What Your Business Needs: Sales Materials

Marketing sales materials, often referred to as marketing collateral, can be a significant component of any company’s marketing efforts if used correctly. However, the problem that many businesses face when creating marketing collateral such as brochures, flyers, corporate videos, sales presentations, sell sheets, or direct mail, is that they don’t have a clear message or direction.

For many people, your marketing collateral will be the first time they are exposed to your brand and we all know how important first impressions are. Whether they receive your brochure at a tradeshow, watch a video on your website or come across your direct mail piece while they’re sorting through the day’s mail, you must make sure that your pieces are communicating the message that you want to communicate and that it’s the right message for your brand.

The best way to determine what that message will be, is to assess your goals before you begin creating your marketing collateral. Ask yourself what you hope to achieve with these pieces and what message you want to get across to your target audience. Is there a strategic need for these pieces of collateral and, if so, what is it? For example, are you developing the pieces for an upcoming tradeshow your company is attending? Are you developing them to promote a new product line or increase awareness about an existing product? Figuring out what the primary goal of your marketing collateral is before you begin is half the battle.

Of course, after you’ve determined what you want to say and why you want to say it, the other half of the battle is figuring out how to communicate it. Depending on what your company is selling, this is often easier said than done. For companies with technical products or services that cater to a small niche population, it can be extremely difficult to get the message across without drowning your audience in technical language that leaves them overwhelmed and confused, rather than engaged and curious.

The most important thing to remember when developing marketing collateral is that rather than using what little real estate you have to gush about your brand or your product, you should be using it to highlight what makes your product different – what distinguishes it from every other product or service like it on the market. These days, anybody can go online and read reviews about a product, look at specifications and research it inside and out. However, what they really want to know – and what you need to communicate to them – is why your product is different and what it is that makes it different.

The very core of your message will likely be derived from this distinction and you can use it to shape and steer the rest of your messaging when it comes to collateral like brochures, videos, direct mail pieces and flyers. Find the overarching theme that hits home with your audience and weave it into your brand’s narrative.

However, make sure you’re targeting the right people with that message. You’ll waste a lot of time and a lot of money trying to appeal to the masses with your marketing collateral, especially if your product or service caters to a niche market. Figure out who you’re really targeting with your sales materials and go after that segment of the population – you’re guaranteed to reach more people that way, especially people who can directly benefit from your brand and who are in position to buy in to what you’re selling: in other words, people who can have a positive impact on your revenue and your marketing ROI.

Finding your target audience and getting your message through to them are two completely different things, however. For example, they might notice your direct mail piece when they pull it out of their mailbox and they may flip it over once and scan it, but it doesn’t mean that they’re really connecting with it and engaging with the message in a meaningful way.

In order to get them to pay attention, you need to create marketing collateral that demands such attention. Make it immediately stand out and force your audience to be a captive one – your goal is to make them want to read more and ultimately learn more about your product and your brand.

You can accomplish this in any number of ways: with a sleek and eye-catching design, with a clever, witty headline, with a visually captivating and informative video, by appealing to their emotions (i.e., evoking feelings of nostalgia, sympathy, excitement, surprise, or just about any other emotion that will leave a lasting, positive impression of your brand’s message), or by simply being relatable. The bottom line is, if you can make your audience feel something – any kind of positive feeling at all – you’re already on the right path.

The key to creating meaningful and impactful marketing collateral is to create pieces that serve as an introduction to your brand for the uninitiated, while also drumming up enough interest in your product to lead to future engagement. As a supplement to your overarching brand message and as part of a complete marketing campaign, sales materials can be an extremely useful way to generate new leads and grow your customer base.

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Posted on July 21, 2014 in Marketing, Marketing Company Philadelphia

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