Market Your Wisdom, Not Your Time

Understanding brand, engaging emotions, creating value


What Vicki Strull, Daniel Dejan and Trish Witkowski achieve is to bring the lofty world of data driven creative processes to an understandable level. Not a mystery. Not an exclusive exercise of the elite. In a direct, straightforward style these three creative souls lift the veil. The benefit is seeing where the empty seats at the creative decision-making table exist. What’s more, and most important, they explain who should be seated in those seats and why.

Sitting through the MarketWise Academy workshop the other day confirmed my belief that graphic communications businesses must understand design. Not just the files they receive to work with, but the considered and complex thought processes that lead to the creation of those files.


Being creative is one thing. It is for those inclined to think different. Those willing to take many approaches to the same challenge, confident in the validity of each, and be able to develop the one that works best. In the commercial graphics world creativity at the ideation stage, where the risks are taken, is where designers shine. From a goal that is data derived to a visual representation that connects emotionally and communicates effectively is the magic designers bring. 

The workshop takes the audience through the data development, why that data is used to create a marketing goal and how graphics are used to convey the essential messages. Touchpoints are where the emotional messaging impact the target. A collection of touchpoints is the architecture of a brand, and graphics make the connection. Each stage of the creative process informs the goal of the touchpoint. Designers must understand their role and influence the process throughout the decision-making stages.

Example graphics

The presentation team effectively makes these points. In the process, the example graphics inform, the speakers hand off to each other deftly, and prevent the mass of information from becoming either tedious or outright boring. Understand, this is a lot of information. The pacing is managed and the ‘study hall’ breaks help keep the audience attention sharp and focused. Sprinkled throughout are quizzes creating an interactive engagement that challenge personal perceptions versus realities.

So why is this educational opportunity worth reporting on? Because it is important for designers to understand their value, and grab, steal or wrench that seat at the table where the marketing decisions are made. The people they work with, the ones who must integrate the creative work into their channels, need to be active in that relationship as well. 

Designers need to know what is possible for any given channel. Web builders and printers need to know what the intention of the design seeks to achieve. Do not expect to give a printer or UX designer a file and know all of what that creative asset is meant to do. Engagement and communication at these early stages inform the possibilities for a design and provide the person downstream the awareness of what they must do to build the best result.

Anyone in the chain of custody of marketing assets, of a brand component, is advised to know the many things this workshop addresses. If you do not want to learn, you will succeed. If you do not want to change, you won’t. This program guides you to the path of value. 

Be valuable. Be wise. Be marketwise. 

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