2013 has gone quickly, really quickly.
This is a reflection of a busy year at Punch and after speaking with clients and suppliers we are looking forward to 2014 with plenty of confidence. There are certain things that are generally a good economic barometer for the design industry, for example we like to chat with printers in Leeds (and beyond) and they seem to be happier than we can remember for a long time.
Of course print relates more to traditional design and only represents part of the creative industry as a whole. Recently I read an interesting piece in the Drum containing the thoughts of various design agencies across Yorkshire who are looking ahead to 2014.
Many of those thoughts mirror our own experience of how this year has developed, and why we have widened our own portfolio of services to offer our clients more – across design, print, digital and web platforms.
Punch used to just do design for print, and this used to be enough. But we have always worked closely with our clients and are lucky enough to be able to speak frankly with them. We used to propose joined up campaigns without being able to control the full package, at times this lead to a loss of control on our part which was frustrating for all concerned.
Looking ahead we simply set out to offer our clients more – but also mould our design studio around their needs. Now when we sit down to discuss a brief it is a huge comfort to know we can deliver every component part of a project. Being a full service design agency gives us the ownership and control we did not enjoy previously.
This theme is at the heart of where Punch has developed over the last 18 months, and where we see the main driving factor for growth in 2014. Clients are embracing the digital world, but still appreciate the need for print. People recognise the need to use a variety of routes to market to spread their brand message. Hotels that just used to print a load of flyers are now using social media. Retail clients who used to wait for people to visit their website are now using direct digital marketing campaigns to drive website traffic and convert enquiries. Clients are working with us to keep their website content fresh and relevant via a CMS they can also use in partnership with us.
But overall, the biggest change has been a wider consideration of the bigger picture. By that I mean not just looking at one project but understanding a mixture of marketing collateral working as part of a strategy.
Picking one growth area amidst all of that is difficult – but the immediacy, range and relative low cost of the digital world is giving our clients more marketing clout than they have ever enjoyed in the past. It is exciting to sit down with clients, design an online campaign then immediately report on and refine that campaign to be more and more effective from that point.
So, our digital portfolio is both what we look forward to developing most in 2014 and also our tip for continued growth in the design industry. As for our own strategy, we will continue to speak with our clients, develop our team and be able to offer people more as digital boundaries and technologies continue to be pushed.
Happy Christmas everyone, we look forward to working with you in 2014…