Marketing vs Design: Katie Roden interview

Katie Roden is a publishing, marketing and content strategist with 25 years’ industry experience. She is speaking at ‘Marketing vs Design, which matters more?’ on November 2nd. Katie works with a wide range of publishers on commissioning strategy, marketing campaigns, digital strategy and design challenges, and is a co-founder of design consultancy Fixabook. 

1) When did you first know that you were interested in a career in marketing?

It’s been a gradual process over the nearly 25 years I’ve been in publishing. I started out as a children’s non-fiction editor, but was always fascinated by the best ways to reach the market and – crucially – by how a publishing team has to work together to find, attract, delight and hold on to readers. Now the boundaries between editorial, marketing, sales and design are increasingly blurred, I am working across all sectors – which makes my job enormously enjoyable.

2) How do you work with designers in your current role?

In a variety of ways – from working with long-time designer collaborators to help clients with their brand development to writing design briefs for digital and print. As our screen world gets more and more busy, design thinking is needed at the very very early stages of absolutely everything.

3) Any tips for marketers who need to communicate effectively with their designer colleagues?

Always be clear about why you’re asking for a certain direction – not just what the final design should look like. A shared understanding of strategy and of exactly what a reader wants will make the process massively more creative and fulfilling.

And don’t forget that you’re not just creating a book cover any more – you’re creating a visual asset to be used on every platform and device available. So impact, clarity and innovation are essential, as is testing any visuals for all iterations, from jackets to Snapchat identity.

And finally – collaborate, listen and have fun. The more time and effort you, the editors and the design team spend together early on, the more rewarding the results will be for everyone.

4) What might we hear about in your talk on November 2nd (don’t share it all….)?

Some pretty things… and, more likely, some very ugly things indeed.

You can hear Katie in London on 2nd November at Marketing vs Design: Which matters more? Grab a ticket here.