We’ve all heard of the phrase, “style over function,” anyone who took part in the naughties ‘wooly hat in summer’ look will concur with this. However, it’s important to remember that “function over style” exists too, but it’s cardinal to strike a balance, especially when it comes down to marketing.

As part of my role as Design Consultant at Venture Stream one of my main jobs is to make sure each piece of design marketing we send out, create or post is working the hardest is can. My daily job is finding the yin-to-the-yang of marketing vs style.

After speaking to many clients over the years and understanding their marketing needs I’ve come to suggest 5 very important things when embarking on any marketing, digital or otherwise.

Rule number 1 – Say it in less words

I, myself, have a habit of doing this. I have adapted this particular style to engulf and encapsulate my persona within words, so, when you read this, you’ll understand how I perhaps speak or, indeed, express myself. However, if you have a tiny piece of ad space, or my favourite 320 x 50 remarking advert you’ll need to keep it short.

For example

If you have a small ad space you’ll need to keep it short.
Or simply…


Rule 2 – What’s it’s purpose? 

No really, it’s actually purpose. A charity advert aim is not to end world hunger, it’s to get people to donate. Don’t mistake desire with goal. Think about what your KPI is and how you’ll measure it. Every. Single. Thing. You. Do. Needs. A. Point. Even that last sentence did. It made you read it slower and punchy-er. You’ll remember it. Promise.

Rule 3 – Challenge your medium 

This is a common one when speaking to clients in the past. “It needs to be an a5 flyer,” why? Why does it need to be that? What are the statistics to prove that an A5 flyer works over an 85mm x 85mm business card someone can fit into their wallet? Once you start questioning your needs you’ll find other answers. In the past companies have took part in, ‘Direct Mail’ or for you and I, ‘Junk Mail’ it’s been sub-named that as that’s where it usually goes, (unless of course it’s really, really good).

So for one client this was trailed but proved unsuccessful and was obtained at a larger cost and took much longer. Where as if they questioned,

“What else can I do?” There were alternative routes, for example, PPC. By using pay-per-click they could get their message across in a targeted fashion and have more opportunity to make a larger ROI it also came with a lower cost and stronger measurable KPIs. Just by remembering to ask, “What else can I do?”

Rule 4 – “The customer is not a moron. She is your wife.”

When I was a student this phrase was tattooed to my brain. I have deep admiration for Ogilvy – I don’t necessarily agree with everything he teaches but this is by far a golden rule. The most successful advertising comes from “little wins” in the brain. This is where the viewer is given a small puzzle and when the mind works it out, the on looker is rewarded with feeling good. Like when we realise there’s an arrow in Fedex. Remember, treat others how you want to be treat, in advertising and in life.

Rule 5 – Keep it clear

If you need the customer to do XYZ you need to make it clear. Don’t overcomplicate it, remove additional steps and get them to the end goal faster. It’ll make your goals achievable and their life easier. Everyone wins. Everyone.


So, in summary say it fast, make it count, challenge where you’re sticking it, treat your audience well and keep it succinct. I’d love you to share you thoughts below and holla via social media. If you want to work with our team of marketing experts get in touch today and see how we can help you!