PRINT MARKETING MATERIAL
Hayneedle partnered with several magazine publications such as Elle Decor, HGTV, Martha Stewart Living, and Southern Living. The home furnishing and decor company sourced these magazines for advertising with inserts and advertorials featuring Hayneedle bloggers. Each piece was carefully crafted with the target market of each magazine in mind. Copy was tailored to fit the mood, and imagery from the in-house photography studio was shot for use in various publications.
Direct mailers are the major form of print marketing at Hayneedle. Marketing decisions for the number of mailers that will run are decided at the beginning of each peak season. The two big seasons include outdoor in the late spring and summer, and autumn to early winter for the holidays. Each piece is carefully planned with marketing, copy, design, buyers, and photography. The size and amount of mailers come from budget planning and projections on which market will best respond to the materials. Understanding of the rationale behind direct mail pieces was vital for me to make the best design decisions for the consumer. With a consistent but unique theme to each print piece, the team is able to keep interest for return consumers and push for brand recognition in new consumers.
I was given the task of working with UI, copy, and design teams to compile a cohesive brand guide for all teams to follow in future marketing efforts. Most teams had grown accustom to following previous files instead of having one document to reference, which caused some inconsistencies. I took initiative in pushing the teams to be thoughtful of each other when changing consistent design elements. This document is a culmination of the main elements in marketing and design that I handled.
Working as an interactive designer on the in-house marketing team, I had a desire to push the boundaries of what was possible with visual hierarchy on the ecommerce site. I was presented with an opportunity to work with multiple teams in the creation of several holiday portal pages. This involved a deep dive into marketing efforts to sell certain hot product carefully selected by the buying team, an in-depth look into user interaction for the target market, and planning the entire look and feel of our typography and photography across all marketing mediums. I volunteered to to play an active role in the holiday planning committee to make this vision come to life.
The UI team asked the interactive team to design wireframes for various portal pages directing traffic to on-trend product that fit our curated theme. I worked with the design team to gather visual inspiration and digital direction that we could present to the planning committee, and CEOs of Hayneedle. Once approved, we discussed timelines and capability of each team. Armed with that information I took a shot at wireframes for each portal page. This included the main holiday portal for all décor and relevant merchandise, a gift giving page, designed gift pages for each category of user, and various modules to adorn the homepage. I designed each wireframe to account for precise sizing and mobile stacking to move forward with mockups and user testing. I added imagery from our gathered inspiration to create a realistic experience for the users brought in by the UI team. I was able to sit behind a double mirror and watch how users interacted with those mockups. We took the information gathered and made appropriate changes to our designs. It was a treat seeing first hand how our informed decisions worked, and where they needed serious improvement.
Once we made final adjustments, the detailed wireframes were taken by UI to create the real deal interactive version of those designs. The detailed specifications were given to the photography studio so we could get perfectly framed photos for each section. I went to the studio to help prep holiday sets and direct photographers in making that vision come to life. A final round of testing was organized by UI so we could make any final adjustments to the working model. While the development and UI teams worked their magic, the design team was busy making sure all print pieces and digital banners across the site were in-line with the same look and feel.
The portal pages went live in early October, and the first round of marketing materials were being mailed to the various target markets. We were able to sit back and see the entire plan unfold with a careful eye for any last minute changes. There was something absolutely magical in planning such a large campaign from start to finish. I was able to dip my fingers into so many facets of the company to improve business for Hayneedle while providing an enjoyable experience for holiday shoppers. This project really solidified my love for consumer culture and how applying best practices via digital and print mediums can have a major impact on branded campaigns. Through careful planning, being quick on our feet to solve problems, and really good cooperation the holiday portal page has stood the test of time still being utilized today.
FULLY DESIGNED EMAILS
Every month Hayneedle released an email that was been fully designed by the creative team. The daily emails are usually coded with existing modules, but the designed emails were a way to create a fresh viewing experience. The occasional table email was my first crack at a fully designed email. In this particular layout, I was given a decent amount of copy as we weren’t focused on making our emails mobile friendly yet.
The second email I designed for barstools went in a much simpler direction to account for mobile users. After some testing, we realized a good portion of our email users were viewing through mobile devices.
A later email I designed was sponsored by Weber Grills. I worked to create a consistent Hayneedle brand look while still making Weber the focus. This email was mobile-ready while still accommodating more technical copy for each grill featured.