The term marketing is uncomfortable to some people, primarily because of advertising. Over the years, there have been many seemingly unethical ways that ads have been used, and as a result, the whole industry gets a bad reputation. Marketing and advertising aren’t actually the same, though.

Marketing is the industry, and advertising is a practice that falls within it. The act of marketing, as the American Marketing Association (AMA) defines it, is the “activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.” Ads play a role, but good marketing isn’t about sales at any cost. It’s about creating products and developing services that people actually need because they have a problem you can help solve.

Throughout the years, there have been several major shifts in marketing. Going back to the time of the Civil War, people were self-sustaining. They made their own products, traded their wares, and commissioned clothes if they didn’t have a seamstress in the family. Technology advanced, and factories became a way to produce more products quickly and easily. Ads for these products began to appear.

After World War II, businesses started to do research and take care to solicit feedback from their customers. When they incorporated consumer feedback into their new products and services, sales increased. They could identify new needs and create products that solved those problems. This major mindset shift—from simple product promotion to market research and ensuring customer satisfaction—was a game-changer. Today, the most successful modern companies focus their business priorities on customer satisfaction.

What’s Included in the Marketing Industry?

It feels easy to use the term sales and marketing synonymously, but there’s more to the industry than it might seem at first glance. There are actually many types of marketing.

The AMA defines ten types of marketing, including:

  • Influencer marketing
  • Relationship marketing
  • Viral marketing
  • Green marketing
  • Keyword marketing
  • Guerilla marketing
  • Outbound marketing
  • Inbound marketing
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Content marketing

While some of these terms may seem unfamiliar, you likely encounter them all more often than you think, particularly influencer and content marketing.

There are also four important aspects of marketing: product, price, place or distribution, and promotion. Essentially, marketing includes the product itself, how a business charges for it, as well as where and how it will be sold (for instance with coupons or special offers).

3 Unexpected Ways Marketers are Using InDesign

Many times when people hear the term marketing, or advertising, they sigh and roll their eyes. The industry has a reputation for being irritating.

It’s important to distinguish between marketing and advertising because these roles perform different tasks and play different roles within the industry. Marketing is the industry, and advertising is a practice that falls within it. A Marketer’s job is to figure out what customers want and need, and how to best meet those needs. Advertising is a strategy Marketers use to sell products and create brand awareness. Advertisers are professionals who strategically work on these tasks in the marketing industry.

Many Marketers & Advertisers use materials comprised of both text and graphics. Adobe InDesign was designed for this purpose, which makes it an excellent tool for the industry. Some common InDesign tasks within the marketing industry include designing: printed promotional materials, email marketing, and catalogs.

Printed Promotional Materials & Document Design

Have you ever been to a presentation and received a brochure? Or gotten pamphlets in the mail from local businesses? That’s promotional material. In marketing, promotional materials are shared to boost brand awareness and sales. Some other common forms of promotional materials are pens, t-shirts, coffee mugs, and branded packaging.

InDesign is an effective tool for creating layouts for these highly designed promotional materials and documents because of the ability to seamlessly place text and images on the design. The program makes it easy to preview how the logo or an animated character will look with your company’s font and some text.

Within InDesign, Marketers can also create layout templates that can be used more than once. If you anticipate or know from prior experience that a particular audience loves getting free pens and t-shirts, the program has the capability to create design templates with text and graphics that you can come back to and modify when you want to do another run for a different promotion or event. These capabilities ring true for corporate document design, too, not just promotional materials.

Email Marketing

Email marketing converts more sales than any other platform, including social media, which makes it essential to the marketing industry. Marketers must legally ask for permission to collect the email addresses. Once the person signs up for the email list, the Marketer can contact their audience even if all forms of social media disappeared.

With all the competition out there, emails have to be enticing in order to be clicked and read—let alone make a sale. InDesign offers templates for engaging email newsletters, complete with clean lines and a good text to image ratio, which makes it a clear asset to the industry.

InDesign is also ideal for creating a fabulous newsletter to send to an email list. Typically sent between once per month to weekly, email newsletters fill in the reader about the happenings of the business and give some kind of value to them. For instance, many Marketers provide useful tips or digital products to their email lists free of charge. The newsletter uses a combination of text and graphics to guide the reader through to the important messages and details—a feat InDesign accomplishes with ease because of the customizability with blocks of text and designing balanced layouts.


There may not be many printed catalogs these days, but there are plenty of digital ones in use each and every day. Each time you visit a website with products, they’re displayed in catalogs. Around specific holidays, printed catalogs are shared in local papers and sent through the mail to potential customers who might shop sales.

These intricate, often lengthy documents, are created in InDesign. The program was built to handle large amounts of text and images in an aesthetically pleasing way, which means catalogs are basically an ideal InDesign project.

One particularly helpful feature InDesign has for creating catalogs is Data Merge. The feature allows a marketing professional to import large amounts of data into InDesign via CSV files, such as product names, pricing, and product description, so they don’t have to be imported individually. Since you can create reusable templates, it’s an efficient process to use the templates and have the products autofill into the layouts. When the bulk of the information and design is there, you can tweak it to make sure everything looks presentable before sending for feedback or for print.

Where to Learn InDesign Skills for Marketing

If you’re ready to learn InDesign, there are several good options in-person, live online, and as part of certification programs.

Noble Desktop offers several InDesign classes. For those looking to pick up knowledge quickly, InDesign in a Day might be a great option. If you want a deeper, more foundational understanding, Adobe InDesign Bootcamp is a longer, more comprehensive course. In addition, there’s a Graphic Design Certificate option, which includes InDesign coursework.

If you don’t like the idea of being in the classroom, live online courses offer similar benefits to being in-person, with the flexibility of being able to learn from the comfort of your own home or office. You can use the Noble Desktop Classes Near Me tool to find live online InDesign courses or InDesign classes near you. The Classes Near Me tool is an easy way to see available training courses from reputable training programs in a specific subject area.