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Show and Tell: Using Graphics in Partner Marketing Materials

A picture is worth...well, you know the rest. Pictures and graphics really can help you explain more in fewer words. When you think about the complexity of the technology solutions and systems that you are selling, it becomes even more important to consider ways to illustrate your message. The point of adding a graphic to any document should be to simplify the concept to help the reader "get it."

When you are trying to explain a concept or feature, think about how you might turn that into a graphic to make your point. There are plenty of tools at your disposal to create clarifying illustrations for your Web site, blogs and marketing literature. Here are some examples:

  • PowerPoint: For all the bashing that PowerPoint takes, it is an amazingly easy tool to use to create nice graphics. SmartArt is a great place to start. Consider what concept you are trying to convey and find a match with a SmartArt graphic. There are helpful suggestions when you "Choose a SmartArt Graphic" that can lead to the best choice. There are multiple sites online where you can purchase PowerPoint templates to save you time and hassle when you don't want to create your own.

  • Excel: When you want to convey information about data, it's tough to beat Excel. Charting in Excel has come a long way. The options are endless and the combination of PowerPivot and Charting makes it very easy to test different combinations and sorting of data to make your point.

  • Visio: Visio is an often overlooked but powerful graphic tool for complex and connected data. The workflow and process diagrams are especially helpful at showing a client how all the pieces of a solution fit together for their organization.

  • Adobe Illustrator:While the application is not cheap and the charting function is not very flexible, Illustrator supports more complex graphic creation. Illustrator is the tool of choice for creating the popular infographics, where marketing meets data. Purchasing vector icons and graphics as the base for your infographic makes the task easier and gives it a professional look.

Get Creative, but Keep It Simple
Finding the right approach to graphically depict a concept isn't necessarily easy. Try different approaches and different tools, but keep the design as simple as possible. Clarity is the end game, so don't try to get fancy until your concept is crystal clear.

Keep in mind, your illustrations need to put concepts in perspective so people can see the big picture. Graphics can help to simplify complex concepts to generate those "Aha!" moments.

How are you using graphics to get the message across? Leave a comment below or send me an e-mail and let's share the knowledge.

Posted by Barb Levisay on February 02, 2012