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2020 Widen Connectivity Report Explores Struggle to Balance Quality Visual Design and Business Success

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MADISON, Wis., Jan. 29, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Widen, a provider of digital asset management (DAM) software, today released their third annual Widen Connectivity Report. They surveyed 293 marketing and creative professionals from global brands and conducted in-depth interviews with 10. The report documents a gap between the perceived importance of visual design and the lack of C-level attention it receives. 

The Connectivity Report is an ongoing study about the challenges and opportunities marketers and creatives face in balancing technology with a human touch. Understanding this balance is increasingly difficult as marketers feel pressure to connect communications, experiences, and audiences in more efficient, data-driven ways. The 2020 Connectivity Report is the first to focus exclusively on how quality visual design shapes marketing connectivity.

The respondents overwhelmingly agreed on the importance and power of visual design.

  • 91% of respondents said they invest in quality graphic design for their marketing content.
  • 98% felt that quality graphic design in marketing content enables stronger relationships with their audience.
  • 85% felt that the ability to scale creative and marketing work is important or very important to business success.

However, graphic design does not garner the degree of support and technological investment one might expect given how much brands value visual communication.

  • Only 8% said that visual design lives at the C-level within their organization, meaning that it’s considered a tactical issue, not a strategic priority, at the other 92% of brands.
  • Although 70% scale their marketing work by templatizing layouts, reusing and repurposing assets, and sharing assets across teams, just 30% automate creative workflows.
  • Only 24% use artificial intelligence (AI) to scale marketing, suggesting that AI is still overhyped or undervalued.

“Our interviewees differentiated between ‘quality’ design and ‘successful’ design because the two aren’t necessarily the same—and brands measure them very differently,” said Nina Brakel-Schutt, Director of Creative and Brand Strategy at Widen. “While some brands value qualitative signals like team pride and positive feedback from salespeople, others prioritize quantitative metrics like web traffic, content conversions, click-through rate, and time on site. To strike a balance between quality and success, we think brands need to use both approaches. The results might address the contradiction we see in the data: that brands value graphic design but hesitate to move it up the ladder to the C-level, where the business impact would be magnified.”

To learn more, download the 2020 Widen Connectivity Report at

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