Aaron Keller - Letter from Design to Marketing and Marketing's Response

April 8, 2018

(Aaron Keller,  Managing Principal at Capsule,

on the dialogue between Marketing and Design!)


Hello Marketing. This is Design.


I’ve noticed your eyes glancing at my white spaces lately.


You’ve talked about my curves in the past, and it always seemed so shallow. But somehow, someway, something is different now. You’re not treating me like another pretty typeface anymore. Or maybe it is me, people are more interested in my thinking and my empathy for human beings. Whatever the case, my curiosity is piqued and I am writing this open love letter expecting to hear from you.


I know we’ve had our differences in the past, but in my defense you’re always walking around swinging your four Ps and making everyone uncomfortable. You also seem to have relationships with Digital and CRM that are obviously not going well, and everyone knows Social has been cheating on you. And, I know Virtual Reality has been trying to get you to look at her goggles.


So, you’re feeling vulnerable and looking for friends you can trust. I get it. While the attention certainly makes my colors brighter, I don’t want to just be another one of your conquests. If we’re going to get closer, you need to show some commitment to me and what’s important in my world. I’d like to know that you’ve learned some lessons from past relationships. Like there’s no easy answer, real relationships with real people is hard work.


I’ve spent plenty of time to myself meeting others,including advertising, which can be a total asterisk, and even a dalliance with Public Relations. I’ve made friends with Research and Finance has asked me to grab coffee and talk. I know you’ve been in Suite C for a long time, but now I’m getting invited, and people seem to be interested in my way of thinking. Perhaps this is why your glances are lasting longer nowadays. Or perhaps your affection is due to the new spotlight I’ve been pushed in front of, or maybe you’ve felt this way for awhile and didn’t feel comfortable sharing your feelings.


I know I can be intimidating with my language of color theory, heuristics, design thinking, and human factors. But, you’re not so easy to understand when you start carrying on about market penetration pricing models, go-to-market strategies and algorithms for consumer behavior. I think we could both be a bit more receptive to outside perspectives. If we’re truly interested in each other, we will need to be more open to varied perspectives.


Yet, there’s things I do adore about you, like your spreadsheets. Well, more specifically when you make your numbers, big data and analytics sing like classic opera. You use numbers like I use color and images, to sneak up on management and sway them in your direction. It is so elegant and sexy when your spreadsheets and presentation decks convince a leadership team to actually lead.


Although, we all know you and your “marketing integration”, are only really doing what you do for the corporation. You kneel to the Corporation, I get it, but I kneel to the Human Being. My world is about empathy for the human being, creating for them. We’re going to have to reconcile this, find a place where our Venn diagram intersects, or simply agree to disagree. Opposites do attract, but too much opposition will only cause pain and heartache.


We’ll have to find a place where we can both be happy. And, I believe when it happens, we can be the power couple of the century. So where do we go from here?


I’d appreciate a response to this letter my dear Marketing.. And then, a coffee date, where we can talk about what got each of us in this pickle. I suspect, if we listen intently, we will find common ground and perhaps learn to grow stronger together. Though, if all you’re looking for is a romp in the hay, like the one you’ve had with Advertising, then good luck.


I look forward to hearing more from you soon.  


Always curious,




Hello Design. This is Marketing.