations can cause delay, 79% of designers have seen non-designers sidestep approval processes and customize materials without designer oversight, often resulting in mistakes. The most common mistakes that graphic designers report seeing include designs that are non brand compliant (48%), misleading claims (58%), informational mistakes (63%), spelling mistakes (60%) and unlicensed images (48%).

A branded, customizable template enables designers to create materials with most elements locked in place, which may include elements such as the logo, brand name and image. Other elements on the template can be customizable, for example the headline, date and description. This empowers non-designers to customize materials while maintaining brand compliance. Template portals like BrandingUI from Santa Cruz Software also include built-in approval processes so designers can review the final materials before they are published.

“The disconnect between graphic designers and the departments that they work with acts as a roadblock, especially for sales,” said Mark Hilton, CEO of Santa Cruz Software. “We created BrandingUI to remove this roadblock, enabling sales and on-site marketing teams to make alterations to existing designs, while maintaining brand compliance. This empowers teams across an organization to have the flexibility to customize collateral for their specific needs while also giving graphic designers more time to design new materials, streamlining the entire design process.”

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