CGD218 Week 5 Final Project – Visual Literacy

Visual Literacy in Business – CGD218

I’m the Marketing Manager at Comcast and support the Business side of the company. My role does not include your tradition Marketing tactics. I plan and execute networking opportunities, organize large scale golf tournaments and movie premiers as well as support internal and external Referral Programs. I’m also highly involved in internal communications to the Comcast Business teams. I communicate product launches, promotions, referral program updates and much more. According to Aniisu K. Veghese “Communicating effectively with employees can build organizational commitment, achieve superior business outcomes, influence corporate reputation, share knowledge, grain trust, instill a sense of belonging, create awareness and engage employees.” (September, 2017). Which is a big part of why I work so hard on communicating effectively to the Comcast Business group.

For this paper I will be focusing on the Inner Circle Referral Program. Inner Circle is a platform for Comcast employees to submit referrals to the Business team of companies they know that are interested in our services. We encourage employees to refer their friends, family, dentist, doctor, barber shop, etc. To promote the program and create more interest my team and I run weekly, monthly and quarterly incentives. The visual element used for the incentive is a very colorful poster with images of the prizes employees could possible win. The poster always includes the Inner Circle logo and basic instructions on how to submit a referral. The concept is very similar to launch of USA Today, with their use of color, graphics, and simple articles to make it easy for readers to find the information they want without deep reading (Williams, 2012).

The Inner Circle Program would not be successful without referrals coming in but more importantly is the processing of the referrals by the Business Account Executives. Referrals that are not processes properly do not result in a commission to the employee who referred the Business. If employees don’t get paid, they stop using the program. It’s important for Inner Circle to be branded as a means to for extra income and a personal touch for our potential new customers. Bruce Duckworth’s quote in the text book was spot on when he said “Branding is an experience, and advertising is a temptation.” (2012). If the employees experience is bad the program will eventually fail. With a good brand the advertising poster will tempt employees to submit referrals as well as act as ambassadors of the Inner Circle brand (Verghese A., 2017) The brand carries through to the Inner Circle program job aide I created for Business Account Executives that explains the program, how to process orders correctly and what the employees expects and sees from their side. I use many screen shots in my step-by-step instructions so the process is not left up to the individual’s perception of the instructions. The images are taken right from the CRM (the tool used to process orders). I use arrows, boxes and numbers to visually call out what the process is. According to a study at the University of Minnesota School of Management, visual aids improve learning by 400% and were more than 40% more effective that words in persuading viewers to act in a desired way (Bintz C. 2016)

The typography used in the job aide is visually appealing and highly visible. It catches the readers attention, points out important elements and delivers the information quickly and efficiently (Williams R. 2012). I utilized headlines for each slide to indicate what information can be found there. This makes navigating the document easier when the Business Account Executive is looking for something specific. Each page includes plenty of white space as to not clutter the message. The information is broken down into chunks or bits of information so the viewer doesn’t have to read much to understand what is being presented on the page.

The Inner Circle Logo is on the top left of every slide. I want everything that has to do with Inner Circle to sport the logo so it’s well recognized. I want anyone seeing the logo to know that the program works, puts money in their pocket and gives a more personal touch for our potential customers that are referred through the program because a trusted Business Executive will be helping them.

Using the poster, screenshot images, and logo in the material helps to deliver consistent branding, important information about the program, takes the guess work out of the process and markets the additional potential prizes that can be won by employees besides the commission they could receive. With the help of the visual elements the message of the poster is that if employees submit referrals through the Inner Circle Program they could potentially win really cool prizes like a FitBit Iconic or a 3D printer. The message I want to convey in the job aide is that it’s important to process the referrals submitted properly so the employees are happy, get paid and tell their co-workers about the program in hopes the number of referrals increase. The job aide also gives insight into the life cycle of the referral so they can educate employees who on the process and answer any questions that might come up.

Including visual elements to instructions requires the viewer to be visual literal. Unless visually impaired, humans by nature respond to visual cues. The International Visual Literacy Association (IVLA) defined digital literacy as “a group of vision-related competencies a human being can develop by seeing, and at the same time, having and integrating other sensory experiences. [These competencies] enable a visually literate person to discriminate and interpret the visual actions, objects, and symbols that he [or she] encounters … to communicate with others … and comprehend and enjoy visual communications.” (William R. 2012). This definition implies the importance of sight but that visual literacy requires more information along with sight to really comprehend what is being seen. Perception plays a big part in visual literacy as well. Our brain must give meaning to the images we have seen. Because we all have different memories and ideas, visual images can be perceived differently depending on past experiences. The use of ALL CAPS in an email can be interpreted as yelling to most people. The intent might not be yelling but would most likely be taken that way.

In conclusion, visual elements along with context to support the message can be extremely helpful in relaying a message. Text alone doesn’t get the job done but does help put context to the visual element but at the same time text can be the visual element if used to emphasis a message. Visual literacy is important to the human race, is a universal language and our past experiences, beliefs, etc. give meaning to visual elements but can be deciphered differently by different people. The world of visual elements is a great place to live.

Visual Elements

Created by Juanita Hopwood – Sr. Marketing Specialist, Comcast Business


Williams R. (2012). Learning to See – A Guide to Visual Literacy

Verghese A. (2017). Internal Communications: Practices and Implications

Bintz C. (2016). Journal of Visual Literacy – Visual literacy: does it enhance leadership abilities required for the twenty-first century?

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