Top 5 Free Tools for Creating Hot Infographic

Information graphics (AKA: Infograpgic)

bring in the most users and attraction to your brand with users having diminishing attention spans, bright messages with clearly-displayed nuggets of information allow straight to the point message with real eye-catching statistics.

The biggest websites are already creating different categories of infographics on Pinterest and Twitter. So get up on the wagon and go for the ride.  It does not take a lot to start creating your own infographics within minutes.

Top 5 Free Tools for Creating Hot Infographic:5 Free Tools for Creating Hot Infographic

Hohli is an intuitive and simple online chart maker. Charts are also very well designed and look awesome!

Many EyesIBM research venture lets you upload your documents and visualize the modifications you can make to make it more attractive. You can select from template formats or customize your own changes. Nice!

Visual.ly If you think that vibrant colors and attractive images will work best for your document, pay a visit to the Visual.ly website and be amazed by the number of stunning visuals.

Inkscape is a free vector graphic software available for many platforms. You will have no problems importing your visualisations and combining them with other visuals to create your masterpiece.

Gapminder “There’s nothing boring about statistics!” Documents about current world affairs, dealing chiefly with statistics, can be really spiced up with the Gapminder cross platform tool. A Adobe Air application returns your document with extremely eye-catching visual stats.

Why the “Power of Branding” Is a Myth

Taken fron Inc.com / Written By Geoffrey James

Brand is important. No question of that. A strong brand can make it enormously easier to sell. However, the notion that “branding” can create a great brand is a myth. Worse, it’s a myth that can cost you a lot of money, without getting much in return.

By “branding”, I mean the panoply of marketing activities like brand-focused advertising, packaging, marketing materials, logos, taglines, and so forth. In almost every case, money spent on these activities is money wasted.

I fully realize that this viewpoint flies in the face of what you heard in business school. Nevertheless, it’s the truth and to understand why, you need to understand what “brand” really is.

Bottomline: Your brand is the emotion that a customer feels when thinking about your product.

That’s it. Neither more nor less. And that’s why “branding” is so impotent.

While it is true that branding can associate an emotion with a product, especially when pointed at highly impressionable buyers (e.g. young men who watch beer ads), in the vast realm of B2B sales and even in most consumer markets, there is one, and only one, thing that creates customer emotion: the customer’s experience with your product.

Once customers start thinking your product is garbage, there’s no amount of “branding” that can change the perception. In fact, attempting to use “branding” to fix a product problem always backfires. All it does is call attention to the difference between the brand message and what the customer knows is true.

By contrast, if customers love your product, then the brand will reflect that love. Of course, you can use the some of the tools of “branding” to help spread the word, but the keystone is always the customer’s experience.

Always.

I know what you’re thinking. What about Coke? What about Sony? They spend money on branding, so branding must be worth it, right? Well, not necessarily. In every case where there’s an instantly-recognizable brand, there’s a history (in Coke’s case more than a hundred years of history) of the company providing a consistently excellent product.

In any case, it’s a very weird notion that your company should be imitating the market spend habits of a company like Coke… unless, of course, your company also has an instantly-recognizable brand built up over decades.

The average SMB has almost nothing in common with Coke, or with Sony or Apple for that matter. Most SMBs sell B2B, which means appealing to a sophisticated buyer, who is very aware of the consequences of each purchase. That a B2B buyer might be swayed by a glossy brochure or a Coke-like logo, is frankly absurd. None of that fancy branding junk has any influence on a B2B buyer.

Same thing is true in many consumer markets. Apple, for instance, is a great brand not because or their logo or their commercials but because people feel good when they use Apple products. So good, in fact, that the Apple faithful are willing to overlook the occasional stinker.

Now, just in case you’re thinking that I’m just a sales guy who’s ragging on marketing, let be it known that I spent 6 years in a marketing group for a multi-billion dollar corporation where I was responsible for branding an entire line of software products. In fact, I won two awards. I still have the plaques.

It wasn’t until I got out of that job that I realized that our marketing group had wasted, over that six year period, well over $100 million on various kind of branding. This included (although I was not personally involved in this particular debacle) a multi-million dollar re-branding campaign that (wait for it…) changed the logo from blue to purple.

Don’t get me wrong. Marketing is important, essential in fact, but only as long as it is focused on 1) generating leads and 2) making it easier to sell.

And brand is important. Unbelievably important. But the “power of branding” to create that brand? Sorry, folks, ’tis but a myth.

The six most transformative in online marketing.

Taken from Adweek.com.
Written by Anthony Ha.

A vast array of technologies and trends are transforming online marketing. Because it’s hard to wade through the changes, we’ve whittled them down to six that are significant.

The death of the click through—maybe for real this time. Advertisers and publishers have been predicting—and hoping for—the death of the click-through rate for years, complaining it’s a highly inefficient way to measure an ad’s success, especially for brand advertising. Click throughs aren’t dead yet, but efforts like startup Moat’s “Kill the Click” campaign, which focuses on time spent mousing over an ad rather than clicking, should help dig its grave.

The merging of mobile and desktop. The dividing line between mobile devices (especially tablets) and desktop/laptop computers seems to be blurring. Apple, for example, has been incorporating features from its smartphones into its desktop operating system, and Jefferies & Co. predicted recently that Apple’s two systems—OSX and iOS—will merge completely. Meanwhile, ad servers like Google’s DoubleClick are trying to integrate their desktop and mobile offerings.

The persistence of supercookies. Researchers have found that major websites—specifically Hulu and MSN.com—have been following visitors with a file called a “supercookie,” which continues its tracking even after users delete it in their Web browsers. Not surprisingly, this doesn’t go over well with consumers. When called out, Microsoft and Hulu apologized and claimed to stop the practice. Don’t look for them to disappear completely, though—supercookies are legal.

The beginnings of ad-tech consolidation. Earlier this year, Andrew Bloom, vice president of business development at MediaMind, said, “The notion of consolidation is a wet dream for people in the industry.” And the dream may have started, sparked in part by Google’s acquisition in June of AdMeld. The latest deal came in September, when ContextWeb and Datran Media merged to create PulsePoint, which promises an easier way to create cross-channel campaigns.

The rise of HTML5. Once a dominant format on the Web, Adobe’s Flash has struggled to stay relevant, especially after Apple declined to support the format on the iPhone and iPad. Publishers and advertisers have shifted their attention to the newer, more mobile-compatible technology, HTML5. Even Adobe, which continues to defend Flash’s usefulness for games and other applications, has announced a separate product to help designers build ads in HTML5.

The value of specialized content. According to ad intelligence company SQAD, the CPMs paid for display ads held relatively steady over the past year, but things get more complicated when you compare different categories. Entertainment and finance sites saw their average CPMs increase by 50 cents or more, while automotive, lifestyle, and home/fashion sites went down by at least the same margin. SQAD’s conclusion? Specialized content still makes money.