Marketers are trained to focus first on results. If something works, do more of it. If it does not, try something else.
This principle applies to all activities we are involved in – ad copy, conversion funnels, sales, targeting, email, website design, etc.
In the course of their work, many marketers work directly with designers. And we assume that they see the world and approach their work the same way we do. This, of course, is wrong.
Designers, by the nature of their field and training, are not results-first thinkers. Good designers are masters of what looks good. They understand the principles of great design. Great web designers also know how users interact with their design, and know how to eliminate friction in usability.
But conflict will inevitably emerge in the designer/marketer relationship when good design is pit against good results.
What happens when something that looks bad performs better than something that looks good? In this situation, marketers will favor the stronger performer, telling the designer that the customer has spoken. The designer will try to convince the marketer that the poor design hurts the brand and that a better design will do more to improve performance in the long run.
Who is right?
The truth is, they are both right to some extent. No one should advocate for design that does not meet the minimum standards that the brand has set for look and feel of marketing assets. Likewise, no one should advocate for a design that has proven to underperform in the marketplace.
There is a middle-ground. Test multiple designs and find one that both sides can agree on.
Conflict here is a good thing. By bringing two different skill sets and perspectives together, you are likely to come out with a better final product than either one would have otherwise accomplished on their own.