The Proper Care And Feeding of Customers

Posted by Jim Iott on Oct 27, 2016 5:28:04 PM

Consumers Are Hungry For Visual, Easily Digestible Communications

Your customers are hungry. Their hunger is growing for information, recognition, and special treatment. Consumers’ ravenous appetites are being fed by growing levels of data, increasing data technologies and expanding digital media channels. But, while their appetites are getting more voracious, consumers are becoming more fickle. With so many brands competing to be the hand that feeds their customers, consumers are becoming far more choosey regarding which media they consume and with which brands they interact. Increasingly, marketers serving the most relevant, seamless and most digestible brand interactions have customers eating out of their hands.

Marketers are utilizing a range of data technologies and distribution channels in order to transform in-market browsing data, CRM data and third-party lifestyle and life stage data timely and relevant communications seamlessly delivered through omnichannel deployment strategies. But how are marketers making communications more digestible for consumers? Increasingly, consumers are craving more visually-driven communications. A recent study indicated that marketers have approximately eight seconds to capture a customer’s attention.*1 Verbal intelligence is decreasing and visual intelligence is on the rise. Average SAT reading scores have been falling and were at an all-time low in 2014, at 497.*2 Frankly, people are not reading as they did in the past and are absorbing content in a whole new way. With reading comprehension in decline, sentences are being replaced by gifs, and images. The phrase “time is money” is truer now than ever, as people use images to communicate more quickly and with greater ease. Marketers are wise to adapt their marketing strategy to accommodate these profound changes.

Shortened attention spans are fundamentally changing how we communicate. With a strong focus on imagery, Snap, Instagram and Periscope and other leading social media platforms are becoming more powerful communications channels for consumers and businesses. Millennial and Generation Z consumers expect their interaction with brands to be done on a visual level:

  • Sixty-one percent say using images to communicate is faster
  • Sixty percent say it's a good way to express feelings that are hard to explain, and more than fifty percent say it's just plain fun.
  • Sixty percent of consumers are more likely to consider or contact a business when an image shows up in local search results.


Visual communications personalize a message beyond words and enable an emotional connection. For the younger consumer today, emojis, gifs, videos and photos have become a part of their written language.

A few companies have been doing a good job communicating visually, including Target, Pepsi and Domino's. For years, Target has used visual communications to consistently create stunning and emotionally evocative brand advertising, which more than just a product or tagline, tell a story and communicate their brand instantaneously. Pepsi recently released a limited edition line of Pepsi bottles that are adorned with different emojis, allowing people to share a feeling and a Pepsi with a friend. Domino's has used emojis in a different and revolutionary way, allowing their customers to order a pizza by tweeting a pizza emoji to @Dominos. Once a customer has registered their Twitter account in their Domino's profile, and set up an EasyOrder, they can repeatedly have pizza delivered to their home by tweeting the pizza emoji.*5 

Marketers face certain challenges when adopting more visual interactions and engagements. Some companies struggle to maintain relevant communication, visually tell a concise story, or maintain a message that is appropriate for their audience. By maintaining their brand voice and listening to their customer data, marketers are able to craft simple, yet effective and bold communications. More than just visual appeal or ease of consumption, it is necessary to create relevant messages based on insights gleaned from customer data. Finally, consumers have come to expect a truly omni-channel experience with the brands they love. This means utilizing customer identity and channel data to seamlessly engage consumers through relevant channels. Gone are the days that brands can broadcast, generic, one-size-fits-all advertisements and expect to initiate genuine and enduring customer relationships. Today’s digitally-savvy consumers are hungrier than ever for meaningful brand relationships, but they have a much more refined palette.


*1 Humans Have Shorter Attention Span Than Goldfish, Thanks to Smartphones  - See more at:
*2 Humans are Changing – How to Adapt Your Brand - Infographic - See more at:
*3.  Balazs, L. & Davidson, A. (2016). Data-Driven Marketing in an Image-Driven Culture [Powerpoint Presentation]
*4. 6 Powerful Reasons Why You Should Include Images In Your Marketing – Infographic - See more at:
*5 Domino's Will Now Let You Order Pizza Through Twitter Via Emoji - see more at: