Visual impact

The active boating public probably has little time for Twitter.

But there's an important message for us marketers in Twitter's current troubles.

Recently overtaken by Instagram with over 300 million regular users, the rise of visual social media is symptomatic of a world that's increasingly more interested in pictures and video than in words.

We're exposed to so many messages of one kind or another that those which are most easily absorbed are the ones that win our attention and stick, and pictures communicate faster than words.

It's evident on websites and eshots, people now click on more images than text.

There's a lesson here for all marketing communications, from social media, eshots and websites to brochures and advertising: for marketing communications to be effective, images are now more important than copy.

And because consumers perceive the qualities of the product from the quality of the picture, the standard of those images is crucial.

A shabby picture implies a poor quality product, while a stunning picture can add significant value. So it's vital to invest in good imagery.

Even Aristotle, a man of words if ever there was one, realised that people's thoughts respond more to images than to words.

He expressed it with typical elegance: "the soul cannot think without an image".

Over 2000 years later, that is more true than ever.

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