The Power of a Picture

A picture is worth a thousand words. That may be an overused cliché, but it is one all marketers should live by. Here’s why.

Pictures have power: the power to attract, to persuade and to sell. But don’t just take our word for it – we have science, history and statistics to back it up.

Visual communication stretches back thousands of years. Think cave paintings, engravings and hieroglyphics.

People remember 10 percent of what they hear, 20 percent of what they read and 80 percent of what they see.

Visuals are processed 60 000 times faster than text – we can understand what an image means in 13 milliseconds (less than a blink of the eye!).

Of the info we intake into our brain, 90 percent is visual.

Colourful visuals are 82 percent more effective at attracting our attention and helping us remember information.

Print advertisers have long seen the value of pictures, even back in the ‘olden days’. Here’s what some experts dug up from The New York Post in May 1921:

Pictures help the audience visualise the product and how they would use it.

Illustrations are more attractive than the most striking headline.

They perform the ‘cardinal principles of advertising’ since they attract attention, arouse interest and create desire.

And that was when everything was printed in black and white!

All those points are still relevant today and we see everything in brilliant colour. From glossy magazine pages, four-storey-high billboards, sides of moving buses, cinema screens, social media posts, websites viewed on smartphones and even the tiniest of wearable technology like the iWatch, great eye-catching images are the key to stopping people in their tracks, to halt the newsfeed scrolling and to be remembered.

Photography can have a significant impact on your marketing, sales and the ultimate success of your business… the good, the bad and the ugly.

What does all this mean? That photography is more crucial to the promotion of business than it has ever been. The power of visual communication has rocketed with the rise of digital and social media.