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The Value of Visual Design in a Connected Marketing World

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2020 connectivity blog 1200x628

In Widen’s third annual Connectivity Report, we explore how using quality visual design in marketing content can bring a human touch to the digital experiences we engage in everyday. 

Widen defines connectivity as the state of interdependence between people, objects, systems, and information. We look at visual design as the application of aesthetics that evoke an emotional response. 

Through surveys and interviews with over 300 global creative and marketing professionals, we’ve gleaned insights into how visual design can captivate audiences and power marketing connectivity — leading to a positive perception of products/services, team pride, and more traffic on core marketing channels like your website.

While words are critical to communication, visuals are the common ground that all humans understand, despite language differences. When visuals are designed in a way that beauty abounds, a problem is solved, or interpretations are made at lightning speed, then communication is accelerated.

Why does quality visual design matter to marketers?

Widespread access to user-friendly design software in the past few decades may have created the illusion that anyone can be a graphic designer. But our research suggests producing quality visual design is a craft that involves incredible talent, skill, strategic thinking, and time. 

Further, quality visual design is key to meeting the ever-increasing demand for marketing experiences that resonate with customers and prompt conversations that lead to sales. Read all of the details from each finding below in the full report to understand why.

  1. The ROI of quality visual design is a competitive marketing edge.
    Quality design can help organizations enter new markets, draw influencers to their products, and inspire collaboration from well-known brands. Indeed, 98% of our survey respondents say quality visual design in marketing content enables stronger relationships with their audiences

  2. Content with strong visual appeal makes it easy for people to act.
    Content that is simple and clear allows the audience to hook into it, and find the intended message and value. Marketing ideas with strong visual treatment transforms ordinary content into something meaningful. And meaning moves people to action.

  3. When visual design is part of an organization’s DNA, everyone benefits.
    Moving design up the ladder within an organization connects creative thinking with business strategy. This can cause a domino effect on quality as a whole, but the appreciation for visual design has to start at the top.

  4. Good visual design is a great catalyst for change.
    If you need a marker for change at your organization, look no further than the visual aesthetic of your marketing communications. From a logo or photo style, to colors, fonts, and icons, visuals are a powerful, human way to signify change.

  5. Creative and scale are essential to marketing efficiency, but often at odds.
    When it comes to business success, 85% of our survey respondents say it’s important or very important to scale creative and/or marketing work to achieve greater operational efficiency. But is it possible to scale visual design in your marketing and still be creative? 


Three key ways digital asset management drives quality visual design

One effective way to scale visual design is with web-based solutions like digital asset management (DAM). DAM automates repetitive manual work in the creative process like searching for creative files, converting artwork to different formats, versioning image files, and sharing files across teams.

Automating tedious creative tasks will give your team more time to develop quality visual design that captivates audiences.

Here are three key ways DAM can power the visual design in your marketing content:

  1. Protect your visual designs in a central location.
    DAM centralizes your final visuals in a single location and provides secure access to them via roles and permissions. You can safeguard the beautiful images you create by controlling who sees, downloads, and shares them. 

  2. Bring visual consistency to your brand.
    Managing visual assets in a DAM system enables marketing stakeholders to access files they need no matter where they are or what time it is. This reduces the risk of recreating marketing content incorrectly because it can't be found.

    Brand portals, collections, and links make sharing on-brand creative easy, while embed codes ensure that new versions of visuals populate automatically across all digital channels after they’ve been updated in the DAM system.

  3. Become the one-stop shop for creation, management, storage, and distribution of your valuable visual assets.
    The Widen Collective® offers the tools marketing teams need to power their content and manage it for the long-term. Gain total visibility into all the work your teams create, so repurposing and reinspiring great ideas can become a reality. Then open lines of communication across teams for greater collaboration and connectivity.

At Widen, we’re on a mission to help organizations create beautiful content they can be proud of. If you’re looking to infuse your marketing content with quality visual design that drives more engagement, here are some great tips to get started.

Start practicing quality visual design at your organization

  1. Hire the best people to create your marketing content. Quality design starts with quality graphic designers.

  2. Don’t rush greatness. Spend extra time flexing your creative muscles. Your designers will be happier and your organization will have a greater appreciation for what’s possible with good, original graphic design. 

  3. Let repeat design work become more templatized, so your team can dedicate more time to original, creative work.

  4. Make visual design a core part of your organizational DNA, starting with the people at the top.

  5. Turn your logo into a visual moniker that unifies your marketing communications on a global scale.

  6. Get involved with design communities in target regions, worldwide.

  7. Focus on creating visuals that appeal to the people who use your products and services, not just the features and functions of your products and services.

  8. Use visual design as a strategy to elevate your marketing message.  

  9. Turn your marketing vision into a visual manifesto that people can see and interact with.


See how Widen’s digital content solutions can drive your marketing connectivity. Request a demo today.

Topics: Creative, Marketing

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