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Visual Marketing: Creatives Need Data Too

Lack of time, resources the biggest challenges to creating effective visuals

April 30, 2015

Marketers have turned to visual assets to catch consumers’ eyes. In April 2015, Digiday, in association with Chute, polled more than 200 US marketers and found that respondents planned to spend 30.5% of their budgets on creating, producing and publishing visual content and materials, such as websites, emails, social media posts and ads, this year.

Biggest Challenges of Creating Effective Visual Marketing Content According to US Marketers, April 2015 (% of respondents)

However, marketers will need to overcome challenges if they want to create effective visuals—and Digiday found that the biggest hurdle had to do with a lack of time and staff, cited by nearly two-thirds of respondents. No other option came close, with maintaining timeliness and relevance, the second-highest response, cited by 35.5%. Generating creative inspiration and original content wasn’t as much of an issue, highlighting the fact that marketers have the ideas, but not the resources.

The need for more resources was clear when respondents were asked how much time they spent on visual marketing. Nearly half of respondents spent more than one-quarter of their time each week designing, adjusting or handling visuals.

The answer to visual marketers’ time problems? Data-gathering technology. Nearly 58% of respondents said being able to automatically mine consumer insights—that is, collecting data on content viewers—would save their team the most time. January 2015 research by Curata also highlighted the positive effect tech has on the creative process. When US marketers were asked which content marketing process areas would benefit from technology investment, production ranked No. 1, followed by organization.

Most Essential Types of Consumer/Market Data for Creating Effective Visual Marketing Content According to US Marketers, April 2015 (% of respondents)

Visual marketers polled by Digiday also gave some insight into the data that automation tools would need to collect. Demographic information was the most essential, followed by psychographics. However, nearly half of marketers also viewed audience segmentation as essential—something that’s time-intensive when done manually—and about four in 10 said the same about purchase data, which is difficult and expensive to get.

Marketers looking to draw in consumers with visuals should consider turning to technology that helps with data collection and gathering—so they have time to create that superb content they’re aiming for.

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