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Marketers Designing Their Own Ads: Pros and Cons

Should Digital Marketers Design Their Own Ads?

Aug 11, 2021
7 minutes


Many marketers often design their ads or do last-minute tweaks on existing visuals. But should they? Does bypassing a graphic designer do more harm than good?

If you worked as a digital marketer, especially in a company with a limited budget and time-sensitive campaigns, you probably used a tool like Canva or even photoshopped something yourself.

I myself have created plenty of assets for email marketing and social media marketing channels. But, the second my graphic designer friend would see the creation I was so proud of, an outpouring of criticism would make me feel like I shouldn’t have done that.

It is unequivocally clear that graphic design betters your overall marketing game. So, should you create the visuals for your marketing efforts yourself? Let’s go through the pros and cons and decide once and for all.


The designers will probably disagree, but some types of digital marketing are more forgiving than others and doing an imperfect visual to accompany your ad is sometimes fine. At the same time, being in charge of your own schedule and saving money is very beneficial, especially if you are a freelance marketer. Here are some of the reasons why as a marketer you might benefit from designing your own ads.


Quicker production and fixes

When the marketing team doesn’t have an in-house designer and is sometimes dependent on outsourced designers to create visuals for a campaign, creating a simple design and testing it out can save a lot of time.

Working with a designer means that you have to compile inspiration, provide a briefing and send them the branding guidelines on which they need to base the style of the digital advertising visuals they’ll create. If you are confident in your design skills even though you are a marketer and know the brand well yourself, you can skip these steps and the design process will be much quicker.

At the same time, if you are the one in charge of optimizing and reviewing the performance of the campaign on digital channels, you can follow the success in real-time. So, if the design isn’t working, you can create new visuals or make small fixes yourself, again saving on time to assign a revision and wait for it to be delivered.

Learn how to design captivating digital ads

Get inspired by the catchiest and best-designed ads we found.

Better knowledge of the products and services

If you work as a part of the marketing team of a company or are a freelancer implementing their digital marketing strategy, you probably know the products and services, as well as the brand style and image far better than an outsourced graphic designer would.

The learning process about the brand image and style is skipped in your case, and you would be able to design something applicable. Granted, if you have the design knowledge.

Learning a new skill

As a professional, you would benefit a lot from learning graphic design and being able to produce your own visuals. Not only is it a time-saver, but it also makes you an all-in-one package as a freelancer and you save the employer’s money.

If as a marketer you are able to produce and execute a digital marketing campaign all by yourself, you are surely an important part of any team.

Saving on extra costs

Cutting on the wages and fares you would have to pay for a graphic designer or design studio to work on your materials will save you money. If you add the quicker production time on top of that, you also save workdays, which are also an immeasurably valuable asset.


So far, it seems that creating the visuals for your ads yourself seems to be a smart tactic. But, it’s not all roses. Bad graphic design can seriously damage your brand image and as it’s well known, once something has an online presence, it’s hard to take it down or undo the damage.


Inconsistency can hurt your brand awareness and image

Inconsistent design and visuals that don’t look according to the brand guidelines can harm a brand’s image and negatively affect brand awareness.

By creating visuals yourself, if you lack the full range of capabilities and skills a graphic designer has, you are likely going to take the easy way out in designing ads and other assets. Or, you could use and customize ready-made templates, that can be far out from the brand guidelines.

A graphic designer can fully execute a brand’s guide and all the small elements that make it look compact and consistent. By DIY-ing your design, you could harm the image audiences receive through seeing the ads your brand publishes.

Find out how to build a strong and unique brand

Download our guide to learn all about branding and visual identity

Not knowing graphic design principles often produces bad design

Such as in any other profession, in graphic design, you need to start with the basics and build your way up. If you don’t have knowledge of the elementary principles of graphic design, it is very easy to assume that you will design something that might seem aesthetically pleasing to you but doesn’t convene with concepts and rules that need to be respected.

A regular person might not notice that you have a lack of white space, but they might feel like your design is too noisy. Or, they wouldn’t know what red represents in color theory and psychology, but your design might not inspire them to take the action that is your goal.

A graphic designer will have both theoretical knowledge and practical experience to stick to rules and execute the task professionally.

Wrong formats and sizes negatively affect search engine optimization

This is referring more to content marketing and web design, but using visuals that are too big and load slowly can affect SEO and stop you from showing at the top of the search results.

At the same time, not knowing the right formats can mean that you have produced an asset that doesn’t show up properly once you publish it, or is pixelated. It will save you a lot of time if you let a professional do that for you, instead of googling all the right parameters for each visual asset.

Paid advertising is costly

Advertising online can cost a lot of money. Whether it is on social media, web banners or sponsored content, you might need to spend a lot to make sure it reaches the right audience. So, why risk wasting all that money on an ad that doesn’t look good?

The visual aspect is equally important as copywriting, if not more important. So, for big, costly and important campaigns, let a designer create epic ads for you.

Digital ads will be online forever

Unlike traditional marketing, digital marketing is on the internet forever. Just Google “epic ad fails” or “bad design fails”, and you’ll see what I mean.

You don’t want to stain your social media presence and brand image with bad design, so less experimenting and more professional knowledge would work out better for you.


Even though it can save time and money, you shouldn’t be creating your own ads and digital marketing visuals. Graphic design can be affordable, even when it is created by professionals. And the knowledge and experience of graphic designers isn’t something you can replace with tech-savviness and resourcefulness. You wouldn’t want a graphic designer to do your copywriting, would you?

If you’re looking for affordable, quality design with a quick turnaround time, check ManyPixels’ service. Maybe it’s exactly what you need to improve your digital marketing.

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Stefanija Tenekedjieva

August 11, 2021

Journalist turned content writer. Based in North Macedonia, aiming to be a digital nomad. Always loved to write, and found my perfect job writing about graphic design, art and creativity. A self-proclaimed film connoisseur, cook and nerd in disguise.