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Marketing Storytellers Eye Visual Content

Though visual assets continue to rise in importance, disorganization remains an issue

August 13, 2015

Visual assets help brands tell their stories, and usage will continue to increase. However, recent research indicates there’s disconnect between the noted importance of visuals and the focus given to them.

Importance of Visual Content to Their Marketing/Storytelling Strategies According to Senior Marketers in North America, by Type, Q2 2015 (% of respondents)

In Q2 2015 polling by the CMO Council, conducted in partnership with Libris, nearly two-thirds of senior marketers in North America said that visual assets were core to communicating their brand story, and the majority believed the importance would only grow.

Photography and video—the latter which is heavily in demand from consumers— were the most imperative visuals, with 46% and 36% saying these were critical, respectively. While just 19% and 15% said infographics and illustrations were critical, respectively, 57% and 54% said they were important.

When asked about the change in importance of select visual assets, respondents were most likely to say video had increased (79%). Six in 10 said the same about infographics, 50% about photos and 41% about illustrations.

In March 2015 polling by Ascend2, nearly half of marketing professionals worldwide said that videos were the most effective content type; however, they also ranked as the most difficult to create, cited by nearly six in 10. Fully 43% said infographics were effective, while 34% said they were difficult. Photos/illustrations were lumped together in the study and turned out to be easier to produce, though not as effective.

However, CMO Council found that disorganization was a challenge to visual content. Just over one-quarter of respondents had a process in place to aggregate, organize and manage visual assets used across teams, while about four in 10 said there was no conversation about centralizing these issues due to competing priorities.

Biggest Benefits of Having a System in Place to Aggregate, Catalog and Manage All Visual Assets* Across Their Organization According to Senior Marketers in North America, Q2 2015 (% of respondents)

Overall, 35% of respondents had no process in place to keep visual assets in check. While more than half had some sort of system in place to aggregate, catalog and manage all visuals, the majority in this group only had it within specific departments, at 29%, vs. 27% who had a process across the company as a whole.

Those who can get their visual content organized stand to reap various rewards. When asked about the biggest benefits of having a system in place to aggregate, catalog and manage all visual assets across their organization, half of senior marketers said this created a unified experience, and the same percentage said it streamlined creative processes.

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