Why Digital Imagery Is More Than a Marketing Tool
Images are associated with marketing for good reason. Visual elements are instantly recognizable, stir emotions, and create trust. Brands rely heavily on logos and beautiful imagery for messaging, advertisements, and consumer recognition. Use-cases become more complex as technology advances and new channels pop up.
But what about all the other ways companies use digital imagery beyond marketing?
Digital imagery is everywhere. As the world continues its march to digital-first communication, imagery is increasingly critical for every kind of business. Due to the societal need to shop primarily online, e-commerce images now take the place of physical products.
Websites create the ultimate browsing experience by encouraging customers to “window shop” anywhere and anytime they have an internet connection. However, this convenience has its drawbacks—the experience is purely virtual. In an online environment, consumers cannot hold products in their hands. The only way to examine items in full detail is through easily accessible, interactive, high fidelity digital imagery.
E-commerce is just one example. News websites also rely on images to enhance their reader’s experience. Even manufacturers use images to assist with the increase in made-to-order and custom parts. As imagery extends throughout an organization, from Marketing to CRM to product ERP to supply chain and beyond, IT departments are tasked with handling storage and delivery solutions for all of these digital assets.
It is no surprise that images constitute the majority of website content. Images account for terabytes of data, and many other factors that impact the business, customer experience, and ultimately the bottom line. That is why imagery needs to be thought of as an enterprise-wide initiative requiring an enterprise-wide solution. Images should no longer be considered simply a marketing tool. The old saying, “An image is worth a thousand words,” has been updated to, “An image is worth a megabyte!”
Think about the imaging requirements (and related technological challenges) for a large-scale theme park. There are the obvious needs for branding and logos across every customer touchpoint. However, imagery can and should be incorporated into the visitor’s entire experience. First, during the pre-arrival stage where guests can view attractions and plan their adventures.
Then imaging servers might be centralized for many operations throughout the physical park. Guests can display You Are Here and How Do I Get There? maps at any park kiosk. Images of guests are captured at various points around the park and on rides, tagged via guests’ RFID bracelets, and displayed at kiosks or via the park app.
Customized products such as t-shirts and accessories are virtually displayed and can be ordered at the kiosks, on any smart device, or at the park hotels. While critical to the experience for digital-savvy customers, this park-wide (and enterprise-wide) imagery exposes the need for technology that optimizes and secures the entire process.
From pre-arrival experience to onsite activities, to post-vacation merchandise, imagery plays a critical role in the theme park customer lifecycle.
For organizations that are ahead of the curve and understand the value of imagery, the good news is that technology exists to provide optimal images–on demand–across the entire enterprise ecosystem. For most organizations, however, perception that imagery is just a marketing tool still needs to change.
Imagery will only become more crucial moving forward, and the smartest organizations will look to images to not only boost marketing efforts, but to improve sales, augment technology, and play a crucial role in customer experience and shareholder communications.