So there I was with a 25-page white-paper marked "Confidential," straining to read the 10 point font as I was reading the lengthy document explaining the guidelines to publishing enhanced content to vender pages on a very large online retailer's .com Words like "rich media box," and "expanded manufacturer content," have replaced the traditional "description," and "specs," that used to rule online retailers vendor pages.
In my recent work with big box retailers like Amazon, Walmart and Target, I have really seen how these big box retailers have begun to embrace the idea that video and other forms of rich media do a better job of explaining what a product is and thus selling it. In fact, in the document I was reading, most of the text that was recommended was aimed at giving the customer "additional detailed information,' about the product - so basically, anything that video or images can't quite capture. In addition to this most of the content has moved lower, and lower, below the rich media content as if it is an afterthought - and it very well may be. Check out these product pages here and here to get an idea of what I am talking about.
If the largest retailer in the world is publishing white pages explaining the value of rich media content to its vendors says a lot about the trend in digital marketing away from text and towards valuable visual content. As a marketer - this means a lot more interfacing with graphic designers and planners to better shape digital assets to meet the needs of not only the retailers but the digital consumer base that is increasingly demanding rich media content over text.