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Wednesday
Mar042009

And Now For Your Next Heroic Act: Visualizations

When we talk to clients/prospects about what they’re doing on the Web, the conversations focus on what more they could be doing. Of course, there’s always more to do, especially for those responsible for how mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and other investment products are marketed.

But we are always mindful of the range of work—development and strategy—that’s done, day in and day out by eBusiness, Internet Marketing, Interactive Marketing et al teams.

And now, here’s a picture of it.

Every online marketing team leader may not have hands-on accountability for every piece of this schematic by Yvo Schaap but odds are good that you at least attend meetings on them. When someone asks you what you do, show them this. It communicates your story better than a long-winded monologue from you, doesn't it?

There’s an irony of my stumbling over this illustration (a ReadWriteWeb article featured Schaap and drove me to his site). I was looking for some examples of visualizations to again beseech investment management company marketers to begin to adopt more illustrative styles of communicating—in other words, more work for the Web team (and lots of other collaborators)!

If you’re still “making the donuts” (writing copy and pushing it out there), please take a moment to consider how instead you might begin to illustrate what your organization has to say.

To repeat what we commented on in a January post (see Fresh Ways to Explain the Financial Crisis), easy-to-understand visualizations are valued by everyone.

Only good things will come to you as a result of launching a visualization. Your success in producing an interactive data-based “picture” may be rewarded by a netizen’s highest compliment—he or she will call it out to their social networks. Based on my extremely focused monitoring of the Twitter stream (see my explanation of how I use Twitter), I’m here to tell you that there is nothing that gets passed around more by financial advisors than a good story with pictures.

A well-done visualization has an excellent shot at achieving what every site needs and that’s “linkbait”—something that other sites link to. And the search engines just might take note of how engaged, as measured by time on the page, your visitors become.

As for you, people will seek you out at parties, the vending machine will never lock up on you again and the hair salon will find someone other than you to train the shampoo girl.

Of course, you will need to prioritize your other heroic work (c'mon, does the advisor-only site really need another thingamajig?) but you can do this!

For inspiration, here’s a random list of visualizations I’ve come across since my January post: 

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