In a world where consumers are inundated by media from all sides and almost all day - via a range of devices, all sorts of news and content, across a variety of channels - the importance of visuals is rising. No matter on which device or through which channel you are trying to reach your customers, it is crucial for your message to get through and create an impression on the viewer’s mind. In the virtual world there are words everywhere and you have to make an effort to read them. Images or sounds on the other hand reach the viewer before they have time to think.
Take a look, and see what I mean:
This landing page needs no words to describe the product.
Inbound marketing will be the way to go, and in order to get customers to opt-in for a relationship with a brand, it will need more than bulk email optimized for desktops. You need instead visually compelling content for immediate impact on the emotions of the customer. Reaching the customer emotionally may just be the trend that will grow most in 2013. That’s achieved best with the right visuals or perhaps even sounds, using responsive web design and responsive newsletters to give the customer the best web experience possible.
A big challenge for those in eCommerce going mCommerce will be to present those great visuals and still have fast loading pages and newsletters which adapt to the screen size. Who wants to start a mobile purchase, just to have the connection break off in the middle of the transaction, or to have to put up with low loading times in areas where the connectivity is lacking?
In 2013 most people will probably still use their mobile devices to collect information while on the go, and make the actual purchase in a brick and mortar store or at home where the connection and loading times are much more reliable. But even so, it remains crucial to leave an immediate impression by using strong images and perhaps sounds, to get the customer hooked on the go.
Segmentation and personalization will give marketers a lot of opportunities to target people on an emotional level by using the right images and the right messages to connect to individuals.
Gamification, combined with the right visuals, will also pick up as a means of luring people to opt-in - most of us have play instincts which make it hard to resist „just giving it one try“.
Another very effective method of getting people‘s attention is either by shocking them or presenting them with ambiguous images that at first glance seem to have no relevance to the product at hand.
In the end, it all needs to come together in 2013 and beyond. Holistic multichannel inbound marketing, which is measurable and brings revenue, while reaching customers in the gut and engaging them in long term relationships by providing those extraordinary and compelling web experiences of which visuals are one if not the most important component.
By Anjum Siddiqi