Here's How to Make Marketing & Dev into a Creative Powerhouse

Here's How to Make Marketing & Dev into a Creative Powerhouse

Interview by Nikola Djuric
Published: March 18, 2024

Staying up-to-date with recurring and emerging trends throughout the year is one of the core factors that enables businesses to make a success online.

This is especially true if your website relies on users finding the right assets for their content as easily as possible. In cases like this, marketing and development teams need to work hand-in-hand to deliver the best product available.

But how does one stay on top of all the things happening online in 2024?

According to FreeImages Project Manager Tamara Cabrera, it's about conducting meticulous data analysis that covers both historical trends and future projections.

Keeping an eye on social media trends is also part of her strategy to remain vigilant for unusual metric fluctuations and make content changes accordingly.

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Who Is Tamara Cabrera?

Tamara boasts over two decades of experience in online business and digital marketing, bringing extensive leadership skills to her Project Manager role at FreeImages. With an extensive management background, Tamara has cultivated exceptional abilities in communication, SEO, and project coordination.

FreeImages' stock is fuelled by contributions of images created by photographers all across their community, so the themes of new images reflect the mood, interests, and inspiration of the community's members.

The website covers a wide variety of topics, including repeating events, consistently demanded themes throughout the year, as well as occasional themes surrounding the latest market trends.

Themed websites tend to engage users better compared to those that don't have a record of adjusting to global trends.

According to marketing CEO Jason Cement, adjusting even the main page of your website to align it with an upcoming holiday (for example Easter) should be an option to at least consider.

To meet market trends, FreeImages' team uses proven marketing tools daily, such as:

  • Google Suite (Analytics, Search Console, and Trends)
  • SEO Tools (Semrush, Moz, and Ahrefs)
  • Proprietary tools for conversion analysis

Nothing Can Be Done Without Creativity

"To nurture a culture of creativity and experimentation within our team, we engage in regular brainstorming sessions, explore new concepts, and actively encourage out-of-the-box thinking to foster innovation," Tamara says.

This is important as less than 5% of marketers have regular weekly meetings where they gather to exclusively discuss innovation, according to Stratabeat CEO Tom Shapiro, who talked more about this in one of the recent episodes on the DesignRush Podcast.

"The most significant change we made at the team level was merging the development team with the marketing team under agile methodology. This allowed us to consistently find quick and creative solutions in a fluid atmosphere."

The hardest part for FreeImages was understanding its "niche" target audience, which uses various terms to search for the same assets in 15 different languages.

Once that was settled, following design trends became a breeze.

As Tamara says: "We have observed an increasing interest in mockups, which previously constituted a small portion of the illustration traffic but are now growing considerably. This trend motivates us to actively expand our illustration content library and keep this virtuous cycle going."

Mockups category on FreeImages website
A selection of mockups on the FreeImages website | Source: FreeImages

We all know now that generative AI shouldn't be used for creating content for your website and social media if you want it to stay creative, insightful, and engaging.

There's Time and Place to Use AI-Generated Content

"We analyze lists containing thousands of keywords in multiple languages, making it essential to optimize resources and analysis time to group topics and identify trends. We are constantly looking for tools that optimize our time and resources," Tamara explains.

"Since AI is still in its early stages, its performance is subject to inaccuracies, so human intervention, our creativity, double-checking, and the identification of biases and inaccuracies are still fundamental."

Tamara revealed another great use case for generative AI – creating content in bulk that would otherwise be just a bunch of manual, low-priority work.

"AI-powered tools are great for correcting content issues: diversifying names, improving descriptions and tagging, and addressing different issues with duplicate texts."

"We use AI tools which don't make the content less creative because, with such a large stock, we encounter large, medium, and small problems, very diverse and affecting hundreds or thousands of files."

"Human creativity becomes essential to refine prompts even in this case," Tamara concludes.

Renowned SEO expert and influencer AJ Kohn said the same thing during last month's episode of the DesignRush Podcast about using ChatGPT to only create content that wouldn't exist otherwise.

As with every technology, there are positives and negatives – Tamara focused on what the latest tech advancement will bring to the design world.

"Given that AI will continue evolving across all domains, I envision a future where technology engages more seamlessly with people. The democratization of these technologies will lead to greater accessibility in the creative process, unlocking new opportunities for innovation across the sector."

2 Factors Allow Designers to Adapt to Market Trends

  1. Cultural Sensitivity
  2. Authenticity

"Cultural sensitivity allows us to read the underlying trend from social media, press events, and data analysis in a deeper way that allows us to profoundly interpret the narratives. This is where human qualities are still irreplaceable and have the greatest power to work in harmony with technology," Tamara argues.

"People are increasingly resistant to the one-size-fits-all approach and commercialism. The search for identity, uniqueness, and honesty is on the rise, so we mustn't underestimate the intelligence of our audience. For example, an image with a personalized narrative and authenticity is more powerful than the one adjusting to market trends."

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