Jeff Gordon is CEO of AMPLIO, a business-to-business development consulting firm that provides sales and revenue development to start-up companies and established firms alike. AMPLIO helps companies leverage strengths marketing, strategic communications, and sales training. In his role, Jeff develops all the growth strategies, and also acts as an architect of AMPLIO's event portfolio.
Jeff was looking for software to help his team create polished, professional looking marketing materials quickly and easily.
"We were previously using Microsoft Publisher®, but we could only create 'mock-ups' of what we wanted," he said. "Then, we'd have to pass them off to a graphic artist, and pay fairly high fees to have them 'recreated' based on our concept."
Jeff found SmartDraw, and decided to give it a try. SmartDraw helps users automate the creation of business graphics such as brochures, presentations, and other marketing materials. Unlike other graphics programs that provide users with a blank screen and expect them to draw, with SmartDraw, users start with a template that is specifically designed to create the type of illustration they need. For example, SmartDraw contains dozens of SmartTemplates for flyers and brochures, product sheets, marketing charts, as well as layouts for web design.
After selecting the appropriate template, users simply enter the information and SmartDraw does the rest: building the graphic automatically using built-in rules and professional design themes to guarantee polished, presentation-quality results in just a few minutes. In addition, SmartDraw features one-click export to popular document types such as PDF, PowerPoint®, and more.
"There's no comparison between SmartDraw and other products," said Jeff. "When you make a PDF from SmartDraw, it remains true-to-scale. When you do it in Publisher, lines get moved, framing is off...it looks like you made a mistake when you didn't. As a senior officer, I don't have time to learn complicated software. Unlike other software packages that we've used or considered, SmartDraw is pretty simple to use, but the quality of what we are able to generate with it rivals much more complicated graphics software."
According to Jeff, SmartDraw paid for itself with the very first project. "SmartDraw paid for itself with first piece we created, because we no longer had to pass off the work to an expensive graphic artist for fine-tuning," he said.
Jeff claims that his company has used SmartDraw to create virtually all of their marketing materials. This includes a complete overhaul of their website, materials to drive attendance to events, and more.
"SmartDraw has literally changed the entire look and feel of our company," explains Jeff. "We've been able to greatly enhance the professional look and feel of our materials, thereby elevating our corporate image."
But the big question is...are AMPLIO's clients happy with the results? "Overwhelmingly, yes," said Jeff. "Our event portfolio competes with major companies like Gartner that have unlimited marketing resources, and we are beating the look and feel of their materials with our SmartDraw creations."
According to Jeff, some of the materials created with SmartDraw blew other B2B marketing communication firms out of the water. "They had no idea that we can do this stuff in-house," he said. "Everyone has commented that we have made a major leap in our look and feel. It shocks them when they learn it cost $200 or less to make that evolutionary jump. It still shocks me!"
And the savings continued to grow and grow! According to Jeff, "It would be hard to calculate, but SmartDraw will likely save us in excess of $7,000 in external graphic artist fees in 2007 alone."
The final Word®?
"We love the software. It is the best investment we have ever made!"