The ways consumers assimilate information—and make spending decisions—are continually changing. “Due largely to technology, our attention spans are weakening,” observes Balihoo designer Carly França. “Most of the time, if executed correctly, information—once explained by a few paragraphs of copy—can be just as easily understood and more quickly absorbed via imagery.”
We recently discovered Ogilvy Notes, a site chock full of visual summaries of this year’s South by Southwest (SxSW) event. The artists from ImageThink take notes about the talks and panel discussions, then create pictorial representations of the information covered. Here is one example:
In addition, infographics and data visualization are sweeping the online space. Google’s “Insights for Search” analytics reflect that, over the past two years, infographic search volumes have increased by over 800%. “Infographics are just visual metaphors,” explains França. “And metaphors break down complex information in a way everyone can understand it.”
Animation is also being used to communicate important messages, and mobile applications provide visually stimulating ways for consumers to interact with their favorite brands. This exciting visual trend presents marketers with a whole new way to tell their stories, expand their reach, and ultimately, increase their bottom line.
National brands continue to explore and expand their use of visual marketing, especially in the digital media space. One big opportunity that many national brands overlook is developing visual assets to be repurposed and reutilized by their local affiliate (franchisees, dealers, agents, distributors). Think about it: One visual marketing piece on a Facebook page is good, but multiply that exposure by hundreds of local Facebook pages or microsites, and it’s great.
PS: Speaking of great, one of my new favorite tools is Wordle which makes it easy to generate word clouds (see the graphic at the outset).