Decision Makers Say Visual Communication Helps Drive Business

Ad ops decision-makers constantly seek new ways to attract and engage customers, as well as potential employees. One of the most effective ways to achieve this is through visually creative content.

There have been many developments in digital design since visual communications platform Canva launched in 2013. Back then, a wall of text was the way to go, but now it’s the quickest way to send someone into a daydreaming frenzy. As visual communication accelerates, business leaders worldwide are adapting to this change. 

So what do business leaders think about visual communication’s role in driving business efficiency, audience engagement and recruitment efforts. We looked at Canva’s Visual Economy Report, which revealed some thought-provoking insights about industry leaders’ perspectives of visual communication in the workplace and day-to-day business activities.

For the report, Canva surveyed 1,600 business leaders across the US, UK, and Australia about their approach to design principles to drive business efficiency, visual communication as a tool to run organizations, creativity, audience engagement, and greater economic impact.

Key Findings

Visual Communications Is a Business Imperative: Visual content is in high demand only increasing and becoming more technologically advanced as time progresses. Our minds are screaming, “give me more!” when it comes to digital information, so everyone is glued to their screens daily. Almost all global business leaders surveyed agree that visual communication methods increased efficiency by 90%, enhanced collaboration by 89%, and are more authoritative than 85% of other forms of communication. 

Increased Audience Engagement: When it comes to internal and external visual communication engagement, it ranks really high with business leaders. Eighty-nine percent of decision-makers believe it helps remote and hybrid employees connect, and 88% agree that visual communication tools have boosted their sales cycles and increased audience engagement. 

Social Media Shook Things Up: Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok have changed how we communicate and consume content forever, personally and in the workplace. On a team call yesterday, we even debated whether people should share their work accomplishments on social platforms. 

We Must all Be Design Literate:  We can’t rely on our in-house design teams to do everything anymore. Canva’s report showed that most business leaders prioritize design literacy for their employees. Sixty-one percent expressed that employees in non-design roles are expected to have extensive design skills. Many leaders are also unsatisfied with their design platforms, with 62% stating that their design platforms are far too complex. Fifty-three percent think their content is not aesthetically pleasing, and 56% find their content inconsistent.

Gen Z’s Got it All Figured Out As Usual: Compared to other generations, 90% of Gen Z consumers and employees find visual communication helpful in articulating ideas. 

Thriving in an Increasingly Visual World 

Data storytelling is now an increasingly important aspect of visual communication for many organizations. It is used in everything from social media graphics to sales and marketing materials and even internal communications. Eighty-six percent of global decision-makers use data visualizations when creating plans and presentations, with nearly 61% using data visualizations daily. 

Ever notice how  TikTok ads look just like user-generated content on the platform? Consumers expect brand content to resemble their favorite social media platforms. Marketing and creative teams are taking cues from social platforms and becoming more fluid in digital design..  

Gen Z: Stop short-changing Gen Z. They are the visual generation, and social media and content creation come second nature to them. Canva’s Visual Economy Report found that this generation is more resourceful, recognizes the power of visual communication, and is embracing visual design tools more frequently in the workplace. Businesses need to include more visual communication in their recruitment efforts to appeal to this next generation of leaders.

By 2025, 27% of the workforce in OECD countries will be Gen Z. Invest in your Gen Z employees as a creative resource. Give them a seat at the table to share their design-forward ideas and allow them to leverage the latest design trends they are tapping into. 

Design Aspects: When it comes to presentations, less is more. There is no reason to do too much, remember attention spans are almost nonexistent. Animations, videos, and GIFs are crucial to increasing design engagement (views and shares). The number of views and shares per design is 70-80% higher for presentations containing one animation, according to the report. Implement talking presentations with the use of recorded videos or audio tracks, which should only take 2-5 minutes each. 

In conclusion, All businesses are now in the content business, and that includes the publisher’s business, and standing out is a priority  for internal and external communication strategies helping businesses thrive for years to come.