The marketer of today wears many hats. We find ourselves doing all kinds of tasks: we're graphic designers, full-stack marketers, creative writers (both long and short form, of course), and everything else in between. The challenge here is that we often lack the time (or resources!) to create high-quality content that resonates with our target audience. Luckily, there are plenty of great apps and technologies out there to help bridge the gap between marketing knowledge and creative needs.
The best tools can help streamline processes, simplify production, and make it faster and easier to be a creative marketer. In this article, we'll explore what to look for in apps and technologies, as well as 7 apps to help fellow marketers become better creatives. Let's get started!
The role of marketers today
The definition of what a 'marketer' is and what they do means something very different depending on who you ask. At the very basic level, they're expected to be creative, knowledgeable, and proactive when it comes to creating brand awareness and supporting key business metrics. They might also be responsible for shopper marketing, cross-channel integrated campaigns, paid marketing efforts, and social media. 'Marketer' means a lot of things.
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Alex Armstrong | 02.2024
The pressure to do it all is even greater for smaller brands, who often rely solely on the skillset and creativity of their marketing team. Without access to larger budgets, these teams or individuals need to find unique solutions to engage with their audience. Marketers need to think outside the box and develop strategies that maximize resources while delivering maximum impact.
Bridging the gap
It's no secret that marketers are often asked (or, erm, not really asked) to do more than what's listed on their job description. These days, companies require marketers to not only come up with innovative ideas and strategies but also create stunning visual design assets. That said, bridging the gap between a marketer's knowledge of marketing and their creative design needs can be a challenge.
Being a Google Analytics wizard is a totally different ask than being comfortable pulling together a "quick and simple" asset mockup. Many of us have been there-I have. You get a message asking how quickly you can have a new product label, social asset, video, or other random piece of creative done. Sure, many marketers can navigate decently in figma or photoshop, but unsurprisingly, our real mastery is in marketing. Even when we say, "yes", it often takes us far longer to turn around a piece of creative compared to our graphic designer or other creative counterparts. We might have a stellar campaign idea, but just lack the resources or skills to fully bring it to life.
Lucky for marketers, there is now an abundance of tools that can assist in bridging the divide. With the right apps, marketers can easily create high-quality designs and collaborate with creative professionals to make their visions a reality.
What to look for in an app
When selecting apps and technologies, marketers should keep a few key factors in mind. First, it's important to look for user-friendly interfaces that are intuitive and easy to navigate. This way, you can count on finding the tools you need without needing to spend time trying to figure out how the app works.
Since time is often of the essence when creating visuals, it's also important to look for apps that provide quick results with minimal hassle. Besides speed and ease of use, marketers should also look for apps that offer high-quality results. It's no use creating assets if they don't look good, don't make any sense, or don't incorporate brand standards accurately. The best apps have features like filters, presets, and templates that can help you create beautiful visuals with minimal effort.
Finally, versatility is another key factor when choosing a tool. Select something that can handle multiple formats or serve many uses. This could be a tool that helps create different types of visuals-infographics, videos, or animations- or a tool that helps track a variety of project types and outcomes.
Now that we know what makes a good tool, let's dive into my recommendations for tools to help marketers be better creatives.
7 Apps to help marketers become better creatives
When it comes to creating amazing visuals, there are a number of apps that marketers can leverage to help them become better creatives. Here's a list of 7 apps that marketers should consider using for their creative needs:
1. Adobe Spark
Spark is a great tool from Adobe that allows users to easily create eye-catching visuals. It features a simple drag-and-drop interface and is packed with intuitive tools such as text overlays and image filters.
Canva is a graphic design platform that lets you create professional designs, also with easy-to-use drag-and-drop tools. Upload your brand logos and colors and get to creating a whole suite of assets.
Tired of constantly being messaged for some file or another? Or maybe you need truly collaborative data management. Airtable allows marketers to store, organize, and share their data in an easy-to-use spreadsheet format.
In direct disagreement with what I said earlier about apps meeting many needs - Unsplash does one thing, but one thing really well. It's a great resource for totally royalty-free images. Simply type in what you're looking for and see what you can find.
For marketers with a bit more technological and creative experience, Figma is a win. From landing pages, to app designs, to really any other digital experience, you'll find that Figma is invaluable for expert experience creation.
I'm sure nearly all professionals have at least heard of Photoshop at this point. But, have you recently checked out the included tools? The new Generative AI function allows you to expand borders, create concepts, and push your creativity.
When it comes to keeping track of project requests, Asana has everything you need for monitoring, documentation and communication. While there's definitely a learning curve, many teams would tell you it's worth it.
Utilizing the right tools is essential for marketers aiming to be more creative and more productive. AI-based apps provide an abundance of opportunities to maximize potential across tasks. And, not only do these apps save time, but they also make workflows more efficient (and easier to stick to).