Stress there’s a return on investment with design

I agree with Adrian Shaughnessy that a lot of current marketing speak has become devalued and meaningless, suffering from hype and a dash of the magician’s cloak and, dare I say it, a chance in some cases to talk up the fee (Design Business, DW 5 September).

It’s interesting that none of the consultancy buzzwords discussed by Shaughnessy and Robert Jones included the expression ‘return on investment’. I think design will inevitably have to leave behind some of its more time-worn expressions discussed in your feature and start to introduce this term into its vocabulary.

Clients are increasingly used to the hard facts world of direct marketing, where they spend a larger part of their marketing budgets each year, and they want to know why this yardstick isn’t applied to other disciplines.

The time has arrived where clients don’t just want to know the cost and the brand benefits of, say, a corporate identity, they want to know the ‘cost benefit’ and how this will impact positively for the company with the consumer.

We are used to this, but it may come to some design specialists as an alarming wake-up call, particularly as budgets are still smaller than they were and the value-for-money spotlight is showing up some marketing’s more paper-thin offers.

Graham Dodridge

Managing director

Gyro Group

London SW10

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