A number of years ago, before smartphones and tablets were even invented, a marketing guru out of Philadelphia named Bob Gollwitzer said something that today’s modern digital marketer definitely needs to hear; “We [those in marketing] need to look at our PC screens as if they were televisions, and people do not read television, they watch it.”

Looking back today, when approximately 50 million people in the United States use their smartphones to watch videos, it’s not a stretch to say that Bob knew exactly what he was talking about, which was that for the most part that consumers don’t want to use their computers (or tablets, or smartphones) to read, they want to use them to watch.

Many more facts support his view, including the reality that when an introductory email includes a video, subscriber opt-outs are reduced by 75%. Or that, in January of this year, over 85% of the Internet audience in the United States viewed an online video. How about the fact that Instagram now has over 200 million active monthly users and that, by the end of the year, at least 25% of smartphone users in the US will be sharing photos on their app.

Of course, if you’re a marketer and you didn’t already know most of this information, you probably should get a new career immediately.

The simple, unavoidable fact about marketing is that visuals are the king and won’t likely be dethroned anytime soon. Marketing using visuals isn’t a fad or a “trend” but a savvy, powerful marketing tool that’s used in practically every type of effective marketing campaign today.

The reason is that consumers look at their laptops, smartphones, tablets and other computer devices just like they watch television, wanting and indeed expecting “visual aids” and cues that, in most cases, spur them to take some type of action.

Of course it goes without saying that these visuals need to have relevance for your particular audience and resonate with them in order to be successful. Throwing up pretty visuals just for visuals sake is just a waste of time and money.

That being said, powerful and relevant visual marketing and advertising is exactly what consumers want and, if you give it to them, your advertising campaign will no doubt be much more successful.

To paraphrase a famous quote from Field of Dreams, “If they can watch it, they will come.”