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Breaking silos with communication design

Have a communications agency and a creative agency? Get you a partner that can do both.

April 11, 2024

Headshot for Jordan Leschinsky

Jordan Leschinsky

VP, Strategy Director

Marketers everywhere live in constant fear of being left behind. The speed of media innovation can be terrifying as trends, tools, policies, and platforms constantly evolve. It’s common for marketers to spend chunks of time figuring out the new or different “thing” (AI, TikTok, Twitter, Clubhouse), only for it to change or fade away just as they get it (Sora, UMG, X, who?).

We shouldn’t expect for change to slow down. AI is accelerating, teams are shrinking, cookies are disappearing, and people hate ads. To be fair, that last one isn’t new, but it’s still a big challenge for marketers to understand and overcome.

Why does the industry create ads people hate?

There is a lot of upside to evolving, but not a lot of appetite. In a fast-changing world, mature businesses in mature industries tend to cling to their established way of doing things. Execs expect ROI, marketers are required to make that happen however they can, agencies are supposed to justify the fees they’re billing, and reporting is made to show success. The marketing landscape is designed to keep marketers and their stakeholders happy, not consumers and audiences. In a perfect world, their audience would be their primary stakeholders, but alas. 

On top of that, marketing budgets are often a zero-sum game, stretched over multiple vendors, disciplines, and departments. Social only gets more budget if PR gets less, and each is developing their own strategies and creative ideas to justify their existence. With so much pressure to get as much as you can from every dollar spent, marketers become  so focused on what they get out of audiences that they tend to forget about what audiences get out of the experience.

Permission to use communication design

Communication design isn’t a new phrase, but it’s one that’s sorely underutilized both as a label and a practice. Designing communications means thinking about every part of your message, your delivery, and how they work together. It’s not just about the words being used or the visuals being designed. It’s also about how it’s delivered in format, where it’s going to live, how your audience is going to experience it, and what you want them to do next. Strong comms design touches every experience someone has with a brand.

Done properly, comms design creates organizational efficiencies and effectiveness. Good communication design brings messaging and media together to break silos in your marketing ecosystem, ensuring your brand messages aren’t just delivered, but heard. Luckily, comms design isn’t a practice that requires total restructuring.  What it does require is a partner or agency that’s willing to break down silos with you. 

Codeword is a communication design agency

Codeword has always been a full-service communications agency AND a creative agency fused together to create a completely integrated service. In an industry filled with separate PR, creative, content, and digital agencies all claiming to be the main solution to all your brand marketing problems, Codeword provides a pretty unique offering. 

More and more, brands are realizing the need for partners that break down silos and design communications people actually care about. There’s no need to pick between pizza and fried chicken when we live in a world where you can have both. Some really big-name businesses use us just for comms, and some for creative work. Our most effective partnerships tap us for both, leveraging our expertise in communications, content, and community to create work that resonates with audiences, wherever they come across it.

Brands and marketers that combine their creative and communications disciplines and demand more from their agency partners are the ones who’ll succeed in the evolving communication landscape. Those that don’t will need to settle for getting as much out of their marketing team as their audiences currently do.

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