In the new world of data-driven marketing, insights into consumer interaction and behaviour is becoming a hot topic amongst corporate firms in South Africa. While we are only at the cusp of exploring big data and its intended goals, countries all over the world are already leveraging some rather extraordinary data-driven marketing campaigns. The goal of these campaigns is predominantly to enhance and personalise a customer’s experience.

Instead of delving deeper into data-driven strategies, this article aims to consider how design influences the impressions we see in the data. After all, if we are tailoring a personalised campaign to our ideal target market, surely the way we position ourselves is of the utmost importance. You wouldn’t arrive at a potential new client’s door, wearing nothing but your underpants. As bold a statement as this may be, its highly likely not to create the correct impression and therefore close the door on the new business you so desperately desired.

Although the above scenario is ridiculous, it puts forward an interesting finding… There is a link between what consumers are visually stimulated by, (whether positive or negative) which directly effects their first impressions. A design-centric company exploits this principle, doubling-down on eye-catching content earlier in their sales funnels.


This is not a new development, for years visual communication has superseded all other forms of content delivery. It’s no fluke that the popular social media platform, Twitter went from text-based posts, to including media and video in later updates. If Twitter used a “business as usual” approach, they would likely have been dwarfed by what Facebook and other social platforms are offering their users today.

It’s a simple fact that our brains are hard-wired to interpret visual stimulation a lot faster than we can process text. Articles have suggested that we process visual information 60 000-times faster than text. This is purely because our brains can process multiple images at once, however can only read one word of text at a time.

What the above tells us is that companies that are design-centric will begin to lead the way over their competitors. Mature businesses need to adjust their thinking to include design as the key differentiator in their marketing campaigns, focusing on how to best measure it’s return on investment as appose to defaulting to “business as usual”.

Website Impressions

(Image Credit - Deekit)


Looking at content marketing and social media marketing today, customers have become accustomed to a highly tailored experience, receiving only the most applicable content for their consumption. In order to compete in this space, a more creative breed of marketing specialist is required. Reliance on data-driven strategies gets you in front of the consumer, however the quicker you can explain your business in as few words as possible and where necessary support it with creative visuals, the better your impressions and engagement will become.

The whole purpose of modern design in marketing is to get potential customers off the fence and funnelled into new impressions. A brand identity that moves a person to feel a specific emotion, reinforces every stage of their journey to becoming a loyal customer.