February 21, 2024

As designers, AI is having a significant impact on the way we work. Designers have been using AI tools available in widely used design software such as Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator for some time. In OZ’s design department, we’ve also experimented with a variety of dedicated AI image generators, such as Midjourney, DALL·E 2, and eluna.ai. New applications are popping up all the time, so it’s worth trying them out and comparing them, to see what works best.

Since this article is about AI, let’s get some input from ChatGPT about the benefits of integrating AI capabilities into software design tools: “It’s not only enhanced the capabilities of designers but has also redefined the creative process, ushering in a new era of efficiency and innovation.” So far, so good.

While there are lots of advantages to using AI in design work, here are some key features:

  • Automated image editing features — analyzes images to intelligently suggest enhancements and automatically makes adjustments such as color neutralizers and detail enhancers. This speeds up the editing process and is a valuable resource if you’re looking for inspiration or need to make quick refinements.
  • Content-aware fill and object removal tools — by understanding the content of the image, enables you to easily remove unwanted objects or fill in gaps within a scene. This allows greater flexibility and streamlines the editing workflow.
  • Accelerates the ideation and iteration phases — lets you explore diverse concepts efficiently.
  • Intelligent recommendations — makes suggestions for shapes, layouts, and color schemes based on the context of their project. This makes the conceptualization phase faster and may even help you overcome a creative block.
  • Organization and management of design assets — automated tagging and content categorization make asset management easier and help you quickly navigate vast libraries of resources. It’s able to analyze vast datasets and identify patterns that we might miss.
  • Rapid prototyping — enables quick experimentation with lots of variations.

Traditional graphic tools have also made huge strides

In recent years, existing software and applications we’ve been using for years have incorporated a variety of tools that shorten processes and streamline design work. Because designers can give online feedback, the tools’ capabilities keep getting better.

During image processing, design tools can complete missing details, increase resolution, carry out color corrections, and produce more controlled and accurate results. There are also lots of options for image manipulations and variations.
These advances have meant that the time between planning and the finished product is much shorter, and have saved me and many others from a tiring technical struggle with traditional design tools.

However, AI has added new superpowers which can create impressive artwork at warp speed.

If AI can do all that, why do we need humans?

If AI can do all that, why do we need humans?

While AI provides a broad range of design options and there is a wealth of tools to choose from, the act of selection and focus during the design process has become more challenging.
The need to differentiate the customer’s brand, memorably present their messages, and tell their unique story means that every designer needs a clear understanding of what they want to create using the tools.
Formulating the design prompt and selecting results, when every result seems to be ‘beautiful and impressive’, means that designers need to carefully examine what is ‘right and appropriate’ — and ask themselves what will yield the desired results. It’s the same question that we’ve been asking for years when approaching a design task, long before AI tools entered our lives.

The human touch

The human touch

“While AI excels at generating designs based on existing patterns, it lacks the intrinsic understanding of cultural nuances, emotional subtleties, and context that human designers bring to the table,” responds ChatGPT, adding that design is not only about aesthetics but also about storytelling, conveying emotions, and understanding the audience – elements that are deeply embedded in human experience.
It goes on to point out that the human mind possesses the ability to empathize, interpret abstract concepts, and infuse designs with cultural relevance. Designers are adept at translating complex ideas into visual narratives that resonate with people on a profound level. “The intangible aspects of creativity, intuition, and emotional intelligence are quintessentially human and crucial to the design process,” it notes.

Don’t fire your designers!

Don’t fire your designers!

Bearing these unique human attributes in mind, ChatGPT’s conclusion is almost inevitable: While AI image generators are valuable tools, amplifying designers’ creative capacities and streamlining workflows, they are best seen as collaborators rather than replacements.
The future of design lies in a harmonious collaboration between human designers and AI, where each contributes its strengths.
While AI enhances the design process by offering efficiency and inspiration, according to ChatGPT, “the unique qualities of human creativity, ingenuity, and understanding will continue to be an indispensable force in the world of design.”
As with any AI application, there are ethical considerations. Designers must “be mindful of potential biases in AI algorithms and exercise discretion in their application. Striking a balance between automation and human intuition remains crucial to preserving the authenticity and creative vision of the designer.”

ChatGPT predicts that “As technology continues to advance, the symbiotic relationship between AI and design is poised to reshape the industry, unlocking new realms of creative possibilities.”

On a personal level, I use AI design tools daily to carry out various tasks and to fuel my creative process. I also find that ChatGPT is useful in helping to formulate prompts and finding the right wording for the industry or application. The more accurate the prompt, the better the results.

However, personal experience has shown AI can’t replace the invaluable interactions between our design team and our clients. We’re able to dig deep into their story and translate that into unique and powerful visuals that communicate their brand promise. It’s the ‘secret sauce’ that makes the difference.

In short, AI will become our creative allies, but they’re not going to replace us any time soon.

 

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Stars are born. Winning B2B brands are built over time.

Stars are born. Winning B2B brands are built over time.

By 
Nirit Elyovich
, 07/07/2024

Brand building is always complex, but B2B brands bring a whole level of complexity that simply doesn’t exist in the B2C world. It's a golden opportunity to create a one-of-a-kind standout brand promise that will make a difference in the world.

min read

Building a new brand or giving an existing brand a facelift, is a golden opportunity to create a one-of-a-kind standout brand promise that will make a difference in the world. Building a significant brand is complex, but B2B brands bring a whole level of complexity that simply doesn’t exist in the B2C world. Decision-making processes are lengthy, decision-makers come and go, and increasingly, the decision-makers are Gen Y and Gen Z. The road to the end user is paved with importers, distributors, and dealers. The orientation of most of the people you are working with is engineering or sales. Your brand needs to make its way into everyone's hearts on the long and winding road ahead. From time to time, I still hear that "in the business world, people make rational decisions." In my experience, people are people even when they sit in the decision-making chair. Their considerations are professional, business, and personal and the brand needs to touch all these points.

A meaningful brand must be relevant, differentiated, and inspired

1. Be relevant

Before you begin, define your audience. Unlike launching a product line that appeals to distinct customers, a B2B brand speaks to a wide range of audiences – existing and potential customers, employees and candidates, investors, suppliers, opinion leaders, and influencers.

However, you operate in a very specific world, so finetune the audience that interests you and create circles of influence. Who is in the first circle and who is in the more distant circles? The brand needs to speak directly and accurately to members of the first circle and still be relevant to other circles.

To be relevant, you need to know your audience, what their challenges are, and where you can help them deal with their challenges well. To motivate people, we must touch their “operating” buttons, speak their language, and solve the problems that bother them. We want to sell them what they want to buy and not what we want to sell — even if it's the same thing.

2. Build a differentiated value proposition

To build a differentiated value proposition, start with A, B, and C: Assets, Benefits, and Core Values. Assets – What are your biggest assets? What strengths are you most proud of? Make a list of the things you're best at – unique patented technology, people with unique knowledge, exceptional support and service, and more. Make sure that every strength that makes up your list is grounded in reality, and not an aspiration for something you'd like to have. From the list, extract the three most significant strengths. As much as possible, select those that differentiate you from the competition. Benefits –Step into your customers' shoes and think about what they get out of your strengths. This is where you ensure that you provide professional benefits that help them upgrade their professional field; business benefits that contribute to their business performance; and no less important, personal benefits. Ultimately, everything is personal simply — because people want to make sure that choosing you promotes their reputation within the organization. Core Values – Brand values are always important, but even more so in the B2B world. People are an integral part of your value proposition – whoever defines the specifications with the customer, develops, sells, installs or integrates, provides service and support – all these and more bring the brand to life. They must follow a uniform set of values to ensure that they deliver the benefits to the customer and subsequently deliver on the brand promise. If the company was founded recently, the values may be naturally infused into the brand. If the company is alive and kicking, the values are usually passed down over the years. Make sure the values reflect the company's DNA.

There's nothing new under the sun You may find that your competitors have an asset, benefit, or value that appears to be similar to yours. However, the combination of assets, benefits, and values must be unique to your company. That's why starting with unique assets and formulating benefits that address your clients' deep and diverse needs is important.

The more you get to know your clients, the more likely you will produce differentiated benefits. This is another opportunity for differentiation: your founders, owners, and significant employees are the unique spirit that makes your company what it is.

Assets Benefits Core values

3. Bring inspiration to life with a promise

To make sure your brand inspires you and everyone you meet, go back to your vision. The thing that fascinated you when you started your business or that attracted you to join the company. The reason you get up in the morning and go to work. The North Star lights the way for you, even on days when visibility is poor. Your vision is an ambitious statement that describes what your organization ultimately wants to be. Spoiler alert: you're not supposed to get it, you’re supposed to aspire to reach it. As Aviv Geffen put it, " The moon is so high up there that we can't touch it, and there are some who are still trying.” Your vision is there to lift you high above your daily activities and inspire you.

brand promise

Building or refreshing a brand is a strategic task

Don’t cut corners. Enjoy the journey as much as the destination. Get as many people involved in the process as possible to make everyone feel a part of it. This is how to make them the best ambassadors for your brand.

Formulating a brand strategy is an extremely important and complex process, but it’s only the beginning. From now on, the entire organization has to fulfill it, to bring the brand into the lives of those who experience it exactly as you intended. In the B2B world, your brand will touch a lot of people for many years to come. Make sure that everyone has the same experience, irrespective of the language they speak.

A brand is a promise. A strong brand is a promise that is fulfilled every day in every encounter between the brand and the world.

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driving b2b business growth

Why the Digital Marketing as a Service Model is Driving B2B Business Growth

By 
Liron Ramot
, 17/06/2024

Digital marketing is essential for B2B companies to reach their target audience, generate leads, and stay competitive. Many lack the resources to handle it in-house, making outsourced digital marketing a valuable solution.

min read
Digital marketing is crucial for B2B companies to effectively reach their target audience, generate leads, make data-driven decisions, and stay competitive in the market. However, while most B2B businesses see the need for digital marketing, they don’t necessarily have the team, tools, or budget to handle it in-house.

Digital Marketing as a Service (DMaaS) is a model that works

As an on-demand model, DMaaS allows your company to access a wide range of digital marketing expertise, tools, and resources without hiring and maintaining an in-house marketing team. While digital marketing toolboxes, tactics, and strategies differ according to client needs, they frequently comprise smart content, webinars, outreach and Account-Based Marketing (ABM), Search Engine Optimization (SEO), sponsored campaigns, and marketing automation to reach target audiences and drive traffic or conversions.

4 great reasons why DMaaS makes sense for your B2B business

4 great reasons why DMaaS makes sense for your B2B business

  1. Access top-tier talent without the overhead costs associated with traditional hires Budget constraints and HR challenges may be standing in the way of hiring an in-house digital marketing manager. DMaaS offers a cost-effective solution, allowing your company to alleviate the burden of recruitment, training, and retention, freeing up your resources to focus on your core business operations.
  2. Effectively navigate the complex digital landscape Tap into the expertise of seasoned professionals who possess a comprehensive understanding of digital marketing strategies, tactics, and execution skills that can help you achieve your marketing objectives.
  3. Adapt to changing market conditions Your business has to constantly adapt to market needs and business growth. DMaaS has built-in flexibility, allowing your business to scale up or down, based on your changing needs and budget.
  4. Set goals, measure results & change the game plan as needed In the dynamic world of digital, the goalposts are constantly changing. By setting key performance indicators (KPIs) and using accessible analytics tools such as those available in HubSpot, you can easily track the success of your marketing campaigns, optimize strategies as needed, and demonstrate the value of using DMaaS services.
Follow the yellow brick road

Follow the yellow brick road

As a global B2B marketing expert, OZ has spent years building a strong reputation. Digital trends may come and go, but dedication, commitment to success, experience, and professionalism never go out of fashion. At OZ, we believe that long-lasting partnerships are based on deep listening, understanding, and transforming your goals into measurable results. That’s why many of our clients stay with us when they move companies, and why many clients come to us by word of mouth.

Your dedicated digital account manager will be your work BFF

With OZ, your account will be managed by a dedicated digital account manager backed by a multidisciplinary team with expertise in every aspect of digital marketing, and more. Your OZ manager is always backed up by a team comprising a graphic designer, strategist, and content writer. Your OZ manager becomes an integral part of your marketing team, offering full commitment and dedication to your company's goals. It's not just one person, but an entire team of digital experts working behind the scenes to drive your digital marketing success. Every member of the OZ team brings with them a high standard of professionalism and expertise gained from working with numerous B2B companies across various industries. Boost your bottom line

Boost your bottom line

DMaaS enables you to reach and engage with your target audiences effectively, measure the success of your campaigns with precision, and adapt your strategies in real time based on insights and feedback. It’s there to act as a driving force in your marketing strategy, enabling you to access the resources and expertise required to enhance your brand visibility, attract and retain customers, and drive sustainable growth.  
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are you ready for revolution?

The Forgotten Digital Frontier. Marketing Beyond the Booth.

By 
Rosa Rabinovich
, 17/06/2024

Discover the power of integrating digital marketing with physical trade show presence to drive better engagement, increased traffic, and quality leads. Learn actionable strategies to make your next trade show a success.

min read

How to amplify your tradeshow potential – a step-by-step guide

So, you've invested quite a bit in a stunning trade show booth. The team is buzzing with excitement expecting it to be the center of attention. Yet, when the day arrives, the anticipated crowds turn out to be rather scarce. When this happens, you've probably missed a key aspect of trade show preparation - not fully integrating digital marketing into your trade show strategy.

are you ready for revolution?

The Challenge: Bridging the Gap to Maximize Potential

Too often, companies focus heavily on their booth's physical setup and ignore the digital engagement that goes with it. This oversight can lead to disappointing foot traffic, missed opportunities, poor engagement with potential customers, and a less effective exhibition as a whole.

The Challenge: Bridging the Gap to Maximize Potential

The Strategy: A Holistic Approach - Integrating Digital with Physical

Achieving trade show success means thinking beyond the booth. It involves a proactive approach before, during, and after the event to ensure all marketing efforts are harmoniously aligned to maximize your return on investment. Let's explore the steps you can take to make this happen:

Laying the Groundwork: Pre-Show Essentials

Just as the booth and marketing materials are planned months in advance, your digital marketing strategy must follow suit. This helps make sure that every aspect of the exhibition strategy is aligned and optimized for maximum impact. Setting Goals Start by establishing clear objectives:
  1.  Increasing brand awareness by strategically utilizing your presence at the expo.
  2.  Maximizing traffic to your exhibition booth
  3. Creating a database for ongoing engagement and nurturing
  4. Defining KPIs - Measuring performance and continuous improvement (eg. Number of campaign impressions, website or landing page visits, email open rate, event participation, and more)
Targeted Messaging Strategy Development: Two months before the trade show, start with a deep dive into your industry's landscape to come up with a marketing concept and message that is both relevant and memorable to your audience. Digital Infrastructure: Make sure you set up a dedicated landing page and integrate a CRM system to effectively collect leads that will allow you to follow up with interested prospects after the event. Ramp-Up Engagement: A month out, it's time to ramp up engagement with targeted ads to raise awareness. It's here that your social media strategy kicks in, building anticipation through ad and email campaigns, regular and engaging social media content, and events so that your physical and digital efforts complement each other seamlessly. Laying the Groundwork: Pre-Show Essentials

During the Show: Capturing and Engaging

When the trade show is underway, keeping the energy high is crucial. Continuous updates, engaging social media posts and stories, interviews with keynote speakers, and live interactions help keep up the excitement and draw attention and visitors to your booth. You might also want to consider adding interactive presentations and videos that boost visitors' experience, leaving a lasting impression Capturing and Engaging

Building Connections: Post-Show Follow-Up

The interaction doesn’t stop when the show ends the work is only just beginning. The focus now shifts from the show to leveraging the connections you've made. Now's the time to implement a structured follow-up process to keep your brand top of mind for future marketing opportunities. Design and implement targeted follow-up campaigns, using structured email marketing complemented by a strong social media presence to continuously nurture new contacts until they are ready to reach out to you. Last but not least, tracking the results of your campaigns and marketing activities is a must to measure their effectiveness and adjust them accordingly. Be sure that the initial contact was handled and nurtured, and answer customer questions as soon as possible. (more on that another time).
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