As inbound marketers, we’re really into digital media. We believe in the merits of channels like Google, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and the whole wide web for marketers and business owners to spread their message, and generate leads and customers.
If you relied solely on the trade press and Twitter, it would be easy to think that marketing and sales organizations have moved beyond print to a world where everything is digital, but actual data shows that print remains near the top of the list for many marketers.
Why? Because it works, and there are times when nothing less than a beautiful piece of print collateral will do. Whether it’s a brochure, a business card, or a poster, the range of options available to marketers for printed collateral has never been broader or more accessible.
The answer isn’t the same for everyone, but generally it’s a yes. Here are a few questions to ask yourself when determining whether or not you need a brochure or marketing collateral and if so, what form it should take.
Do you communicate with your prospects directly?
A lot of organizations still have face-to-face meetings, in which case, it’s great to have a piece to refer to as you walk through your pitch. This piece can also serve as a tutorial if the prospect needs to sell your product or service internally.
Are your prospects and customers aware of all of your services?
It’s easy for your clients to pigeon hole your company as great at X and completely miss the fact that you do Y and Z as well. When meeting with a prospect about one service, your brochure or collateral could serve as a reminder about other offerings.
Do you attend tradeshows?
With all of the competition for attention on the tradeshow floor, you have to give tradeshow attendees something to walk away with and a koozie and some candy is not enough. At the very least you need a line card highlighting your basic service offering and value proposition along with your phone number and website so that they know how to contact you and remember your name.
Are you relying on individuals to communicate your brand position?
Sales people are awesome and you can train them on your product but can you be certain that they are communicating all of the messaging points and brand positioning accurately at all times? Your marketing collateral should serve as a reminder to the sales teams and help keep your brand consistent.
If the answer to any of these questions is yes then you do need printed collateral and I’ll provide some examples in a bit. If you answered no to all of them then you’re still in the grey zone but it may be that digital communication is the best option for you…that doesn’t mean that you don’t need collateral, just maybe not the paper stuff.
The Collateral Options:
No matter what form your collateral takes, be sure to give a lot of thought to the goal of each piece, the specific target, and the perception of value each should provide. A tri-fold brochure is a quick and easy solution, but is not the best fit if you are looking to make an impression. Sizes, shapes, and number of pages should all be determined by the goal of each individual piece.
- Traditional Brochure
- Collateral Sheet
- Collateral Shell
- Sales Kit Folder System
- Line Cards and Post Cards
- Posters or multi-fold pieces
- Creative Packaging
Within these options there are a lot of details to consider. Sigma Creative can help determine some of the following and how it will affect the perceived value or your product or service.
The Material Options:
- Offset v. Digital Printing
- Paper Weight
- Paper Type – options may include textured paper, recycled paper, metal, plastic, and a mountain of other options
- Die Cuts
- Special Coatings
- Emboss / Deboss
- Binding Solutions: Saddle Stitched, Singer Sewn, Perfect Binding, Case Binding, Wire-O, Post Binding
Keep in mind, that almost every printed piece can have a digital version. If it makes sense, you could also create an interactive brochure or catalogue.
In essence, the answer to the question of what you need always comes down to a true understanding of who you are trying to target, what information they would like to learn from you, and in what format works best for them. If all else fails, ask!
Sigma Creative provides a central, web-accessible and on-demand printing solution that offers:
- Print-ready digital asset upload for customizable assets of all kinds
- Profile-based user access that controls what assets the user can see, what they can customize, and how payments are processed
- Dynamic image and text customization
- Downloadable PDF’s of print collateral that can be included on web or microsites
- Email deliverability
- Optional insertion into an interactive presentation (digital sales kit, flip-book, PowerPoint, or Flash presentation)
- Customized collateral printing and shipping to multiple locations
- No creative design restrictions and compatibility with most design applications
- Vendor management component for tracking print relationships, budgets, compliance and approvals
If you’re interested in learning more about our print advertising services, call 614-285-7565. Contact Sigma Creative today!