Marketing materials, or collateral, are no longer just a sales brochure or a handful of leaflets; it’s any materials – distributed through a wide range of marketing channels – which allow you to get your message to your audience, and ultimately help you reach your goals.
That’s a simple summary of what marketing materials are, but before we delve a bit deeper, you should ask yourself a few questions:
- What do you need? (that’s if you know what you need). Remember also that what your business needs may not necessarily be what you want.
- Why do you need it?
- How do you want to reach your audience? Do you know who they are?
- And what are you trying to achieve? Sales, awareness maybe? Or perhaps both?
- Are you trying to reactivate lapsed customers, or surprise existing ones with a new product or service by cross-selling to them?
You may be able to answer most or all those questions, but don’t worry if you can’t – we can help. A really simple way to start the process could be for you to think about marketing materials you’ve received in the past, and what you liked and didn’t like about them, and why. Consider also that if you’re targeting more than one audience type, you may need to think of different materials for each audience segment in order to maximise your investment.
So, who are you?
Key elements that will run across all your marketing materials are your branding, messaging and tone of voice, so have those been defined?
It’s all about that “base”
Another key consideration when thinking of the effectiveness of marketing materials is that you need to bear in mind the “raw materials” you’ll be using. And what do we mean by that: if you’re thinking about a brochure, a catalogue, a flyer, think of what kind of paper it should be printed on: is your company, or your audience, particularly interested in demonstrating a commitment to sustainability for example?
When thinking of your website, make sure you concentrate on what’s in the background, how it’s built, and not just the front end, so its functionality provides the best user experience possible and which will yield results.
Ensure your website is optimised for Search so your audience can find you quickly when looking for your services online, and don’t forget your website should be responsive: depending on the nature of your business, most of your audience may reach your website via their mobile phone instead of a desktop computer or a laptop, as many as 60%1.
Remember that is no longer your business card that can cause a good, or bad, first impression. Your website is your window to the world.
Every single piece of your marketing collateral acts as a customer touchpoint, so think carefully about how that collateral will speak to your audience.
Think a “traditional” printed direct marketing campaign won’t have enough impact? Then simply stay away from tradition and surprise your audience: combine intriguing formats with the power of infographics, interactivity and gaming for example, and you’re on to a winner your target audience will want to hold on to and speak to you about.
Email is another powerful tool in your marketing materials, allowing you to measure audience interaction and response in a variety of ways.
With the right analysis engine behind it, an email campaign will allow you to measure KPIs such as open rate and click-through rate, and you can test a wide range of variables to see what brings you the best results: From name, Subject line, personalisation, body copy, design, position of CTAs, send time of day, send day of week, and more.
Staying in the digital space, a suite of web banners can be one of the most highly targeted and effective ways of putting yourself in front of your audience, while a podcast will let you share your expertise through content that will engage audiences regularly and put you ahead of competitors.
Remember exhibitions and experiential?
As life gradually goes back to how it was before Coronavirus struck, the impact of exhibiting in front of your audience will be stronger and more welcome than ever, a unique opportunity. When safe to do so, experiential will come back with a vengeance.
In the meantime though, have you considered virtual events?
Don’t forget marketing materials you can leave behind or send as a follow-up after a meeting or an initial call, such as a brochure (we hadn’t forgotten about it), a catalogue, a newsletter, or a presentation.
Your world in motion
Depending on your audience and goals, you should also include animation and video as part of your marketing materials. Full of movement and energy, the mixture of visuals and motion will guarantee that your message will embed itself in the minds of your audience quickly. Animation and video can help introduce your company, launch a new initiative or product, help generate awareness and sales, and more.
So, remembering the why, what, who, how and where, arm yourself with a diverse suite of marketing materials (these are just a few examples) that will allow you to engage and nurture audiences at different touchpoints, and will help you maximise your ROI in the long term.