The goal of your marketing collateral is to engage your customers, transfer information, and provide your clients with a sense of who you are and how your company can solve their problems. Whether your marketing collateral is a business card, brochure, or proposal, it should support these three common principles.
Copywriting is the most effective way of communicating your marketing message, whether you are using a company brochure or making a proposal. However, it is vital that the presentation is perfect so your client does not have to second-guess the quality of the product or your company. Many companies struggle to achieve this high standard. The result is that in a matter of seconds, a well-written brochure, quick printed on flimsy paper that flops over in the client’s hands, ends up in the wastebasket.
You cannot really blame your prospective client for tossing your ideas way. They see a lackluster effort, a perception that can cost you dearly.
Poor presentation is not just a waste of time and effort. Add to that the cost of writing, designing, and printing. Then combine that with the client receiving promotional material that actually lowers his perceived value of what you can offer, and it does more harm than good.
Your solution is rather simple. Remember this acronym: PPD (Print-Paper-Design). The goal is to have all three of these working for your marketing collateral.
Let’s use a brochure as an example.
A great way to add credibility and quality to a piece is by using special paper on the cover. You want paper that is thick and sturdy – not paper that collapses and flops over when handed to a client.
When a client feels something that is flimsy, he will immediately think that, like cheap furniture, it has been poorly produced. If you are a professional, you do not want anything representing you to give an impression of low quality. In addition to sturdy paper, textured paper can add to the touch experience.
There are over 3,000 receptors in your fingertips that stimulate endorphins. Use this fact to your advantage.
Next, the printing process is chosen.
You will want to add at least one special printing process to your piece to add depth, texture, and a tactile feel. Engraving, Embossing, Debossing, and Letterpress all add to the texture and the tactile feel. Just like the paper, you want to stimulate the touch experience.
This attention to detail is what makes a run-of-the-mill brochure special to the end user. Clients can tell if time and care has been spent on a product or if it wasn’t. For example, when using a brochure, you would put the specialty printing process on the cover, which hopefully has the quality paper described above.
And finally, design.
High-quality sturdy paper used as a cover to your brochure with a specialty printing process like embossing can add credibility to the worst design, but it has limitations. A well-thought-out, simple, uncluttered design can make or break a brochure with the best paper and printing.
A key element of good brochure design is photography. The most effective brochures utilize powerful photographs that reinforce your message.
You know when you have a good design if it doesn’t have to be updated every year or two. A good design should last for many years with only small updates to design and content.
The best advice I can give someone who is hiring a designer is, let them do their job. That is what you are paying them for. Many great designs never make it to the market, because the client ends up wanting to design the piece instead of the designer they are paying!
The Trifecta in Marketing Collateral
Most marketing collateral will only have one element of PPD (Print-Paper-Design), which can suffice. However, when you get all three right, you have marketing collateral that speaks to your clients’ intellect, and engages them emotionally, then reinforces everything you want them to know (that you are smart, trustworthy, detail oriented, and the best person for the job).