Today’s budget-conscious B2B marketers often ask, “I’ve spent a lot of money on building a great website, so why do I need to spend more on printed marketing collateral?” The answer is, because it helps to grow your business.
Marketing collateral is defined as, “the collection of media used to support the sales of a product or service.” Whether online or in hard copy, these tools serve three critical roles in marketing a business. They tell your company’s story, so that people understand who you are and what you do. They help build your brand, so that people understand your value proposition. And they assist salespeople in moving prospects through the sales cycle.
At minimum, every business should have the following print collateral:
- Business cards. Even in our increasingly digital world, business cards are still a necessity. Exchanging business cards remains a respected tradition. A strong logo and tagline on the card can instantly communicate your value proposition.
- Brochure. These days, most companies focus on online brochures to highlight their primary products and services. But printed brochures make great leave-behind tools when making sales calls. Investing in a high-quality brochure also shows that your business is not some fly-by-night enterprise that could be here today and gone tomorrow.
- One-sheets. Single documents that summarize a product or service, these can be valuable for networking and sales meetings. Often seen as an extension of your business card, one-sheets provide a quick overview of who you are and what you offer.
Optional print collateral includes:
- Presentation folders. Housing your brochure and one-sheets in a well designed presentation folder creates a powerful visual and informational tool that makes you look established and organized.
- White papers. Excellent for positioning you as an industry thought leader, white papers add value to prospects and clients while demonstrating that you understand their challenges, issues and concerns.
- Case studies and success stories. Similar to white papers, these provide real-life examples of how clients have gained value from using your product or service.
- Everything else. In addition to these basics, marketing collateral includes everything from advertising and product spec sheets to press releases, media alerts, annual reports and more.
Given that all these can be made available online at much lower cost, the million-dollar question becomes: how much print collateral do I need for my business?
The answer depends on the type of business, the product or service being sold, and the company’s sales process. To determine how much print collateral you need, ask questions like:
- Who do we sell to?
- How and when do our clients buy from us?
- What tools do our salespeople need during sales calls?
- What collateral are most effective in moving our prospects through the sales cycle?
- How, when and where do our prospects prefer to receive that information?
Keep in mind that all print collateral should send a focused, compelling message that aligns with your brand promise. Therefore, it’s critical to make sure every piece of collateral stays consistent in terms of style, tone, voice and visuals. The more consistent your various collateral pieces are, the more effective they will be in supporting your sales strategies and tactics.