The Future of Content Is Visual — and It’s Personal
With 1.2 trillion photos taken and shared in the past year alone, there is no longer any doubt that visual content is rapidly becoming the standard for digital communication. After all, it is how we as humans are programmed to think and process our external world:
And when it comes to online consumer social and shopping behavior, this truth is only amplified:
Businesses and brands around the world have taken note, with 40 percent of all advertising budgets going toward producing, curating, and evaluating visual storytelling and imagery.
Bold predictions have been made about design trends and what consumers really want to see — just earlier this year Pantone, a color cataloguing company, declared that a specific shade of purple would be 2018’s “Color of the Year.”
The Color of the Year 2018 is…PANTONE 18-3838 Ultra Violet!https://t.co/ciwdTYqoIC
— PANTONE (@pantone) December 7, 2017
Newfound Applications of Artificial Intelligence Tell a Different Story
With advances in image-based artificial intelligence and deep learning models, it has become evident that different consumer groups actually exhibit markedly unique preferences when it comes to what they want to see in an image. Through the analysis of millions of online images, websites, and social profiles, it is possible to understand the nuance in consumers’ visual preferences — from differences in things like color and styling, to less obvious elements like composition, layout, and product placement.
The average consumer is exposed to over 5,000 branded images every day.
While Millennials may prefer to see lifestyle photos that feature the color blue and have high contrast, women 65-plus may be more interested in viewing cityscapes at dusk. One thing is clear: consumer demographics are captivated by different visual stimuli, and this changes over time.
Why This Matters For Brands, Marketers and Creatives
In a world where attention is currency, syncing your brand’s image to the visual consumption habits of consumers is the only way to consistently ignite their passions and grow your digital footprint. Advertisers and marketers now need to shift their thinking from creative as a “catch all” and equip their organizations with the knowledge of audience-based visual preferences. This knowledge will enable them to stand out on any medium.
As we enter into a new era of visual consumption, the brands that will prosper in the next 10 years will be those smart enough to make imagery the imperative and stop guessing on what will resonate.
Jehan Hamedi is the founder and CEO of Adhark, a Boston-based image performance software company that quantifies design to elevate brand performance. The Adhark Platform uses patented artificial intelligence and machine learning to understand the visual preferences of consumer audiences, guide creative decision-making, and deliver brand success through enhanced imagery.