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How creatives and marketers can thrive in the Visual Economy

Brands increasingly rely on visuals to stand out, and in a cluttered landscape, every marketer now needs to be a content creator. Here’s how they can be set up for success in a visual world.


In a world where content is king, captivating visuals are critical to connecting with audiences. Savvy organizations know that human attention is a scarce commodity – and that’s what separates engaging brands from ones that get lost in the noise. Every business is now in the content business, and today, no organization can succeed without a visual-first approach and standout content. It truly is a visual economy(opens in a new tab or window).

A blue banner with the text: 85% of global business leaders believe visuals carry more authority than other methods of communication, and 89% say visual communications tools contribute to the business return on investment (ROI). Source: The Canva Visual Economy Report 2023

Conversations with industry

At the recent NYC Advertising Week, we joined forces once again with Variety to create an interview studio(opens in a new tab or window) for insightful and thought-provoking one-on-one conversations between a range of marketing leaders. In one discussion, Canva co-founder Cliff Obrecht spoke with Ryan Gould of Warner Bros. Discovery about how visually compelling campaigns are crucial – even for the most well-known brands. Repeatable visual consistency is also critical for cut-through, while genuine, values-aligned authenticity is the magic dust that will make a brand campaign truly resonate. Watch the full interview here(opens in a new tab or window).

Ryan Gould and Cliff Obrecht are seated on orange chairs facing the camera with a sign behind that reads: Variety Studio presented by Canva

Warner Bros. Discovery’s Ryan Gould chats meaningful campaigns with Cliff Obrecht in the Variety Studio, presented by Canva.

In this rapidly changing environment though, creating winning campaigns that cut through every time is easier said than done – especially when some marketers and creatives are facing a ‘this is the way we've always done this’ mentality from other stakeholders.

Recently, we’ve been talking to and learning from marketers(opens in a new tab or window) about the new challenges – and opportunities – this increasingly shifting landscape brings. They’re seeing shrinking budgets but growing demand for output, resulting in the need to create astronomical amounts of content, at speed and with fewer resources. They can no longer afford to get bogged down by process and bureaucracy; they need less complexity and the right tools to achieve more with less. It’s a whole new set of pain points that must be solved in order to keep up.

A long out-of-home billboard runs along an NYC street featuring the words "What will you design today?" along with various design-related posters

Our latest brand campaign took over the streets of NYC during Ad Week, speaking to the pain points of marketers and creatives.

Simpler solutions are needed to quickly create high volumes of compelling, on-brand content as well as internal assets like go-to-market and pitch decks, documents, and production assets. These solutions should now be table stakes for today’s marketers who’ve found themselves needing to operate as content creators, but don’t have professional design training, or where design resource in the company needs to be prioritized for impactful work and not everyday needs. That’s why we launched our Visual Suite(opens in a new tab or window), a collection of brand management tools(opens in a new tab or window), and Magic Studio(opens in a new tab or window) AI products to streamline workflows, enable seamless collaboration, minimize busywork, remove bottlenecks, ensure consistency, and supercharge creativity.

Harnessing the power of AI

Visual communication and AI are converging – so what does this mean for the next generation of marketers? More than just making design accessible, AI also offers more options in streamlining processes and workflows through automation, fuels team creativity and collaboration, and creates endless possibilities in terms of time and cost savings.

At Variety Studio, Bloomberg Media’s Mirabella El Baze and Christine Cook discussed the integration of AI as a key way to help cut through clutter. By equipping marketers and advertising and media leaders with the right tech and the right skills, they’re able to achieve more with less. The result? More innovative multi-channel campaigns that reach broader audiences and create truly impactful moments. Watch the full interview here(opens in a new tab or window).

Bloomberg Media's Christine Cook and Mirabella El Baze are seated on orange chairs facing the camera with a sign behind that reads: Variety Studio presented by Canva

Bloomberg Media's Mirabella El Baze and Christine Cook discuss how to do more with less in the modern marketing world.

Generative AI is already an essential part of any modern marketer’s toolkit. According to our recent survey(opens in a new tab or window) of more than 4,000 global marketing leaders, the majority are embracing AI to elevate creativity and increase output in the workplace. However, approximately two-thirds believe generative AI tools are too complex and there are too many to choose from. Now, it’s about consolidating AI-powered design tools into one easy-to-use platform.

Our AI-powered Magic Studio features(opens in a new tab or window) have supercharged(opens in a new tab or window) our Visual Suite and brand tools so anyone can create on-brand content that wows. For example, our Magic Write(opens in a new tab or window) copywriting assistant now lets you add in your company’s tone of voice to help everyone on the team stay on-brand, while game-changing products like Magic Switch(opens in a new tab or window) mean assets can be reformatted, adapted, and even translated for global and multi-channel campaigns with the simple click of a button.

We’re all being bombarded by video at every turn, so creating expert-level video content at scale is increasingly important to stand out. Our AI-powered tools like Magic Design for Video(opens in a new tab or window) and Beat Sync(opens in a new tab or window) empower anyone to produce high-quality, shareable videos in line with trends and achieve cut-through across the biggest visual apps including TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook.

AI-powered apps(opens in a new tab or window) can elevate designs even further – think adding talking avatars to a presentation, or taking a pitch to the next level with AI-generated music, images, and videos. However, with an ever-increasing universe of apps to choose from comes fragmentation and overwhelm that only adds to the burden of already-frazzled marketers and creatives. Interoperability is becoming essential – and access to an app ecosystem directly within Canva streamlines workflows.

Without expensive software, multiple subscriptions, or complex training, an all-in-one platform can empower every employee(opens in a new tab or window) at every organization to feel creative confidence, leaving brand designers to focus on more meaningful and higher-impact projects.

Setting up for success

The future is only getting more visual; particularly in the workplace. Information overload is constant, and lackluster assets and walls of text are the fastest way to lose an audience’s attention. Impactful designs, photos, videos, and sound will continue to dominate this new era of communication – and AI is only going to accelerate the creative process.

By harnessing the latest tech, marketers especially will begin reaping the benefit – and empowered with the right tools, can truly thrive in the visual economy.

Want to find out more? Explore our workplace solutions for marketers and creatives with Magic Studio(opens in a new tab or window) and Canva Teams(opens in a new tab or window).


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