The year of the visual message
From this marketer’s perspective, one of the most interesting things to come out of 2010 was the incredible rise of the infographic. It seems like they were everywhere. The community focused Good Magazine, featured more than 70 different infographics in 2010 and Mashable, the widely popular ezine on digital media, closed out the year with a feature on 19 of the Best Infographics From 2010.
Infographics make complex information easily understandable.
The term maybe new to some of you, but not the message. Info(rmation) graphics are visual representations of information, data or knowledge often used to support information, strengthen it and present it within a sensitive context. They are specific, context-sensitive and often times hand-crafted.*
As a medium to explain technical or scientific topics, infographics really have no match. They get their point across easily and they can be a powerful medium for influencing change.
Infographics excel at presenting complex information – by presenting every data point simultaneously, allowing the information consumer to decide what’s most important to them. Video, in contrast, must essentially present information in a linear way, with a beginning, middle and ending.
Imagery is no longer complimentary but the message itself.
So, what does this all mean to B2B marketing? A big question with a simple answer. We think the age of the visual message has arrived. Imagery is no longer complimentary to well-crafted copy but instead has become the message itself.
The visual message is simply easier to understand, to relate to, and since 6 out of 10 people are visual learners, the visual message can make a much stronger connection to your audience.
Today’s information consumers expect everything they see on the Web to be visually compartmentalized, short and skimmable, and easily understood. The bottom line – Web sites that attract and convert have a visually accessible message.
The age of dense copy has passed.
B2B marketing, and particularly technology marketing has long been copy heavy. We tend to use lots of words to explain our marketing message to prospects and customers. Perhaps for many, writing came easier than visual thinking.
That’s not to say tech marketers are all about text, of course diagrams are often included – but they don’t necessarily simplify. In fact, in many cases diagrams where every element seems equally weighted or where too much information is presented become indecipherable.
For B2B marketers to succeed moving forward will require change. In the age of real-time streams and avatars, where visual elements are central to the message itself, B2B marketers will need to be able to convert their complex messages into engaging graphics.
I’m not suggesting that we’ll all become infographic designers – but we certainly need to become visual thinkers. We need to become experts at understanding how our prospects and customers consume information and we need to evolve how we present our message to meet their expectations.
Posted on January 20, 2011 by Alison O’Brien