Good design is important, extremely important. Design should always be a priority when it comes to marketing and promoting your company. It just shouldn’t be the top priority.
Your marketing message should be.
The language in your marketing is more important than the look of your marketing. That’s because people respond to messages that explain something to them, before they respond to how that message looks.
I’ve been a graphic designer for roughly 20 years, and have always championed the cause of good design. When you consider the user experience of a website, for example, you not only increase the effectiveness of your website, but you also increase the pleasure (or lack of pain!) of using it.
Ideally, we marry great design with great language. This is the recipe for success in marketing. A professional look coupled with a compelling message will get people’s attention. A dated or unprofessional look coupled with a confusing message will not have an impact, and will likely be a waste of marketing dollars.
Focusing on a clear and compelling message, packaged in a clean and modern design, will help your company grow.